2020-21 Nebraska basketball season preview

Oh baby it’s finally here. Nebraska basketball is back and ready to rip your heart out for yet another year.

Cornhuskers’ Lord and Savior Fred Hoiberg has put together yet another interesting squad, full of fresh new faces. It’s a team with really no expectations comes into this 2020 season with basically nothing to lose and everything to gain. What will this new season bring?

The University of Nebraska has, and always will be a football first school. Yet, eyes continue to be drawn to the basketball program. Hoiberg has a track record of greatness. A sign of this being signing the first five-star prospect in school history with Bryce McGowens.

Another rebuild year, or the start of something great? Only time will tell, and these Huskers are primed to shock the basketball world.

Meet the head coach

The first season of the Hoiberg era was met with plenty of optimism. Bringing in one of the hottest coaches on the market at the time to a school not known for its basketball will trigger quite the amount of happiness. Hoiberg had just finished his short stint with the Chicago Bulls and was ready to make a return to college athletics.

For those of you that aren’t aware, the Hoiberg family has roots in Nebraska. Hoiberg was born in Lincoln, and his grandfather coached the Cornhuskers basketball team from 1953-63. With roots tying him to this state, and the opportunity to build something great, the call was too much and he returned to Lincoln.

Nebraska basketball 2019 review

If you are just getting into Nebrasketball, then there is no need to learn about last year. Any long-time Nebraska basketball fan when asked about the 2019 season would respond to you with, “Huh, Nebraska didn’t play in 2019, they took a year off.” The 2019 season was one that we would all like to forget. An 0-2 start capped off by a 17-game losing streak will do that to a person.

The 2019 class brought in 10 new faces to the program. Only two players remained from the previous coaching staff, Dachon Burke, and the god of thunder himself Thorir Throbjarnarson. With basically an entirely new roster, there were little to no expectations heading into the season.

No one could’ve predicted the mess that we were then met with.

A 19 point season-opening loss to UC Riverside set the tone early. The Huskers got their first win against South Dakota State, the record, 1-2. As league play began everyone braced for the worst. Yet, the Cornhuskers impressed losing to Indiana in overtime, then coming home to knock off Purdue.

Thoughts began to circulate that these Cornhuskers might be able to make something out of a lost season. The Huskers then proceeded to knock off Luka Garza-led Iowa. That would be the last win for 2019 Huskers, who finished the season at 7-25, the worst record in school history.

2020 season preview

A team picked to finish at or near the bottom of the conference has already shown signs of optimism. After yet another season of many players leaving the team, Hoiberg was tasked with bringing in a large number of recruits. With the season looming and wanting experience over youth, Hoiberg looked to the transfer portal. So far that formula seems to be working.

The 2020 season is as follows:

Nov. 25: McNeese State (102-55) W Jan. 16: at Maryland
Nov. 26: Nevada (66-69) L Jan. 20: Minnesota
Nov. 28: North Dakota State (79-57) W Jan. 24: at Iowa
Dec. 1: South Dakota (76-69) W Jan. 30: Penn State
Dec. 6: Florida A&M Feb. 3: at Michigan State
Dec. 9: Georgia Tech Feb. 7: at Minnesota
Dec. 11: at Creighton Feb. 11: Wisconsin
Dec. 21: at Wisconsin Feb. 14: at Penn State
Dec. 25: Michigan Feb. 17: Maryland
Dec. 30: at Ohio State Feb. 20: Purdue
Jan. 2: Michigan State Feb. 24: at Illinois
Jan. 5: at Purdue Feb. 28: Rutgers
Jan. 10: Indiana Mar. 6: at Northwestern
Jan. 13: Illinois Current Record (3-1)

The 2020 Nebraska basketball squad has already amassed close to half of last year’s total wins. I’m not bragging about that at all, just a little food for thought. This year’s squad has a current record of 3-1, which had every opportunity to be 4-0. Nebraska has depth, which was something it has lacked in recent years.

JUCO commit and Nebraskan, Teddy (Buckets) Allen has been the story of the season so far. Averaging 17.7 points per game and 4.3 steals, which is top 10 in the country, has molded well with the shoot first ask questions later style of Hoiberg’s offense.

Secondly, Dalano Banton, a transfer from Western Kentucky who sat out last season, has shown himself to be the leader of this team. The sophomore guard from Toronto is the only player in the country with 40 points, 15 rebounds, 15 assists and six blocks. I’d put money on Banton becoming only the second player in school history to get a triple-double.

Nebrasketball is back and looking to shock the world. A team that is building a foundation for the future, cough, cough… Bryce McGowens. This year’s squad has the talent to prove it belongs. The road ahead will be long and hard, but the future is so very bright.

Photo by Dylan Widger | The Daily Nebraskan