Nebraska 19-20 Preview

One of the benefits of procrastination is the ability to get more information before having to turn in your work. That was much-needed in previewing this year's Nebraska team, a group so unrecognizable that it would fit in nicely with the "who are these guys? montage from Major League.

Cam Mack? Dachon Burke? Jervay Green? New coach Fred Hoiberg is hitting the junior college market hard in rebuilding the roster after Tim Miles was shown the door. Miles must have been a popular dude, because his whole team up and quit soon thereafter. To be fair, there was always going to be plenty of roster turnover with a large number of seniors, plus the talented Isaiah Roby with his sights set on the NBA. Still, someone like Thomas Allen figured to be handed the keys to the offense but instead opted to head to Raleigh.

Consequently, the closest thing to a Roger Dorn this team has is Thor Thorbjarnarson, but as he's yet to score double figures in a game, I hesitate to name him a standout player. It's very likely I'll never need to memorize how to spell his last name, even this year.

Oh, make no mistake, this is a rebuilding season. The team just lost by 19, at home, to a team projected to finish near the bottom of the Big West. The team shot 47 percent on free throws. The starting center—who was the backup center last year for a bad WAC team—was the best player on the court for the Huskers, and his line included one rebound in 25 minutes.

Haanif Cheatham is playing the role of Jake Taylor in this live-action rendition. It would be a nice story if he put together a solid season. After a sterling debut as a freshman at Marquette (started every game, averaging 12 points per contest), Cheatam has battled injuries throughout his career, and even declared for the NBA draft after his season was cut short last year. But he's opted to come back to college, for one more season with the largely unrecognizable Huskers.

The good news is that Hoiberg has a track record of success in the collegiate ranks, though Nebraska might be a slightly tougher place to win at than Iowa State. It does not lack for facilities or a fanbase, however, as Pinnacle Bank Arena is once again sold out for the season. It's good that Hoiberg has that capital of fan support—he's going to need it this year.