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The Fred Formula to Program Building.

LarstheRed

Travel Squad
5 Year Member
Since it was a bit of a topic on the Sallis thread, I thought we might kill some time kicking around how some feel about the Life and Times of Husker Hoops. The current staff will only qualify as a short story at this point, but I think the potential, the model and the enthusiasm for the program in recent years deserve a little of our attention in this time of bizarro world uncertainty. I've listened to some podcasts discussing Sallis final 12 decision, and they seemed to confirm most of what some of us have speculated; Sallis was really fond of Miles. In most opinions it was because he was in on him so early and that provided him with a spotlight that others became aware of. People forget how impressionable kids are. When a high profile person (Miles) is hanging around you, telling you how good you can be, at an age that 99.9% of the kids aren't getting that level of adult attention, much less from a guy who is 'famous', it's a really special thing. Couple that with Miles being a really engaging person, and Sallis' special connection with him shouldn't be that surprising. But based on people who spoke with him, it was still going to be a challenge to get him to Nebraska. He wants to have the best chance to display his talent, and there are obviously some schools with programs and history that would position him more favorably for an NBA career. If that's his goal, who can blame him?

However, the prevailing opinion of guys I have some faith in for knowing basketball, the local Omaha programs and to some degree, Sallis, are the comments about the heavy transfer culture were kind of a dick move. One of the pods specifically said that was a bit of a slap in the face, and based on how quickly Fred tried to connect with him after Miles departure, undeserved. There was all sorts of speculation as to why he made the comment; immaturity, being prodded by a family member or influential adult (other coach), or even a slight shot at Akol, who he's had a bit of a not always friendly competition with over the years. To be fair, Sallis hasn't been the only guy who has felt the model Fred and company use to assemble teams is a different. Plenty of folks here, and out their in the fan base are wondering how we could have year 1 be nearly a completely new roster, then follow that up with a similar restocking of the shelves in year 2? In reality, several of the new guys this year were here last year, but needed to wait for eligibility, so they were going to be on the roster with or without several of last year's squad leaving. Regarding those who did leave, there was some reliance on some of the transfers being able to make the transition from the Juco playground, into the B1G playground. Unfortunately, that didn't happen particularly well. Some of that was maturity, some was simply not being quite as talented as assumed. But either way, I don't think that's going to change the model this staff plans to follow to build a program, because all we need to do is look at prior results:
2010–11Iowa State16–163–1312th
2011–12Iowa State23–1112–6T–3rdNCAA Division I Round of 32
2012–13Iowa State23–1211–7T–4thNCAA Division I Round of 32
2013–14Iowa State28–811–7T–3rdNCAA Division I Sweet 16
2014–15Iowa State25–912–6T–2ndNCAA Division I Round of 64
Iowa State:115–56 (.673)49–39 (.557)


I was a part of a program that was thought to be one always built 'from the ground up', taking Freshman, letting them play a few games on the Freshman team, then having them earn a little time on Varsity as they progressed. That seemed to be the formula...until I really looked at the numbers. I was a transfer as a soph, and redshirted. Along with me came another D2 guy, a juco, a guy from a rival team, and a guy who transferred from a football program after a couple of concussions. Of the 5, 4 of us were starters, and the 5th was in the top 10. The next 3 years we saw 3 to 5 transfers a year come in. Coach didn't go out and recruit the transfers, but he had created a winning, positive environment, and guys knew they'd get a shot at some minutes because we played deep into the bench. Nebraska has just taken it a step further with the transfer portal. Abdelmassih was recently on one of the podcasts, and he spoke directly about the use of transfers. He was completely unapologetic (which I loved) in this staff's belief that relying on transfers gives them some advantages over simply focusing on Freshman. The guys they are looking at aren't low end players who aren't getting on the court in their current situation. They simply weren't comfortable at their prior school, be it a coach, players, offense, defense, school experience, whatever, they are looking for a change to a place they feel would be better. And the thing the staff loves about these guys is they have experience. Experience in the challenges of campus life, classes, becoming a part of a team, and the heightened level of the college game. While they may have stubbed their toes in these processes previously, it isn't going to be an entirely new thing like it is with a Freshman. And before we jump to conclusions, no Abdelmassih didn't say they aren't interested in Freshman, but their model wants the majority of guys ready to play the minute they get to campus, physically and emotionally. Sure, even with upperclassmen there is the learning of offenses and defenses, and getting familiar with the new guys around them, but many of the other areas that challenge guys first coming to college are already out of the way. I will say that the transfers I played with were absolutely more stable, better prepared than any of the Freshman who showed up. If you really think about the reasoning, it doesn't sound as odd a thought process as some suggest.

So the real questions are; will it be successful, and is it sustainable? My opinion? It will be successful, and it's sustainable IF we recognize that there will be years that we simply don't get the right guys to help carry the load. That's true if you are only after freshman as well, but when you want immediate impact people, when you miss, that's also going to be felt immediately.
 

FeelLikeAStranger

How are ya now?
15 Year Member
2014 and 2015 Big12 Tourney Titles. Oh what would have been if Niang doesnt get hurt in the NCAA’s in ‘14 and they still make the Sweet 16. That team had a legit shot at Final Four.

There will be startup issues (last year was worse than I expected, but basically zero roster) and the odd down year when you lose a great group and have a couple young starters and a couple sit outs the next year.

More hits than misses at this point.
 

LarstheRed

Travel Squad
5 Year Member
2014 and 2015 Big12 Tourney Titles. Oh what would have been if Niang doesnt get hurt in the NCAA’s in ‘14 and they still make the Sweet 16. That team had a legit shot at Final Four.

There will be startup issues (last year was worse than I expected, but basically zero roster) and the odd down year when you lose a great group and have a couple young starters and a couple sit outs the next year.

More hits than misses at this point.
Even teams that usually pull in the top high school talent can have a miss year here and there. The difference with them is they can usually patch that with a Juco if need be. I think the staff will look for the right high schoolers to bring in as time moves forward. We may see a reduction in Jucos as that progresses. Personally, I think they were surprised at how poorly both Mack and Green shot from 3 pt range, and that may be a wakeup call to really scrutinize juco guys in the future. I don't know if it was the tougher competition, the bigger stage, but they were not what I think most expected based on their prior stats. Burke wasn't quite what I expected in 3 pt proficiency either. I still think had Curtis stuck it out, we could have looked much better toward the end of the year. Keep Kavas healthy, and that too could have made a difference. I do wish Fred would accept there are guys who can help you get points AND open up 3 pt opportunities if you simply let them shoot a midrange jumper if that's their comfort zone. Cheatum was much better there, and his production kept us in several games. Cheatum and Copeland were both very solid midrange jump shooters, and they needed to be used that way. Miles was as guilty as Fred in not using a good player like Copeland as he should have.
 
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groundNpound

Recruit
Miles did his best to leave the cupboard as bare as humanly possible for Hoiberg (not even sure how Miles was planning to have a team the next season with how many schollies he had left to fill, it’s obvious he knew he was on the way out and completely gave up recruiting.)

I expect better results this year but have my doubts that we’re a tournament team. Either way my view in Hoiberg is the same as Frost- we got lucky to get him and need to give him AT LEAST 5 years.
 
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