Matt Abdelmassih and Fred Hoiberg talk during basketball practice
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Isaac Traudt Begins Busy Official Visit Schedule with Trip to Nebraska

June 08, 2021

Grand Island forward Isaac Traudt has been a priority for Fred Hoiberg and his staff for a long time and over the weekend, the Nebraska staff got the opportunity to show that to him in person during an official visit.

The NCAA allowed the dead period to expire at the end of May, opening the recruiting floodgates for June, and Nebraska moved quickly to get Traudt on campus.

Traudt’s visit began on Friday with a tour of the facilities, a film session with Hoiberg and dinner with the staff and team. Saturday included a tour of the campus including Memorial Stadium and Pinnacle Bank Arena, a photo shoot and an evening spent at Hoiberg’s house hanging out with the players. Traudt and his dad, Brandon, closed out the visit with a golf outing with Hoiberg and his son Sam, who will be a freshman walk-on this season.

“It was great,” Traudt told Hail Varsity. “Definitely let me get a better feel for the staff as a whole. Coaches can sometimes be different in person than they are on the phone, but Coach Hoiberg’s pretty much the same person as he is on the Zoom or on the phone, which is great. And the rest of the staff are just really genuine guys. So it was fun to be able to hang out with them.”

Traudt, a 6-foot-9 4-star forward, averaged 25.3 points and 9.4 rebounds while shooting 51% from the field, 37% from 3 and 79% from the free-throw line.

“He just said he thinks I can be an immediate impact from day one,” Traudt said about Hoiberg’s pitch. “He said they’re in need of a wing for my class and thinks that I can be a really good fit in his system — kind of a free-flowing motion, NBA-style of play. He’s the shooting coach as well so he said that he thinks he can turn me into a knockdown shooter which would ultimately probably get me to the NBA.”

Nebraska was Traudt’s first official visit. He unofficially visited Creighton on June 1 and he’s previously visited unofficially a couple other times as well. Traudt has three more official visits s hedged this month: Virginia June Friday through Sunday, Michigan State June 17-19 and North Carolina June 27-29. Traudt also said he wants to visit Oklahoma in the fall.

“These schools are the ones that are recruiting me the hardest,” Traudt said. “Most of them asked for an official pretty much as soon as the thing got passed, and some of them even asked for it in March or April. So just kind of having that significant interest from them really brought to to a whole other level for me. Wherever I’m prioritized I’ll go visit for sure.”

With his combination of size and skill, Traudt would fit perfectly at either Nebraska or Creighton, which would allow him to stay close to home and be closer to his family. However, he also has some storied programs from all over the country recruiting him hard. Traudt said he’s keeping an open mind in that regard.

“It’s definitely a blessing,” Traudt said. “There’s definitely pros and cons to both sides of that. Staying home could be great with having my family here more often, being able to see them more. But at the same time, going some place far away, I could be able to go be somewhere I probably would have never gone before and kind of get a different experience of different cultures. Different side of the country you get to see different stuff. I think there are advantages to both so it will definitely be a tough decision.”

After a year of virtual recruiting, this string of visits will provide Traudt with an opportunity to really lock on on the factors that are most important to him as he meets with the coaches and sees the campuses for the first time.

“My relationship with the head coach is the most important thing to me as well as the returning players and the rest of the staff, and then the style of play and how I fit the school is also really important,” Traudt said. “I’ve watched a lot of these schools play quite bit so I have a pretty good feel for the style of play and everything. The next step for me is being able to hang out with all these guys in person.”

After Traudt wraps up his June officials, he will turn his attention towards July and the grassroots basketball live periods. Traudt plays for Nebraska Supreme alongside fellow Nebraska target Jasen Green (Millard North). Supreme competes on the Under Armor Association and will get a chance to play against some of the best competition in the country. For the first time since the summer of 2019, college coaches from all over the country will be allowed to be in the building watching teams go at it during the second, third and fourth weekends of July.

“It will be a great experience,” Traudt said. “I’ll be able to tell right away who’s really interested in me and who’s kind of not by who’s in the stands for the games. I think it will be good for me to be able to play in front of them because you can’t really see everything on film, so it will be a good opportunity for them to get a better feel for me as a player.”

Traudt said he doesn’t anticipate formally cutting down his list. He’s planning to take at least a couple more visits in the fall and wants to make his decision by January or February. He’s planning to wait until the late signing period to send in his letter of intent.

Until then, expect Hoiberg to continue making Traudt a priority.

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