The offseason has begun for Fred Hoiberg and the Nebraska men’s basketball team, and it promises to be filled with news as Hoiberg shuffles his coaching staff and looks to take a step forward in year four.
We will update this post throughout the offseason as the developments continue.
>> March 14: Senior forward Trevor Lakes enters the transfer portal.
The 6-foot-7 stretch forward played in 22 games in his two seasons as a Husker after transferring from Division II Indianapolis, averaging 2.6 points in 9.4 minutes per game while shooting 35.2% from the field and 30.6% from 3. He dealt with shoulder injuries throughout his Husker career including one that led to him shutting it down for the season after playing in just eight games this year. He’ll need the NCAA to grant him a medical redshirt for this season in order to play another season elsewhere.
**Update: Lakes committed to Division II Southern Indiana on March 27.
Excited to announce I am committing to play for Coach Gouard and the USI Screaming Eagles! Can’t wait to get to work in Evansville!! pic.twitter.com/PAP3vrpTOj
— trevor lakes (@trevlakes) March 28, 2022
>> March 17: Hoiberg and lead recruiter Matt Abdelmassih mutually agree to part ways.
>> March 18: Special assistant to the head coach Doc Sadler departs as Nebraska eliminates his position.
>> March 20: North Dakota State transfer and Lincoln East graduate Sam Griesel announces his commitment to Nebraska.
>> March 21: Freshman Bryce McGowens announces he is entering the 2022 NBA Draft. McGowens signed with Roc Nation Sports, Jay-Z’s agency.
Welcome to the Family, @BryceMcgowens5!
💎 Big Ten All-Freshman Team
💎 8x Big Ten Freshman of the Week pic.twitter.com/u7NJxDjzWM
— Roc Nation Sports (@RocNationSports) March 22, 2022
>> March 22: Second-year center Eduardo Andre enters the transfer portal.
The 6-foot-11, 237-pound center averaged 3.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.1 turnovers while shooting 57.1% from the field and 52.4% from the free-throw line in 11.5 minutes per game this season for the Huskers. Andre broke into the rotation late last season as a freshman after COVID-19 sidelined him early in the year. He averaged 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds while shooting 64.7% from the field in 8.8 minutes per game overall.
Andre’s most productive game in Lincoln was against Sam Houston State early this season as he scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 15 minutes. He scored double digits just one more time with a 10-point performance at Iowa this season.
Starting center Derrick Walker could choose to return to Nebraska for an extra season of eligibility. The Huskers also signed the top-ranked junior college center in the country in Coffeyville Community College big man Blaise Keita. Oleg Kojenets, a 7-foot freshman, redshirted this season.
Andre has three years of eligibility remaining.
**Update: Andre committed to Fresno State on April 26.
>> March 24: Second-year wing Keon Edwards enters the transfer portal.
The 6-foot-7 wing was a highly-regarded 4-star recruit in high school before enrolling early at DePaul last season. He played in five games as a Blue Devil before transferring to Nebraska last summer.
Edwards played in just 19 games as a Husker, averaging 5.6 minutes per game. He started five games following Trey mcGowens’ injury but did little with the opportunity and fell out of the rotation. Edwards scored just 10 points in 107 minutes, shooting 4-of-21 from the field including 1-of-15 from 3. Edwards also recorded 14 rebounds, two assists, two steals, five turnovers and 12 fouls.
Hoiberg addressed the departures of Lakes, Andre and Edwards on Thursday.
“Everyone in our team appreciates the work and contributions that Eduardo, Keon and Trevor have made during their time at Nebraska.” Hoiberg said in a release. “I have enjoyed coaching all of them and we will support them as they finish the spring semester at Nebraska and begin the process of looking at other schools. I wish them the best in the future.”
**Update: Edwards committed to UW-Milwaukee on May 24.
>> March 25: Top-ranked 2022 commit Ramel Lloyd Jr. affirmed his commitment to Nebraska following the departure of lead recruiter Matt Abdelmassih. Blaise Keita, the top-ranked JUCO center, affirmed his commitment earlier in the week.
— Ramel Lloyd Jr. (@ramellloyd22) March 25, 2022
Lloyd, a 6-foot-7 4-star combo-guard from Sierra Canyon (Calf.), is ranked 86th in the 247Sports Composite. He has the size to play on the wing but the playmaking ability to run the point, making him a versatile piece for Fred Hoiberg.
The 6-foot-11, 230-pound Keita played in 18 games for Kirkwood Community College this season after dealing with an early-season injury. He averaged 12.8 points on 51.8% shooting and 9.8 rebounds per game.
It appears Nebraska’s 2022 class will remain intact with Lloyd, Keita, 3-star Roselle Catholic (N.J.) shooting guard Jamarques Lawrence and 3-star wing Denim Dawson (already on campus) in addition to Griesel as a transfer. The class is ranked 30th nationally and seventh in the Big Ten according to 247Sports.
With all four recruits remaining committed, Griesel’s addition and the departures of Bryce McGowens, Keon Edwards, Eduardo Andre and Trevor Lakes, Nebraska is currently sitting at the max 13 scholarships committed for next season. However, that includes Derrick Walker, Trey McGowens and Lat Mayen who could choose to return to Nebraska for an extra season of eligibility.
>> March 28: Nebraska makes Griesel’s addition official by announcing his signing with the program.
“Sam brings a lot of experience, leadership and versatility to our program,” Hoiberg said in a release. “He’s a physical guard who can [play] all over the floor for us with his combination of size, skill and basketball IQ. He’s played point guard at North Dakota State the past two years and gives us a bigger guard who can match up well in the Big Ten. Sam is a four-year starter who has played in the NCAA Tournament and understands what it takes to win at a high level. He’s also excited to come back home and represent Nebraska, and we are pleased to add him to the Husker program.”
>> March 29: Derrick Walker announces he is returning for his extra season of eligibility at Nebraska.
what's next pic.twitter.com/6Me3UVm2ol
— Derrick Walker (@derric__k) March 29, 2022
Walker was Nebraska’s third-leading scorer, leading rebounder and second-leading distributor this season, averaging 9.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He set a new program record for field goal percentage at 68.3% and Hoiberg tweaked his offense midseason to more prominently feature Walker. The 6-foot-9 big man notched three double-doubles and scored a career-high 16 points on three occasions.
Walker was part of Hoiberg’s first recruiting class at Nebraska, sitting out the 2019-20 season as a redshirt after transferring from Tennessee. After serving an NCAA suspension to open the 2020-21 season, Walker has started in 48 straight games for the Huskers.
>> March 30: Walk-on freshman Jackson Cronin enters the transfer portal.
The 6-foot-1 guard from Great Neck, New York, appeared in 12 games this season while scoring seven points and grabbing one rebound.
>> April 4: Nebraska announced the hiring of Adam Howard to Hoiberg’s staff.
Howard filled the vacancy on Hoiberg’s staff left by Matt Abdelmassih’s departure. Howard comes to Lincoln from South Alabama where he was the associate head coach this past season. He previously coached at Troy, Tennessee, Southern Miss and Morehead State.
>> April 15: Missouri State hires Buzzy Caruthers as an assistant coach.
Caruthers spent the past three seasons as the director of player development at Nebraska. He also filled in as the color commentator for Nebraska’s games on B1G+.
>> April 21: Alabama transfer Juwan Gary commits to Nebraska.
Nebraska made his transfer official on Friday with a release.
“Juwan adds a different dimension to our roster with his combination of athleticism and versatility,” Hoiberg said. “He plays with physicality and can be used all over the floor. Juwan also has the experience of playing in two NCAA Tournaments and winning an SEC title in 2021, which gives him the understanding of what it takes to be successful at the highest level.”
>> April 29: Nebraska sophomore walk-on Jace Piatkowski enters the transfer portal.
Nebraska G Jace Piatkowski has entered the transfer portal. https://t.co/V9y9s6LXAa
— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) April 29, 2022
The son of program legend Eric Piatkowski walked on out of Elkhorn South High School in 2019 and redshirted that first season. He played in 10 games as a redshirt freshman, hitting his only shot from the field (a 3-pointer) and splitting a pair of free throws for four points and grabbing two rebounds in 18 minutes. He did not play this season while dealing with injuries and illness.
>> April 29: Nebraska recruiting coordinator Athan Katsantonis announced his departure from the program.
— Athan Katsantonis (@aakatsan) April 29, 2022
Katsantonis joined the program as a graduate assistant in 2020 before taking over as recruiting coordinator for the 2021-22 season following the departure of Shannan Lum.
>> May 4: Elkhorn South senior Henry Burt commits to walk on at Nebraska.
— Henry Burt (@HenryBurt15) May 4, 2022
Burt, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound post, led the Storm with 12.6 points on 62% shooting and 6.1 rebounds as a senior. Burt played in just nine varsity games while scoring 15 points as a junior but continued to improve and had a breakout season this year.
With Burt’s addition, the 2022-23 season will be the eighth straight for Nebraska with an Elkhorn South graduate on the roster as a walk-on, following Johnny Trueblood, Justin Costello and Piatkowski.
>> May 7: Ashland-Greenwood guard Cale Jacobsen commits to Nebraska as a preferred walk-on.
>> May 17: SMU transfer Emmanuel Bandoumel announced his commitment to Nebraska on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
Bandoumel is a 6-foot-4, 180-pound shooting guard from Quebec City, Quebec, Canada who spent the past three season at SMU. Last season, he averaged 10.6 points on 36.1% shooting (35.2% from 3) and 82.3% from the free-throw line, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists while starting all 33 games for the Mustangs.
As a junior, Bandoumel averaged 10.2 points on 40.9% from the field (36.4% from 3) and 73.3% from the foul line, 2.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.6 turnovers in 17 games, all starts. He chipped in 6.3 points on 34.9% shooting (22.3% from 3) and 77.3% free-throw shooting in 30 games with 18 starts as a sophomore.
Bandoumel began his college career at Hill College where he averaged 13.9 points on 53% shooting (39% from 3) and 80.8% from the foul line in 30 games including 27 starts as a freshman.
“Emmanuel gives us another guard with positional size on the perimeter,” Hoiberg said in a release. “He’s started the last two-plus years at SMU and is a good 3-point shooter who has shot over 35 percent each of the past two seasons. Defensively, he has the size and athleticism to guard several spots which matches up well with our other backcourt players. He also brings experience and leadership having started at SMU for the past three seasons. In Sam (Griesel), Juwan (Gary) and Emmanuel, I think we’ve added three players from the portal who will help us defensively with their length and size.”
With Bandoumel’s commitment, Nebraska has filled its scholarship allotment for the 2022-23 season as Trey McGowens continues to pursue professional opportunities.
>> May 19: Arizona State transfer Jeffrey Grace III commits to Nebraska as a walk-on.
View this post on Instagram
Grace redshirted last season as a freshman at Arizona State. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound guard from Elmhhurst, Illinois was an AAU teammate of Sam Hoiberg with Breakaway Basketball.
>> May 24: Nebraska announces that Lat Mayen has signed a professional contract and will not be returning to the program.
Mayen, a native of Adelaide, Australia, signed with the Carins Marlins, a team in the NBL1 North League in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. He competed in his first game on Monday.
“Lat has decided to pursue professional basketball opportunities back home in Australia,” Hoiberg said in a release. “Everyone in our program appreciates the contributions he has made to the Husker basketball program over the last two seasons and the work he put into the gym every day. Lat has been a pleasure to coach and look forward to him embarking on a pro career.”
Mayen started in every game he played in during his two seasons at Nebraska, averaging 7.2 points and 4.1 rebounds while knocking down 77 3-pointers.
Only Trey McGowens’ decision remains for the Huskers. They’re currently full on scholarships without McGowens using his extra season of eligibility. The deadline to withdraw from the draft and maintain collegiate eligibility is June 1.
>> May 26: Now former Nebraska walk-on Chris McGraw announced he is entering the the coaching world as a graduate assistant at Vanderbilt.
Excited to announce that I will be starting my coaching career as a Graduate Assistant for the Vanderbilt University basketball program! ⚓️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/3FNEyPrnu1
— Chris McGraw (@chrismcgraw14) May 26, 2022
McGraw spent two seasons at Nebraska after transferring from Division III Otterbein College. He had two seasons of eligibility remaining but graduated from Nebraska after this semester.
Nebraska is set to have a whole new group of walk-ons joining redshirt freshman Sam Hoiberg next season in Jacobsen, Burt and Grace.
>> May 31: Nebraska announces that Trey McGowens will keep his name in the 2022 NBA Draft and pursue a professional career rather than using his extra season of eligibility.
“Trey has decided to stay in the draft and embark on a professional career,” Hoiberg said in the release. “He has meant a lot to this program over the past two seasons, and his toughness in coming back from injury strengthened our team down the stretch. I thought Trey was one of the best defenders in our league last year, as he showed the ability to guard several positions. Trey loves to be in the gym and work, and I think his best days are still ahead of him. We will do everything to support him as he begins the next chapter of his basketball career.”
After three straight seasons averaging double-figure points (the first two as a Pittsburgh Panther), McGowens played in just 17 games this year and averaged 6.8 points after suffering a broken foot three games into the season. He started 43 of his 44 games in a Husker uniform and averaged 9.2 points while taking on tough defensive assignments every game.
With McGowens’ decision made, Nebraska’s roster appears to be set for the 2022-23 season with all 13 scholarships filled.
>> June 1: Fred Hoiberg adds former student managers Michael Bania and Padyn Borders to his staff as graduate managers.
Bania spent the past four seasons as a student manager including the last two as the head manager. Borders played collegiately at Central Community College and Peru State before transferring to Nebraska as a student for the past two years. Both graduated in May.
Bania and Borders will join Keenan Holdman, returning for his second season, as the team’s three graduate managers for the 2022-23 season.
>> June 3: Three-star Legacy Early College point guard Chase Clemmons commits to the Huskers.
Clemmons is Nebraska’s first commit for the 2023 class. He’s a 6-foot, 165-pound guard originally from Greenville, South Carolina, who transferred to Legacy Early College prior to his junior season. He picked the Huskers over other finalists Houston and Tennessee State as well as Georgia, Missouri and Tennessee.
On3 has Clemmons rated 122nd nationally. He’s ranked 204th in the 247Sports Composite but is outside the top 150 for both 247Sports’ own rankings and Rivals’.
Clemmons is close friends with Trey and Bryce McGowens, and that relationship played a big role in his recruitment. Clemmons took an official visit to Lincoln in October.
>> July 6: Nebraska names Emmanuel Tommy director of player development.
Tommy has replaced the departed Buzzy Caruthers in the role.
“We are pleased to welcome Emmanuel to our basketball staff,” Hoiberg said in a release. “He has experience in both the administrative and coaching sides of basketball and understands what it takes to connect with people, a trait which is essential for this role. In getting to know him through this process, he is a high-energy, positive person who wants to help people be successful on and off the court. He is a good fit for our program, and we welcome Emmanuel and his family to Lincoln.”
Tommy spent last season as an assistant coach at Alabama A&M. Prior to that, he spent one season as director of basketball operations at McNeese State and one as director of recruiting and assistant director of operations where he worked alongside Adam Howard. Tommy worked at the high school, junior college and Division III ranks before moving up to the Division I level in 2019.
Tommy earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Western Michigan where he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant.
>> July 8: Nebraska announces that assistant coach Armon Gates has left the program.
Gates is leaving Nebraska to fill the assistant coaching role on Dana Altman’s staff at Oregon created by Chris Crutchfield leaving to become head coach at Omaha.
“Armon Gates has informed me that he is leaving Nebraska to take another coaching position,” Hoiberg said in a release. “I appreciate all of Armon’s contributions to Husker Basketball over the past four-plus seasons, as he has been a valuable member of our coaching staff since I arrived three years ago. I wish Armon, his wife Ashley and his family all the best as he begins his new endeavor. Looking forward, we will be diligent in finding the right person to join our coaching staff to continue to help us build our program.”
Gates, a Chicago native, was the lone holdover from Tim Miles’ staff when Hoiberg took over as head coach in 2019. He played an important role in on-court player development and game-planning but was not as involved in the program’s recruiting efforts as he had been under Miles with Matt Abdelmassih coordinating their recruiting efforts prior to his departure from the program.
Some speculated that Gates may follow his brother, Dennis Gates, to Missouri when he took over as the new head coach for the Tigers, but at the time Armon Gates chose to remain in Lincoln. Hoiberg will now look to fill the void in his staff late in the offseason as the coaching carousel has been mostly settled for some time now and as programs across the country are deep into their summer workouts.
Nate Loenser will now be the lone assistant coach returning from last season.
>> Aug. 10: 2023 IMG Academy wing Eli Rice commits to Nebraska.
>> Aug. 17: Fred Hoiberg announces he has hired former Mississippi State assistant Ernie Zeigler to fill the open position on his coaching staff.
“When I began looking at candidates, Ernie checked all the boxes that we were looking for,” Hoiberg said in a release. “He has a proven track record in player development and has helped build several successful programs in power conferences. He also has the experience of running his own program for several years. Ernie is also an outstanding recruiter who has extensive ties in the Big Ten region. I think he is a good fit with staff we have in place, and I am excited to have him join our program.”
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.