With Nebraska bowing out in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament and missing out on an invitation to the NIT, the offseason has begun for the Nebraska men’s basketball team.
The Huskers went 16-16 including 9-11 in Big Ten play — by far the best record since Fred Hoiberg took over in Lincoln. The Huskers finished 95th in KenPom after final rankings of 162, 109 and 140 in Hoiberg’s first three seasons.
Nebraska has three seniors who have exhausted their eligibility in Sam Griesel, Derrick Walker and Emmanuel Bandoumel. Everyone else on the roster has eligibility remaining, though that doesn’t guarantee a return for any of them.
Hail Varsity will keep track of offseason news throughout the spring and summer here to compile a timeline of the moves heading into the 2023-24 season.
>> March 14: Redshirt freshman center Oleg Kojenets has entered his name in the transfer portal.
Nebraska C Oleg Kojenets has entered the transfer portal. https://t.co/PQZsrhOiFz
— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) March 14, 2023
After redshirting in 2021-22, the Lithuanian 7-footer appeared in 18 games this season, averaging just 3.5 minutes. He scored 10 points on 3-of-6 from the field and 4-of-6 from the foul line and grabbed 13 rebounds with one steal, one block and six turnovers. Kojenets provided spot minutes throughout the season as Nebraska dealt with Derek Walker missing five games to start the season and Blaise Keita missing significant time with ankle injuries but wasn’t able to carve out a larger role than that.
Kojenets was a 3-star recruit who signed with Nebraska in the spring after spending his senior year at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio.
>> March 15: Redshirt freshman wing Denim Dawson plans to enter his name in the transfer portal.
Nebraska wing Denim Dawson intends to enter the transfer portal, a source tells @247SportsPortal.
Freshman that started in eight games for the Cornhuskers this season. Former three-star recruit in the 2021 class.https://t.co/RcNdldQaTz
— Travis Branham (@TravisBranham_) March 15, 2023
Dawson committed to Nebraska for the 2023 class as a post-grad 3-star recruit before opting to enroll after the first semester and redshirt last season. The 6-foot-6, 193-pound wing averaged 1.8 points and 1.9 rebounds in 15.0 minutes per game, appearing in 26 games and starting eight. He shot just 35.4% from the field, 31.3% from 3 and 40% from the free-throw line. His season-high was eight points against Omaha in the second game of the season. His Big Ten high was seven points with eight rebounds against Ohio State, and he followed that up with a season-high nine rebounds against Penn State.
Dawson was in the rotation as a reserve focused on providing a defensive spark to open the season. He entered the starting lineup following Juwan Gary’s injury but fell out of the rotation down the stretch, playing less than 20 total minutes in his last five games with two DNP-CDs along the way.
Jacob Padilla has been writing for Hail Varsity since 2015. He covers football, volleyball men’s basketball and prep sports. He also co-hosts the Nebraska Preps Postgame and Nebraska Shootaround podcasts for the Hurrdat Media and Hail Varsity podcast networks. 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.