Fred Hoiberg introduced the newest member of his coaching staff, Adam Howard, and touched on a number of other topics on Tuesday.
We’ll have more on Howard later, but first here are some quick hits from Hoiberg’s press conference.
>> Hoiberg said he got to know Howard a couple years ago when he brought him up to present a match-up zone defense he ran to the Nebraska staff. Howard impressed Hoiberg during that presentation and then the two reconnected when Hoiberg watched his son Jack and UT-Arlington play against South Alabama this season.
Hoiberg said he kept Howard’s name in the back of his mind if he were to have a staff opening and he was near the top of his list following the departure of Matt Abdelmassih.
“As far as what Adam can bring to our program, first and foremost, he’s really good on the defensive end of the floor, and he has a very unique approach to looking at it with different defenses. I’m really excited to get to know and learn more about those in the coming months as we head into our season next year. One other area that I’ve gotten to know with Adam is he’s very well connected around the country.”
Hoiberg praised both Howard’s recruiting connections and his ability to develop players.
Howard was involved in an NCAA investigation at Southern Miss that led to a 10-year show-cause penalty for had coach Donnie Tyndall, who Howard worked with at three different schools. However, Hoiberg said Howard’s background check did not produce any issues for the administration or compliance office.
“I think one thing that’s very important to point out is the associate AD at Southern Miss was on staff at the athletic department at Troy when they hired him without issues,” Hoiberg said. “So that’s very important to look at, but there was no concern with any of that.”
>> Hoiberg addressed the addition of North Dakota State transfer and Lincoln East graduate Sam Griesel.
“I could not be more excited to have Sam in our program. To get a guy that can come in here and play, really, all over the floor — what attracted me is the positional size of the point guard position at 6-6. We played him a couple years ago and I just love the kid with everything that he was all about. He can go out and get a triple-double and I think he’ll fit very well within the system as far as getting guys involved. He’s tough and, more than anything, I think he’s a culture guy that can really help us get on the right path.
“So I’m really excited about Sam’s future with us and he cares, obviously, very deeply for this program, being a local kid and somebody that wants to see success and hopefully be a part of something to take this place to where it’s never been before. I think that’d be pretty special for a local kid like Sam.”
>> Hoiberg talked about the importance of keeping the 2022 recruiting class together. He flew out to meet with Ramel Lloyd Jr. and Blaise Keita after the season and helped reaffirm their commitment. He visited with Jamarcus Lawrence during a recent East Coast trip and said the sharpshooter from New Jersey has been solid in his commitment throughout. Denim Dawson, the fourth member of the class, is already on campus after enrolling mid-season.
>> Hoiberg touched on the importance of Derrick Walker returning for his extra season of eligibility but said decisions are still coming from the other two seniors, Trey McGowens and Lat Mayen.
“I know the decision from Trey and Lat is coming. Still don’t have final answers on those two guys. Obviously, we’re keeping in very close contact with them and we’ll see how things develop. We should know a lot more about the direction as far as those two guys in the next couple weeks.”
>> Hoiberg said the staff is still looking at ways to improve the roster, and that includes talking with a couple transfers in the portal. He visited one transfer last week and is looking those some visitors coming up.
>> Hoiberg provided an update on Wilhelm Breidenbach who saw his freshman season cut short by a knee injury 10 games in.
“Wilhelm’s doing great,” Hoiberg said. “He’s right on track with where he needs to be right now. He’s put on 15 pounds. Really, all he’s been able to do is get in the weight room, which has been very beneficial for him. We’re doing a lot of spot shooting with him right now and you can see even compared to when he came in just how much more balanced he is as far as the strength in both legs. So he’s a guy that’s very diligent in his rehab, and he’s going to continue to stay on track and hopefully we’ll get him back here in the next couple months.”
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.