Fred Hoiberg took a break from summer workouts to speak with the media on Monday and provide updates on a variety of topics as the Huskers prepare for the 2022-23 season.
Off the top, Hoiberg shared an update on the two players rehabbing from surgeries: Sam Griesel and Wilhelm Breidenbach.
Griesel had surgery to repair the labrum in his hip — something he’s been dealing with for a couple of years — on March 31 and is “way ahead of schedule.”
“He has no pain in his hip right now,” Hoiberg said. “We have to make sure we talk to him about being patient. He’s just itching to get out there with his guys, with his teammates, but we have to stick with the rehab plan. He’s doing as much as possible right now. He was cleared to do some full body work in the weight room, he’s doing a couple days a week on the bike, he’s getting in the pool, but way ahead of where most people are with this type of procedure. We hope to get him out more basketball on-court work in the middle of July. So hopefully in the next couple of weeks, we’ll get Sam out there on the floor.”
As for Breidenbach, he continues to work his way back from the knee injury that ended his freshman season after 10 games.
“He’s doing phenomenal,” Hoiberg said. “He’s pretty much doing everything non-contact right now; not quite full speed, doing about 80%. We should get him hopefully out for contact rules in the next three weeks. We’re going to continue to ramp him up. We’re going to take it slow, but he is making great progress. His legs, in the testing that we’re doing, his jump numbers are exactly where they were pre-injury, so we feel really good about where Wilhelm is. He’s out there with the guys. When he’s not participating, he’s being a great vocal leader, like he did last year at the end of the season. So really happy where things are with Willhelm.”
Hoiberg said the staff is keeping an eye on small, nagging health issues to prevent them from growing into something more down the line, but they’ve been
“Really, we had one ankle sprain that happened in a dummy drill with one of our younger players, and then other than that, we’ve had full participation,” he said. “So that’s been another thing that’s been great. In the last couple years we’ve had a lot of guys sitting out. The only one right now is Sam, which is fine. Sam’s going to pick things up very quickly because he’s been around college basketball for a long time. But other than that, we’ve really had full participation.”
In non-injury news, junior guard Keisei Tominaga’s return to campus has been delayed — for a good reason. He qualified for the Japanese senior national team.
“That’s really exciting,” Hoiberg said. “It’s a great opportunity for him. He just found out a couple nights ago that that he made that. That’s going to be huge for his future in Japan and I’m really proud of him for what he has accomplished over there. They’re going to go to Australia and play a couple games in the next few weeks; I think July 5, I want to say, is when they start. So I hope to get Keisei back at the end of July.”
Hoiberg also provided some quick-hit thoughts on a number of the other newcomers:
>> “Jamarques [Lawrence], one of the best shooters in the gym. He’s got a beautiful, beautiful shooting stroke.”
Hoiberg said both Lawrence and fellow freshman guard Ramel Lloyd Jr. have shown high basketball IQs and both will have a chance to see the floor this season.
>> Hoiberg said SMU grad transfer Emmanuel Bandoumel will bring “a lot” to the program.
“I have not been around many guys like Emmanuel that just, such a great character kid that is all about the right things,” Hoiberg said. “He’s all about the team. He’s one of the best talkers I’ve been around, leadership. He’s always got a smile on his face. Very few people come into this thing where they don’t have a bad day, and he’s one of those guys. You talked about the energy givers, the energy takers; he’s an energy giver. So I’ve been really, really impressed with Emmanuel.”
>> “Juwan Gary is going to be somebody that I think our fans will fall in love with right away because of just his tenacity of going to get the ball,” Hoiberg said. “We’re changing our offensive rebounding philosophy, and we’re we’re going to get after it. I think our personnel fits better with multiple players crashing the offensive glass this year.”
>> “Blaise [Keita] has been an absolute physical presence and force when we’ve done our live action.”
Stay tuned to Hail Varsity for more updates throughout the summer.
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.