Nebraska is looking for their rotation

Nebraska has at least a six-man rotation going into season, but who else could help off the bench?

LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska head coach Tim Miles says he has six players he would play anybody with, but after that, “we’ll have to find out the hard way.”

Thursday’s exhibition against Southwest Minnesota State might be a contest that allows Miles to learn a thing or two about a few plays he’s thinking about giving game reps to.

So who are the contenders for playing time? Big Red Report breaks it down.


THE SIX: G.) Terran Petteway, G.) Tai Webster, G.) Benny Parker, F.) Shavon Shields, F.) Walter Pitchford, and F.) David Rivers.


LIKELY:

C.) Moses Abraham - The Georgetown transfer was deemed the first big off the bench by Miles on Tuesday, but the amount of minutes is the question. At Georgetown, he only logged 13.1 minutes per game last season. Not the biggest offensive threat, Abraham has to bring a big defensive intensity when he gets his opportunities.


THE CONTENDERS:

G.) Tarin Smith - The true freshman point guard impressed his teammates this summer, but was slowed during practices with an illness. According to Miles, who says Smith is back, the New Jersey product was going to get first-team reps on Tuesday afternoon. How he responds to those and how he looks in the exhibition could factor in to how much time he gets early. We think Smith is a guy who might take a little time to truly get comfortable, but could be a spark off the bench at the start of the new year.

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F.) Nick Fuller - The redshirt freshman bulked up the last year to try to help him defend 4s on defense. Fuller has always been a decent offensive threat, showing he has the ability to drive to the basket and more importantly stretch a defense. The true test to see how many minutes he will receive this year is on defense. Can he keep small forwards in front of him and can he not get run-over by power forwards? Fuller has been playing with a broken nose the last few weeks, but Miles says you would never know by his performance.

Jacob Hammond - A true freshman, the blueprint was to have Hammond hopefully redshirt this season, but an injury to Leslee Smith derailed those plans. A concussion sidelined Hammond for nearly two-weeks, slowing his progression and ultimately putting him behind. Until he can caught up, which is extremely hard as a freshman, his minutes will be extremely limited and only come in mop up or if the post is in foul trouble.


The possible wildcard in the rotation won’t likely come until January at the earliest. Senior post presence Leslee Smith, who tore his ACL playing for the Virgin Islands in the Fiba Caribbean Championship, could return down the road and immediately bring an experience level off the bench that the Huskers are really somewhat missing going into the year. Last year, in 32 games, Smith averaged 5.4 points and 4.8 rebounds a contest, averaging nearly 17 minutes a night.

Leslee Smith


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