CHICAGO — Nebraska will play in a “secret” scrimmage against Wichita State on Oct. 26, Fred Hoiberg confirmed on Wednesday.
Hoiberg isn’t allowed to speak about the game specifically but said, generally, his team is looking forward to playing scrimmages before the season starts. His team needs it.
“The exhibition is a great benefit,” Hoiberg said. “Your guys, by that time, will be so sick of beating on each other and you’ll get a true test of playing against a high quality opponent.”
The game will be played in Wichita, in part because Nebraska wanted to see how they’d fare in a road game setting.
Wichita State finished 22-15 last season. The Shockers made it to the NIT Semifinal after missing the NCAA tournament.
With secret scrimmages, the two schools can change rules and create scenarios. Last year, Nebraska played at Iowa State in “secret.” In that, Nebraska played two 20 minutes halves, but hours between the two sessions.
“You can set the rules, you can play two 20 minute halves, you can put in a zone segment, a press segment, you can play your guys that maybe didn’t get a lot of minutes, you can have a segment for that,” Hoiberg said. “It is a great luxury.”
» Hoiberg’s son, Jack is currently a walk on at Michigan State.
Apparently, Izzo offered up Jack to Fred when he found out he’d gotten the Nebraska job.
“I asked him when he got the Nebraska job, does he want to take (Jack) with. I think he felt the pressure of his wife and said, hell, no,” Izzo said.
» Nebraska brought three players to Chicago: Cam Mack, Haanif Cheatham and Jervay Green.
It was Cheatham's second media day with his second conference. He went as a representative for Marquette his junior season.
All three said they've enjoyed practices so far. Cheatham has graduated but is taking three online classes, he said, and likes Lincoln.
Mack is back and fully healthy after a week-long stay in the hospital this summer. He lost 10 pounds after finding out he had a stomach disease. He now takes pills for it and feels fine.
Green, in a floral tie, said he picked out his Whitney Houston introduction music for "Opening Night" months ago. It was between that and "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus.
"I'm saving that one for next year," Green said.
» The other new coach introduced to the Big Ten on Wednesday was Juwan Howard. Back at his alma mater, Howard will take over for John Beilein, who had the Wolverines in the national title game just two seasons ago.
“Coach Beilein did an awesome job for this program,” Howard said. “Every summer I used to go and visit Coach Beilein. He would pick my brain on defense, on post defense. There were times when we would have a session — I call it a career workshop day — where he would have his staff, coaching staff out there, and we all would talk about basketball and developing and skill development from an offensive standpoint.”
Howard was an assistant with the Miami Heat the past seven seasons.
“All I can say is this: I'm not going to try to be like Coach Beilein. He has his philosophy, his way of doing things. I have my philosophy, and I feel that works for our team moving forward,” Howard said. “But I do respect the gentleman who was there before me.”
» The Big Ten announced its preseason honors just before media day started.
Cassius Winston was named Big Ten player of the year. He returned for his senior season after leading the Spartans to the Final Four.
Winston averaged 18.8 points per game last season, shot 39.8% from 3-point range and dished out 7.5 assists per game. In a media poll put together by the Columbus Dispatch and The Athletic, Michigan State was picked to win the Big Ten.
Also released Wednesday morning was the preseason All-Big Ten Team. Nebraska did not have any selections. Here’s the list:
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois
Joe Wieskamp, Iowa
Anthony Cowan Jr, Maryland
Jalen Smith, Maryland
Zavier Simpson, Michigan
Xavier Tillman, Michigan State
Kaleb Wesson, Ohio State
Lamar Stevens, Penn State
Nojel Eastern, Purdue