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Forging an Identity

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With a new season on the horizon will the basketball team adopt a new identity?

Tom Pennington

Well guys, it's almost the season that everyone has been looking forward to since the football team laid an egg against NDSU. It's basketball season! And with basketball season being right around the corner (no I don't consider the Viterbo curb stomping to be a game) we here at WRNL thought that we should do some analysis of what this team's identity might be.

Every year Fred Hoiberg has had to mesh a bunch of different types of players together, and has always somehow made it work. But every year the team has had a different look and feel to it, which shows how good of a coach we have on our hands. But of course, I don't have to tell you all that, you already know how good Hoiberg is. One of the most underrated things that the Mayor does is to get our players to "buy in" to his system. What is Hoiberg's system you ask? Well he loves spacing the floor, we hear it all the time from the announcers.

But what isn't talked about as much is how he gets such different personalities to mesh together. In my opinion, being from the Midwest helps Hoiberg as much as anything. We are generally nice people, willing to help others out and god damn it we're pretty smart most of the time. We are very much people persons, and this is a big key in helping a "hot head" fit in.

What makes our teams interesting to watch is the fact that each year we are different team from the year previous. This is a sign that Hoiberg knows the game of basketball in and out. We play to our players' strengths, and it shows on the court. Last year we were very good at not getting down on ourselves when we fell behind in games which caused us to win multiple games in which we were down by double digits. I think the majority of that toughness came from DeAndre Kane, and Hoiberg exploited the shit out of it.

So what will Hoiberg exploit the shit out of this year? Mismatches galore.

Hoiberg has the deepest team he has ever coached this year, and also one of the most talented. So expect him to use every mismatch that he can possibly think of. I think we lose some of the toughness that we had last year with Kane and Ejim gone, but what we gain is talent (not to say Kane and Ejim weren't talented because they very much were). This team won't need to be as mentally tough, though I still believe that Kane made a good impression on our young guys. I think we have the talent to simply blow teams out of the water. And we have the depth to be aggressive on defense, something that we haven't had the luxury of doing in previous years.

Look for this year's team to be the most aggressive offense that Hoiberg has put on the court, which is really saying something when you think about a Hoiberg coached team. Also look for them to be better defensively than we have been in previous years, especially when McKay becomes eligible to play in December.

And one last thing, expect this team to be cocky. Georges is the clear cut leader of our guys this year according to Fred, and he is one of the cockiest players in the Big 12 (if not the nation). And guess what, he can back it up on the court. I think that his attitude (and being able to back it up) will rub off on our guys, and we will see some more swagger than we have seen in previous years. We saw a little bit of it in our exhibition game with DeJean Jones behind the head dunk, but expect to see more of it. For some reason, this seemed to rub people the wrong way within our fan base, as evidenced by some posts on Facebook.

For those people, all I have to say is:

Georges