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NEBRASKA BASKETBALL: Husker Nation Weighs In on Coaching Search

By Huskerlocker @huskerlocker

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By Brian Towle
Once again, you have made your voices heard, Husker Nation.

Earlier last week, we asked you about the Nebraska men’s basketball coaching search. After 24 hours, we tallied 447 total answers.
What we discovered was definitive feedback sprinkled with a few surprises.

What are the things you want to see in the hiring of the next Nebraska men's basketball head coach?
Ability to recruit talented players that will make a difference: 87.9% (392 votes)
Ability to win basketball games: 82.7% (369 votes)
Ability to build a program from the ground up: 67.9% (303 votes)
A coach familiar with Nebraska basketball: 6.1% (27 votes)
A former player/assistant with Nebraska: 2.2% (10 votes)
Ability to graduate players: 37.4% (167 votes)
Other: 2.7% (12 votes)
There's no question here. Nebrasketball fans here want to see not only see improvements in recruiting, but they also want to see a winner in Devaney/PBA.
Fans polled also realize that Nebraska’s program needs to be built from scratch. There will be no short cuts to getting Nebraska basketball on par with the rest of the Big Ten.
Who is your one choice to take the job at Nebraska?

Shaka Smart: 37.6% (168 Votes)
Brad Stevens: 8.9% (40 votes)
John Groce: 17.7% (79 votes)
Dana Altman: 5.6% (25 votes)
Erick Strickland: 1.6% (7 votes)
Rob Jeter: 1.6% (7 votes)
Dan Monson: 0.0% (0 Votes)
Steve Alford: 4.7% (21 votes)
Gregg Marshall: 6.7% (30 votes)
Scott Spinelli: 2.9% (13 votes)
Other: 12.8% (57 votes)
There’s no secret that Shaka's the man that people want. Since this was before this weekend’s NCAA games, it would be interesting to see if John Groce would get more of the votes.
A general majority of the “other” responses were for Bruce Pearl. What was more shocking is that a few people (though not many) thought Doc Sadler should be rehired. Why, I dunno. There is also some surprise at the lack of votes for not only Butler's Brad Stevens or Wichita State's Gregg Marshall.
If you are Tom Osborne/Mark Boehm, what is the biggest selling point you make to the man you want to take the job in Lincoln?
Chance to coach in the Big Ten Conference: 9.0% (39 votes)
Money: 12.4% (54 votes)
Pinnacle Bank Arena and Hendricks Center: 46.5% (202 votes)
History (first NCAA win, greatest Neb team ever, etc.): 11.3% (49 votes)
Fan base yearning for a winner: 20.7% (90 votes)
This proves that yes, the facilities matter. Even with Nebraska being in the Big Ten conference, the Pinnacle Bank Arena opening and what the Hendricks Center provides are the major selling points according to you, the fan.
If you are asking Osborne/Boehm about this job, what's your biggest concern?
Recruiting: 46.1% (205 votes)
Fan Base: 4.9% (22 votes)
Commitment from the AD office to the program: 35.1% (156 votes)
Contract money: 4.3% (19 votes)
Marketing of the program/hire: 8.1% (36 votes)
Other: 1.6% (7 votes)
Huskers fans show that they want a coaching staff that recruits well, but that also knows the athletic department has the program’s back.
While the investment of the facilities are in the forefront, there’s no going back with handcuffing coaches using recruiting limitations.
Whether it’s the mystique of Osborne's distaste the AAU system to the story of how Bill Byrne wanted local guys in the program when Barry Collier was the the head coach, these preferences must go.
As long as the program isn’t in trouble with the NCAA, is inside the APR limits and wins, Nebraska needs to do as much as possible to get quality athletes from any available source.
If this hire is "underwhelming" to you, do you start to question the direction of the basketball program under Tom Osborne and Mark Boehm?
Question Boehm only: 13.3% (59 votes)
Question both Osborne and Boehm: 67.2% (299 votes)
Question Osborne only: 3.8% (17 votes)
Question neither: 15.7% (70 votes)
The results of this question are not shocking at all.
Considering the fact that Boehm probably should have been told to pound sand along with Sadler, he needs to get this hire right.
Not only to only save his job, but his career in college athletics. His nine-year Nebraska basketball track record is anemic at best
A question thought of post-poll was if you trust Osborne and Boehm with this hire. However, the bottom line is at least four out of five people who answered will hold someone above the coach accountable for this hire.
Is it fair to say that this is the most important hire in the history of the Nebraska basketball program, especially with the move to the Big Ten conference, and the opening of Pinnacle Bank Arena?
Yes: 94.1% (418 votes)
No: 5.9% (26 votes)
The fans clearly understand the importance. With the position that Nebraska is in with the arena opening, and Nebraska's new conference being a home of the big boys, this hire has to be a home run.
There’s no time for another “diamond in the rough." Someone proven and willing to do the dirty work while selling the program is mandatory. I do wish that someone in the six percent that voted "no" would explain why they feel the hire isn't that important.

Seeing that most of Nebraska’s big targets are still in tournament play, don’t expect much of anything in terms of transactions until these teams bow out.
One thing is certain - never have so many been interested in a job hunt like this while spring football has been going on.
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