Nebraska Basketball: Derrick Walker allows for a rebooted season

Derrick Walker #13 of the Nebraska basketball team rebounds the ball in the game (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Derrick Walker #13 of the Nebraska basketball team rebounds the ball in the game (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

The Nebraska basketball team is coming off its second loss of the season. Coincidentally, it’s the year’s second game against a team with a pulse. It’s also the Huskers second double-digit loss in three games. But, as it turns out, there is a reason for optimism on Friday morning. Derrick Walker is returning to the Huskers.

When the Nebraska basketball team tips off against the Memphis Tigers later this afternoon, it will be the first game of the year that Derrick Walker has played in. For a team looking for a spark, for a boost of confidence and for someone who can really mix it up in the paint, the return of the senior forward fills all those buckets.

Anyone who follows Husker Corner on social media knows that I’m not exactly a big fan of Fred Hoiberg. I think his era has been almost as disastrous as the Scott Frost period for the football program. The only difference is that basketball fans have been treated to bad teams enough that it’s not nearly traumatic. But, I’m here today to talk about optimism.

If Fred Hoiberg wants to keep his job past this season, this is where his push can really begin. He gets one chance to “reboot” this season. Yes, they’re 3-2 so there will be some claiming he just needs to keep things at an even keel. Friends, I’m here to tell you there’s very little chance that’s going to happen.

Friday, November 25. 2-2. . 3-2. 451. 4:30 PM CT. 488.

KenPom, the college basketball world’s leading authority on this sort of thing believes that the Huskers could go 3-20 to finish out the season. A game against Boston College, a matchup against Queens (raise your hand if you knew that school existed before today) and a late-season title against Minnesota are the site’s only sure-fire wins for Nebrasketball.

Of course, that bad a season isn’t written in stone. The team doesn’t have to finish 6-24. Projections can be changed. And one way the Nebraska basketball team can change those projections is by Derrick Walker showing up, showing out, and helping to turn this thing around before it gets out of hand.

Walker can indeed give the team a kind of senior leadership the team has been lacking. While Sam Griesel looks like he could be that leader as well, he’s also brand new. He can team with Walker for a 1-2 punch of leadership (and talent and scoring) in the front and backcourt.

If there is going to be a reboot, it could show up quickly. Derrick Walker will take the court for the Nebraska basketball team against Memphis and if he’s able to lead the team to a win, the season could have a different look the rest of the way.