Nebraska Cornhuskers: How is Fred Hoiberg not a Naismith candidate?

It seems like a pretty massive oversight that the Nebraska Cornhuskers basketball head coach isn't getting more national love.
Feb 21, 2024; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Fred Hoiberg in the first
Feb 21, 2024; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Fred Hoiberg in the first / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska Cornhuskers have 20 wins for just the seventh time in program history. Seven. Times.

There is a better-than-average chance they will finish third or fourth in the Big Ten. The Huskers have done that even fewer times than they've more than 20 games in a season.

They're doing all of this after four straight seasons of finishing .500 or worse. And yet, for some reason, head coach Fred Hoiberg doesn't seem to be getting any love at all for the coaching job he's done in 2023-2024.

He's not getting much love despite the fact that the Nebraska Cornhuskers have been the talk of the college basketball world, at least in Big Ten country for several weeks now. There's genuine interest outside of Lincoln to see how far the Huskers can go. There hasn't been that kind of excitement since at least the 2013-2014 campaign.

And yet, Hoiberg isn't on the Naismith watch list for coach of the year candidates. I'm not sure how anyone who put that list together can poossibly explain that. I'm not saying he should win the award, but it seems like a pretty massive oversight that he's not on the list.

So who is on the list? They're all good coaches sure:

  • Hubert Davis, North Carolina
  • Bryce Drew, Grand Canyon
  • Anthony Grant, Dayton
  • Dan Hurley, UCONN
  • Nate Oats, Alabama
  • T.J. Oetzelberger, Iowa State
  • Matt Painter, Purdue
  • Lamont Paris, South Carolina
  • Bruce Pearl, Auburn
  • Richard Pitino, New Mexico
  • Mark Pope, BYU
  • Kelvin Sampson, Houston
  • Josh Schertz, Indiana State
  • Kyle Smith, Washington State
  • Danny Sprinkle, Utah State

You know how many coaches on this list didn't win at least 19 games last year? Two.

Two of these coaches didn't have a great deal of success the year prior. It appears this list is all about awarding men who have built up sustained success. Which is fine. Except for those two names.

Kyle Smith's Washington State squad went 17-17 last year. They are 21-7 this season. In other words, it's exremely similar to what Hoiberg has done with the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Only Lamont Paris with South Carolina has had a bigger turnaround than Hoiberg. The Gamecocks were 11-21 a year ago. The turnaround is quite impressive.

Once again, I'm not saying that Fred Hoiberg should win the Naismith Award. He should get his name on the watchlist for what he's done with the Nebraska Cornhuskers.