This wasn’t the most pleasing thing to read when binge-reading articles about Fred Hoiberg’s recruiting history, but who would disagree with this statement? Recruiting is stressful, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t like recruiting, it can just become frustrating.
With all the news arising in the past couple of years about recruiting scandals, courtesy of the FBI probe, maybe that’s the real reason why Hoiberg said that. Maybe not. One thing is for sure, Hoiberg can recruit well, and it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t enjoy it, he gets the job done.
In his five years with Iowa State, Hoiberg took recruiting classes ranked in the 30s and 40s, and turned them into Big 12 contenders, as well as NCAA tournament game winners. Not only will Hoiberg bring NCAA tournament success with him, but also he’ll do it in with a different style than we saw in the Tim Miles era.
Looking at the numbers, in Hoiberg’s tenure at Iowa State, all of his teams averaged over 70 points per game each season, with the lowest 73.2 PPG. Miles never cracked 73 PPG.
During Miles’s years, high school recruits that came in were mostly long, athletic players that could play great defense, but would struggle offensively. I say “high school recruits” because the college transfers that he brought in were polar opposites, with James Palmer Jr., Terran Petteway, Isaac Copeland, etc. all being elite scorers.
Hoiberg, along with assistant coaches Matt Abdelmassih and Charlie Henry, will bring in high tempo, offensive playmakers that can create open shots from the perimeter, as well as score at the rim in transition straight from high school. With Miles, the team struggled getting good looks from the outside unless they were in transition.
At Iowa State, in all five years Hoiberg’s teams averaged in the top 100 in three pointers attempted, and averaged in the top 100 in three point percentage with the exception of one season. Last time I remembered Nebraska shooting the three ball efficiently was the 2013-2014 season...coincidence?
A reason Hoiberg has been able to find three and four-star gems is because of his top recruiter, Abdelmassih. Abdelmassih coached under Hoiberg at Iowa State, then went on to St. Johns after Hoiberg left for the Chicago Bulls.
If you watched St. Johns this year, you might be confused how that team had so much talent, specifically a player like Shamorie Ponds. Abdelmassih has the ability to bring in these players, and because Miles established an Illinois pipeline, who knows what type of talent Abdelmassih can reel in from the top schools in Chicago.
However with terrific offense, often comes shaky defense, as Iowa State never finished in the top 100 in defensive rating under Hoiberg. But when you have such an efficient offense, you won’t have to rely on defense as much. The Big Ten is notorious for the tough defenses though, so we’ll see how Hoiberg adapts to that life.
Scoring, scoring, scoring. Expect a lot of that in the years to come. Expect high school players that play fast, and energized. Expect an NCAA tournament win! Hoiberg time!