He holds the Nebraska basketball record for rebounds by a freshman.
He holds the Nebraska basketball record for rebounds in a game by a freshman.
He holds the Nebraska basketball single season record for double-doubles by a freshman.
Oh yeah, he’s also made the scholar athlete honor roll as a freshman.
Who am I talking about? None other than 6’9” Yvan Ouedraogo of France. A young man who came to Nebraska and played when he was still 17 years old. In fact, started when he was 17 years old. Yuvan played on 30 of the 32 games last year for the Big Red before Covid shut the baseketball seasn down to a halt.
Many of us were not quite sure what to expect from the Frenchman when he came to Lincoln last year. There was little scouting and video on him to go off of. However, Fred and his staff believed in him enough to fly him across the pond to the United States to play Division I basketball for Nebraska.
He came to Nebraska and had an immediate impact on our team. His size and strength helped him hold his own on the hardwood against many of the Big Ten’s best players. Some matchups he won and some he lost. His biggest game was against Northwestern where he had 11 points and an amazing 19 rebounds. The 19 rebounds set a record for Husker freshman. It was also the most by any Nebraska basketball players since 2007.
Overall, he averaged 5.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and averaged 41.7% shooting from the floor his freshman season. Not bad stats for a young center going up against some of the toughest tall men in the country. This season Yvan has dropped about 25 pounds from his frame and added some needed strength that should help him out once conference season starts.
When the COVID virus hit and the very end of last season Yvan went back home to France where he trained for the upcoming season. Starting workouts at 5am. According to coach Hoiberg his dedication to improving his game has paid off. “He’s finishing better at the basket. He’s reading situations better as we continue to go along,” Hoiberg said.
One should expect a lot out of the now 18 year old Huskers coming into the season. He is another year older and now experienced in the American game which tends to be a bit more physical and aggressive than the international game. His presence in the paint will be a major factor for Coach Hoiberg and his squad this season.