As the calendar shifts to 2022, Nebraska basketball has a challenging schedule ahead of them. Luckily, a key player is healing well from injury. Shooting guard Trey McGowens had an x-ray on his foot Thursday. Coach Fred Hoiberg said Friday that the x-ray itself was encouraging.
Initially, it was thought that McGowens would return mid-January. Now, it looks like that could possibly happen. If so, this would be a big boost for Nebraska basketball. Prior to the injury, he was averaging 6.3 points and five rebounds in three games played. In 2020-21, he averaged 10.7 points per contest, and was a big piece of the Nebraska basketball offense.
This would be a huge development. He is a great facilitator, a great scorer, and he brings explosiveness. As Nebraska basketball heads into conference play, he could be a player that puts them in a better position to start winning some of these conference games.
Now how much of the skills listed above will we see as he returns? If I had to guess, we probably won’t see that same explosiveness initially. A huge part of his game is driving to the basket. I don’t expect to see much of it. He will have to work his way back from injury, and it will take time. We will certainly see it eventually, and just for the sake of him and this team, I hope we see it sooner rather than later. A facilitator role is one I see him filling initially.
As for what he is dealing with right now, Hoiberg elaborated a bit on McGowens recovery process per Brian Christopherson.
“Trey is a guy that has put a lot of work in shooting in a chair, just working on form shooting … and it looks really good. Now carry that over. Once you’re able to get your footwork back into it and shoot the full shot. But he’s excited. Nobody is more excited to get on the floor than Trey.”
“We’re looking at this thing long-term about what’s best for his future,” Hoiberg said. “So we’re not going to put him back on the floor until he’s 100 percent ready, and the doctors give him full clearance. … But he’s exactly where he’s supposed to be at this time.”
I can certainly understand being cautious, and I think that’s the right way to go. Having him back is going to be a big addition for Nebraska basketball.