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Rollie Worster On His 3-point Shot Tweak, Hustle Plays

Rollie Worster doesn’t think there’s a bigger Nebraska football fan than his grandfather. Every time he’d go to his house growing up, Worster would see old Husker pictures and flags.

The Worsters have a history in the state, once living in various parts of it. So when Rollie finished his visit to Fred Hoiberg’s Husker basketball program while in the transfer portal, he caught up with grandpa to talk about it.

“Right after my visit he was like, ‘I know what I would do,’ kind of joking around,” said a smiling Worster, who joined Huskers Radio Network for an appearance on Sports Nightly on Monday night.

Worster (pronounced Wooster), who has one season of eligibility left and a redshirt, detailed his family that bleeds scarlet and cream to Inside Nebraska after announcing his commitment to the Huskers back on April 15.

Nebraska didn’t have a traditional point guard last season — its read-and-react offense doesn’t necessarily need one, though it would’ve been nice to have at certain times in 2023-24 — but now they have two with Worster and former Iowa guard Ahron Ulis, who was suspended by the NCAA last season due to his involvement in the Iowa gambling scandal but is eligible to play now.

In Worster, the Huskers are getting a 6-foot-4, 205-pound ball-handler who has shown he knows how to initiate an offense, take care of the ball and limit turnovers.

“He started in the Pac-12 the last three years and had nearly a 2.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio,” Hoiberg said in a statement following Worster’s commitment. “Rollie was among the conference leaders in assists two years ago and was on track to put up better numbers before his injury in January. He also gives us positional size in the backcourt while being a very good rebounder and defender.”

An area of Worster’s game he knows needs to improve is his 3-point shooting. The Montana native has never shot better than 33% from 3 in his college career. In the 16 games he played at Utah last season he shot just 27.6% from deep (8-of-29). His free-throw mark sat at 70.5% (43-of-61).

Hoiberg, a career 39-percent 3-point shooter in 10 seasons in the NBA, was one of the reasons Nebraska was so attractive to Worster. The guard told Inside Nebraska he felt confident Hoiberg would help him fix his 3-point shooting. And according to Hoiberg, that process is well on its way.

“He’s been working hard on his shot, we’ve detected a couple things that will hopefully make him more consistent in that area,” Hoiberg said last month. “But he does so many things that impact winning.”

The way Worster sees it, it’s the little things with his shot — and the confidence to take it and make it in the moment — that Hoiberg is helping fine-tune.

“There’s nothing majorly wrong, nothing like that. I think it was just tweaking little things,” Worster said. “Coming from a guy as experienced as he is, and everyone else on the coaching staff, made it really easy. Just getting in, watching film, really breaking it down has really helped me just build up my confidence more as well.”

Like the head coach said, Worster is expected to impact the game in several areas outside of scoring. Worster has enough size and strength to be a switchable guard who’s capable of defending 1 through 3.

“Whether it’s to get others involved, to make the hustle play, rebound — I think it’s big to rebound as a guard. So I think I bring some of those things to the table,” Worster said. “I’ve always prided myself on playing the game the right way, so I think that’s something on this team everyone brings, but I think I can bring even more of that.”

Rollie Worster. (Photo credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports)

A two-time Montana Gatorade Player of the Year (2019, 2020), Worster thinks his background as a multi-sport athlete at Hellgate High School in Missoula has made him a better basketball player. He was a first-team football all-state pick as a safety and honorable mention selection as a dual-threat quarterback — he threw for 3,400 yards and rushed for more than 2,000 yards in his prep career.

“It’s about making the right play and being able to have court vision,” Worster said. “I think playing multiple sports growing up has helped me with that. I grew up in a sports family, so we usually pride ourselves on having an IQ as well on the floor or field, whatever it is. So being able to use that, not only to find shots for myself but find others has been key to my game and winning.”

Last season, Josiah Allick was one of the players who provided an injection of energy with hustle plays, whether it was diving on the court for a loose ball or snagging a steal. Those moments tend to give new life to the guys on the court and bench, which in turn can change momentum.

But Allick is now a graduate assistant. Someone else will need to bring that energy. Worster believes he’ll be one of the guys to generate those plays, which has become a key part of Hoiberg’s program as it’s evolved and a trait of the team the fan base notices and appreciates.

“Just with the years of experience, especially in college, I kind of know when the team is dragging and when we need a little pick-up, when we need to get on each other or pick each other up,” Worster said, “I think that’s noticeable, and definitely with the four years of experience comes into play.”

In June, Hoiberg called Worster a “flat-out winner” who has a shot at being the first Husker player ever to finish a career with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists.


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