Countdown to Tip-Off: Omaha Men

Countdown to Tip-Off: Omaha Men

2012-13 COUNTDOWN TO TIPOFF // // @summithoops


2011-12 REVIEW

Overall Record: 11-18
Postseason: Did not qualify

Head Coach (Season): Derrin Hansen (8th)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 7/5
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/1
Key Returnees:

Alex Welhouse

  • UNO's top rebounder last year with 6.7 boards per game
  • Also ranked third on the team in scoring with 10.4 points per game and had a team-best 50 threes made
  • Earned second-team independent all-league honors from College Sports Madness

John Karhoff

  • Averaged 12.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game
  • Earned second-team independent all-league honors from College Sports Madness

Caleb Steffensmeier

  • Ranked second nationally with a 3.40 assist-to-turnover ratio

CJ Carter

  • Averaged 10.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game
  • Named independent freshman of the year by College Sports Madness

Position: 9th
All-League Selections: None



Athlon Sports: 9th 9th
Lindy's Sports: 9th
USA Today: 9th
Yahoo! Sports: 9th

courtesy UNO Sports Information

The Omaha men's basketball team writes an exciting new chapter in its storied history in 2012-13, which marks its first year as a member of the Summit League and its first season playing in the newly-constructed Ralston Arena. UNO, which announced in March 2011 that it would reclassify as a Division I institution, accepted a formal invitation from the 10-team Summit League, starting a whirlwind of activity for the entire athletic department and an increased focus on the success of men's basketball.

For 98 years, Nebraska Omaha has been a leader both on the court and in the classroom. Guided by head coach Derrin Hansen, who enters his eighth year at the helm with a career record of 121-86, the Mavericks forge into the season with a full regular-season conference schedule ahead and their a year of Division I experience under their belts. Seven letterwinners highlight the 2012-13 UNO roster, which includes four starters from 2011-12, as well as six newcomers and one redshirt freshman.

Ralston Becomes a Reality

The 2012-13 season marks UNO's inaugural season playing at brand-new Ralston Arena, which will serve as the home of Maverick men's basketball, Omaha Lancers hockey and Omaha Beef indoor football. As the Mavs begin a full Summit League schedule this year, they will host 13 games at Ralston.

"Ralston Arena is a great place and one that will rank among the best gameday facilities in the Summit League," Hansen said. "We want to make it a great place to watch quality basketball, and I hope our students and fans make it an exciting environment for us to play in and one that poses challenges to our new conference opponents."


The biggest shoes to fill on Omaha's roster are those of former Maverick guard Mitch Albers, who capped his career ranked second in school history for scoring. Albers was UNO's main scoring threat in 2011-12, averaging 18.3 points per game to rank among the top 35 nationally.

"Our squad this year is likely to take a scoring by committee approach," Hansen said. "Having a few more players on the floor who are capable of scoring when it comes down to the closing minutes will help us with such a challenging schedule. We had a handful of games against Summit League opponents last season that came down to the last possession, so as a staff we are confident that our players can step in and play in this league."

Last year's starting point guard was Caleb Steffensmeier, who ranked second national with a 3.40 assist-to-turnover ratio. Steffensmeier is joined by sophomore CJ Carter, who also ran the point last season in addition to duties as a shooting guard, averaging 10.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Carter's outstanding freshman season was punctuated with independent freshman of the year recognition from College Sports Madness. Additionally, senior Jacques Coleman returns after serving as a backup point guard in his first year with the Mavs.

UNO added length and athleticism at the wing position with Butler Community College transfer Justin Simmons, who hails from Milwaukee, Wis., and Koang Doluony, a product of Omaha Bryan who previously played four years at Indiana State. Junior Alex Phillips, a native of Smiths Station, Ala., also joined the team after two seasons at New Mexico Junior College, and senior Tyler Egli provides depth and strong shooting ability from 3-point range.

Finally, freshman Jalen Bradley and Marcus Tyus both join the program after decorated high school careers. Bradley comes from Norfolk High School, where he led the state of Nebraska in scoring two straight seasons and became the fifth-best scorer in Class A history. Tyus played at Anoka High School in Ramsey, Minn., where he was a first-team all-conference selection and played AAU ball for former Minnesota Timberwolves player Chris Carr.

Alex Welhouse, a fifth-year senior, was third on the team in scoring a year ago with 10.4 points per game, first in rebounding with 6.7 boards per contest and totaled a team-best 50 threes. Following his junior campaign, he earned second-team independent all-conference plaudits.

Doluony could also see time as a forward, and junior Matt Hagerbaumer deepens the Mavericks' options with his team-leading total of 21 blocks and 4.5 rebounds per game off the bench last season.

Simon Krych redshirted in 2011-12 and has had a solid offseason, adding 20 pounds to his frame, while  junior Mike Rostampour, who transferred from St. Cloud State, will redshirt due to NCAA transfer rules.

Junior John Karhoff anchors the Mavericks at center, entering 2012-13 with two years of experience as a starter. Karhoff's passing and scoring ability in the post led him to a sophomore campaign with 12.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists per game, and he went on to garner second-team independent all-conference honors.

In Hansen's Words

"Our four returning starters give us some Division I experience with last year's schedule," Hansen said. "They have a perspective on how good the competition can be, and with the influx of our new players, our team understands we need both experience and the new mix of guys for our team to be successful in the Summit League.

"Our staff is really looking forward to going through the league for the first time. It's a level playing field now. We'll see how the travel works and see every opponent and venue in the league and get a feel for that. It will be new to all of us, but getting through the league one full time and seeing where we stand will set up our basketball program for future success."