By: Robert Weihofen
Fred Hoiberg was brought in to be “The Man”, and the Front Office made it very apparent. He was seen as the golden boy who could work with a playoff ready team and lead them to the promise land. Now, after three seasons and only one playoff appearance some fans are left wondering if his hiring was a mistake.
Even with all of the downs the Bulls have had, it is hard to fault Hoiberg for it all. When he came into the fold, he was handed a team that did not fit his style at all. Hoiberg ran an up-tempo, highly effective three point shooting offense. He was given a defensive minded team first, who struggled with even averaging 100 points a game for some stretches.
Coupled with the players not fitting his system, he had to deal with reigning in the egos of players like Rose and Butler who had established themselves as veteran players. It showed in the first season where Hoiberg had trouble getting the players to run his offense and stick to a game plan. After a string of playoff runs, having a new coach and his first season missing out, some questions started to arise.
He was able to rebound in his first year woes in the second year, and made the playoffs only to be knocked out in the first round. His second year was plagued by injuries, trades, and more players that didn’t fit his system. Through all of the adversity, he only came in a few games under .500 over his first two season. Then, came the trade that gave him what he was finally looking for. Three fresh, young players who could run his offense. Enter Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen.
Hoiberg was given his young core to work with, and it could have gone better then expected in his third season. The team got off the a dreadful start to the year, and it did not get much better as it went on. The team struggled to find consistency, and the young players had to deal with injuries. Hoiberg battled through it all in attempts bring the team together and find a few good wins during the season. He worked well with the young players and their development, bringing out the best the young players have seen in their careers to date.
Through all of his ups and downs, Hoiberg is the guy to help rebuild this team. He worked well with player development at Iowa State, and which is what this Bulls team needs right now. He will see year four, but beyond that remains a mystery. He is a solid coach to build a team, but it is hard telling if he will be one to get them there.