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Taking An Early Look at the 2016-17 Nebraska Cornhuskers

Can this roster of Cornhuskers crawl out of the depths of the Big Ten during the 2016-17 season?

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska Cornhuskers are going through a transition period right now heading into the 2016-17 season and this will surely translate to this season's successes.

During the 2015-16 campaign the Cornhuskers didn't do to well, finishing two games below .500 with an overall record of 16-18 and 6-12 in conference play. They were the 11th ranked team in the conference, in terms of win total, and lost in the third round of the Big Ten Tournament to Maryland.

With this season looming, the Cornhuskers trajectory is only pointing up after last season.

During this off-season, the one component head coach Tim Miles and his staff have to deal with is replacing the production of recent departures of their top two leading scorers from last year.

Forward Shavon Shields was an impact player and the focal point for the Cornhuskers, leading the team in scoring and assists while being the second leader in rebounds. He averaged 16.8 points-per-game, 2.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds while also being their sole All-Big Ten player, making the All-Big Ten second team. The second leading scorer was the new Kansas transfer Andrew White who averaged 16.6 points-per-game, 5.9 rebounds and led all Nebraska players who played more then 18 minutes per-game in field goal percentage (.481).

Shields left due to his senior status, but the 6-foot-7 guard White requested a release from Nebraska after just one season playing with the team and intends to be a graduate transfer wherever he plays next.

So with these two players who accumulated  a combined 1066 points of  the team's 2456 total points now gone from the roster, how does this new roster look?

The 2016-17 roster is pretty much set as of right now for Nebraska. Head coach Miles will be showcasing a good balance of upperclassmen and talented underclassmen this season.

This year's lone senior is guard Taj Webster, who was the third leading scorer last season averaging 10.1 points-per-game. Sophomore guard Glynn Watson Jr. was the last of the four players on last year's roster who averaged over five points-per-game (8.6). For a team losing almost 50 percent of their offensive production, players like Webster and Watson Jr. are going to have to have much bigger roles this year to help the team secure victories.

Though they also didn't land any ESPN 100 recruits, they did sign three players to their 2016 recruiting class, Jordy Tshimanga, Isaiah Roby and Jeriah Horne. These freshman have their own unique skills they can bring to the team and if you want to see their different skill-sets then click here.

Besides having a group of players on any college team that can compete, another part of what can contribute to success is a team's schedule. Before conference play, Nebraska will play notable teams like Kansas, Clemson, potentially UCLA, Dayton and Creighton. A tough non-conference schedule before they enter the Big Ten schedule is something we've commonly seen from Big Ten schools in recent memory. Nebraska endured this path last season when they faced teams like NCAA Tournament Champions Villanova, as well as a ranked Cincinnati, Miami and Creighton.

There's time between now and the beginning of the college basketball season. With a similar non-conference schedule as last season, to avoid a repeat of those failures this accumulation of players must accomplish something last year's team could not and that will be a tough task.