Cornhusker alumni have certainly been accomplishing a lot lately in the NBA, but most of those accomplishments have been made by Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Ty Lue. So who is next in line for Nebraska to start making some accomplishments as players?
Terran Petteway tried his luck in the D-League last season and could be the next Cornhusker to make a NBA roster, but who will be the next Nebraska player to be drafted? Well, that moment could have been sooner rather than later as rising senior Andrew White III looked to have a legitimate chance, before he just announced his intent to transfer.
A former Kansas transfer, White averaged 16.6 points per game during his first season in Lincoln. He also grabbed a team-high 5.9 rebounds per game. Heading into his final season, he won’t be found in many mock drafts, but if his new team has more national exposure he could improve his stock and White could start getting more draft consideration. In the wake of Shavon Shields departure, he looked to become the team leader, but depending on where he decides to transfer he may no longer need to be. His assist numbers could stand to increase a little bit, but as long as White can establish himself as the statistical and mental leader on a winning team he will only be improving his draft stock.
Finding future NBA Draft prospects on the current Nebraska roster is more difficult. Tim Miles has two former 2015 ESPN Top 100 recruits at his disposal; Glynn Watson Jr. and Ed Morrow.
Morrow, a forward, had a moderate first year, playing only 13.7 minutes per game, but that was largely due to the high usage of Shavon Shields. With Shields and White out of the picture, their minutes are up for grabs and Morrow will likely stand to gain the most from their availability. To project that he will one day blossom into a NBA draftee would be ambitious to say the least, but the opportunity to develop and show off his talents will certainly be there in the coming seasons. If Morrow can make the most of it, the NBA is a distant possibility.
As a guard, Watson Jr. had more opportunities in his freshman campaign than Morrow did. He played 24.3 minutes per game, averaging 8.6 points. Standing only 6-0 and 160 pounds, he is much smaller than most NBA guards, which could hurt him. That said, if he continues to develop his game in the future and Nebraska a NCAA Tournament appearance or two during his time there, his talents could make it difficult for NBA teams to keep him off their radar. But the first step is improvement, because if he can’t bring his numbers up from his solid freshman season, there is not a chance NBA teams will notice him. This is especially true if he doesn’t improve his three point percentage.
So, will a Nebraska Cornhusker be drafted in the near future? It is such an uncertainty that it is impossible to predict as they have some potential prospects, but none of them are nearly close to a sure thing.