After a sub-par 2015-16 season where the Nebraska Cornhuskers finished in the bottom five of the Big Ten (16-18 overall & 6-12 conference) they're looking to change that narrative this season.
An important part of every season is the recruiting trail for the following season and the habitual routine of replacing players who either graduated, depart to the NBA Draft or transfer to another school. With that being said, the Cornhuskers 2016-17 roster consists of just one senior, guard Tai Webster, four juniors, four sophomores and three freshman. Head Coach Tim Miles has a noticeable balance of experienced and youth players on this roster, but setting up for the future is what puts schools like Michigan State, Ohio State and others ahead of Nebraska.
To compete with those schools in the Big Ten and around the country, it all starts in recruiting. For a team who's only made the NCAA Tournament seven total times and just once in the past 15-plus seasons recruiting should be a heavy priority, so let's take a quick look at some of these prospects.
You cannot talk the 2017 class so far without mentioning their one actual commit in Aguek Arop. The Omaha, Nebraska guard committed in August of 2014 and though he's not in the ESPN 100, he fills the void that Tai Webster will be leaving in terms of a roster spot.
Since Arop's commitment in 2014 he's been doing some impressive things on the basketball court , which most Cornhuskers fans should be excited about, including being named the 2016 Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior.
Omaha South junior and Nebraska commit Aguek Arop (@aguek33) has been named the Nebraska Gatorade POY. #Huskers #Nebrasketball— NebraskaHSHoops (@NebraskaHSHoops) March 17, 2016
With his commitment in tact, Miles and his staff can look forward to getting more additional recruits alongside Arop.
Recruits on Radar
A couple of other prospects on Nebraska's radar are Luke Garza, Goanar Mar and McKinley Wright.
Luke Garza is a 6-foot-10 center from Washington, DC. He's apparently grateful for his offer from Nebraska according to his Twitter account.
Blessed to be able to say the coaching staff at Nebraska has offered me a scholarship! #AllGloryToGod pic.twitter.com/nvL4aFtzou— Luka Garza (@LukaG_55) May 11, 2016
This could mean something or it could not, but what Nebraska does know is they're one of numerous teams who have a chance to land Garza.
McKinley Wright is a six-foot point guard. The Champlin, Minnesota prospect also took to Twitter to express how he feels about the offer he received and just like Garza they're one of many teams who have a chance to land him.
Just received a offer from Nebraska ⚪️ #Blessed pic.twitter.com/9LTh9PHHC1— McKinley Wright (@Ballislife_025) April 19, 2016
The last of the three is Goanar Mar who's a 6-foot-7 forward from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He plays with visible passion and relentlessness. If you don't believe me just look at this video below.
He also has an offer from Nebraska so keep an eye out for his name during the recruiting process.
The situation with the current Cornhuskers roster is going to be depth in the next couple of seasons and just with these three prospects you can see their willingness to recruit multiple positions after signing two forwards and a center last year. Though they're only losing one senior after this upcoming season, there's four juniors on the roster who will be seniors during the 2017-18 season, depending on if no players leave for the NBA draft or transfers.
This 2017 recruiting class could keep Nebraska ahead of themselves while having a core group of young players for the future, but with the recruiting process in it's early stages we'll have to wait and see if this will be accomplished.