Following another far from ideal season from Tim Miles’ Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nebraska is taking a major hit in terms of players transferring out of Lincoln.
The Cornhuskers finished the 2016-’17 season with a 12-19 overall record, matching their lowest win total since the 2011-’12 season.
Though Tai Webster was Nebraska’s best player by a long shot, the Cornhuskers are fortunate that Webster is the only key player graduating from Nebraska.
However, even though Nebraska isn’t losing a ton of players to graduation, it is losing some significant contributors to transfer. Four to be exact.
The losses of Jeriah Horne and Nick Fuller definitely don’t help the Cornhuskers. But, the more recent announcements that Ed Morrow and Michael Jacobson will be departing leave Nebraska without their two best rebounders from the 2016-’17 season.
Morrow led the Cornhuskers in rebounding last season, averaging 7.5 boards per game. He was also Nebraska’s third best scorer, cashing in an average of 9.4 points each contest.
Though the Chicago product missed seven consecutive games during conference play due to a foot injury, the forward still had three double-doubles and ten double-digit scoring performances. Morrow made a major impact in Tim Miles’ lineup. Nebraska brought home five of their six Big Ten victories when Morrow was healthy. The Cornhuskers went 1-6 when Morrow was injured.
The departure of Jacobson is also a major blow. The sophomore was Nebraska’s next best rebounder last season and was the Cornhuskers’ fifth leading scorer. Jacobson finished the season averaging six points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
In what was a disappointing season for Nebraska, a significant bright spot was the ability to get extra opportunities off the offensive glass. The Cornhuskers were the second best offensive rebounding team in the Big Ten, trailing only Rutgers.
Without Morrow and Jacobson, the second and fourth best offensive rebounders in the conference, Nebraska is essentially losing the lone advantage it held over other Big Ten teams.
Jeriah Horne is also leaving Nebraska extremely early into his collegiate career. Horne had three years of eligibility remaining.
Though Horne didn’t particularly light it up statistically this season, the Kansas native displayed that he had a significant amount of future potential.
Horne saw an average of 11.8 minutes of action in 29 games this season as a freshman. The forward scored an average of 4.3 points and collected 1.9 rebounds per game overall in the 2016-’17 season.
The former three star rivals recruit flashed his potential in a number of games for the Cornhuskers. Horne scored in double figures on five occasions this season.
His highest point total came during Nebraska’s non-conference slate, in which Horne dropped 18 on 7-9 shooting against Southern.Horne also reached double digits twice during Big Ten play.
The freshman was lights out in the Cornhuskers’ upset victory over Purdue, adding 16 points and converting 7-12 attempts from the floor. Horne also went 4-5 from the field against Minnesota in a 10 point outing.
Since Nebraska is now losing three potential 2017-2018 starters, Horne had a great chance to eventually contribute for the Cornhuskers. His increase in production easily could have began as early as next season, due to the Cornhuskers’ depleted roster.
The loss of Horne should not be overlooked. There is no question that Tim Miles did everything he could to keep Horne in a Nebraska uniform.
While losing Jeriah Horne will most likely impact the Cornhuskers’ success, the final player walking away from Tim Miles isn’t as meaningful.
Junior Nick Fuller also announced his departure from Nebraska in early March.
Fuller’s playing time as a Cornhusker has been extremely limited in each of his three seasons. Fuller’s effectiveness has also noticeably diminished year by year.
The Wisconsin native only saw the floor for an average of 5.7 minutes per game this season. Fuller averaged 1.1 points and rebounds each in the 15 games he played in.
Fuller’s points, rebounds, and minutes totals in the 2016-’17 season were all career lows for the forward.
Fuller saw most of his success on Nebraska off the court and in the classroom. The 6-7 junior was a member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in each of his three seasons.
While Nick Fuller’s maturity and knowledge will be missed by Tim Miles, the Cornhuskers can survive without Fuller’s contributions on the court.
It’s worth noting that Nebraska will receive some compensation from the losses of Webster, Morrow, Jacobson, and Horne with incoming transfer Isaac Copeland.
After attempting to play through a preseason herniated disc injury for Georgetown this season, Copeland announced his transfer to Nebraska in January.
Copeland was a five-star recruit and ESPN’s 16th player in the nation coming out of high school in 2014.
The North Carolina native will have two full seasons as a Cornhusker if he is granted a medical hardship waiver for his injury.
Copeland was a significant contributor for the Hoyas during the 2015-’16 season, playing 32 minutes per game and scoring 11.1 points per game. The forward also grabbed 5.4 rebounds per game.
Copeland scored at least 10 points in 20 of Georgetown’s 33 games during the 2015-’16 season. This included a monster outing in which Copeland scored 32 on 13-20 shooting against Marquette.
The addition of Isaac Copeland will, without a doubt, help Nebraska if the forward can play like he did two seasons ago. If Copeland is healthy, he will most likely be inserted into Nebraska’s Morrow and Jacobson-less starting lineup.
However, with so many key offseason losses, next year is projecting to be another challenging one for the Husker faithful.