A Nebraska team that has had four players transfer out this offseason got one to come their way over the weekend. The Cornhuskers got a commitment from Winthrop graduate transfer Duby Okeke on Sunday, according to a report by HuskerOnline’s Robin Washut, which Okeke later confirmed with an Instagram post.
Okeke likely won’t play a huge role at Nebraska, but should help provide depth for a roster that has lost Nick Fuller, Jeriah Horne, Michael Jacobson and Ed Morrow due to transfers.
The 6-foot-8, 230-pound Okeke averaged 3.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while playing 14.0 minutes per game for Winthrop this season. Winthrop’s career leader with 165 blocks, Okeke helped the Eagles reach their first NCAA Tournament since 2010, earning a No. 13 seed before suffering a 76-64 loss to fourth-seeded Butler.
Okeke saw his playing time and numbers drop a bit this season after averaging 4.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 17.2 minutes per game as a sophomore. Okeke spoke with the Lincoln Journal Star’s Chris Basnett about his role as an energy guy, high-effort player. The well-built Okeke does most of his work in the paint, shooting 60.8 percent from the field and 26.8 percent from the free-throw line this season.
Okeke, who will be eligible immediately after graduating from Winthrop with a sociology degree in May, will give much-needed size to a Nebraska program that has lost the 6-foot-9 Jacobson, 6-foot-7 Morrow, 6-foot-7 Horne and 6-foot-7 Fuller.
The Cornhuskers will return a frontcourt rotation of 6-foot-11 Jordy Tshimanga, 6-foot-9 Isaac Copeland, 6-foot-8 Tanner Borchardt, 6-foot-8 Isaiah Roby and 6-foot-8 Jack McVeigh.
McVeigh, who will be a junior next season, has produced the most at Nebraska, averaging 7.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game last season. Tshimanga (5.0 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game) and Horne (4.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg) each showed promise during their freshman campaigns.
Okeke’s commitment came just two days after the Cornhuskers got a commitment from 2017 shooting guard Thomas Allen. The 6-foot-2, four-star guard from North Carolina was originally committed to North Carolina State. He had offers from a number of other big-time programs, including Cincinnati, Illinois and Kansas. Allen won a prep national championship at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire this season.
The commitments of Okeke and Allen leave Nebraska with two open scholarships heading into the 2017-’18 season.