Earlier this month, the Nebraska Cornhuskers got some big news as star player Thorir Thorbjarnarson announced his intentions to take his talents to the next level. While it seems unlikely he will get serious NBA consideration, he could play overseas. It will render quite a blow to Fred Hoiberg and his staff as they hope to move on toward next season.
"I’m very lucky to have landed at a place like Nebraska where I have felt at home from the moment I got here."@swmckewonOWH has more on former #Husker Thorir Thorbjarnarson turning pro: https://t.co/6MrdLEmdnF— World-Herald Big Red (@OWHbigred) April 24, 2021
The Icelandic native was a lone point of stability over the past four seasons for Nebraska. Originally recruited under Tim Miles, Thorbjarnarson was the only player on head coach Fred Hoiberg’s first roster in Lincoln to see the court for Nebraska prior. While he spent most of his time coming off the bench as a sophomore before injury problems occurred late in the season, Thor played a vital role in the transition under Hoiberg.
Overall in his career in Lincoln, the 6-foot-6, 202 pound guard started in 43 games, 24 of which were in his junior season in 2019-20, while he saw action in 93 total games. Thor finished averaging 4.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 0.8 steals per game. His season high was 8.8 points and 4.8 rebound per game as a junior and 1.7 assists per game as a senior. He led the Huskers as a junior in three-point field goal percentage among those with high-usage, averaging 37.2 percent on 4.0 attempts per game.
Thor will pursue a professional career, though it is a likely a long shot for the NBA Draft. His court vision, tenacity on defense, and knack for knowing how to put himself into position on the court to make a play is not easy to replicate at any level, however, and will be sorely missed next year by Nebraska.
Also departing the team for the professional ranks is Nebraska guard Shamiel Stevenson.
The native of Toronto, Canada had a long path through college that started off at Pittsburgh before a brief stop with Nevada in January 2019 that ended quickly following the departure of head coach Eric Musselman for the head job at Arkansas. Stevenson landed from there in Lincoln where he was forced to redhsirt for his junior year and the first season under Hoiberg.
As a redshirt junior, Stevenson played in 26 games for Nebraska, coming off the bench in all of them. He averaged 5.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers per game while seeing 14.3 minutes of action on average. Stevenson’s best year in college was his freshman year at Pitt when he started in 13 games while seeing action in 32 total games. He averaged 8.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 0.5 steals while playing 23.8 minutes per game.
With an influx of new talent incoming this offseason, Stevenson was unlikely to break into the starting ranks next year. While Stevenson made clear in his announcement he is hoping for a career in the NBA, breaking into the ranks of even the G-League is likely a difficult task. Expect him to pursue a route overseas first, and he has the talent to do just that. However, his time in Lincoln was both brief and over in the meantime.