Lincoln North Star junior Donovan Williams celebrates their win over Creighton Prep.
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

High School Roundup: Division I Recruits Begin Their Season

December 09, 2019

The class of 2019 in Nebraska produced nine basketball players who went on to earn Division I scholarships, and that doesn’t include the four players walking on at the Division I level.

The class of 2020 doesn’t have nearly the same kind of depth based on the current picture, but there is some real talent at the top of these next few classes with five players holding high-major offers, three of which have already committed.

All season long, Hail Varsity will be tracking the in-state players with Division I offers, including those Nebraska is recruiting.

2020 Lincoln North Star Guard Donovan Williams (Nebraska Commit)

Williams, the only current in-state commit for Nebraska, did not sign his letter of intent during the early signing period. He’s currently rehabbing from a torn ACL suffered in the spring and told Hail Varsity that he’s still five or six weeks away from getting cleared. 

Even without Williams, Lincoln North Star went 2-0 to open the season, beating Bellevue East 68-57 and a tough Kearney squad, coached by former Husker Drake Beranek, 65-54.

2021 Millard North Guard Hunter Sallis

Nebraska and everyone else — including Kansas — has offered the 6-foot-4 wing from Millard North who has developed into a top-50 prospect nationally. Fred Hoiberg made sure he and his whole staff were there for Millard North’s season-opener at Lincoln High on Thursday.

The Mustangs rolled over the Links 84-40 and Sallis put on a show for the Nebraska staff. He finished with 26 points on 10-of-17 from the field, 2-of-5 from 3 and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line with three rebounds and a steal. He also had five turnovers, and if there’s one area Sallis needs to continue polishing its his ball-handling.

Millard North won big again on Saturday, beating Papillion-La Vista South 79-63, and Sallis dropped another 20-piece. He finished with a game high 22 on 7-of-14 from the field and 8-of-9 from the foul line. He had three rebounds, two assists and two steals and this time he played a clean game with no turnovers.

2022 Millard North Forward Jasen Green

Sallis wasn’t the only one Hoiberg was there to see on Thursday. The Huskers also have an offer out to his teammate, 6-foot-7 sophomore Jasen Green.

Against the Links, Green finished with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting (2-of-5 from 3) while hitting his only free throw. He also had four boards, two blocks, a steal and a turnover.

He scored seven points against the Titans on Saturday, shooting 2-of-5 from the field and 3-of-3 from the line, though he missed his only 3-point attempt. He chipped in four rebounds and turned the ball over once.

2020 Millard North Forward Max Murrell (Stanford Commit)

The third member of the Mustang trio is the 6-foot-9 Murrell who chose Stanford over a host of offers after blowing up this summer. Nebraska was one of the teams that offered him late.

Burrell was pretty quiet offensively in both games. He had eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, four assists, four steals, two rebounds and two blocks against Lincoln High. On Saturday, he recorded win points on 4-of-6 shooting, seven rebounds, three blocks, two steals, one assist and one turnover. Burrell shot 1-of-3 from 3 and 0-of-2 from the line in the two games.

Millard North only has one game this week as the Mustangs will host Omaha Burke on Friday.

2021 Bellevue West Point Guard Chucky Hepburn (Wisconsin Commit)

Tim Miles gave Chucky Hepburn his first offer back in May of 2018 and Fred Hoiberg reaffirmed the offer after he took over in Lincoln, but several other programs jumped into the mix and Hepburn ended up choosing Wisconsin.

Bellevue West opened the season against a severely overmatched Fremont team on Thursday and the Thunderbirds won 82-38, providing plenty of young players an opportunity to see the court (14 different players attempted a field goal).

Hepburn finished with 10 points on 3-of-6 from the field, 1-of-4 from 3 and 3-of-5 from the line, four steals, three assists, two turnovers and a rebound.

Bellevue West had a much tougher test on Saturday against Omaha Westside and Hepburn turned it up another notch to lead the T-Birds to a 69-62 win. He put up 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting (4-of-6 from 3) and 5-of-8 from the foul line, 10 rebounds (two offensive), five assists, two turnovers and a steal. The 10 rebounds ties a career-high set three times previously.

2021 Bellevue West Wing Frankie Fidler

Fidler is one of the most improved players in the state over the past year and he was the third member of the 2021 class in Nebraska to pick up a Division I offer as Derrin Hansen and Omaha pulled the trigger in September.

Fidler has grown six inches or so since the end of his freshman year and has an advanced offensive skill-set at 6-foot-6. Against Fremont, he had nine points on 2-of-5 from the field, 1-of-2 from 3 and 4-of-4 from the line with four assists, four steals, two rebounds, one block and one turnover. Against the Warriors, Fidler finished with five points on 2-of-4 shooting (1-of-3 from 3), six rebounds, two assists and two turnovers. 

Bellevue West has two home games this week. On Friday, the Thunderbirds will take on an improved Omaha Benson team. On Saturday, they’ll face Bellevue East in a rivalry game.

2020 Omaha Westside Guard Jadin Booth (Omaha Commit)

The final player we’ll highlight here is one of the best pure scorers in the state. Jadin Booth is a pure bucket-getter who averaged about 20 points in each of the last two years, and he cracked 20 in both of his games last week as well.

In Westside’s season-opening 66-61 win against Lincoln Northeast on Thursday, Booth went off for 28 points on 9-of-16 from the field including 5-of-10 from deep and 5-of-8 from the free-throw line. He added four boards, an assist, a steal and a turnover.

He followed that up with a game-high 24 points in a seven-point loss to Bellevue West. He shot 9-of-20 form the field, 2-of-8 from 3 and 4-of-5 from the line and grabbed two rebounds and two steals while giving up the ball twice.

Omaha Westside will look to get back on track at home against Omaha Northwest on Friday, and then the Warriors will travel to Papillion-La Vista South on Saturday.

Latrell Wrightsell Jr., a 2020 guard from Omaha Central, also holds a handful of Division I offers but Central’s box scores had not been posted at the time of publishing.

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