Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Bryce McGowens Ready for Nebraska Debut in Exhibition Games

October 25, 2021

Nebraska freshman guard Bryce McGowens has gotten used to being recognized while walking around Lincoln.  

The most common remark the five-star gets from fans that approach him is something along the lines of “thanks for coming.”

“I’ll get a good laugh out of it, and just say thank you,” he said. “I’m happy to be here.”

The comment makes sense, given that Nebraska men’s basketball still hasn’t ever won an NCAA Tournament game, or had a recruit of McGowens’ caliber. 

That was one of the reasons the guard came to play for the Huskers. He said Monday that he wants to bring “swagger” and “culture” to the team. 

The opportunity to do so on the court will start this week with a pair of exhibition games. The Huskers host Peru State on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT, as well as Colorado for a charity exhibition matchup on Sunday at 11 a.m. CT.

While McGowens was more relaxed and laid-back answering questions on Monday, he said he has a much different attitude when it’s game time. 

“I always say you have to bring out a different type of intensity — a dog — when you step out on the court and the ball starts bouncing,” he said. 

Despite the mentality and skill McGowens has brought in, he still has more to improve on. Another reason he joined Nebraska was because of head coach Fred Hoiberg and his system, and he’s continuing to work on his fit within the offense. 

“Since I’ve been here, I’ve learned a lot of new schemes,” McGowens said. “How to move without the ball, play with the ball in my hands and, defensively, different rotations and spots to be on the floor.”

Hoiberg emphasized Monday that he wants the team focused on making the simple plays, rather than trying to do too much on their own. That’s not a matter of players not being capable of converting on the more flashy opportunities, but rather working within the game plan.

Still, Hoiberg said he wants McGowens to be aggressive. As with all newcomers, there’s a learning curve when first playing at the collegiate level, but he said the freshman has responded well.

“He’s growing, and that’s the thing you look for, is taking mistakes and going up in the film session and then correcting it and carrying that over on the floor,” Hoiberg said. “Bryce has shown that in a big way.”

McGowens is also looking forward to seeing the crowds at Pinnacle Bank Arena this season. In the recruiting process, his brother and teammate, Trey McGowens, told him that everyone would be behind him, “win or lose.” 

He’s had some experience seeing the crowd on football game days, and has enjoyed that experience, but is ready to see how it translates to his own sport. 

More than anything, McGowens, Hoiberg and the rest of the team are excited to play an actual opponent, even if it doesn’t count on the official record. 

“We’re sick of beating up on each other a little bit, but we’re super excited. Wednesday, you know, come out, have fun, compete,” McGowens said. “We’ve worked for it all summer until now, so we’re just ready to get out there and compete.”

  • Never miss the latest news from Hail Varsity!

    Join our free email list by signing up below.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap