On Tuesday, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports and the FanRag Sports Network broke the news that Nebraska junior transfer Isaac Copeland had been granted a waiver for immediate eligibility this season, and on Friday he included the former Georgetown Hoya on his list of 20 impact transfers.
Here's what Rothstein had to say about the 6-foot-9, 221-pound forward:
Isaac Copeland, Nebraska: Tim Miles is quietly bullish on the Cornhuskers for the upcoming season, and the presence of Copeland is a major reason why. The 6-9 big man was a 5-star recruit at Georgetown and gives Nebraska a different type of frontcourt option than the Huskers have had in past years. If he’s fully healthy after dealing with a back injury, Copeland has the talent to emerge into an All-Big Ten caliber performer.
As a freshman, Copeland averaged 6.8 points and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 38.9 percent from 3-point range while starting 11 games. He became a full-time starter as a sophomore and upped his averages to 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds, but his shooting suffered as his percentage fell to 27.2 on nearly four attempts per game, which tanked his efficiency.
If Copeland can rediscover his freshman shooting stroke in Lincoln, Copeland will be a deadly pick-and-pop or pick-and-roll threat to partner with junior point guard Glynn Watson Jr. Copeland's at his best shooting from the high post or top of the key and should provide some much-needed floor-spacing from the power forward spot that Michael Jacobson and Isaiah Roby just couldn't give the Huskers last year.
Copeland was a 5-star recruit (the first Nebraska has ever had in its program) for a reason, but he has struggled to find consistency to this point. The Huskers are hoping that his new home in Lincoln will help Copeland settle in and maximize his immense talent.
Copeland wasn't the only transfer Nebraska fans will see on the floor this season. Five of the transfers on Rothstein's list play for teams Nebraska will face this season.
Malik Newman (Kansas via Mississippi State) is a 6-foot-3 combo-guard that should start for the Jayhawks this year and will give Kansas a stacked backcourt alongside Devonte' Graham and LeGerald Vick.
Justin Simon (St. John's via Arizona) is a former top-25 recruit that should provide a more defensive option at 6-foot-4 to combine with the small but dynamic backcourt of Shamoire Ponds and Marcus LoVett while Marvin Clark (St. John's via Michigan State) will bring some toughness at 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds to the Johnnies' frontcourt.
Kaleb Joseph (Creighton via Syracuse) started at point guard for the Orange during his freshman season before losing confidence and his rotation spot as a sophomore. With a year off the court to work on his game, the Jays are hoping Joseph has regained that confidence and can be a dynamic floor general. He is battling for the starting spot with sophomore Davion Mintz.
Finally, Charles Matthews (Michigan via Kentucky) will step in for a Wolverines squad that lost three of its top four scorers in Derrick Walton Jr., Zak Irvin and DJ Wilson. At 6-foot-6 and 20 pounds, Matthews will provide a wing who can get it done on both ends of the floor.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.