Matej Kavas’s college career has come to an end.
Nebraska announced on Sunday morning that a hand injury he suffered during the Huskers’ loss agains Iowa on Saturday will knock him out for the rest of the season. Kavas will undergo further testing and evaluation by a hand specialist on Monday to determine the exact injury and recovery timeline.
“It is disappointing to see Matej’s college career end because of an injury,” Coach Fred Hoiberg said in a release. “Matej was one of the first players to commit to Nebraska when we started last spring. He believed he could help set the foundation for our program even though he had one season to play. Everyone in our program appreciates Matej, and we look forward to him having a full recovery and getting the opportunity to continue playing after college.”
Kavas also shared a message on Twitter.
— Matej Kavaš (@MatejKavas) February 16, 2020
Kavas played in 22 games with one start this season for Nebraska as a graduate transfer. The 6-foot-8 senior averaged 5.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game. He struggled from 3 this season, shooting 33.8% overall, and found himself out of the rotation for a bit as he logged three DNP-CDs.
However, he returned to the rotation for the Penn State game and in the three games before he got hurt he scored 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting including 5-of-11 from 3, giving Nebraska an offensive spark off the bench. He suffered the injury shortly after he checked in for the first time against Wisconsin.
Kavas recorded seven double-digit scoring performances as a Husker with a high of 12 against North Dakota. He had eight games with multiple 3-pointers including that North Dakota game where he was 4-of-5 from deep. He had his first double-digit scoring game during conference play against Maryland on Tuesday, finishing with 11 points.
In his three seasons at Seattle, the Slovenian native scored nearly 1,000 points, averaging 11.7 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 44.7% from 3. He had his best season as a sophomore in 2017–18, putting up 15.2 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 46.4% from deep, earning second-team All-WAC recognition.
In the three games Kavas was out of the rotation, junior Thorir Thorbjarnarson played heavy minutes (37, 37 and 32) and Nebraska went back to the four-guard lineup while Thorbjarnarson was on the bench. Freshman Akol Arop has started to get a couple minutes here and there recently and could be an option at the four spot with Kavas out.
Nebraska will return to the court on Thursday to face Michigan State.
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.