After a season rife with success, the Huskers had another little something to celebrate on Monday.
Husker guard James Palmer Jr. is officially a member of the All-Big Ten First Team, joining Big Ten Player of the Year Keita Bates-Diop, Michigan State's Miles Bridges, Penn State's Tony Carr and Purdue's Carsen Edwards.
Palmer's first-team selection, announced by the league Monday, is the first for a Nebraska player since Terran Petteway during the 2014-15 season. Palmer led the Huskers in scoring this season at 17.4 points a game, ranking fifth in the conference.
The 6-foot-5 guard from Upper Marlboro, Maryland, arrived at Nebraska by way of Miami following the 2015-16 season. After sitting out a season, Palmer emerged early as a go-to scorer for the Huskers with 22 points against Central Florida on Nov. 23.
But it was Palmer's run through Big Ten play that saw him garner national recognition. Following a second-half benching against Penn State on Jan. 12 in which he scored a season-low five points in 20 minutes, Palmer went on a tear.
Over the final 12 games of the season, Palmer averaged 20.8 a night while shooting 48 percent from the floor. That included 24 points and the game-winning three against Illinois in the Huskers next game after his benching, a career-high 34 points on the road against Ohio State and back-to-back 28-point games against Iowa and Wisconsin on the road.
After dispatching the Hawkeyes on Jan. 27, Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said Palmer was a "marked man" in the conference and still a nightmare to stop for opposing teams. The Huskers went 10-2 over their final 12, in large part due to Palmer's brilliance.
The first-team selection came via the league's coaches. Palmer was a second-team selection by the league's media, replaced by Wisconsin forward Ethan Happ.
Palmer and his teammates will be back in action on Friday when they begin play in the Big Ten tournament. The Huskers could face either Michigan, Illinois or Iowa in their first contest after securing a four-seed and a double-bye with Sunday's win over Penn State.
Palmer's teammate, forward Isaac Copeland, was also named an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention. Copeland finished second on the team in scoring at just over 13 points a night and led the Huskers with 6.3 rebounds per game.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.