On Wednesday, Nebraska confirmed the reports from Tuesday that freshman forward Jeriah Horne will transfer from Nebraska after the spring semester.
The 6-foot-7, 222-pound forward played in 29 of Nebraska’s 31 games as a freshman and averaged 4.3 points in 11.8 minutes per game.
Amid his struggles on defense and inconsistencies on offense, Tim Miles never quite found a consistent role for Horne in the rotation. Horne recorded five double-digit scoring games including a season-high 18 points in Nebraska’s win over Southern on Dec. 20, but he also had 10 scoreless games.
Horne’s minutes jumped all over the place. He played 20 or more minutes five times, 10 to 19 minutes in 13 games and fewer than 10 minutes in 13 games including the two in which he did not play.
Horne split his minutes between the small forward and power forward positions, but struggled defensively at both spots. He’s a bit too short to play inside but doesn’t quite have the lateral quickness to guard on the perimeter. Add the typical freshman struggles with grasping a defensive game plan and Miles likely had trouble leaving him out there extended stretches unless his shot was falling at a high rate.
Horne did show some advanced offensive moves and the ability to shoot the ball from the 3-point line, but overall both his true shooting and his effective shooting percentages in conference play were under 50 percent. That is to say, he made some impressive moves but the ball failed to go through the rim more often than not.
Had Nebraska had more depth on the roster and had Horne been willing to accept it, a redshirt year likely would have been in the cards and it probably would have helped him as a player. At the end of the day, it is not a huge loss for the Huskers – either in terms of depth or ability.
Both Nick Fuller and Horne, the two players who have announced their departures so far, play at Nebraska’s deepest position. Nebraska still has Michael Jacobson, Isaiah Roby, Jack McVeigh and Isaac Copeland for the second semester at the three and four positions, and incoming freshman Nana Akenten (who has had a tremendous season for his high school team and is still alive in the state tournament in Illinois) will probably play some at the three as well at 6-foot-6.
The key now is to retain the rest of the roster. Neither Fuller nor Horne are devastating losses – nor were they surprise departures – but at this stage it would be difficult to find quality replacements if anyone else leaves.
Nebraska is currently focusing on adding backcourt help with the scholarship Nick Fuller’s departure opened up, but this gives the coaches another one to play with. I would expect them to be active in the transfer market, both for graduate transfers and the traditional kind that has to sit out a year. Another option would be to roll the scholarship over into the season for a potential mid-year transfer like Isaac Copeland.
Stay tuned to Hail Varsity for more news and analysis as the basketball offseason rolls on.