Despite swirling rumors that sophomore center Jordy Tshimanga would seek a transfer from the Huskers (12-7, 3-3 Big Ten), head coach Tim Miles announced Monday he would return to the team on Tuesday.
Tshimanga, who had started the team’s first 18 games at center while averaging 3.5 points and 5.1 boards in 15.2 minutes a night, has been away from the team since last Thursday. He did not travel with the team to State College for Friday’s game against Penn State, a 76-74 overtime loss, and will not play Monday night against Illinois (10-8, 0-5 Big Ten).
“Last week, I discussed some personal issues with Coach Miles,” Tshimanga said in a statement released by the Huskers. “This conversation resulted in me not participating in team activities the last few days, but it has allowed me to work on these issues so I can fully focus on academics and basketball at the University of Nebraska.
“During the last few days, I have very much appreciated the support of Coach Miles, the coaching staff, [athletic] director [Bill] Moos and, most importantly, my teammates. It is hard to express how much your support and our relationship is valued by me. Thank you.
“Finally, thank you Husker Nation for your ongoing support! Nebraska is a special place, and I have always valued our fans. I am grateful for your continued confidence in me and the Husker Basketball program. I will continue to work hard to bring success to this team, this program, and this University.”
On Sunday, Miles said he was stunned to learn last week that Tshimanga was considering leaving. Miles said his center was frustrated with his personal struggles this season and should he seek a transfer, Miles would be supportive of him.
Miles met with Tshimanga once the team returned from State College and that meeting seems to have played a part in Tshimanga’s decision to stay in Lincoln.
“We are happy to announce that Jordy will rejoin the team Tuesday,” Miles said. “We look forward to him getting back on the court soon.”
Tshimanga did not practice Sunday, thus the scheduled absence from Monday night’s game, but he will be available for the Huskers next game against Michigan (15-4, 4-2 Big Ten) on Thursday, Jan. 18.
Senior center Duby Okeke started in Tshimanga’s place against Penn State, but it will be sophomore Isaiah Roby who will get the start at center against Illinois, according to Huskers’ play-by-play announcer Kent Pavelka.
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.