For the second straight season, Nebraska has landed a commitment from an in-state player, only this one’s path to Lincoln is a little different than that of freshman forward Brady Heiman, a Platteview product.
On Sunday night, 2019 Western Nebraska (Scottsbluff) Community College guard Jervay Green committed to the Huskers over offers from the likes of Ole Miss, TCU, Wichita State, VCU and others. He’s currently the second member of Nebraska’s 2019 recruiting class and will have two seasons of eligibility at Nebraska following his sophomore season at Western Nebraska.
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Green had a prolific high school career at George Washington where he scored over 1,000 points for his career and broke former NBA star Chauncey Billups’ single-game school scoring record with 64 points, tied for the fourth most in Colorado high school basktball history.
“I walked into a practice and thought he’d be the best player in the state after watching about 20 minutes of practice,” Western Nebraska coach Cory Fehringer told Hail Varsity. “It was just obvious that with his instincts, his talent and his demeanor, he was going to be a good player.”
Green signed with Western Nebraska out of high school and was second on the team in scoring as a freshman with a 14.9 per-game average. He shot 50.9 percent form the field, 31.2 percent from 3 and 67.3 percent from the free-throw line while chipping in 5.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals (second on the team in all three categories).
“He’s the most complete player we’ve had in any program in the last six years with me as a head coach,” Fehringer said. “I believe he’s one of the greatest package players that is in junior college this year across the country. He’s a two-way player. Offensively, he can score baskets but probably his most valuable assets is his ability to elevate his teammates' games with the pass and with positive energy and with great confidence in his teammates.”
He dished out four or more assists in just over half his games last season. According to Fehringer, Green is comfortable playing both on and off the ball and is a true combo-gaurd.
“We coach basketball players; we want him to be able to dribble, shoot and pass at a high level,” Fehringer said. “We want him to be able to defend, rebound and rotate at a high level. I think those levels, Jervay has covered fairly well for his age. Defensively, he plays with high intelligence, high IQ. I always talk about how his ability to get deflections and create offense through tips has been huge for us. We were number one in the country last year offensively as far as efficiency goes, and I thought his ability to create transition plays with deflections, tips and steals was a huge reason.”
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, Green tested out with a 40-inch vertical at a JUCO Advocate camp in July. Fehringer said he still has plenty of room for physical development once he arrives in Lincoln.
“Jervay’s a big-bodied boy with running back legs who has yet to lift weights,” Fehringer said. “So physically, he’s going to have an adjustment period, but as soon as he hits that strength and conditioning in Big Red country, I think they’re going to see him just increase his game and elevate his game another level or two.”
Western Nebraska’s top-four scorers other than Green were all sophomores last year, so he’s going to see an even bigger role this season as the team’s primary playmaker and go-to guy, according to Fehringer.
“Whatever it takes to win,” Fehringer said about his role. “If he needs to go get 30, he’ll go get 30. If he needs to distribute the ball for 10-plus assists, he needs to do that. He needs to help protect the glass so he needs to be pushing double-digit rebounds.”
Green isn’t the stereotypical junior college guard from a personality standpoint, according to Fehringer.
“He’s low ego, low maintenance, and his largest concern is winning basketball games,” Fehringer said. “He wants to do it with everybody on the floor and everybody on the bench. You don’t have challenges with him that you have with a lot of really good junior college guards. He appreciates the pass, he shares the ball, he doesn’t over-dribble and it doesn’t have to be about him scoring baskets. That’s just a blessing for a young man to have that type of comfort in himself to work with his teammates and not try to steal the light.”
Nebraska offered Green back on July 23 and Coach Tim Miles made a visit to Scottsbluff on Sept. 12. According to Fehringer, the staff at Nebraska did a great job of keeping communication lines open throughout their recruitment of Green.
“Coach [Jim] Molinari was outstanding throughout the process of communicating with his uncle, his guardian, his mother, and I thought he developed a lot of trust with his inner network,” Fehringer said. “Coach Miles, just his personality and the way he handles players we think is a good fit for Jervay.”
Fehringer said seeing one of his players commit to Nebraska is a big deal for his program, and he had one final message about Green for Huskers fans.
“His smile lights up a room,” Fehringer said. “He has a tremendous vibe about him and his personality. He appreciates what the University of Nebraska brings in fan support; he’s excited to play in front of the fans at the University of Nebraska, and the brighter the lights the harder that kid plays.”
Nebraska will look to continue to recruit to that 2019 class with a true in-state target in Creighton Prep wing Akol Arop taking an official visit to campus this weekend. With Green and New Hampton (New Hampshire) School guard Mika Adams-Woods both in the fold, Nebraska has two spots left for 2019.
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.