The Nebraska basketball program suffered a blow on Sunday as sophomore center Jordy Tshimanga is transferring.
Tshimanga did not make the trip to State College for Friday’s 76-74 overtime loss to Penn State. Coach Tim Miles met with the 6-foot-11 native of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and his family after returning from State College, but Tshimanga ultimately decided to seek a fresh start.
Tshimanga started the first 18 games of the year, playing just over 15 minutes per game. However, he struggled both to stay out of foul trouble (6.7 fouls per 40 minutes) and to be effective offensively while he was out there. Tshimanga averaged 3.5 points while shooting 38.1 percent from the field and 53.6 percent from the free-throw line. He’s also second on the team in turnover percentage among rotation players at 23.2 percent.
Tshimanga is coming off his best game of the season against Wisconsin, finishing with a season-high nine points on 3-of-5 from the field and 3-of-4 from the foul line with six rebounds in a 63-59 win on Tuesday.
Tshimanga averaged 5.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in 31 games including nine starts as a freshman last season. His numbers improved slightly in conference play and he scored in double figures three times in a four-game stretch in early February.
However, Tshimanga underwent a minor knee surgery at the start of practice this season and missed some time, and he’s struggled to build off last season’s success.
Tshimanga was a 3-star prospect coming out of The MacDuffie School in Grandby, Massachusetts, and chose the Huskers over Minnesota and UNLV among several other schools.
His departure leaves the Huskers with senior Duby Okeke (0.9 points and 2.2 rebounds in 8.4 minutes per game) and junior Tanner Borchardt (1.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 6.8 minutes per game) at center. Borchardt received a scholarship for the spring semester after joining the team as a walk-on. Sophomore forward Isaiah Roby (6-foot-8, 226 pounds) has also played at the five in small-ball lineups this season.
Nebraska currently has one front-court player signed in the 2018 class in 6-foot-10 Platteview center Brady Heiman who could play power forward at the next level. Tshimanga’s departure creates a need for another big man and Mount Mission School (Grundy, Virginia) center Flo Thamba appears to be the Huskers’ top target.
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.