Nebraska continues to use the transfer market to bring in highly regarded talent and the latest is Georgetown transfer Isaac Copeland, who committed to the Huskers on Monday. Copeland follows in the wake of fellow former top recruits Andrew White III and Anton Gill.
- Position: Small forward/power forward
- Height: 6-foot-9
- Weight: 220 pounds
- Class: Junior
- Career Stats: 73 games, 8.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.3 TPG, 42.5% FG, 29.1% 3FG, 79.1% FT
To hear from Copeland about his commitment, check out Erin Sorensen’s interview.
Copeland made an immediate splash as a freshman as he averaged 6.8 points and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 38.9 percent from 3-point range. He reached double digits scoring in 11 of his 33 games. His best game came against Seton Hall when he scored 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting (3-of-4 from deep) and grabbed eight rebounds.
Copeland took on a bigger role as a sophomore, upping his averages to 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds and nearly tripling his assists total from 23 as a freshman to 66 as a sophomore. Copeland improved his field goal percentage inside the arc but lost his 3-point shot as he converted just 27.2 of his 3.8 attempts per game.
Copeland played in seven games this season and scored 38 points in 137 minutes while shooting 11-of-40 from the field including 0-of-10 from deep. He is dealing with a back injury.
Coming out of Brewster Academy, Copeland was a consensus top 30 recruit who Rivals had rated as a 5-star prospect. He had 17 offers out of high school including Boston College, Florida State, Miami, North Carolina State, Virginia and West Virginia but ultimately chose Georgetown, where he was recruited by current Nebraska assistant coach Kenya Hunter.
“Isaac’s commitment to Nebraska basketball is a great thing for the Nebraska basketball program, and we want to make it a great thing for Isaac as well,” Miles said. “There were so many connections between Isaac and our program, but none more than important than assistant coach Kenya Hunter, who did an excellent job of helping to get him into our program.”
“Isaac is a great kid, a serious student and has immense talent for basketball,” Miles said. ”I love his demeanor and his versatility for the game. The sky is the limit for his potential. I can’t wait to get him healthy and to start working with him.”
On paper, Copeland is a perfect fit for Nebraska. He is a tweener forward who is probably best at power forward. Copeland is a tremendous athlete who can finish above the rim in the open floor and with a lane to the rim. He is a strong jump shooter that can hit from deep as well as mid-range, both on the catch and off the dribble. He can create his own shot better than any forward currently on the roster. In ball screen situations, opponents will have to respect Copeland popping for the jumper much more than they do with Ed Morrow Jr. or Michael Jacobson, meaning Glyn Watson Jr. should have more space to operate coming off the screen.
However, Copeland’s game was plagued with inconsistency throughout his time at Georgetown and he never quite lived up to his considerable level of talent with the Hoyas. Tim Miles is going to have to find a way to get the best out of Copeland, but Copeland also has to rediscover his perimeter shot for that to happen.
This addition gives Nebraska 13 players on scholarship for next year. Here’s a look at the updated roster for 2017-18 (still really forward-heavy):
- PG: JR Glynn Watson Jr., SR Evan Taylor
- SG: SR Anton Gill, JR James Palmer Jr.
- SF: SO Isaiah Roby, SO Jeriah Horne, JR Jack McVeigh, FR Nana Akenten
- PF: JR Michael Jacobson, SR Isaac Copeland, SR Nick Fuller
- C: JR Ed Morrow Jr., SO Jordy Tshimanga
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.