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Huskers Add Cal Grad Transfer Mi’Cole Cayton, TTU’s Nailah Dillard

April 09, 2020

Nebraska women’s basketball kept the good news rolling late Wednesday night when Cal guard Mi’Cole Cayton announced she was coming to the Cornhusker state.

A 5-foot-9 graduate transfer, Cayton originally committed to Nebraska as part of the 2016 class five years ago, but when former head coach Connie Yori resigned, she got a release from the program and made her way out to Berkley.

At the time a top-100 recruit and a high school All-American from Stockton, California, Cayton was an instant-impact player for the Bears. She played in all 34 games as a freshman and earned 13 starts (including the last 12 games of the season). She averaged 5.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and just over two assists a game, enough to garner Pac-12 All-Freshman honorable mention status.

She started the first game of her sophomore season and put up 13 points before tearing her ACL. Recovery and rehab cost her the entire 2017-18 season. Multiple surgeries on the same knee since have afforded her only three games in the last two seasons.

Presuming health, she’ll arrive at Nebraska with a chance to start fresh.

The Huskers are having to replace Hannah Whitish and Nicea Eliely, two senior starters from the backcourt a season ago, as well as would-be junior starter Leigha Brown. Brown announced last week she was transferring from Nebraska, where she won the Big Ten’s Sixth Woman of the Year award and led NU in scoring, to Michigan.

Cayton will join a backcourt that features junior-to-be Sam Haiby and sophomores Trinity Brady and Makenzie Helms. Haiby, a regular starter throughout the 2019-20 campaign, is nearly a shoe-in to grab one of the Huskers’ starting spots next season, but the 5-foot-11 Brady may be able to give Cayton a good battle for the other spot.

Another name to watch for: Nailah Dillard.

A 5-foot-10 guard from Texas Tech, Dillard announced on Tuesday she was transferring to Nebraska.

As a freshman last season, Dillard played in 23 games (two starts) while averaging nearly four points and two boards a night. Small sample sizes notwithstanding, she displayed deft touch from the perimeter, posting a 35% clip from beyond the arc. Barring a change to the NCAA transfer rules, Dillard will sit out a season before becoming eligible, but should a one-time-free transfer get approved—and it has plenty of momentum—Dillard would add even more depth to a backcourt that needs it.

Nebraska has two incoming freshmen guards—Australian import Ruby Porter and Whitney Brown, a walk-on from Grand Island—but little in the way of experience. If nothing else, Cayton will greatly help that.

Head coach Amy Williams has done well to rebound from a rough start to the offseason for her Huskers.

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