Nebraska landed its second verbal commitment in the Class of 2016 Thursday afternoon, as three-star forward Jeriah Horne announced that he will play his college basketball for Tim Miles. Horne was also considering DePaul, Pepperdine and Wichita State, and he joins fellow forward Isaiah Roby in Nebraska’s 2016 recruiting haul to date.
The 6-foot-7 Horne attends The Barstow School in Kansas City, and he played for the KC Run GMC grassroots program on the Under Armour Gauntlet circuit this summer. As a junior Horne helped lead The Barstown School to a Missouri Class 3 state title, averaging 18.9 points per game.
While Horne has been labeled as a power forward, he also has the ability to step out on the perimeter and make plays. He and Roby can combine to help the Huskers account for the eventual loss of current senior Shavon Shields at the end of the 2015-16 season.
Among the forwards on the current Nebraska roster who will be on campus when Horne and Roby arrive next year are freshmen Jack McVeigh, Ed Morrow and Michael Jacobson.
Video credit: Courtside Films
One of the issues for Nebraska last season as they didn’t reach the preseason expectations of a second consecutive NCAA tournament berth was their point guard play. Tim Miles’ team struggled to find quality shots on a consistent basis, especially in Big Ten play, and that issue factored into them ranking 13th in the conference in offensive efficiency both overall and in conference games.
With the team headed to Spain to take in the sights and play a few exhibition games, solving that issue is one of the main goals for a team also looking for improved team chemistry. And one of the possible answers at the point, freshman Glynn Watson, is off to a good start in the Huskers’ practices leading up to their trip to Spain (they depart today) according to Brian Rosenthal of the Lincoln Journal-Star.
“I have no doubt there’s something special inside of that kid,” Miles said. “He’s got a lot going for him, and I’m glad we have him.”
Watson impressed in one of this week’s practices as Nebraska prepares for its upcoming exhibition tour of Spain. He displayed excellent court vision, strong passing, playmaking ability and yes, even jump shooting.
“He’s definitely that playmaking guard, that shot-clock guard you wish you had,” Miles said. “He can get separation, he can find guys. Right now, he’s just a little slender on the defensive end, got to get over ball screens quicker and harder. Part of that is that mental toughness you need to bring every day.”
Nebraska wasn’t all that efficient offensively last season, ranking 285th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency per Ken Pomeroy’s numbers and 288th in assist percentage (47.6 percent). While Nebraska has some experience on the perimeter, most notably seniors Shavon Shields and Benny Parker, Watson could turn out to be just what they need when it comes to a playmaker.
The games in Spain will help Miles and his staff as they look to rebound from a disappointing 2014-15 campaign.
With the departure of Rashon Burno, who arrived from Florida following Billy Donovan’s move to the NBA, to join Bobby Hurley’s staff at Arizona State, Nebraska head coach Tim Miles had a spot to fill on his coaching staff. Saturday it was announced by the school that Miles has found his man, with Phil Beckner officially joining the Nebraska coaching staff.
Beckner has experience at both the Division I and NBA D-League levels, as he spent seven seasons at Weber State before joining the Oklahoma City Blue coaching staff last season. Beckner not only helped Weber State establish a recruiting presence within Texas (he was also key in the team’s play defensively), but he was also instrumental in the development of players such as NBA lottery pick (and 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year) Damian Lillard.
And Lillard was among those who spoke highly of Beckner via Twitter once the news of him joining the Nebraska coaching staff became official.
“I believe hiring Phil Beckner will help our program immensely,” Miles said in the release. “I have known Phil for years – meeting him out on the recruiting trail. I have a great deal of respect for his ability to recruit, coach and develop players in all areas of their lives.
“As strong as he is as a coach, he’s a better person who truly cares about the young people he works with. I can’t wait to get him started working for the Huskers!”
Beckner will look to help Nebraska rebound from a disappointing 2014-15 season, with senior guard Shavon Shields (15.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg) being the team’s leading returning scorer and rebounder. The Huskers will take a preseason trip to Spain, which runs from August 13-23.