LINCOLN — Wanted: large young men who can skillfully play basketball at a high level. If qualified and interested, contact Nebraska coach Tim Miles.
Actually, Miles will be on the road Wednesday, using NU's midweek Big Ten bye to try to connect with someone who fits the above description — and likes the idea of playing a lot.
“We're going to be really small next year,” Miles said, “unless we find somebody.”
The two biggest departures size-wise at season's end will be 6-foot-10, 234-pound forward Brandon Ubel, who has started 79 games, and 6-11, 340-pound center Andre Almeida with 20 starts.
Nebraska currently has just two scholarship players for next year taller than 6-7.
One is 6-10, 229-pound sophomore Walter Pitchford, sitting out this season as a transfer from Florida after playing just 12 minutes for the Gators. Pitchford has worked as a low-post player in practice, but mostly in his career has faced the basket and shot 3-pointers.
NU's other big man is 7-1 freshman Sergej Vucetic, who has played eight minutes all season. Vucetic came to Lincoln at 236 pounds, then lost about 20 pounds before starting to rebuild his body. Miles has said the native of Serbia needs heavy work on strength and mobility.
Nebraska signed three players in the fall, but all are guards or wings, with Nick Fuller of Sun Prairie, Wis., tallest at 6-6.
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Two scholarships remain available. A month ago, the Huskers got a visit from 6-9, 230-pound Matthew Atewe, a Canadian by way of Nigeria who is in prep school at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass.
After the visit, he proclaimed Nebraska as his leading choice.
But earlier this week, Atewe said he has narrowed his list from more than 30 offers to six schools listed in this order: Clemson, Wake Forest, Auburn, NU, Charlotte and Nevada. He plans to decide in March.
Miles said he will be “fast and furious” on the recruiting trail while “considering all options.”
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