HUSKER MEN’S BASKETBALL: Nebraska Has One of The Top Recruiting Classes In 2021

LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Apr. 20)–Nebraska’s four men’s basketball signees make of one of the top classes in the country, as two of the major recruiting services have updated their rankings after the start of the spring signing period.

The Huskers four-member incoming recruiting class includes incoming freshmen Bryce McGowens, Wilhelm Breidenbach and Oleg Kojenets, as well as junior college transfer Keisei Tominaga.  Kojenets signed with the Huskers on April 14, while the others signed with Nebraska in November.

The group is ranked as high as 14th nationally by 247Sports and 20th by Rivals, as both sites have the class ranked third in the Big Ten. NU’s incoming class was ranked 16th by ESPN in their lasted update following the fall signing period. The Huskers join Michigan and Michigan State as the only Big Ten programs to ink a five-star recruit in the class of 2021, as McGowens is a five-star recruit by all three recruiting sites.

McGowens, a 6-foot-6, 170-pound guard, is a consensus top-25 recruit and will wrap up his high school career by playing in the 2021 Allen Iverson Roundball Classic in Memphis next month. NU’s first five-star signee in the recruiting services database (ESPN, 247 and Rivals) era, McGowens was tabbed the MaxPreps Player of the Year in South Carolina, as he averaged 21.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest for Legacy Early College and Coach BJ Jackson.  McGowens is rated as high as 19th nationally (Rivals) and was the leading scorer at the prestigious St. James NIBC Invitational, posting 20.9 points per contest in seven appearances in a field featuring many of the country’s top teams. He finished his four-year career with more than 2,300 points and will join his older brother, Trey on the 2021-22 Husker roster.

Breidenbach, a 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward is just beginning his senior season for national power Mater Dei (Calif.) High School as the season was moved to the spring. He has played a major role in the school’s 4-0 start, averaging 20.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. Breidenbach, a four-star recruit, was ranked as high as 64th by ESPN and is 94th in the 247Sports Composite rankings. Last season, he averaged 11.9 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, as Mater Dei went 25-8 and reached the CIF Open Division Regional semifinals for legendary Coach Gary McKnight.

The third member of the fall signing class was Keisei Tominaga, a 6-foot-2 guard at Ranger (Texas) College. On the season, Tominaga is averaging 15.8 points per game while shooting 51.4 percent from the field, 49.4 percent from 3-point range and nearly 90 percent from the foul line. He had 31 points, including 7-of-10 from 3-point range, and six assists in the regional title game. The performance marked Tominaga’s second 30-point game of the year, as he had 39 points, including 11-of-16 from long range.  Ranger College is 20-4 record and has won 16 of its last 17 contests following Monday’s win at the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan.

The recruiting class rankings don’t include incoming transfers, as Nebraska also adds Xavier transfer C.J. Wilcher and Keon Edwards who will both also have four years of eligibility remaining.  In all, the Huskers will have four newcomers who were four-star recruits or better, the first time that has happened since Rivals, ESPN and 247Sports began their recruiting databases nearly 20 years ago.

Wilcher was a four-star recruit coming out of high school by ESPN, 247Sports and Rivals and was ranked No. 81 by ESPN in the class of 2020. Edwards, who reclassified in December, was rated No. 41 by ESPN and was a consensus top-100 recruit.  Edwards, McGowens and Breidenbach were all ranked in the top 50 nationally in Sports Illustrated’s SI99 released in December of 2020.