Jordy Tshimanga will not travel with the team to tomorrow’s game against Penn St., sources close to the Nebraska basketball program confirmed with HuskerHype on Thursday afternoon. According to the source, Tshimanga is intending on transferring from the program, but nothing is finalized. It is possible that the sophomore center could make the decision before the season’s end to gain eligibility for the 2018-2019 season.
It is no secret that the sophomore center had his struggles throughout the season, but throughout the year, head coach Tim Miles, his staff, and Tshimanga’s teammates vocally expressed their support for Tshimanga throughout the year.
While starting all 18 games for the Huskers, the sophomore center averaged 3.5 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per game in 15.1 minutes played. In conference play, Tshimanga tallied 3.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.2 fouls per game and shot 32 percent from the field.
Tshimanga is coming off a season-high nine points (3-of-4 FG) in a win over Wisconsin.
With the absence of Tshimanga for Friday night, Nebraska has two centers on its roster in senior Duby Okeke and junior Tanner Borchardt. In 8.4 minutes per game, Okeke is known as one of the Huskers’ best rim protectors at 1.1 blocks per game (3rd on the team). On just 0.9 field goal attempts per game, Okeke averages 0.9 ppg and 2.2 rpg, while shooting 44 percent from the field. In conference play, those numbers have risen to 2.6 rpg and 1.6 ppg on 50 percent shooting.
For Borchardt, in the first 13 games of the season, the junior center totaled 44 minutes, six points, 16 rebounds and zero blocks.
In his last five games, Borchardt has equaled his minutes in the first 13 games with 44 total minutes, 12 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks.
After a win against Deleware St., Miles surprised the junior with a scholarship after the game.
The next night out, Borchardt provided a huge spark off the bench, providing career-highs in both points (8) and rebounds (10) in a nine-point win over Stetson.
Sophomore Isaiah Roby is arguably the leading candidate to replace in Tshimanga in the starting lineup. In a press conference earlier in the season Miles mentioned that his staff had thought about the idea of adding Roby into the starting lineup, but that they decided to stick with Tshimanga.
While being just 6’8″ and lighter (214 lbs.) than both Okeke and Borchardt, Roby has spent time guarding Purdue’s Isaac Hass, Northwestern’s Derrek Pardon, Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ, and Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy – all of which are household names in the Big Ten.
With Roby’s ability to hold his own inside, Miles has mentioned that the sophomore’s versatility and athleticism gives his team a huge lift both offensively and defensively.
Roby is averaging 6.6 ppg (on 53 percent shooting), 4.9 rpg, and a team-high 1.7 blocks per game (6th in the Big Ten) in 19.3 minutes per contest.
Nebraska’s game vs. Penn St. (12-6, 2-3) is scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. CT and will be aired on BTN.
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