Nebraska Basketball vs. Southern Utah Photo No. 17

Nebraska's Akol Arop waits to greet his teamates before their matchup against Southern Utah at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Nebraska men’s basketball sophomore forward Akol Arop will miss the 2020-21 season after undergoing knee surgery, the program announced on Thursday in a press release.

In the release, Nebraska men’s basketball trainer RJ Pietig said that the 6-foot-5 Omaha, Nebraska native underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee late last week. The surgery was a success, according to Pietig, and he is expected to recover in six months.

Arop saw the court sparingly last season, but found a niche role as a defensive specialist as the season wore on. He provided depth as a change-of-pace defender from sophomore forward Yvan Ouedraogo, spelling the Frenchman against some of the more imposing big men that the Big Ten offered.

In total, he appeared in 21 games and played in 114 minutes last year. Over half of those minutes came in the season’s final three games — losses to Minnesota and Michigan to close the regular season and the loss to Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. 

He scored a career-high five points against the Golden Gophers and Wolverines, while pulling down a career-high six rebounds against Michigan. Arop played in 23 minutes in Nebraska’s loss to Indiana in the Big Ten tournament, another career-high.

“It is disappointing because Akol has worked hard in the gym improving his game in the offseason,” Nebraska men’s basketball head coach Fred Hoiberg said in the release. “Knowing his work ethic, he will dedicate himself to getting back to 100 percent and have a complete recovery.”

Without Arop, junior forwards Lat Mayen and Derrick Walker may see more playing time, as well as a potential role for freshman center Eduardo Andre.

sports@dailynebraskan.com