Sports Sig (2020)

The Nebraska men’s basketball program landed its second transfer of the offseason on Thursday afternoon, with former Alabama forward Juwan Gary announcing his commitment to the Huskers via Instagram

Gary, who officially entered the transfer portal on April 7, was a significant target for Nebraska men’s basketball head coach Fred Hoiberg. The former four-star recruit spent both Monday and Tuesday in Lincoln before announcing his decision.

In two seasons with the Crimson Tide Gary posted modest offensive, peaking with6.5 points per game in 2021. He posted eight double-digit scoring efforts, with a season-high 19 points on 6-of-13 from the field against 2022 Elite Eight participant Houston on Dec. 11. 

The 6-foot-6 wing operates more as a slashing-type offensive threat and does so efficiently, recording a 63.4% clip from 2-point field goals last season, according to kenpom.com. Conversely, Gary is a career 20% shooter from 3-point range, making just 9-of-41 attempts last season. He finished fourth on the team in blocks with 16, totaled 17 steals and also recorded two double-doubles in 2021-22. 

Most importantly, Gary offers a veteran presence — seasoned by two NCAA Tournament runs with the Crimson Tide — while also fitting the athletic profile first-year assistant coach Adam Howard is undoubtedly targeting for the Huskers’ new defensive sets next season. According to evanmiya.com, Gary is not only the No. 10 transfer available in the transfer portal, but also has the sixth-best defensive efficiency numbers of available transfers. 

Still, Gary will have to carve out a role for himself in a loaded Husker frontcourt. Fourth-year junior forward Lat Mayen, who has not yet announced his plans for 2022-23, figures to be Gary’s main competition at the traditional “4” spot, as well as freshman forward Wilhelm Briedenbach. The trio each offers a different set of skills, and further adding to the Huskers’ athleticism and interior depth through Gary should serve as a promising sign for Hoiberg and Howard.

Gary joins junior guard Sam Griesel, a Lincoln native and former North Dakota State standout, as Nebraska’s two transfer portal additions this offseason.

sports@dailynebraskan.com