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Husker Hoops – Palmer Jr and Copeland Jr explore NBA opportunities

Nebraska Basketball, Husker Hoops

James Palmer Jr and Isaac Copeland Jr test NBA waters for Husker Hoops as McVeigh heads home to Australia

The Athletic Department announced today that the Men’s Husker Hoops team will have juniors James Palmer Jr and Isaac Copeland Jr both be testing the NBA waters this offseason.

“I’m excited for James and Isaac to go through this process,” Nebraska Coach Tim Miles said. “It will be great for them to test themselves against some of the best basketball players in the world.  They are going into this process with the right mindset, and I think the next few months will be a positive experience for them.” said head coach Tim Miles.

The moves makes both Palmer and Copeland eligible to be selected in the NBA Draft on June 21 and both can attend workouts with NBA teams after the early entrant list is sent out by the NBA office in late April. In addition to working out with teams, they are eligible to participate in the NBA Draft Combine, which is scheduled for May 16-20 in Chicago.

As neither player has retained an agent they will both will have until May 30th to keep their name in the draft or withdraw from the NBA Draft and maintain their college eligibility.

Nebraska Basketball

Nebraska guard James Palmer Jr. (24) during the first half of a college basketball game Sunday, February 25th at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, NE. (Photo by John Peterson/Icon Sportswire)

Jame Palmer Jr, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound guard, was a first-team All-Big Ten pick by the conference coaches and a first-team all-district honoree by the NABC and USBWA this season.

At 22, Palmer wouldn’t be a surprise to enter the NBA as long as he gets a favorable review from the NBA draft board but is not listed in Sports Illustrated’s top-80 draft prospects. With 60 total picks in the draft Palmer is likely to be a free-agent pickup. If he’s not projected to go in the draft there is a strong chance he could return and hope to improve on the Huskers 4th place finish in the Big Ten last season.

Isaac Copeland Jr, a 6-foot-9, 221-pound forward provided a big impact in his first season at Nebraska after transferring from Georgetown. This season, Copeland earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors from both the coaches and the media.  On the season, he averaged 12.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game. He was second on the team in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots and had three double-doubles on the year.

A North Carolina native, Copeland’s future may be a little different than Palmers as he’s not slated to be a likely draft pick. Being a 24-year old senior, Copeland may want to take his talents into free agency or the overseas basketball scene while his body still has time to take advantage of his skills on the hardwood.

Husker Hoops yeoman Jack McVeigh headed home

The Hoops squad also learned today that Jack McVeigh, who last week announced he was leaving the team, would pursue professional opportunities back home in Australia and has signed with an agent.


Photo Courtesy of Communications

McVeigh, a 6-foot-8 forward from Cabarita Beach, New South Wales, Australia, played three seasons at Nebraska, making 78 appearances, including 15 starts. He posted career averages of 5.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.


McVeigh played in 14 games in 2017-18, totaling 27 points and 15 rebounds in 105 minutes of action, as Nebraska finished with a 22-11 record and tied for fourth in the Big Ten with a 13-5 Big Ten mark. He had season highs of 10 points and six rebounds against North Texas on Nov. 13.


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