Husker Hoops land DePaul transfer wing Keon Edwards
Nebraska basketball added another piece to its roster in landing a commitment from freshman DePaul transfer Keon Edwards on Saturday.
Edwards, a 6-7 wing, was offered by the Huskers shortly after head coach Fred Hoiberg and staff took over in 2019. He held a Zoom meeting with NU’s coaches last Friday, and the second round of his recruitment quickly escalated from there.
Edwards chose Nebraska over other offers from Georgia, Texas A&M, Florida State, Arizona State, Alabama, and Auburn.
"From the jump, there really wasn't another school that showed me as much love as Nebraska," Edwards told HuskerOnline.com. "They made it clear from the first time they communicated with me that it was a little different. I communicated with other schools, but it was never at the same level as Nebraska.
"After my first phone call with Coach Matt (Abdelmassih), he was talking about setting up a Zoom call. I was like, 'Yeah, that's good stuff.' That showed they were serious and really wanted me."
The Pasadena, Texas native was originally a 2021 recruit who reclassified up to 2020 and enrolled at DePaul in December.
After playing his junior year at Hillcrest (Ariz.) Prep, Edwards was rated the No. 22 overall player in the 2021 class before reclassing up to ‘20.
However, he only played sparingly in five games this past season for the Blue Demons and transferred after head coach Dave Leitao was fired.
Edwards appeared in just five games at DePaul, which only played 19 total games (two in the Big East Tournament) and had nine games canceled due to COVID-19 issues.
He didn't make his college debut until Jan. 16 and only averaged 1.9 points in 7.8 minutes per game off the bench.
Still, Edwards said he gained a lot from his first taste of the college game.
"My biggest takeaway from that experience was just learning the grind of how a college season goes," Edwards said. "By the time I got to DePaul, their season had been postponed so much that I got to go through their complete season.
"So I just learned the grind of a college season; got a semester of classes done. It was good to get a head start on the work it takes to be successful in college."
Because of the free year of eligibility players received from the NCAA last season, Edwards will now arrive in Lincoln as a true freshman but significantly more prepared for the next level.
"I think it's night and day," Edwards said. "When I was coming out of high school, there was still so much I didn't know, and I would have been unprepared. But the decision I made to reclassify up, I think that's going to help me a ton now."
Edwards was much more productive in high school, as he averaged 14.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.9 blocks in 18 games as a junior at Hillcrest in 2019-20. He was twice selected to participate in the 2019 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team minicamps.
Rivals.com wrote this evaluation of Edwards following his commitment to DePaul:
“A 6-foot-7 small forward that can slide up or down a position, Edwards is a talented prospect that is most valued for his versatility and scoring. He can create his own offense in the half-court where he wields an effortless jumper out of the mid-range but has also improved as an athlete on the finish at the rim.”
Now a Husker, Edwards said his main goals were to help Nebraska win at the highest level and try to develop his game as a pro prospect.
"I liked (NU) out of high school because I knew that Coach Hoiberg is there," Edwards said. "I feel like since he's a guy who's been where I want to go in every capacity - from begin an NBA player, a coach, in the front office - I've always felt like he was a guy who can help me get to where I want to go."
Nebraska now has one available scholarship for the 2021-22 season.