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Nebraska lands Georgetown transfer Copeland

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Nebraska picked up a huge addition by landing a commitment from Georgetown transfer Isaac Copeland on Monday.
Associated Press

Nebraska may have suffered its first Big Ten Conference loss of the season on Sunday, but it still managed to get a huge win for its future less than 24 hours later.

Georgetown transfer Isaac Copeland, who officially visited Lincoln this weekend, announced that he has committed to the Huskers on Monday.

"There were just so many familiar faces around me," Copeland told HuskerOnline.com. "With Coach (Kenya) Hunter; Anton (Gill) and I went to high school together; James (Palmer), I played against him in AAU; Jordy (Tshimanga), I played against him in high school. So there are a lot of people in the organization and the team that I'd seen before. It just felt right."

The 6-foot-9, 220-pound junior forward chose NU over North Carolina State. Other programs like Kansas, Texas, and Arizona State had also shown interest, but Nebraska and North Carolina State were the only schools he visited.

"It was kind of getting to the point where school was about to start, and I needed to settle down and figure out where I wanted to go, what really matters to me the most," Copeland said. "Nebraska seemed to cover all those things well."

A former five-star recruit who ranked No. 23 overall in the 2014 class, Copeland is the highest rated prospect to commit to Nebraska since Rivals.com basketball rankings began in 2003.

Copeland will arrive in Lincoln on Thursday and immediately start in classes at UNL. He’ll also undergo surgery on the herniated disc in his back he suffered easier this season with the Hoyas.

He expects to be out for about six weeks after surgery, which he’ll have in Nebraska, before he gets back to full health.

The Raleigh, N.C., has already been granted a medical redshirt, which means he will have at least a season and a half of eligibility remaining and will be cleared to start playing in January, 2018.

However, Copeland has applied for a medical hardship waiver for the games he played at Georgetown this season. Since he played in less than 10 games, he could be awarded this season as his redshirt year, meaning he would have two full seasons at his next school.

Not only did he play less than the cut-off point of 10 games, his case to the NCAA is that he played in some games while injured.

So, if he were to choose Nebraska and receive the waiver, he would be immediately eligible at the start of the 2017-18 season.

"A lot of that is out of my hands, so I've just been worried about where I was going to go to school first and getting acclimated to the campus and stuff like that," Copeland said.

Copeland was a starter for the Hoyas for much of his first two seasons, including earning Big East All-Freshman Team honors in 2014-15. He ranked second on the team in minutes played (32.0 per game) as a freshman while averaging 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds.

However, injuries diminished Copeland’s production noticeably this season. He had been averaging 5.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 19.6 minutes to start the year, but the back injury forced him to cut his season short.

Copeland said watching Nebraska's double-overtime win over Iowa on his official visit and then going over other game film with head coach Tim Miles made it clear he would fit right into the Huskers' system.

"I saw a lot in the game and also in the meeting the next day," Copeland said. "Coach Miles did a great job of breaking my game down from a freshman to the little bit I played in my junior year, and he had all my stats, all my shots and everything. Things I'd never even heard about: areas on the floor where I'm really effective and stuff like that and things I need to work on.

"With that he was able to show me what I needed to work on in the offseason and how he would use me in the offense. It was all things that I liked a lot."

With the addition of Copeland, Nebraska has filled its allotted scholarships for the 2017 class. However, there is a strong possibility at least one more will open up after the season after some potential roster turnover.