Lincoln – The Nebraska men’s basketball added its highest-ranked recruit in the modern era on Friday evening, as Bryce McGowens signed a National Letter-of-Intent to attend Nebraska next season.
McGowens, a 6-foot-6, 170-pound guard from Pendleton, S.C., is a consensus top-35 national recruit, and ranked as high as No. 23 nationally by Rivals. He is the No. 26 recruit nationally by 247 Sports and No. 33 nationally by ESPN. McGowens is the No. 3 shooting guard nationally in the 247 Sports Composite, which combines all of the national major recruiting services.
McGowens is the first-top 50 recruit to sign with the Huskers coming out of high school in nearly 30 years. Nebraska Coach Fred Hoiberg has signed the program’s two-highest rated recruits in this year’s signing period. Wilhelm Breidenbach, who signed on Wednesday, is rated No. 53 nationally by ESPN.
“I believe that signing Bryce changes the whole trajectory of our program.” Nebraska Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He is the centerpiece of what I believe is the strongest class that Nebraska basketball has ever signed. Since I’ve been here, we have talked about building a program that can have sustained success, and adding a player of Bryce’s caliber shows that we building something special here. It shows that Nebraska can compete for some of the top players in the country. It also says a lot about the type of person that Bryce is. He wanted to go to a place where he can create a legacy and help Nebraska basketball reach new heights.
“As a player, Bryce is an elite scorer, a perimeter player who is efficient from all three levels,” Hoiberg said. “He uses his size well to create mismatches and possesses the athletic ability to play a number of spots in our system. His skill set meshes with the up-tempo style we play, and he has the ability and potential to flourish in the system. Bryce comes from a great family, and we are pleased to add him to our roster next year. The only person in our program who may be more excited than me today is his older brother Trey, as they will have an opportunity to play together at this level.”
McGowens attends Legacy Early College after spending his first three seasons at Wren High School, totaling 1,835 points on 51 percent shooting, 323 rebounds, 220 assists and 126 steals. A three-time all-state performer and two-time Region 1-AAAA Player of the Year, he is a career 42 percent shooter from 3-point range.
As a junior, McGowens averaged 25.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game while leading the school to a 25-5 record and an appearance in the Class AAAA Upper State championship game appearance. His junior season was punctuated by a school-record 65 point performance in the second round of the state tournament, as he hit 22-of-28 shots from the field, including eight 3-pointers. That was one of seven 30-point efforts as a junior.
McGowens earned regional player of the year accolades for the first time as a sophomore when he averaged 26 points per game on 55 percent shooting, including 45 percent from 3-point range, in leading Wren to a 22-7 mark and a Class AAAA runner-up finish. He burst on the scene as a freshman, averaging 18 points per game while shooting 41 percent from long range. He played for Team Thad on the prestigious Nike EYBL Circuit.
Bryce will join his older brother, Trey, who is a junior in his first season at Nebraska after playing two years at Pittsburgh. Their mother, Pam, played basketball at Western Carolina, while their father, Bobby, played football at Clemson before transferring to South Carolina State to play both football and basketball. He finished as the school’s all-time receiving leader and helped the school make two NCAA Basketball Tournament appearances.
Nebraska beat out fellow finalists Georgia, Michigan, LSU and Florida State.