Lincoln – The three-member class that the Nebraska basketball program has signed this fall is making waves as one of the top recruiting classes in the country.
The trio of Wilhelm Breidenbach, Bryce McGowens and Keisei Tominaga have the Huskers ranked 19th nationally by ESPN at the end of the fall signing period, the highest of the three major national sites. The Huskers’ class is also ranked 26th nationally by 247Sports and 27th by Rivals, which would be Nebraska’s highest team recruiting ranking by either site since their database began in the early 2000s.
The three-member class is rated fourth in the Big Ten by ESPN, 247Sports and Rivals, and Nebraska is one of three Big Ten programs – joining Michigan and Michigan State – in signing a five-star recruit in the class of 2021.
“With the large class they signed last year, you can see Fred Hoiberg was looking to fill specific needs,” said Eric Bossi, National Basketball Director for 247Sports. “He added a potentially elite guy in Bryce McGowens, who is a very versatile wing who can finish in transition and shoot from deep. Wilhelm Breidenbach is more of a traditional big who can bang in the post, rebound and does the little things, and Keisei Tominaga is one of the best junior college shooters in the country.”
While McGowens and Breidenbach were well known nationally as two of the top high school players in the country, Bossi was just as impressed with Tominaga, who he saw play at Ranger College last season.
“He’s not the biggest guy around, but he’s got some quickness,” Bossi said of the junior college transfer who was among the national leaders in 3-point shooting in 2019-20. “He is clever in getting himself set up for open looks, and if he gets a clean look at the rim, It’s going to go down. He is not afraid to let it fly.”
Paul Biancardi, National Recruiting Director for boys high school basketball at ESPN, feels that both McGowens and Breidenbach have an opportunity to flourish as they transition to the college game.
“Coach Hoiberg has always been an excellent player development head coach,” Biancardi said. “He is a great evaluator of talent, and both McGowens and Breidenbach are prospects who embrace player development.”
NU’s class features a pair of top-100 recruits in McGowens and Breidenbach, who are two of the three-highest-rated players Nebraska has signed in the 247 composite database, which compiles all of the major recruiting sites into one list. McGowens, a five-star recruit, is the highest ranked prospect Nebraska has signed since the current national recruiting sites began nearly 20 years ago.
On the ESPN100, McGowens at No. 33 nationally and is the highest-ranked recruit NU has signed out of high school, while Breidenbach’s No. 53 ranking would have previously tied Ed Morrow Jr. in 2015 for the highest-ranked Husker recruit in ESPN’s database.
“I have known and evaluated Bryce from a young age,” Biancardi said. “His combination of athleticism blended with skill and positional height makes for a very exciting prospect.”
“Anytime you get a guy who was the highest ranked recruit in school history, it’s a big deal,” Bossi said “Expectations will certainly be high for Bryce McGowens coming in, but he’s got the talent to meet all of them perfectly.”
Biancardi, who was a longtime college coach before joining ESPN, had an opportunity to watch Breidenbach at the Geico Top Flight Invite in late October.
“He’s a big man who loves to work on the glass and can score inside and out,” Biancardi said. “The thing I love the most about him is he’s not afraid to make the hustle plays and winning plays.”