Nebraska’s front-court depth has gone from almost nonexistent to young and physically imposing in the span of about 33 hours.
Kevin Cross, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward from Arkansas, announced Monday night on social media he was signing with the Husker men’s basketball team.
Cross was scheduled to sign his national letter of intent at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Mills High School in Little Rock. That ceremony will happen about 14 hours after he made his decision public shortly after 9 p.m. Monday.
He becomes the second young forward in the last three days to sign with NU, joining 17-year-old Frenchman Yvan Ouedraogo, who announced his commitment around 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
"It felt like the best spot for me out of all the schools that I had," Cross said late Monday. "And I feel like Coach Fred (Hoiberg) is going to give me the best opportunity to get to the NBA."
If you're keeping score at home, the commitments of Ouedraogo and Cross give Nebraska about 13½ feet and 500 pounds of power forward in its freshman class. Ouedraogo is listed by Nebraska at 6-foot-9, 260 pounds.
A late bloomer in the 2019 class, Cross saw his recruitment pick up considerably over the last several weeks. He chose Nebraska over Oklahoma State and TCU after officially visiting all three schools.
The extra attention, while flattering, also made Cross' decision on his future more difficult, he said.
"It's been kind of tough," Cross admitted. "I'm kind of glad it's over."
As a senior at Mills High School, Cross averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, one blocked shot and one steal per game.
He visited Nebraska on April 26-28, the same week the 6-9, 260-pound Ouedraogo visited Lincoln. Visits to Oklahoma State and TCU followed.
Cross said Hoiberg's message to him — that the new Husker coach could add to the skills Cross already possesses, struck a chord. So, too, did Pinnacle Bank Arena and the Hendricks practice facility. He plans to report to Lincoln in time for summer workouts, which begin June 10.
"They were (unbelievable)," Cross said. "They were so up-to-date and everything."
Nebraska’s coaching staff has now flipped nearly the entire roster. One open scholarship remains for 2019, pending Isaiah Roby’s decision to turn pro or return to school.
Roby and Thorir Thorbjarnarson are the only players left from last season’s NU team who saw playing time. Dachon Burke sat out last season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.
A look at the Nebraska basketball scholarship chart
|Isaiah Roby (SR)||Thorir Thorbjarnarson||Cam Mack||Dalano Banton||Donovan Williams|
|Haanif Cheatham (SR)||Jervay Green||Shamiel Steveson||Akol Arop||D'Andre Davis|
|Matej Kavas (SR)||Dachon Burke||Dalano Banton||Yvan Ouedraogo|
|Dachon Burke (JR)||Cam Mack||Akol Arop||Kevin Cross|
|Thorir Thorbjarnarson (JR)||Dalano Banton||Yvan Ouedraogo||Donovan Williams|
|Jervay Green (JR)||Shamiel Stevenson||Kevin Cross||D'Andre Davis|
|Cam Mack (SO)||Akol Arop||Donovan Williams||Charlie Easley|
|Dalano Banton (RS)||Yvan Ouedraogo||D'Andre Davis||Jace Piatkowski|
|Shamiel Stevenson (SO)||Kevin Cross||Charlie Easley||Samari Curtis|
|Akol Arop (FR)||Donovan Williams (FR)||Jace Piatkowski|
|Yvan Ouedraogo (FR)||D'Andre Davis (FR)||Derrick Walker|
|Kevin Cross (FR)||Charlie Easley||Samari Curtis|
|Charlie Easley (Walk-on)||Jace Piatowski|
|Jace Piatkowski (Walk-on)||Derrick Walker|
|Derrick Walker (RS)||Samari Curtis|
|Samari Curtis (FR)|