When news broke that sophomore forward Michael Jacobson had officially informed Nebraska of his decision to transfer, it wasn’t necessarily a major surprise given the flurry of rumors that surrounded his status the past two weeks.
However, just because it wasn’t entirely unexpected doesn’t change the fact that it serves as a significant blow to an already reeling Husker program.
Just 12 days after fellow sophomore forward Edward Morrow announced his decision to transfer, Jacobson became the fourth NU player to move on since the end of last season.
Freshman forward Jeriah Horne and junior forward Nick Fuller also left the program shortly after the end of the Big Ten Tournament last month.
Add in the graduation of second-team All-Big Ten senior guard Tai Webster, Nebraska now loses 52 percent of its total scoring and 54 percent of its rebounding production from last year.
Jacobson and Morrow alone accounted for a combined 15.4 points and 13.7 rebounds in 2016-17.
But what makes the loss of Jacobson maybe the hardest pill to swallow of all the transfers is how valuable of a presence he was as a vocal leader both on the court and in the locker room.
In fact, here is a quote from head coach Tim Miles from back in February quantifying just how much Jacobson meant to the Huskers.
“What I like about Michael is he has a strong voice,” Miles said. “It’s a team voice. He’s not afraid to speak to anybody if he doesn’t think they’re on the same page that the coaches are or the team is.
“That’s really important to have in your locker room, in meeting rooms, in huddles, or whatever it might be, and I appreciate that about Michael. He’s a team guy and he wants success for Nebraska basketball. That’s what I love about him.”
The national average for transfers per Division I program is currently somewhere between two to three players. Nebraska is now well over that, and the concern now shifts to whether this will mark the last of the attrition.
Something to keep in mind is that Jacobson, Morrow and sophomore guard Glynn Watson all became close friends over the past two years. With two of those players now out of the picture, will it be enough to lure Watson away as well?
At this point, nothing that happens with Nebraska basketball should be considered a surprise.