With beautiful new facilities, a red-hot coach heading into his third season and fresh off a NCAA Tournament appearance in March, there is a whole lot of “feel-good” around the Nebraska basketball program these days.
That’s resonated all the way to Illinois, with Simeon’s Ed Morrow committing to Nebraska and coach Tim Miles on Monday.
Morrow, one of the top five prospects in the senior class in Illinois, narrowed his list to two schools: Nebraska and Iowa. But after completing his official visit to Nebraska this past weekend, the rugged and athletic 6-7 forward pulled the trigger.
“The key thing for me with Nebraska was the outstanding coaching staff,” Morrow said. “It’s a staff that’s been on me and been there since day one. They’ve let me know where I’ve stood, showed me how important of a piece I could be, how I would fit. I just felt like coach Miles and the staff are going to be sure I have success academically and on the court. There is an amazing support system in place.”
Morrow said that for awhile it was Iowa that led the way in his recruiting race, and he has nothing but high praise for the Hawkeyes.
“At one point Iowa was definitely leading,” Morrow admitted. “I really liked the Iowa program, coach McCaffery and assistant coach Sherman Dillard. But at the end of the day, and people told me this, I was waiting to get that feeling of just knowing. When I was at Nebraska I just knew it. Nebraska felt like home to me.”
In addition, both of Morrow’s parents graduated from Nebraska, though he said that didn’t have a big impact on his decision.
“It was a plus for me that my parents went there, but it wasn’t a real factor in my decision,” Morrow said. “My parents never pushed me to Nebraska. They have always wanted me to have options and to weigh those options. I would say they almost leaned away from it — me going to Nebraska. But they were going to be supportive no matter what school I chose.”
Morrow has come a long way. Although he had a wide range of interest early on, a year ago the only offers he had were from Bradley and UIC. With his breakout play during his junior year and throughout the club circuit this spring and summer, interest skyrocketed.
“Coaches began to see that he was more than just an energy guy,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said.
Arkansas, Iowa State, Cal, Creighton, Minnesota, West Virginia and Oklahoma State were among the dozen-plus offers Morrow picked up in the past year.
But it’s Nebraska that’s getting the 4 man with a non-stop motor. Morrow is a high-level rebounder, a big who can beat others at his position down the court, finish around the basket and brings a blue-collar mentality.
“He’s a hard worker who is going to come in every day, put a hard hat on and go to work,” Smith said.
Morrow becomes the second player from Illinois in the Class of 2015 to commit to the Cornhuskers. St. Joseph point guard Glynn Watson committed to Nebraska earlier this month, giving Miles two of the top six senior prospects in Illinois.
“I will say it’s a really good feeling to be a part of something new and fresh,” Morrow said of the revitalized Nebraska basketball program. “Coach Miles has the program pointing in the right direction, and I’m excited to be a part of that and to play with the talent they have now and players that are coming in with me, players like Glynn Watson and Michael Jacobson [Waukee, Iowa].
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