With no word on a possible delay to the start of winter sports season until mid-September, we continue on with our player profiles. As we highlight the full roster of our Nebraska Cornhuskers’ hoops team, up today is Pitt transfer Trey McGowens.
The former Pittsburgh Panthers guard was a composite 4-star per 24/7 in the 2018 class, the 86th ranked player in the country per Rivals, and the No. 10 combo guard in the country per 247. McGowens was the first Pitt freshman ever to receive ACC Rookie of the Week honors twice his freshman season. He also ranked third in the ACC with 1.9 steals per game while starting in 32 of 33 games that season.
Overall in his two seasons, McGowens averaged 11.6 points per game over his career while started in 64 of 66 games for Pitt. His sophomore season his assist total rose from 55 to 118 (1.7 to 3.6 per game), while his turnovers also increased from 80 to 94. He also averaged 1.9 steals per game as a sophomore, good for fourth in the ACC last season. McGowens was shooting 31.1% from three last season as well. He received All-ACC Academic Team honors as a sophomore after earning All-ACC Honor Roll as a freshman. He decided to transfer in order to pursue the opportunity to play point guard.
He will join former Pitt forward Shamiel Stevenson on the Nebraska roster. Pitt players are certainly familiar with Nebraska for multiple reasons, though. Now former Pitt teammate Xavier Johnson originally signed with the Cornhuskers back in 2017 before changing his mind after then Assistant Coach Kenya Hunter left for UConn. Nebraska granted a release from his letter of intent, and he proceeded to commit to new Pitt Head Coach Jeff Capel in 2018. McGowens was the first recruit to sign with Capel when he was hired, however.
As for Nebraska, McGowens chose the Huskers over offers from others such as Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss, Seton Hall, TCU, and Xavier. In part this was based off of a close relationship McGowens built with Nebraska assistant coach Matt Abdelmassih when he was recruited out of high school to play at St. John’s. While McGowens is hoping to receive a waiver, it is more likely to expect him to need to take a redshirt while sitting out and have two seasons remaining with the Huskers. He also was named a top sit out ten transfer this off-season per ESPN.
What can he offer the Huskers when he does see the floor? First off is he is a player at his best in the open floor and in space, positions a Hoiberg offense thrives on. McGowens has a scorer’s mentality with the ability to score at all three levels.
McGowens is also a crafty and explosive guard who can get to the rim through traffic and convert for points in the paint and/or at the free throw line.
Finally, his athleticism should help him in being a strong perimeter defender for the Huskers. After some time with assistant coach Sadler, expect McGowens to help limit opposing offense’s on the court.
All told McGowens was a big off-season pickup for Nebraska, and fans should look forward to seeing him in 2021-22 when he can take to the court. In the meantime, he should be an important player in practice to help elevate his teammates with superior play in the gym.