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Lat Mayen signs professional contract in Australia, will not return to Lincoln

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 09 Big Ten Tournament - Nebraska v Northwestern Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Nebraska Cornhuskers men’s basketball roster will be losing big man Lat Mayen as head coach Fred Hoiberg confirmed to the Omaha World-Herald today that the power forward will not be returning to the program next season. Mayen has signed a professional basketball contract in his native Australia and will forego his final season of college eligibility offered to student-athletes by the NCAA as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While in Lincoln, Mayen averaged 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in his two seasons for the Huskers. He recently played his first game for the Cairns Marlins in the Australia-State league where he scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds. In other news, Australian media are confused by Nebraska’s nonsensical acronym and thus get the school’s name wrong in reporting on Mayen.

Brought in as a big who could stretch the defense with his perimeter shooting and challenge players with his length and athleticism on the defensive end, Mayen struggled with consistency at the Big Ten level while starting in all 58 games he played for the Huskers in. He averaged just 0.4 blockers per game and 0.4 steals per game during his Husker career on the defensive end.

On offense, Mayen shot 34.8 percent during his first season at UNL and then 29.9 percent during his second with long scoring droughts intermingled in games. His career-highlight came against Rutgers in Lincoln on March 1, 2021 when he hit five three-pointers and scored a career-high 25 points.

“Lat has decided to pursue professional basketball opportunities back home in Australia,” Nebraska Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “Everyone in our program appreciates the contributions he has made to the Husker basketball program over the last two seasons and the work he put into the gym every day. Lat has been a pleasure to coach and look forward to him embarking on a pro career.”

Mayen had quite the college journey in his career prior to joining the Huskers. He was originally part of the 2017 recruiting class and committed to the TCU Horned Frogs as the top rated prospect out of Australia. He redshirted his first year and then played in just 17 games his second year as he battled the injury bug. He then transferred to JuCo Chipola College in Marianna, Florida in the panhandle not far from the borders with Georgia and Alabama where he played one season.

While at TCU Mayen averaged 7.9 minutes in the 17 games he played. He averaged just 2.1 points per game while managing a career 42.3 percent from inside three point range on 26 total attempts. He also averaged 2.1 rebounds per game with a career best performance of 12 points and six rebounds against West Virginia. After two seasons at TCU he transferred to the JuCo ranks.

Lat Mayen was a first-team all-conference performer at Chipola College where he averaged 11.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Mayen shot 47 percent from the field and 38 percent from three-point range (38-for-99).

The Nebrasketball roster is currently at 14 scholarship players following Mayen’s departure. grad transfers Sam Griesel, Juwan Gary, and Emmanuel Bandoumel have all been added as transfers this off-season. None of these transfers are power forwards or centers who can replace Mayen’s height, wing span, or size down low when posting up, however.