Nebraska will have three men's basketball scholarships to fill for the 2014-15 season following Wednesday's announcement that freshman Nate Hawkins and sophomore Sergei Vucetic are leaving the program after the spring semester.
Walk-on Tim Wagner, a freshman who sat out this entire season after suffering a dislocated ankle, is also leaving.
“While it is always disappointing to lose players from your program, I support these young men and their future goals,” Nebraska coach Tim Miles said in a statement. “There is no doubt they each want to play a larger role in a new program and hopefully transferring will allow that to happen. I appreciate their hard work for the Huskers and wish them the best.”
The departure of Vucetic isn't much of a surprise, given the 7-foot-1 center from Vrbas, Serbia, appeared in only seven games this season, and had only 12 points and six rebounds in his two seasons with the Huskers.
The departure of Hawkins is a bit more surprising. The 6-5 guard from Garland, Texas, played in 16 games as a true freshman, missing the season's first six games because of a foot injury. He averaged 1.4 points, with a season-high 11 points at Michigan, when he played a season-high 20 minutes.
That was in a stretch when Hawkins played in eight of nine Big Ten Conference games, although he didn't play in any of the Huskers' final four games.
Hawkins offered his thoughts on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon:
"I'd just like to thank all the coaches and my teammates for making my time here enjoyable. And the fans of #HuskerNation for their support."
"I've met a lot of good people and learned a lot. But I've decided to look elsewhere for school after this year and transfer from Nebraska."
Hawkins and Nick Fuller, a forward who redshirted this season, were the first players to commit to NU under Miles, on the same day in August of 2012.
Nebraska had three scholarships to fill — ones vacated by the dismissal of Deverell Biggs and departing seniors Ray Gallegos and Mike Peltz — before Hawkins' and Vucetic's decisions to transfer.
The Huskers have signed center Jacob Hammond and have a commitment from guard Tarin Smith, leaving three spots to fill. The first day of the spring signing period is April 16.