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Rienk Mast undecided on Nebraska basketball return, plus more Cornhuskers news

Rienk Mast hasn’t decided if he will return to Nebraska basketball next season, plus a new transfer target and more Cornhuskers news.



Nebraska basketball
Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Rienk Mast was one of the key pieces to the Nebraska basketball team earning its way into the NCAA tournament, but the third-team All-Big Ten selection is still undecided on the 2024-25 season.

The starting center for Nebraska basketball confirmed to Husker Online that he is still “weighing his options.” Mast could return to college hoops for a fifth season, which would mean another season with the Huskers, or he could choose to play professionally.

I don’t see Mast getting drafted, but the G-League is a possibility. There’s always Europe, where I know that he would get a quality paycheck being such a skilled big man.

My sincere hope is that he’s back. It hurt losing Jamarques Lawrence and C.J. Wilcher. But if Nebraska basketball loses Rienk Mast, one of their two All-Big Ten performers, that will get a gut punch. Fred Hoiberg could recover and I’ve said that North Dakota State transfer Andrew Morgan reminds me a lot of Rienk Mast. Fred Hoiberg did an in-home visit with Morgan. The Huskers also had him on campus so stay tuned.

Huskers targeting Big Ten transfer Pharrel Payne

The Nebraska Cornhuskers have been active in the transfer portal and another name that’s emerged is former Minnesota forward Pharrel Payne. The 6-foot-9 junior-to-be, averaged 10 points per game last season for the Golden Gophers. He also averaged 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.

Payne didn’t attempt a 3-pointer. Yet, William Kyle III, another transfer target isn’t a 3-point shooter either. Nebraska basketball needs to find a replacement for Josiah Allick. They need to add a rim protector and low-post scorer. Payne meets all those needs.

Payne also averaged more than eight points per game as a freshman and has shot better than 60 percent from the field in each of his two seasons in the Big Ten. He also had three double-doubles last season.

According to Robin Washut of Husker Online, Nebraska basketball has conducted an in-home visit and is trying to get him on campus for a visit too. Payne is a proven Big Ten big guy, so he would be a massive addition.

Brett Sears dominates for Nebraska Cornhuskers baseball

Brett Sears has been one of the best pitchers in college baseball and he continued his dominance on Friday night with a complete-game, two-hit shutout of Ohio State. Sears also struck out 10 Buckeyes in the process as Nebraska baseball notched a 3-0 win.

It was a nice bounceback from the 5-3 loss to Creighton earlier this week. Yet, the Huskers didn’t have their ace. Now, they are 4-0 in the Big Ten conference and 21-6 overall. Josh Caron gave Nebraska baseball the lead with a two-run single early in the game and Sears, who is 6-0 on the season, made it stick. Nebraska can clinch another series win if they beat the Buckeyes today (12:05 PM CST, BTN+).

Bill Belichick speaks at Nebraska Cornhuskers coaching clinic

Nebraska football head coach Matt Rhule is well respected by his peers. That was evident as former New England Patriots head coach and eight-time Super Bowl champion Bill Belichick spoke as part of the Nebraska football coaches clinic. Belichick was in Nebraska on Friday and it was cool to see the photos.

Regardless of how his tenure ended, Belichick is one of the greatest head football coaches of all time and his respect for Matt Rhule is notable. At least in my book.

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Chris has worked in sports journalism since 2005 writing for multiple newspapers and websites such as the Bleacher Report and Fansided before starting Husker Big Red, A fan site for hardcore followers of the #Huskers offering articles, podcasts, videos and more exclusive content on all things Nebraska