Lincoln – Nebraska guard James Palmer Jr. and forward Isaac Copeland Jr. have announced their intentions to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft, but will not hire an agent, maintaining their college eligibility.
Both Palmer and Copeland will put their names into the NBA Draft, making them eligible to be selected in the NBA Draft on June 21. Both players can start attending workouts by NBA teams after the early entrant list is sent out by the NBA office in late April and are eligible to compete in the NBA Draft Combine, scheduled for May 16-20 in Chicago, if they are selected for the event. Both players will have until May 30th (10 days following the draft combine) to keep their name in or withdraw from the NBA Draft and maintain his eligibility.
Palmer, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound guard was a first-team All-Big Ten pick by the conference coaches and a first-team all-district honoree by the NABC and USBWA in his first season as a Husker. Palmer is fifth in the Big Ten in scoring at 17.2 points per game, while also adding 4.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game. The Upper Marlboro, Md., native reached double figures in 31 of 33 games during the 2017-18 campaign, including eight 20-point efforts. Palmer scored a career-high 34 points against No. 13 Ohio State and had 28 points at Wisconsin and against Iowa. He finished Big Ten play averaging 18.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, ranking third in scoring and 11th in assists.
Copeland, a 6-foot-9, 221-pound forward from Raleigh, N.C., provided a major impact in his first season at Nebraska, earning honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors from both the coaches and the media. On the season, he averaged 12.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game. He was second on the team in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots and had three double-doubles on the year. Copeland reached double figures 23 times, including a season-high 30 points against North Dakota. In conference action, he averaged 13.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game, ranking among the Big Ten leaders in 3-point percentage (.429, fifth), scoring (23rd), rebounding (17th) and blocks (14th).
“I’m excited for James and Isaac to go through this process,” Nebraska Coach Tim Miles said. “It will be great for them to test themselves against some of the best basketball players in the world. They are going into this process with the right mindset, and I think the next few months will be a positive experience for them.