LINCOLN — Christian Standhardinger's departure from the Nebraska men's basketball team Friday means four members of the seven-man recruiting class of 2009-10 are gone.
Standhardinger, a sophomore forward from Munich, Germany, joins Myles Holley, Quincy Hankins-Cole and Adrien Coleman as Huskers who played one year or less. Sophomore guard Ray Gallegos out of that class also had planned to leave last spring, then a month later changed his mind.
NU coach Doc Sadler said Standhardinger is looking first at transferring to another American school, then at professional opportunities overseas.
Returning to Nebraska for the second semester wasn't discussed.
“He told me he's moving on,” Sadler said. “He kept saying he wasn't comfortable with basketball here.
“It's disappointing. You recruit a kid so you can coach him. But we wish him well.”
Standhardinger couldn't be reached for comment Friday evening, but it was widely known around the team that the 6-foot-9, 215-pounder was unhappy with his playing time and role in the Husker offense.
By minutes played, Standhardinger has been Nebraska's most productive scorer/rebounder since he became eligible last January.
Last season, he averaged 8.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 15.4 minutes a game. This season, his averages were 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in 17.7 minutes.
Standhardinger also has been Nebraska's most suspended player.
He had been benched for part of a game or an entire game four times for team disciplinary reasons prior to his current four-game suspension for academics.
Just before Standhardinger became eligible last January, Sadler said this in a World-Herald interview:
“He has a confidence about him that, for this program to get to another level, you've got to have. I don't know if it's naivete or if he just doesn't care. But he really doesn't care who the other team is. And this program needs that.”
Sadler also warned about Standhardinger's passion and aggressive play: “That's something he's got to learn to channel in the right direction.”
Overall, Standhardinger is the ninth Sadler scholarship recruit out of 23 to leave before his eligibility expired. Also, six scholarship players Sadler inherited from previous coach Barry Collier left.
As Standhardinger leaves, two other Huskers may soon enter the lineup.
Sophomore center Christopher Niemann, who has been on the team 2Ĺ years without playing because of foreign eligibility issues and two major knee injuries, might get in Saturday night when NU (8-2) hosts Eastern Washington (3-6).
“He's been practicing a little,” Sadler said. “It would be great to get him in there and get him some experience and something to feel good about.”
Junior guard Kamyron Brown, a transfer from Oregon who was suspended indefinitely after two games, won't play Saturday, Sadler said, but should return for Tuesday's game against Grambling State.
• NOTES: Tipoff is 6 p.m., an hour earlier than usual. Tickets are available for as low as $5. . . . Eastern Washington, picked sixth in the nine-team Big Sky Conference, got a boost two games ago with the return from injury of point guard Glen Dean. Last season's Big Sky freshman of the year has 34 points and eight assists since coming back.
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