November 10, 2020 

Big Ten News: Incoming Nebraska, Maryland transfers eligible for season

Nebraska's Bella Cravens and Nailah Dillard received wavers, as did Maryland's Chloe Bibby

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Photo Credit: Maryland Athletics

With plenty of turnover up and down the Big Ten this offseason, Nebraska and Maryland will both get help from transfer players who are now eligible to play this year.

Bella Cravens and Nailah Dillard will be able to suit up for the Cornhuskers this season, helping stem some of the production Nebraska lost after last season.

Leigha Brown, Nebraska’s leading scorer last year, transferred to Michigan in the offseason. Nicea Eliely and Hannah Whitish graduated, leaving two starting spots and 16 points a game behind to replace.

The 6-foot-3 forward from Eastern Washington University will bolster the frontcourt at the four and five spots. Cravens averaged 10.4 points and led the Big Sky last year with 8.5 rebounds per game, earning an honorable mention on the All-Big Sky team. Cravens should help shore up the Huskers’ interior D after averaging the fifth-most blocks per game in the Big Sky last year at 1.7, per Her Hoop Stats.

Dillard has less of a track record to go off of after averaging only 3.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in 9.8 minutes of play for Texas Tech last year. The 5-foot-10 sophomore took 2.3 threes a game in her limited minutes, and fifth-year Nebraska head coach Amy Williams expects that type of contribution to continue in Lincoln.

Additionally, Maryland’s Chloe Bibby, a senior transfer from Mississippi State, received a waiver from the NCAA and was granted immediate eligibility for the 2020-21 season.

“I’m so excited to begin this new adventure at the University of Maryland,” Bibby previously said in an April statement announcing her decision. “With the passion [Frese] and her staff have for their players, fans and the game, I feel truly blessed to have this opportunity to be a part of such a great and competitive program.”

Over three seasons in Starkville, the 6-foot-1 forward averaged 6.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Bibby experienced her best statistical season in 2018-19, posting 11.9 points per game, before suffering an ACL tear that relegated her to the sidelines for the remainder of the year. She decided to leave the Bulldog program after the departure of Head Coach Vic Schaefer, who assumed the same position at Texas.

Bibby is one of two transfers and four new faces on the Maryland roster this year. The Terps also landed Katie Benzan, a graduate transfer from Harvard who will also have immediate eligibility for the season. The two will comprise a formidable long-range shooting duo, as Bibby and Benzan shot 36% and 39.5%, respectively, from beyond the arc over their tenures on previous teams.

Maryland opens the 2020-21 season with three games in bdG Sports’ #BeachBubble event over Thanksgiving weekend in Estero, Florida, beginning with a matchup against Davidson on November 27.

Nebraska has two games currently scheduled for the season — December 4 vs. Oral Roberts and December 14 at Creighton.

Written by Nick Niendorf

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