Skip to main content

Through ups and downs, C.J. Wilcher staying the course as Nebraska's veteran leader

Robin Washut profile picby:Robin Washut07/01/23


Entering his third year in the program, no scholarship player has more experience at Nebraska than C.J. Wilcher. He’s the only member of NU’s coveted 2021 recruiting class still with the program.

The junior guard is still getting used to the idea of being one of the elder statesmen of his team, but it’s a role he’s quickly embraced this offseason.

One of the primary tasks that have come with that is helping NU’s 2023-24 group – which features four first-year Huskers – gel both on and off the court.

However, based on what he’s seen through the first month of summer workouts, that shouldn’t be too difficult.

“It’s my third year here. There’s been a lot of ups and downs, especially my first year, as you guys know,” Wilcher said. “But this has honestly been the easiest transition in terms of having new guys come in and being the guy that’s been here.

“It’s been pretty easy building a relationship with these guys.”

Subscribe to get exclusive Huskers content on HuskerOnline today for $99.99 per year or $9.99 per month!

Wilcher keeping a level mindset through up-and-down Nebraska career

As he mentioned, Wilcher’s first three seasons at Nebraska have been filled with highs and lows. The former four-star recruit who transferred from Xavier in 2021 has been in and out of the Huskers’ starting lineup.

He started 24 of 32 appearances last season, averaging 8.0 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. The 6-foot-5, 208-pound native of Plainfield, N.J., also ranked second on the team with 42 3-pointers.

But Wilcher was moved to the bench midway through the year after scoring in double figures just twice in a 16-game span. That included playing less than 20 minutes in three straight games in early February.

Wilcher’s trajectory once again quickly spiked upward to end the year, though. He rejoined the starting five at Rutgers on Feb. 14 and immediately with 17 points on five made 3-pointers. That marked his highest-scoring output in two months.

Wilcher ended up averaging 9.1 points while shooting 50 percent from the field over NU’s final six games.

Looking back, he said the key was not getting caught up in the ebbs and flows that happen throughout a season. Wilcher relied heavily on daily meditation and prayer to keep himself centered, which he still does to this day.

“Just realizing that (going through slumps) happens,” Wilcher said. “Not getting too high or too low and mainly just focusing on staying even. As a shooter, just because you miss a shot doesn’t mean it’s a bad shot, or you can’t shoot.”

Never miss breaking news or another HuskerOnline article again. Click HERE to sign up for HuskerOnline’s Daily and Breaking News Newsletters.

You may also like