With UND losing senior guard Marlon Stewart, who led the Summit League in scoring and assists last season, the Fighting Hawks needed to hit the transfer scene this offseason in hopes of finding a scoring punch.
Caleb Nero knows he'll be asked to fill that role. And the Weber State transfer, who committed to UND on Monday, is confident he can score for the Fighting Hawks.
"I feel like I'm a lot better than I was my freshman year," Nero said. "I'm older and stronger and more knowledgeable. I feel like I'll be able to show what I can do."
Nero, who's 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, played in 33 games off the bench for the Wildcats during the 2018-19 season as a true freshman.
The native of Tulsa, Okla., averaged 6.5 points per game but scored at least 18 points in three Big Sky Conference games that season.
He shot 46% from the field and 34% from the 3-point line.
Nero's eligibility status is uncertain. Normally, Division I transfers within the division are required to sit out one season. Nero, though, told Weber State of his transfer last November and sat out the 2019-20 season. He said he'll be seeking an NCAA waiver to play right away with three years of eligibility remaining in Grand Forks.
Nero said UND stood out among his suitors because UND second-year head coach Paul Sather was active early in the process.
"Coach Sather hit me up in January and head coaches aren't normally the first to reach out," Nero said. "This whole time, he's the one I've been in contact with. That really stuck out.
"They want me to come in and score. Losing Marlon, they need someone to come in right away and score and bring some leadership to the team."
Nero said he was able to stay sharp at Weber State in Ogden, Utah., because even though he told the team he was leaving in November, he was able to practice and lift with the team throughout the 2019-20 season.
"Me and my family had a virtual meeting with the coaching staff and that really did right there," Nero said. "They told me everything I needed to know. I prayed on it, and it all fit just right. I can't wait to get there, get to work and start building something great."
South Dakota women's basketball adds Oklahoma transfer
The top program in the Summit League women's basketball race just added a Power 5 transfer.
Oklahoma transfer Aspen Williston will join the Coyotes with two years left, beginning in the 2021-22 season.
Williston is a 6-foot-4 center from Broken Bow, Okla. She spent the past two seasons with the Sooners. She averaged 2.8 points and 1.0 rebound in 19 games for OU a year ago.
UND's roster shakeup continues
As Sather enters his second season in Grand Forks, a major roster turnover has taken shape.
The most recent UND player to be on the way out appears to be reserve post Zach Saddler, who is now listed on VerbalCommits.com as having left the team.
That would mean UND's only senior on the roster right now for the 2020-21 season is reserve point guard Bentiu Panoam.
Saddler, a transfer from the University of Milwaukee, played in 16 games over the past two seasons and averaged less than 1.0 points per game.