Ledsome Signs with Huskers for 2004-05

Lincoln — Nebraska men's basketball coach Barry Collier announced Thursday that Jim Ledsome, an athletic forward from Severna Park, Md., has signed scholarship papers and will join the Huskers for the 2004-05 campaign.

“We are excited to have Jim join our team,” Collier said. “We think he fills a specific need for us and has a chance to contribute to our success.”

A 6-9, 210-pound forward, Ledsome received a solid high school background as he played under Coach Paul Pellicani at Severna Park High School. Pellicani spent eight years at Maine Central Institute, coaching future NBA first-round selections Sam Cassell and David Johnson.

“We had a very outstanding defensive team, and Jim played a large role in that with his rebounding and shot blocking ability,” Pellicani said. “He will come to Nebraska with a collegiate-like background behind him, is extremely coachable and is a true disciple to the weight room who understands what has to be done to continue to get better. Jim will just get bigger and stronger and better.”

Pellicani said Ledsome averaged 14 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots per game as a senior while helping Severna Park to its first county boys title in school history. Ledsome pushed Severna Park to the regional finals where it lost in double overtime. For his effort, Ledsome was selected first-team All-Anne Arundel County by the Capital Gazette, Washington Post and Baltimore Sun. He was also named the MVP of the Capital Gazette Senior All-Star Game following his senior season.

Ledsome lettered three years at Severna Park, helping the Falcons to an 18-8 record in 2003-04. Severna Park was one of the top defensive teams in the state, allowing opponents an average of just 42 points per game. Ledsome, who scored nearly 30 percent of the team's points on offense, was a force on defense where he recorded 11 rebounds in a 40-38 upset of powerhouse Glen Burnie in the county final and contributed a game-high 19 rebounds with four blocks and nine points in the regional final loss.

Ledsome fills a role for the Huskers as he can provide a solid rebounding and shot blocking presence. He had 11 triple-doubles (points, rebounds, blocked shots) as a senior, according to Pellicani, and finished his career ranked in the top three all-time in total rebounds at Severna Park.

Ledsome joins the Huskers' 2004 recruiting class that includes junior college All-American Marcus Perry along with freshmen Joe McCray and Aleks Maric. Ledsome is the second player from the state of Maryland to sign with the Huskers in the past two years, as guard Marcus Neal Jr. (Annapolis, Md.) signed with Nebraska in spring 2003. Neal averaged 5.3 points and 2.0 assists per game while starting 19 games as the Huskers earned an 18-13 record last season.