After losing a commitment from Wichita State transfer Trey Wade on Monday, the Nevada basketball team filled his scholarship with another Division I transfer Friday.
Florida Atlantic transfer Kenan Blackshear, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound wing player, has committed to Nevada, per his social media page. Blackshear was a sophomore last season, giving him three years of eligibility with the Wolf Pack after the NCAA didn’t count last season against eligibility clocks for winter-sport athletes. Blackshear should be immediately eligible at Nevada after the NCAA passed the one-time transfer rule this offseason.
Blackshear averaged 9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game last season. He made 46 percent of his shots, and was especially effective around the rim, making 61.2 percent of his close twos. He got to the free throw line a team-high 79 times, hitting those at a 74.7 percent rate. He made 31.7 percent of his 3-pointers, a figure that was improved from 12.5 percent during his freshman season. Blackshear played 54 games for Florida Atlantic, including 31 starts.
As a freshman, Blackshear averaged 3.3 points and 2.9 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game. He played 23.9 minutes per contest last season as Florida Atlantic went 13-10 overall and 7-5 in Conference USA. Blackshear made big improvements from his freshman season to his sophomore campaign and has shown flashes of being an elite wing defender.
Blackshear’s career high in scoring is 20 points against UTSA last season. He’s had 13 double-figure scoring games in 54 college contests. Blackshear also set a career high with 10 rebounds in that game against UTSA. His career high for steals and assists is four.
Blackshear grew up internationally as his dad played pro basketball. He played his high school ball in Orlando at Jones High School where he averaged 19.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks per game as a senior.
He comes from a basketball family as his father and mother, Kerry and Lamila, both played at Stetson. His dad was the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year as a junior and graduated as the school’s all-time leading scorer. His mom is one of Stetson’s top rebounds in school history. Blackshear’s oldest brother, Kerry Jr., played at Virginia Tech and Florida. A 6-10 power forward, Kerry Jr. was a second-team all-conference player in the ACC and SEC and is currently playing in the Israeli Premier League. His sister, Kayla, is a top-100 national recruit who is committed to Arkansas.
Blackshear adds depth to Nevada’s small forward position, which has just two wings in the 6-foot-6 range in Oregon transfer Addison Patterson and returning starting Tre Coleman, who could be shifted to a bench role with the addition of Patterson. Blackshear will battle those two for minutes at small forward with All-Mountain West guards Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge Jr. returning and Nevada typically playing two bigs in Steve Alford’s first two seasons (Warren Washington, Will Baker and K.J. Hymes are slotting into those positions).
Blackshear could be more of a long-term play than Wade, who was a grad transfer who could have won Nevada’s starting power forward position.
Earlier this week, Milwaukee transfer Te’Jon Lucas, a 6-2 guard who began his career at Illinois, included Nevada in his five finalists. The addition of Blackshear puts the Wolf Pack at the NCAA maximum of 13 scholarships for next season. All of Nevada’s 2021-22 players also will have at least one more year of eligibility remaining starting in 2022-23, which could impact how many prospects the Wolf Pack adds in its 2022 class.