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#21 Aleks Maric
Position: Center
Height: 6'11"
Weight: 265
Year: Sophomore
City/State: Sydney, Australia
High School: Life Center (Burlington, N.J.)
Experience: High School
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Maric Videos

|+| Career Honors

  • Selected to play in 2008 NABC College All-Star Game
  • 2008 First-Team All-Big 12(Associated Press)
  • 2008 Second-Team All-Big 12 (Coaches)
  • 2008 First-Team All-Region (NABC, USBWA)
  • 2007-08 Third-Team Preseason All-American (Athlon)
  • 2007-08 Preseason All-Big 12 (Coaches)
  • 2007 Second-Team All-Region (NABC)
  • 2007 Second-Team All-Big 12 (Coaches, AP)
  • 2006 Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches, AP)
  • Big 12 All-Improved Team in 2006 and 2007 (AP)
  • Rainbow Classic All-Tournament Team (2006)
  • John Thompson Basketball Challenge All-Tournament Team (2005)
  • Big 12 Player of the Week (Feb. 4, 2008; Dec. 17, 2007; Nov. 20, 2006)
  • Big 12 Rookie of the Week (Feb. 28, 2005)

|+| 2007-08 (Senior)
Aleks Maric finished his distinguished college career in 2008 ranking as one of the greatest players in Nebraska history, and one of the top post players in the Big 12 era. Over the course of his four seasons in Lincoln, Maric found his way into the Nebraska and Big 12 Conference single-season and career record books while becoming one of the most decorated Huskers in program history.

As a senior, Maric led the 2007-08 Huskers with 15.7 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game to earn all-league honors. Maric finished his career with 1,630 points to rank fifth all-time at Nebraska, while his 1,015 rebounds were second in the record book. He also finished with the seventh-highest total for blocked shots (145) in the school record book.

Maric was selected to the All-Big 12 first team by the Associated Press and was a second-team All-Big 12 pick by the coaches as a senior. He became the first Husker since Venson Hamilton in 1999 to earn first-team all-conference honors. Maric also was named to the all-region first team by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).

During his senior season, Maric was selected as the league's player of the week on two occasions. Overall, Maric became the first Husker in the Big 12 era to earn the league's player-of-the-week accolade three times in a career. He added a rookie-of-the-week honor as a freshman and finished his career as the only Husker ever to earn four weekly awards from the Big 12.

Maric scored 519 points on the year, topping the 500-point plateau for the second straight season. He had double figure points in 29 of 33 games on the year and recorded 15 double-doubles on the season to rank third in the league. He broke the Big 12 career record for double-doubles against conference teams, posting 26 against Big 12 competition in his career including 11 in his senior campaign. Overall, Maric had 39 career double-doubles to rank second in NU history and fifth in the Big 12 record book. Maric's 10.2 rebounds per game ranked third in the league and 19th nationally in 2007-08, and were the highest total by a Husker since 1972. Maric pulled in 335 rebounds on the season to tie the NU single season record held by Hamilton, and in the process, Maric became only the second Husker to post 1,000 career rebounds.

Maric's 1,015 rebounds in his career rank second in the NU record book behind Hamilton's 1,080. Maric became only the third player in Big 12 Conference history to record at least 1,600 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career.

Maric hit a career-high 57.5 percent from the floor as a senior, connecting on 191-of-332 field-goal attempts. He finished the year second in the Big 12 Conference in field-goal percentage, and joined Big 12 Player of the Year Michael Beasley as the only players in the conference to rank in the top seven in scoring, rebounding and field-goal percentage.

Often overlooked in Maric's successful career was his defensive play. As a senior, Maric showed tremendous ability by ranking second in the league with a career high 57 blocked shots while also ranking in the top 15 in the conference for steals per game (1.33). He collected at least three steals five times as a senior and had multiple steals in a contest 13 times. He also had at least three blocked shots in eight games.

Maric set a season high with 32 points against Missouri, hitting 10-of-18 shots from the floor while draining 12-of-14 attempts from the free throw line. He also pulled down 16 rebounds in the contest. He had two 30-point games as a senior and had six in his career to rank third all-time on the Nebraska list.

When he was not scoring, Maric did a masterful job of moving the ball for the Huskers. On the year, Maric finished with a career-best 64 assists, nearly matching his total of 73 assists in his first three years. He was second on the team in assists as a senior, and although he led the squad with 79 turnovers, he had a solid 38 assists against 37 turnovers in Big 12 Conference play. His season total was 18 fewer than a year before when he had 97 turnovers offset by only 24 assists on the year.

Providing a stronger all-around game in league action was nothing new for Maric. In conference play, his averages for his career were 14.1 points and 8.9 rebounds, up from 13.5 points and 8.4 rebounds for all games in his career. Maric averaged a career-best 11.6 rebounds per game against Big 12 teams in 2008.

Maric's numbers at the free throw line rose dramatically in league play as a senior. He hit 72.6 percent (69-of-95) from the foul line in conference action to rank 15th in Big 12 after posting a 58.9 percentage (53-of-90) in non-league play.

|+| 2006-07 (Junior)
After a solid start to the season, Maric produced at an all-conference level down the stretch of the Big 12 season and was selected by the coaches and media to the All-Big 12 second team, while earning a nod to the media's All-Improved Team for the second straight season. He was the first Husker to be named to the all-league first or second team since 2001 when guard Cookie Belcher was a second-team selection.

The Husker big man also earned all-region second-team honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches for his outstanding performance and from the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Maric made a lasting impression on the voters during his last four home games when he averaged 32.8 points and 13.0 rebounds per game. He had games of 41, 31, 36 and 23 points in that span, including becoming the first Husker ever to record consecutive games of 30 or more points (31 vs. Missouri; 36 vs. Iowa State).

On the year, Maric averaged 18.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while leading the Big 12 Conference in field-goal percentage by hitting 56.5 percent from the floor. Maric's scoring average was the fourth-highest in the league while his rebounding mark trailed only Kevin Durant (11.1 rpg), the No. 2 selection in the 2007 NBA Draft. Maric and Durant were the only two players in the conference to average at least 8.0 rebounds per game for the year.

Maric's numbers were not only among the best in the conference, but also ranked favorably around the nation. He finished the season ranked 34th in field-goal percentage, 43rd in rebounding and 51st in scoring after posting 27 double-figure scoring contests and 10 games with at least 10 rebounds. In fact, he ended the season by posting six straight double-doubles.

Maric opened the season in an extremely efficient manner with 29 points in 29 minutes in the opener against Nebraska-Omaha, just two weeks after having an emergency appendectomy. He was 11-of-18 from the floor against the Mavericks before coming back five days later to lead Nebraska past No. 20 Creighton. He connected on 8-of-11 attempts from the floor, good for 17 points to go with nine boards. For his efforts in the first week of the season, Maric was named the first Big 12 Player of the Week for the 2006-07 season.

Showing a better offensive consistency than any point in his career, Maric  recorded 12 contests of at least 20 points, including six of 26 or more points. He also posted at least eight field goals in 10 games and had 20 games with at least 10 field-goal attempts.

Over the last eight games of the year, he posted two of the top seven single-game scoring performances in school history. After combining for 49 points over his previous four games, Maric had a monster game against Kansas State when he finished with 41 points, one point shy of Eric Piatkowski's school single-game record and the fourth-highest scoring game in Big 12 Conference history.

Maric dominated the Wildcats by hitting 13-of-19 field-goal attempts to post the highest single-game total by a Big 12 player on the season, and one of only eight 40-plus point games since the formation of the Big 12 Conference. He set a school and league record with 25 free throw attempts and his 15 made free throws were just one off the school conference record.

By getting to the line so frequently, Maric set a school conference mark for both free throws made (88) and attempted (132). Maric's 88 free throws broke a 40-year-old NU league-only record of 84 free throws by Stuart Lantz in 1967-68, while his attempts bettered Kimani Ffriend's 131 attempts in 2000-01. Maric's 147 free throws were fourth in NU history and his 216 attempts were five off the school mark.

Maric finished with 556 points on the season, eighth in NU single-season history and one point more than his career total entering the year. He was the first Husker since Tyronn Lue in 1998 to post at least 550 points in a season. Among his other impressive numbers were his 260 rebounds – the eighth-highest total ever at Nebraska – and 203 made field goals, just four shy of cracking the single-season chart. 

|+| 2006 Summer
Maric entered his name into the NBA Draft on April 28, the first Husker underclassman to declare for the draft since Tyronn Lue in 1998. While Lue went on to be a first-round pick, Maric withdrew his name and returned to Nebraska.

Maric went home during the summer to try out for the Australian Senior National Team, the Boomers. After starting with 33 players, the team went through four rounds of tryout sessions before Maric was named to the 12-man team roster in June. He was removed from the team due to a shoulder injury before it went to the World Championships in Japan.

|+|2005-06 (Sophomore)
Maric flourished as the season progressed, finishing as Nebraska's top rebounder and third-leading scorer while helping the Huskers to their first upper-division conference finish since 1998. Maric was a dominant force in the paint as he averaged 10.9 points per game while posting 8.1 rebounds per contest. His rebounding average ranked third among all Big 12 players and Maric’s 251 rebounds were the third-highest total ever by a Nebraska sophomore and ranked 11th on the Husker single-season chart. He missed making the top-10 list by one rebound.

With the strong rebounding performances – he had 12 double-figure rebounding games, including five straight in one stretch – Maric posted 10 double-doubles on the year, including a Big 12-leading seven in conference play. His 10 double-doubles tied the Husker sophomore record set by Venson Hamilton (who went on to become the 1999 Big 12 Player of the Year) and Carl McPipe.

Maric also ranked third in the Big 12 Conference in double-doubles, trailing only Texas’ LaMarcus Aldridge and P.J. Tucker, who each finished with 16. Maric’s seven double-doubles in conference-only games were a league high, two better than Tucker and three better than Aldridge. That trio was the only three Big 12 players with more than two double-doubles in league play.

Maric finished the conference season averaging a team-best 12.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. His rebounding average was the best among all Big 12 players during conference play.

Defensively Maric also picked up the pace in the conference season as he posted 23 of his blocked shots against Big 12 teams. He finished the league campaign ranked seventh in the conference-only standings. For the year, he moved into fifth on the Nebraska sophomore season chart.

Maric led Nebraska to a 3-0 record on the opening weekend of the year, including a win over Louisiana Tech. Maric played a career-high 38 minutes against the Bulldogs while posting 22 points with 14 rebounds, his second double-double of the weekend. Maric’s effort came against a Bulldog squad led by 2006 NBA second-round selection Paul Millsap.

Maric turned in his third double-double in the first five games when he posted 15 points and 11 rebounds in a Husker victory over NCAA Tournament-bound Marquette. He then struggled over the Huskers' next five games before heading home to Australia for a week at Christmas.

Finally rejuvenated from a long year, Maric took just three games before returning to form when he posted 15 points and a season-high 17 rebounds on the road vs. Kansas State. While helping NU open league play with a 2-0 record for only the second time in the Big 12 era, Maric had 13 rebounds in the first period, just two off the NU single-half record set more than 30 years ago.

Maric went on to score double-figure points in 11 of 16 conference games. He set the Nebraska and Big 12 Conference sophomore record with a 37-point effort in a road victory at Iowa State. Maric hit 13-of-15 attempts from the field and 11-of-15 shots at the free throw line while posting 16 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Maric scored 19 points and added eight rebounds with four assists (no turnovers) in a first-round victory over Missouri in the Big 12 Championship. With a victory the following day over nationally ranked Oklahoma, the Huskers reached the Big 12 semifinals for the second time in school history.

The win also propelled NU into the postseason for the second time in three years. Nebraska fell in the first round of the NIT at Hofstra. Despite missing the previous two days of practice with an illness, Maric posted nine points, 12 rebounds and a career-high five blocked shots at Hofstra.   

|+| 2005 Summer
Maric returned to Australia immediately after the spring semester ended, just in time to participate in tryouts for the Australian U-21 National Team, known as the Crocs. He easily made the roster and spent the majority of the summer traveling the world.

During that time, the Crocs played in international tournaments in Slovenia, Greece and Canada as warm-ups for the FIBA World Championships for Young Men held in Argentina from Aug. 5-14. Overall, Maric saw action in 36 games during the summer, effectively giving him another season of preparation.

Maric guided the Crocs to the medal round with a 4-0 record. Australia struggled in the round and finished just outside of medal consideration in fourth place, while posting a 6-2 record.

Maric averaged 10.6 points per game while hitting 50.9 percent from the floor. He also added a team-best 9.4 rebounds per game to rank second in the 11-team field. Maric trailed only Peter Ramos of Puerto Rico, who tallied 9.5 boards per game. The 7-3 Ramos was a 2004 Olympian for his native country and played in a reserve role for the Washington Wizards earlier that year. 

|+|2004-05 (Freshman)
Maric had an outstanding rookie campaign as he averaged 8.0 points with a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game. Maric played in 27 games and ranked third on the squad by hitting 47.9 percent from the field. He was also one of five Huskers to hit better than 70 percent (71.6) from the free throw line.

Maric ranked 11th in the Big 12 Conference and was second among freshmen in rebounding. He finished with a team-high 5.4 boards per game to tie for 18th in conference-only games. Maric helped NU rank first in all games rebounding margin (+5.4) and second in rebounding average in all games (38.3).

The Aussie recorded a double-double in his first career game and went on to tie the NU freshman record with three double-doubles on the season. Maric picked up 12 points and 14 boards against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the season opener and added another double-double with 10 points and a season-high 15 boards in his first road game at UAB on national television.

Maric tied the record with 13 points and 12 boards in NU's biggest road victory of the year at NCAA Tournament-bound Iowa State. He had a double-double in the first half before foul trouble slowed him in the second frame.

In the previous game, Maric only came away with two boards but posted a season-high 15 points and added three assists without a turnover in Nebraska's upset of No. 4 Oklahoma State. It was one of five double-figure scoring games by Maric in the Huskers' final eight games of the season. Maric had posted six double-figure scoring games in NU's first 19 contests.

Maric missed NU's final non-conference game and played at less than 100 percent during the following two league games after a bout with the flu. He quickly rounded back into top form against Baylor when he hit 4-of-6 field-goal attempts to produce 10 points. He also added seven boards and posted a season-high three blocked shots. Maric finished the year with 16 blocks to rank eighth on the NU freshman chart.

Over the final eight league games, Maric averaged 10.0 points and 5.9 rebounds while hitting an impressive 59.6 percent (31-of-52) from the field. He also hit 78.3 percent (18-of-23) at the free throw stripe.

|+| Before Nebraska
Maric came to the United States in October 2003, and quickly made an impact. In one season of high school basketball at Burlington (N.J.) Life Center, Maric averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds per game for Coach Darryl Gladden.

Maric was quickly ranked among the top 70 prep players in the country by hoopscooponline.com. He was ranked No. 22 nationally among fifth-year players by the recruiting service, and was the No. 9 senior in the state by the recruiting web site NJHoops.com. Maric was listed No. 61 nationally by Bob Gibbons, and was the No. 8-ranked fifth-year player in the New York/New Jersey area and a four-star recruit by TheInsiders.com.

Maric played at the Australian Institute for Sport under Coach Marty Clarke before coming to the United States. AIS is a national development center for the country's elite athletes. At AIS, Maric averaged 10 points and 13 rebounds in 2002-03. He went on to help the Australian Under-20 National Team win the gold medal at the World Championships in Greece in 2003. Under the guidance of Coach Rob Beverage, Maric helped his New South Wales team to the silver and gold medals the previous two years, respectively.

Maric also played competitive soccer for seven years as a goal-keeper before turning his talents to the hardwood.  

|+| Personal
Aleks, whose given name is Aleksandar, is the son of Stevan and Draginja Maric and was born Oct. 22, 1984. He has three sisters, Branka, Milijana and Aleksandra. His parents are originally from Serbia, but Aleks, who is fluent in speaking and writing Serbian, and his sisters were born in Australia where he plays an active role in the local Serbian community in Sydney. Aleks majored in communication studies at Nebraska.

  Minutes  Total  3-Point  F-Throws  Rebounds   
Year  gp-gs  min  avg  fg  fga  pct  fg  fga  pct  ft  fta  pct  off  def  tot  avg  pf  fo  ast  t/o  blk  stl  pts  avg 
2004-05   27-10  562  20.8  79  165  .479  .000  58  81  .716  70  99  169  6.3  73  13  37  16  13  216  8.0 
2005-06   31-26  785  25.3  116  246  .472  .000  107  175  .611  108  143  251  8.1  72  38  55  39  25  339  10.9 
2006-07   30-30  864  28.8  203  359  .565  10  .300  147  216  .681  75  185  260  8.7  80  24  97  33  15  556  18.5 
2007-08   33-33  968  29.3  191  332  .575  .167  136  207  .657  131  204  335  10.2  80  64  79  57  44  519  15.7 
TOTAL  121-99  3179  26.3  589  1102  .534  18  .222  448  679  .660  384  631  1015  8.4  305  139  268  145  97  1630  13.5 

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