**Nebraska Basketball Freshman Record-Holder for Scoring Average (15.5 ppg)
**Nebraska and Big 12 Freshman Record-Holder for 3-Pointers (80)
**Nebraska Basketball Freshman Record-Holder for Consecutive Double-Figure Scoring Games (9)
**Nebraska Basketball Freshman Record-Holder for 20-plus Point Scoring Games (10)
**Ranks on Nebraska Freshman Top-10 List in Six Categories, including Scoring Average,Points, Field Goals, 3-pointers, Rebounds and Steals
**Two-time Big 12 Rookie of the Week (Nov. 29, 2004 and Dec. 20, 2005)
**2005 All-Big 12 Honorable-Mention (Coaches, AP)
**2005 Honorable-Mention Freshman All-American (Rivals.com)
Joe McCray led the Huskers and was one of the top freshmen in the Big 12 Conference and nation in 2004-05. McCray broke several Nebraska freshman records and finished listed among the top five on six Nebraska freshman statistical charts, including ranking first in two categories.
Possesssing a pure shooting touch and nearly unlimited range, McCray broke the Big 12 Conference freshman 3-point record and ranked second in school history with 80 treys on the year. His ability to score from anywhere on the court makes opposing defenses take notice and opens the floor for the rest of the team.
Utilizing his solid all-around game, McCray tied for third on the team in rebounding average last year and ranked sixth among freshmen in NU history for total rebounds. He also made a strong push at the end of the season on the free throw line and returns this season among NU's most accurate shooters at the charity stripe.
McCray shows great versatility on the court and has worked to become more consistent on both ends of the floor. He has solid size and speed, and can match up with bigger players on defense. McCray also provides Nebraska with an emotional leader on the court.
During the offseason, McCray has added about 10 pounds in the weight room while also working on his speed, acceleration and conditioning. He improved his bench press by nearly 30 pounds and was among the team leaders by clearing 365 pounds in the squat.
McCray paced Nebraska with 15.5 points per game and added 5.0 rebounds per contest in his first season with the Huskers. He hit 39.8 percent from the floor and was the only Husker to make at least 100 field goals during the season. McCray also picked up the tempo on the defensive end during conference play and finished the year ranked first on the squad with 32 steals.
One of the league's deadliest threats from beyond the arc, McCray set the Big 12 and Nebraska freshman records with 80 3-pointers on the season. He easily eclipsed the school frosh mark which stood at 44 treys set by Eric Piatkowski in 1991, and moved past the Big 12 record which had been held by Jeff Boschee (1998-99) and Bernard King (1999-2000) who each had 79 3-pointers as freshmen.
McCray was the second Husker ever to record 80 3-pointers in a season and trailed only the school-record 89 3-pointers set by Cary Cochran (2002). McCray finished the season second in the Big 12 in 3-pointers per game and was eighth in 3-point field-goal percentage. His 2.9 3-pointers per game also ranked 34th nationally and tied for third among freshmen.
McCray hit at least one 3-pointer in all but two games as a freshman, including ending the season on a 12-game streak with a trey. Overall he hit two or more 3-pointers in 24 games, including connecting on five 3-pointers in each meeting with Colorado. McCray hit 10-of-16 attempts from long range in two games against the Buffaloes.
The Huskers' top offensive player, McCray averaged a team-high 29.7 minutes per game. He was only the second freshman since complete records are available (1979) to lead the team in minutes played, joining Jake Muhleisen who matched the feat in 2002.
McCray broke the previous NU freshman scoring average record of 14.5 points per game by Jerry Fort in 1973. McCray finished the season with 433 points, just 12 points behind Dave Hoppen's freshman record despite playing four less games.
Part of possibly the strongest league-wide freshman class since the formation of the Big 12, McCray's point total ranked eighth among freshmen in Big 12 history. Three other freshmen joined the list in 2004-05, including Aaron Bruce (Baylor, 509 pts., 2nd), Richard Roby (Colorado, 480, 4th) and Daniel Gibson (Texas, 439, 7th).
McCray also set the Nebraska freshman record with nine consecutive double-figure scoring games on two occasions and nearly doubled the NU frosh record for 20-plus point games with 10.
McCray came off the bench in his first three games of the season when he averaged 19.3 points per game, including a pair of 20-point contests. He started 24 of the final 25 games (except Senior Night) to lead the Huskers. McCray topped the Huskers in scoring 17 times and in steals 13 times, and was the top rebounder on six occasions.
Against ranked teams, McCray averaged 18.0 points and 6.0 rebounds over five games. In the final nine games of the year he averaged 17.9 points with 5.3 rebounds while playing 32.3 minutes per game.
McCray was held to single digits just four times during his rookie season, but scored double figures in every road contest, including 19 points with seven boards at No. 2 Kansas. That game came on the heels of his only double-double, as he posted 21 points with 11 rebounds against No. 10 Texas at home.
McCray scored a career-best 26 points against Iowa State, including hitting 8-of-9 from the free throw line. It was one of eight games that he recorded at least four 3-pointers, including a career-best six treys – all in the second half – against North Carolina A&T.
McCray attended prep school at the Laurinburg (N.C.) Institute in 2003-04 where he played under Coach Chris Chaney. McCray averaged 16.2 points per game while hitting 49.4 percent from 3-point range and 88.4 percent at the free throw line. He helped Laurinburg finish with a No. 5 national prep school ranking after the team reached No. 1 during the regular season.
Before attending Laurinburg, McCray was a highly-touted high school player at Fort Lauderdale's Dillard High School in 2003.
He was tabbed No. 53 among high school seniors by The Sporting News, and among the top 100 seniors by ESPN.com, Athlon and Lindy’s. McCray was also listed No. 13 among all players by breakdownmagazine.com, and was considered among the country’s best scoring guards by Rivalhoops.com and Athlon.
McCray had a breakout performance at the ABCD Camp in New Jersey. He was ranked as the second-best wing forward at the camp by HoopMasters.com and No. 24 overall out of 250 elite high schoolers.
McCray led Dillard to state titles in Florida’s largest class (6A) as a junior and senior while playing for Coach Darrel Burrows. Dillard also won state titles during McCray's freshman and sophomore years, but he did not play varsity.
McCray helped Dillard to a 32-1 record as a junior. He scored a team-high 19 points in the 2003 state title game and was the state finals MVP with 19 points, six boards and six assists in the title game.
McCray averaged nine points and six rebounds playing a partial season at Dillard as a senior, earning third-team all-state honors. As a junior, he averaged 17 points and nine rebounds on the year.
A versatile athlete, McCray was also a top prospect at wide receiver before receiving interest in his basketball talents from several top schools, including Connecticut, Michigan State, Alabama and Miami.
The son of Iphigenia Canady, Joe was born Sept. 27, 1984, and has one sister, Tanya McCray, and one brother, Troy Jernigan.