Honors & Award
- 2018-19 Jerry West Award Watch List
- 2018-19 Preseason All-Big Ten
- 2017-18 First-Team All-District (NABC and USBWA)
- 2017-18 First-Team All-Big Ten (Coaches)
- 2017-18 Second-Team All-Big Ten (Media)
- Big Ten Player of the Week (Jan. 22, 2018)
- 2017-18 Nebraska Outstanding Male Newcomer (All Sports)
- Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Spring 2017)
- Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2017, 2019)
James Palmer Jr. is back as the catalyst of the Husker offense and one of the best players in the Big Ten. The 6-foot-6 guard earned first-team all-conference honors in 2017-18, averaging 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game and returned for his senior season after testing the waters for the NBA Draft. Palmer’s return gives the Huskers a returning first-team all-conference pick for just the second time in the last two decades. His competitiveness and leadership gives the Huskers a potential All-American candidate. In his first season at Nebraska, he showed the ability to take over games, highlighted by 24 second-half points in a win over Maryland and a career-high 34-point performance at Ohio State. Palmer can hurt teams with his size and athleticism and gets to the foul line at a high rate, pacing the conference in free throw attempts in 2017-18. Palmer, who began his collegiate career at Miami, is the leading returning scorer in Big Ten play after averaging 18.8 ppg last season, the most by a Husker in conference play since Aleks Maric in 2007-08.
Palmer emerged as one of the Big Ten’s best performers in his first season as a Husker. The 6-foot-6 guard capped his first season in the Big Ten by being named a first-team all-conference honoree from the Big Ten coaches, averaging 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Palmer, who was fifth in the Big Ten in scoring, ranked second on the team in assists and third in steals. He finished eighth on NU’s single-season scoring list with 568 points, while finishing in the top five in free throws made (163, fourth) and attempted (221, second). A first-team all-district selection by the NABC and USBWA, Palmer was the highest scoring newcomer in the Big Ten since Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell averaged 19.3 points per game in 2014-15.
On the season, Palmer led NU in double-figure games (31) and 20-point games (eight), highlighted by a career-high 34-point effort at No. 13 Ohio State. He played his best down the stretch, averaging 19.9 ppg, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game over Nebraska's final 14 games when the Huskers went with a smaller lineup.
Palmer was one of two Huskers to start all 18 Big Ten games, as he averaged 18.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. He was third in the conference in scoring average and 11th in assists in conference games. He reached double figures in 17 of 18 games, including six 20-point games. Palmer closed Big Ten play with 12 straight double-figure efforts, as he averaged 20.8 ppg on 48 percent shooting in those contests. That streak began with one of the most dramatic moments of the year, a 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left to cap a 24-point effort and lift the Huskers to a one-point win over Illinois on Jan. 15. That performance began a stretch where he scored at least 15 points in nine straight games, including five 20-point efforts. He earned Big Ten Player-of-the-Week accolades on Jan. 22, averaging 21.5 ppg on 56 percent shooting in wins over Illinois and then-No. 23 Michigan. He enjoyed the best performance of his career at No. 13 Ohio State on Jan. 22, scoring 34 points, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range. His 34-point effort was the most by a Husker in a road game since 2006. Palmer had 28 points and five dimes in a win over Iowa on Jan. 27 before following up with another 28-point effort at Wisconsin on Jan. 29. In that game, Palmer scored 21 of his points in the second half and added eight rebounds in the Huskers’ comeback win. He nearly had his first double-double in a win at Minnesota on Feb. 6 with 19 points, a career-high nine assists and seven rebounds before turning in a record-tying performance in a win over Maryland on Feb. 13. In that game, he tied a school record with 24 second-half points, as part of a 26-point, five-assist performance to give the Huskers their 20th win of the year.
Palmer sat out the 2016-17 season after transferring from Miami.
Palmer spent two seasons at the University of Miami playing for Coach Jim Larrañaga, helping the Hurricanes make back-to-back postseason appearances, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2016.
As a sophomore, Palmer played in 34 games, averaging 3.5 points and 1.2 rebounds per game for the Hurricanes, who reached the Sweet 16. Palmer reached double figures twice as a sophomore, including a 14-point effort on 6-of-9 shooting against Mississippi State. He also reached double figures with 11 points and added season highs in both assists (three) and rebounds (six) against the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley in the season opener.
During his freshman campaign, Palmer averaged 3.7 points and 1.4 rebounds per game in 13.3 minutes per outing. He made five starts for the NIT runners-up, including a season-high 17-point effort in 27 minutes at Virginia Tech. In that game, he hit five 3-pointers and grabbed a season-best four rebounds.
Palmer attended St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., where he was ranked as the top player in the region by ESPN.com. He averaged 15.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game as a senior for Coach Sean McAloon, as the school went 27-4 and played in the D.C. State Athletic Association semifinal. He was ranked in the top 100 players in the class of 2014 by both Scout and Rivals. He closed his career with 31 points in the Crab Ball Classic, featuring the top players from Baltimore and Washington D.C. Palmer played his AAU ball for Team Takeover.
James Palmer Jr. is the son of Demetra McFadden and the late James Palmer Sr. James Jr., was born on July 31, 1996, in Washington, D.C. He has one sister, Tijisha, and one brother, Tijree. Palmer was originally recruited by Memphis, Wake Forest, Rutgers, Cincinnati and Maryland before selecting Miami. James majors in sociology at Nebraska.