With the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's March Madness exit closing the curtain on his college basketball days, Keisei Tominaga is moving to the next phase of his career.

The Japanese national team guard was a standout in his final season for coach Fred Hoiberg's Cornhuskers, helping them secure a place in the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.

While they lost 98-83 to Texas A&M in the first round on Friday, Tominaga finished with a trademark performance, sinking five three-pointers on his way to 21 points.

Nebraska guard Keisei Tominaga yells to a teammate during a game against Texas A&M in the first round of college basketball's NCAA Tournament in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 22, 2024. (AP/Kyodo)

"There were some ups and downs over the three years, but I gave 100 percent," Tominaga said.

The Aichi Prefecture native struggled in his first season in Lincoln after transferring from Ranger College in Texas. He had difficulty dealing with the physicality of Division 1 basketball and did not get as much playing time as he hoped.

Hoiberg, a former head coach of the Chicago Bulls in the NBA, praised Tominaga for adding the necessary muscle and further honing his three-point shot to become a star of the Cornhuskers' program.

Tominaga started every game this season, averaging a team-high 15.1 points while shooting 37.6 percent from downtown.

"You see what he does for us on the court, his play speaks for itself," said Hoiberg, who also credited Tominaga for improving his English skills to become a vocal on-court leader.

"What he has done from a leadership standpoint to how he has ingrained himself in the community, he is one of the most popular players, not only in Nebraska, but in the country."

Nebraska guard Keisei Tominaga (30) shoots a three-pointer over Texas A&M forward Solomon Washington (13) in the first round of college basketball's NCAA Tournament in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 22, 2024. (AP/Kyodo)

Tominaga is hoping to be selected in the NBA Draft in June and is likely to be an important piece for Japan coach Tom Hovasse at the Paris Olympics later in the summer.

"For Keisei now, to move on to the next phase of his career, that's where it starts," Hoiberg said.

"I told him in the locker room, he now gets to go represent his country in the Olympic Games. How cool is that."

Although some predict Tominaga may go undrafted, the veteran coach believes the 23-year-old has what it takes to succeed at the next level.

"Hopefully, he'll get the opportunity, with the way he shoots and the way he puts the ball in the basket, to play in these types of arenas for a long time," Hoiberg said.

"He's just got that skill set that is so unique, especially with analytics the way they are right now."

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