For the Nebraska men’s basketball program, the 2012-13 season laid the groundwork for the future success of Husker basketball. First-year head coach Tim Miles took a short-handed roster and surpassed the expectations that nearly everyone outside the program had for Nebraska basketball.
The Huskers, who returned only one starter and two of the top nine scorers from the previous year, went 15-18 on the season and finished 10th in the 12-team Big Ten Conference, which was widely considered the nation’s toughest during the 2012-13 campaign. Prior to the year, the Huskers were a consensus choice to finish in the basement my all of the league’s media.
Nebraska posted its first conference sweep since 2009 (Penn State), and posted wins over postseason qualifiers Iowa and Minnesota in the final weeks of the regular season. The Huskers finished the year with a win over Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament before falling to eventual Big Ten Tournament champion and Elite Eight qualifier Ohio State to end the season. In all, 17 of the Huskers’ 18 losses were against teams which reached postseason play, including 14 against NCAA Tournament teams, as Nebraska finished with the No. 13 strength of schedule nationally.
Nebraska was able to succeed in Miles first season with a solid defense, a team that minimized turnovers and outstanding leadership from seniors Brandon Ubel, Dylan Talley and Andre Almedia. The Huskers allowed just 63.4 points per game and held 13 opponents to 60 points or less. More importantly, Nebraska ranked 10th nationally and set a school record by committing just 10.7 turnovers per game, highlighted by a single-game school-record two turnovers against Purdue on Jan. 16.
Ubel provided a steadying force on the interior for the Huskers, averaging 11.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-10 senior nearly doubled his previous career scoring average and ranked among the conference leaders in both scoring and rebounding. Ubel had four double-doubles on the year, but some of his biggest moments came on senior night on March 6 against Minnesota. Ubel scored all 15 of his points in the second half, including Nebraska’s final 10 points of a 53-51 victory.
While Ubel was the heart of the team, Talley was often the team’s offensive engine and was counted on to carry the bulk of the Huskers offense. Talley led the Huskers and ranked 10th in the conference in scoring at 13.7 points per game while also leading Nebraska with 2.5 assists per game. He totaled 20 or more points on seven occasions, including a career-high 28-point performance against No. 8 Michigan State. Talley provided the year’s signature moment against Iowa, hitting a 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds left, as Nebraska erased a 19-point first-half deficit to win 64-60.
While Ubel and Talley were known quantities, other players showed significant improvement during the 2012-13 season, as Almeida, Ray Gallegos and David Rivers became valuable contributors.
Almeida, who missed all of 2011-12 with a knee injury, gave the Huskers a physical post presence, averaging 4.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game, despite battling injuries. His biggest effort came in Nebraska’s win at Wake Forest during the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, when he tied career highs in both points (20) and rebounds (11) en route to earning Big Ten Player-of-the-Week accolades.
Gallegos, who averaged 2.8 points per game two years ago, provided Nebraska with solid long-range shooting, as he averaged 11.5 points per game to rank 17th in the Big Ten in scoring. The 6-foot-2 guard led the Big Ten in 3-pointers per game (2.5) and ranked eighth in steals (1.4 spg), as his 83 3-pointers were second on Nebraska’s single-season chart. Gallegos totaled six 20-point games during his junior campaign, including a 30-point night at Minnesota which was the most by a Husker guard since 1998. He is Nebraska’s top returning scorer entering the 2013-14 season, as his 12.5 points per game scoring average as a junior will be the highest by a returning Husker since the 2007-08 campaign.
Sophomore David River took advantage of injuries in the Husker frontcourt and moved into the starting lineup for the final two months of the season. The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 5.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game and started Nebraska’s final 17 contests. He had a career-high 20 points and seven rebounds in the win over Central Michigan, but may have put together his top performance at No. 22 Michigan State in his first career start when he had 18 points on a perfect 8-of-8 shooting and six rebounds, as Nebraska stood toe to toe with the Spartans for 40 minutes.
One of the promising developments of the season was the growth of freshmen Shavon Shields and Benny Parker. Shields, who missed five of NU’s first six games because of an elbow injury, finished fourth on the team in scoring at 8.6 points per game while ranking second on the squad with 5.1 rebounds per game. Shields reached double figures eight times, including a career-high 29 points at Penn State, and led NU in scoring at the Big Ten Tournament with 16.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Parker provided the Huskers with a solid backup point guard, ranking second on the team with 69 assists while averaging more than 20 minutes per game.
2012-13 Season By the Numbers
3 - Number of Huskers who finished the season averaging double figures (Dylan Talley, Ray Gallegos and Brandon Ubel), the most since the 2005-06 campaign.
4 - Number of double doubles for Brandon Ubel in 2012-13, the most since double-doubles by a Husker since Aleks Maric had 15 en route to earning first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2007-08.
7-0 - Nebraska’s record in games decided by five points or less this season. Four of the seven wins came against Big Ten foes (at Penn State, Iowa, Minnesota and vs. Purdue)
10 - Number of games Nebraska played against ranked teams in 2012-13. That tied the 1994-95 and 1990-91 teams for most games in a season against a ranked team.
23 - Number of teams that Nebraska played that reached postseason play in 2012-13. The Huskers played 17 games against teams that reached the NCAA Tournament, going 3-14 in those contests. 26 - Consecutive made free throws by Dylan Talley to end the season. The streak began on Jan. 29, and covered Nebraska’s final 12 contests.
30 - Points by Ray Gallegos at Minnesota on Jan. 29, the most by a Husker since the 2007-08 season, and the highest total by a Husker guard since Tyronn Lue in 1997-98.
1,237 - Minutes played by Ray Gallegos, breaking the school record of 1,155 by Dave Hoppen during the 1984-85 season.
1991-92 - In each of its first two years as a Big Ten member, Nebraska has played three ranked teams in its first four conference games. Prior to the last two seasons, the 1991-92 campaign was the only other time since the AP poll started in 1949-50 where Nebraska had played three of its first four conference games against ranked teams.
6,117,181 - Attendance at the Devaney Center for men’s basketball over the last 37 years.
Huskers Top 2011-12 Win Total With 15 wins and five Big Ten Conference wins, the 2012-13 Huskers easily eclipsed last year’s totals in wins and conference wins despite playing one of the nation’s toughest schedules.
In the preseason poll of Big Ten beat writers, the Huskers were nearly a consensus choice to finish 12th by 23 of the 24 beat writers around the league. That was based on the fact that Nebraska returned one starter (senior forward Brandon Ubel) and two of its top nine scorers from last year. Nebraska was one of only two Big Ten teams - along with Purdue - that did not return a player who averaged double figures in 2011-12.
The Huskers finished the regular season in 10th place in the final standings while the 15 wins and five Big Ten wins both surpassed last year’s total. With 15 wins in his first season at Nebraska, Tim Miles compares favorably with the other first-year win totals of Big Ten coaches. Nebraska capped its season by winning its Big Ten Tournament opener against Purdue, marking Nebraska’s first postseason conference tournament win since 2010.
NU’s strength of schedule was 13th nationally, as the Big Ten had four teams each the NCAA Sweet 16, including runner-up Michigan. In all, 14 of the Huskers’ 18 losses in 2012-13 are against teams that finished in the top 40 of the final RPI.
Value the Basketball Under Tim Miles, an emphasis this season was taking care of the basketball, and the Huskers were among the nation’s best in that category in 2012-13.
Despite losing its top three point guards from last season and having a backup point guard (Mike Peltz) suffer a season-ending injury in January, Nebraska finished fourth in the Big Ten and 10th nationally with 10.7 turnovers per game - nearly three fewer than last year. NU’s turnovers per game were the fewest in school history, bettering the 11.30 per game in 1984-85. Nebraska has committed 10 turnovers or less 15 times this season, including six of the past eight games.
In all, five of the top 11 teams in the country reside in the Big Ten, including Michigan and Wisconsin which rank first and fourth, respectively in that category. Earlier this season, Nebraska set a school record with two turnovers against Purdue on Jan. 16, breaking the mark of three set on three previous occasions.
Creep, Crawl, Walk, Run in 2012-13 With four new starters in 2012-13 and a seven-player rotation which included only three players who saw action in 2011-12, there were been some bumps along the way, as the Huskers installed a new offensive system and the headline was a common mantra of Coach Miles during his first season on the job.
In 2011-12, his Colorado State team led the Mountain West Conference in field goal percentage, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage, ranking in the top-10 nationally in both free throw and 3-point percentage. The Huskers finished the season ranked 10th (.407), 10th (.307) and eighth (.692) in those respective categories. When Nebraska put up points, they enjoyed success, going 11-4 when scoring at least 60 points.
During the second half of Big Ten play, Dylan Talley emerged as one of the Big Ten’s top offensive threats. The 6-foot-5 point guard averaged 17.1 ppg over the last nine games, including three 20-point games.
Learning to win the Close Ones Despite a 5-13 Big Ten record, the Huskers were in many of its conference games until the final minutes. In nine of NU’s 18 conference games, the Huskers were within two possessions in the final seven minutes of the contest, including three times against ranked foes.
While NU was not able to pull out wins in the first four games, the Huskers found a way down the stretch against Penn State for its first Big Ten win on Jan. 19. In the final seven minutes at Penn State, the Huskers hit 60 percent of their field goals and went 9-for-9 from the foul line to earn a four-point win. Against No. 11 Ohio State on Feb. 2, the Huskers were within five points and had the ball with 2:00 left, but were unable to trim the deficit. Against Iowa on Feb. 23, the Huskers trailed by five with six minutes left, but closed the game on a 14-5 run to pick up the win. Nebraska had a golden chance in the final minutes at Illinois on March 2, as the Huskers were down 64-62 with three minutes remaining, but could not pull off the upset. Last Wednesday, the Huskers held off Minnesota down the stretch, as Nebraska’s largest lead in the final 10 minutes was five points.
Nebraska’s lessons in the regular season paid off in the Big Ten Tournament, as the Huskers held off Purdue, 57-55, to improve to 7-0 in games decided by five points or less.
Developing Talent; Looking for Depth While having to replace four starters and seven of the top nine scorers from last year, Tim Miles had the challenge of putting players in new roles this year.
The Huskers had five returning scholarship players in 2012-13, and all five were integral members of NU’s rotation. Four of the five returnees saw significant jumps in their averages from their last season of competition and most set personal bests in both scoring and rebounding in 2012-13. Prior to the season, Nebraska had only one player on the roster with a 20-point game as a Husker (Andre Almeida in 2010-11) and no returning player had averaged more than nine points per game.
One of the problems has been a lack of depth, as Coach Miles signed four players after arriving in late March (the three redshirts and freshman Sergej Vucetic) while NU’s other two scholarship freshman (Shavon Shields and Benny Parker) were mainstays in the rotation. NU’s depth will be much improved next year, as Miles signed three players in the fall and already signed another player during the spring signing period.
Talley Earns Honorable-Mention All-Big Ten Honors Senior Dylan Talley became the first Husker basketball player to earn All-Big Ten honors, as he garnered honorable-mention honors from both the league’s coaches and media. He finished the season ranked 10th in scoring at 13.7 points per game, while chipping in 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
Talley closed the Big Ten Conference season with a flourish, playing some of the best basketball of his career in the final half of Big Ten play. He averaged 17.1 ppg in the second half of conference play, including a trio of 20-point efforts. At Wisconsin, he led the Huskers in scoring (21), rebounding (eight) and assists (three) for the first time in his career while he had 20 points, five rebounds and five assists at Illinois. In addition, he provided one of the Huskers’ biggest moments of the season with his game-winning 3-pointer against Iowa with 9.2 seconds left.
Gallegos was Husker Ironman If it seems like Ray Gallegos was on the court the entire game, it probably is true, as the junior guard was one of the nation’s leader in minutes played this season.
According to kenpom.com, Gallegos ranked third nationally in percentage of minutes played, as was on the court for 93.7 percent of the Huskers’ minutes this season. He trailed only Travis Bader of Oakland (94.8) and Kyle Vinales of Central Connecticut State (94.0) among all Division I players.
In the last five years, 16 Big Ten players, including Gallegos, have played at least 90 percent of their team’s minutes in a season, and Gallegos is second to Penn State’s Talor Battle.
Gallegos played all 40 minutes 10 times in 18 Big Ten games and 12 times during the season. Gallegos set Nebraska’s single-season record for minutes with 1,237, breaking the mark of 1,155 by Dave Hoppen in 1984-85.
In Big Ten play, he averaged 38.6 minutes per game, sitting just 26 minutes in league play. His total minutes played were 26 more than runner-up Deshaun Thomas of Ohio State.
Gallegos was on the court for a stretch of 218:39 consecutive minutes dating from Dec. 29 to Jan. 19, playing all 40 minutes of Nebraska’s first five Big Ten games.
His season low in minutes - which was set in the season opener against Southern - were the most minutes played of his career, as he never played more than 27 minutes in any game during his first two seasons (2009-10, 2010-11).
Huskers Look for Balanced Scoring One of the biggest keys to success for the Huskers has been finding multiple scoring options. Nebraska had three players averaged in double figures on the season, while six players (Brandon Ubel, Dylan Talley, Ray Gallegos, Andre Almeida, David Rivers and Shavon Shields) have all scored at least 20 points at least once this season. The three players in double figures marked first time it has happened for the Huskers since the 2005-06 season.
When Nebraska has three or more players in double figures, the Huskers were 11-4, but are just 4-14 when not putting at least three players in double figures in 2012-13.
Ubel Proving Offense, Leadership Senior Brandon Ubel came into the 2012-13 season as the Huskers’ most known quantity and NU’s most experienced player - by a wide margin. Ubel entered the season with 59 career starts at Nebraska, while the remaining seven returnees on the roster had combined for seven career starts at NU. His experience and leadership went a long way to help NU enjoy a solid season in 2012-13.
Ubel set career bests in both scoring (11.5 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg). His rebounding average was the highest for a Husker since Aleks Maric averaged 10.2 rebounds per game in 2007-08. Ubel was chosen as the 2012-13 Jack Moore Award winner as team MVP. He was in double figures in 22 games in 2012-13, which exceeded his double-figure games over the first three years at Nebraska. Ubel also had a team-high four double-doubles in 2012-13 (21 points & 12 rebounds vs. Southern, 17 points & 13 rebounds vs. Kent State, 15 points & 10 rebounds vs. Jacksonville State and 14 points and 12 rebounds vs. Northwestern).
Ubel was at his best in the Big Ten Tournament, averaging 16.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Ubel led the Huskers in both scoring (16 points) and rebounds (seven) in the loss to No. 10 Ohio State, as he went 7-of-8 shooting from the floor. His 16 points against both Purdue and Ohio State were his highest point total against a conference team this season. Ubel led the Huskers to a win over Minnesota on March 6 with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists. He scored all 15 points in the second half, including the Huskers’ final 10 points to earn their first win over a top-50 RPI team this season. In NU’s win over Iowa on Feb. 23, he scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, marking the fourth time in a five-game stretch where he had at least eight caroms. He has shown toughness this season, suffering an elbow injury at Michigan on Jan. 9 and missed two games - the first time he has missed time since his freshman year. His best game in conference play was against Northwestern when he scored 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, including five offensive boards.
He began the season with a career-high 21 points in the win over Southern, before pacing Nebraska with 17 points in a 50-48 win over Horizon League favorite Valparaiso. Ubel had 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the loss to Kent State and also had 18 points, including 10-of-11 shooting from the foul line, against Nicholls State.
The 6-foot-10 forward was the Huskers’ top returning rebounder (5.3 rpg) and second-leading scorer (6.7 ppg) while being one of the Huskers’ most consistent performers at the free throw line. Ubel finished fourth on Nebraska’s career free throw percentage list at 80.3 percent, becoming only the fifth player to shoot better than 80 percent from the foul line for a career.
Off the court, Ubel majors in broadcasting and will graduate in May. He has done some women’s basketball play-by-by for the campus radio station and interned at a local ABC affiliate last summer.
Talley Takes Offensive Role Senior Dylan Talley came into the 2012-13 season as the Huskers’ most proven scorer and shouldered a significant role in NU’s offense. The 6-foot-5 senior averaged a team-high 13.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He finished 10th in the conference in scoring and third in minutes played with 35.5 per game, earning honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors from the league coaches and media. Talley was in double figures in a team-high 25 contests and topped the Huskers in scoring 14 times this season, including a career-high 28 point performance against No. 8 Michigan State on Feb. 16.
Over the final last 11 games, Talley averaged 15.1 points per game, including a 21-point, eight-rebound effort at Wisconsin and 20 points, five rebounds and five assists at Illinois. He also scored 18 points in a win over Iowa in NU’s comeback win on Feb. 23. Against the Hawkeyes, he scored 16 of his points in the second half, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds left.
In the loss against Michigan State on Feb. 16, Talley hit 8-of-16 shots, including four 3-pointers en route to the most points by a Spartan opponent this season. His first 20-point effort in Big Ten play came against Northwestern on Jan. 26, when he also had 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds.
He put on a display against Kent State on Nov. 24, scoring a career-high 27 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out three assists. Talley also had 22 points against Nebraska-Omaha on Nov. 18 and 21 points, including a career-best six 3-pointers, against Central Michigan on Dec. 22.
Talley became more of the Huskers’ point guard after Nebraska averaged just 44 points in its first three Big Ten games, and that has sparked the attack. He handled much of the point guard duties at No. 2 Michigan as Benny Parker battled foul trouble, and finished with 12 points and a then-career-high five assists. Talley started at point guard against No. 22 Michigan State on Jan. 13 and had 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 38 minutes. Against Purdue on Jan. 16, he had just six points, but led the Huskers in rebounds (eight), steals (four) and assists (three). He dished out a season-high six assists and added eight points and four rebounds in the win at Penn State on Jan. 19.
In his first season at Nebraska, Talley tied for the Big Ten lead in scoring by a reserve, averaging 8.9 points per game, as he was in double figures 11 times. Talley has been a prolific scorer throughout his collegiate career, earning America East Conference Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 2009-10, averaging 11.8 points per game at Binghamton University. At Blinn (Texas) College, he was sixth nationally in scoring at 23.0 points per game.
Gallegos Provides Ray of Light for Offense One development for the Huskers was the emergence of Ray Gallegos. The junior from Salt Lake City redshirted last year and spent the year adding strength and improving his shooting range. The work has paid off in 2012-13.
Gallegos, who averaged 2.6 points per game in 2010-11, was second on the team in scoring at 12.5 ppg and led the Big Ten with 83 3-pointers, a total which ranks second on NU’s single-season list. He reached double figures 21 times this season after accomplishing the feat just three times in his first two seasons at Nebraska. During conference play, Gallegos led all players with 2.7 3-pointers per game.
Gallegos led the Huskers in scoring six times in conference play, highlighted by a 30-point effort at Minnesota on Jan. 29. In that game, he tied or set career bests in 3-pointers (six) and field goals (12) while becoming the first Husker since 2008 to have a 30-point game. He also had 23 points in a loss at Iowa on March 7, including seven 3-pointers. His seven 3-pointers against the Hawkeyes were the most 3-pointers by any Big Ten player this season. It marked the second straight road game that Gallegos had 20 or more points, as he had 23 points, including six 3-pointers, at Illinois on March 2.
Earlier this season, Gallegos put on a show in El Paso, earning a spot on the Sun Bowl Invitational All-Tournament team. He averaged 20.5 ppg, including 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting in Nebraska’s loss to UTEP. In the semifinals against Central Michigan, he scored 11 of Nebraska’s first 16 points to help the Huskers get out to an early lead and finished with 19 points. Gallegos put together the best two-game stretch of his career, posting consecutive 20-point efforts at Wake Forest and USC, a stretch where he shot 56 percent from 3-point range. Against USC on Dec. 3, Gallegos had a career-high six 3-pointers and scored the Huskers’ final 11 points of the first half to break open a tie game. At Wake Forest on Nov. 27, he finished with a career-high 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, as he made his first seven shots of the second half and totaled 17 of his 20 points after halftime.
Shields Makes Name For Himself After missing most of the first month of the season with an elbow injury, Shavon Shields become a mainstay in the Husker lineup. On the season, Shields averaged 8.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, while appearing in 29 games.
In Big Ten play, he continued to make strides, raising his scoring and rebounding numbers from his non-conference totals. He averaged 9.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per outing, and finished 11th in rebounding. Shields was one of the Huskers’ top performers in the Big Ten Tournament, averaging 16.5 points on 61 percent shooting in games against Purdue and Ohio State. His 19 points in NU’s opening-round win over Purdue tied his second-highest total of the season.
During conference play, Shields reached double figures five times, most recently a 17-point performance in the win over Iowa on Feb. 23, as he earned Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week honors for the second time this season. Shields collected his first career double-double with a 19-point, 13-rebound effort against No. 8 Michigan State on Feb. 16.
He set career highs in consecutive games in January, highlighted by a 29-point effort at Penn State on Jan. 19. Shields hit 10-of-11 shots from the field and went 8-of-8 from the line in posting the highest scoring effort by a Husker freshman since 2007 (Ryan Anderson at Hawaii). He also had team bests in both rebounds (six) and steals (three) to help NU to its first Big Ten win. On Jan. 16 against Purdue, Shields became the first Husker freshman to lead the team in scoring in three years with 18 points and eight rebounds. Shields was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Jan. 21, the first time since 2009 that a Husker freshman was honored by the league. In Big Ten play,
Shields was second among Big Ten freshman in rebounding and has grabbed at least six rebounds 11 times in conference games, including 13 rebounds against No. 8 Michigan State on Feb. 16 and nine rebounds at No. 8 Ohio State on Jan. 2.
Rivers Looks to Get into Offensive Flow Throughout the summer and the preseason, one Husker returnee who was flying under the radar was sophomore David Rivers. The 6-foot-7 wing totaled only 20 points and 16 rebounds in 19 contests as a freshman, but added nearly 20 pounds since the 2011-12 season and has made significant strides.
Rivers’ improvement was evident in 2012-13, as he averaged 5.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while playing in all 33 contests. He led the Huskers in scoring for the second time this season against No. 11 Ohio State on Feb. 2, with 13 points, as he hit five of seven shots from the floor and added six rebounds. Against Penn State on Feb. 9, Rivers had nine points, six rebounds and a career-best five assists and had seven points and two rebounds in the loss to No. 8 Michigan State on Feb. 16. Rivers had seven points and a season-high five rebounds at Illinois on March 2. Rivers played just 17 minutes at Iowa and was held to two points.
He made his first career start at No. 22 Michigan State on Jan. 13, leading the Huskers with 18 points on a perfect 8-of-8 shooting from the field. His eight field goals without a miss was one off Nebraska’s single-game record, and he also chipped in six rebounds while playing all 40 minutes.
Rivers put on a show in Nebraska’s win over Central Michigan on Dec. 22, scoring a career-high 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting and matching his personal best with seven rebounds. His effort against CMU matched his entire season output as a freshman.
Parker Makes A Point Benny Parker proved to be a solid contributor in his first season in the Husker program. The 5-foot-9 guard became only the 10th freshman to start a season opener since 1995 and was one of four Huskers who has played in every game in 2012-13. Parker averaged 2.7 points, 2.1 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game and had a team-high 1.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He committed one turnover or less in 20 of the Huskers 33 games this year. Parker did not commit a turnover in his final 81 minutes of work, dating back to Feb. 26. He finished his freshman year in seventh place on NU’s freshman assists list and one steal shy of 10th place on the Huskers’ rookie steals chart
Parker had a career-high seven assists and had one turnover in Nebraska’s 61-57 win over Tulane on Nov. 21, and totaled eight points, four assists and a career-high four steals at Wake Forest on Nov. 27. Against UNO on Nov. 18, he had eight points - all coming in the second half - after sitting most of the first half because of foul trouble. Parker also had seven points, three rebounds and three assists in a two-point win over Valparaiso on Nov. 15. His best effort in conference play was at Minnesota, when he had six assists and three rebounds at Minnesota on Jan. 29.
Parker was a four-year starter at Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, leading the school to an 85-15 mark and a pair of state titles during his high school career. As a senior, he averaged 24.8 points, 6.2 assists and 3.9 steals per game, winning the 2012 DiRenna Award, representing the top player in the Kansas City metro area.
Gallegos Goes for 30 vs. Gophers Nebraska junior Ray Gallegos enjoyed the finest offensive performance of his career in the Huskers’ loss at Minnesota on Jan. 29.
His 30-point performance against the Gophers marked the 61st time a Husker had scored 30 points since Feb. 13, 2008, a span of 159 games. It also marked the first time a Husker guard had scored 30 points since Tyronn Lue did so during the 1997-98 season.
Gallegos became the 24th player in school history to have a 30-point game at Nebraska. Of the 24 players, only 12 have multiple 30-point games in their Husker career.
It finished the year as the second-highest total in Big Ten play, trailing only Terone Johnson’s 32-point effort against Michigan on March. 6
Shields Erupts Against Penn State
Freshman Shavon Shields enjoyed one of the finest efforts by a Husker freshman with his 29-point effort at Penn State on Jan. 19.
Shields 29-point effort tied for the second-highest scoring effort by a freshman in school history. Only Tyronn Lue, who had 30 points against Oregon in 1995, had more in a single game.
His 10-of-11 shooting effort against the Nittany Lions was the third-best shooting night by a Big Ten player this season, trailing only David Rivers’ 8-of-8 effort at Michigan State on Jan. 13 and Will Sheehey’s 9-of-9 performance against Purdue on Feb. 16.
Shields also went 8-of-8 from the foul line, which tied for the second-best effort from the foul line by a Big Ten player this season.
The 29 points tied for the fifth-highest total in a Big Ten conference game this season.
He also tied for team-high honors with six rebounds and added a career-high three steals while playing 38 minutes before fouling out.
Shields earned Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week honors on Jan. 23, after averaging 23.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game against Purdue and Penn State.
Almeida Provided Inside Presence The third senior on the Huskers’ 2013 roster, Andre Almeida provided Nebraska with a solid inside presence. The 6-foot-11 senior averaged 4.6 points on 49 percent shooting, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game, as he finished 11th in the conference in blocked shots.
Almeida has battled several injuries during the course of Big Ten play. The injury bug began against Ohio State in the Big Ten opener when he sprained his ankle, and he also missed the Northwestern game because of an injury. His best effort after his return to action was eight points and four rebounds against Purdue on Jan. 19. Almeida provided strong efforts at times in Big Ten play, grabbing a team-high eight rebounds and blocking three shots in just 21 minutes of work against Ohio State on Feb. 2, and adding six points, three rebounds and three blocked shots in 12 minutes against Penn State on Feb. 9. Almeida played a major role in NU’s win over Minnesota, grabbing five rebounds and three blocked shots, marking the eighth time this season he has had at least three blocks in a game during the 2012-13 season.
Earlier this season, he put together the best game of his career at Wake Forest on Nov. 27, when he had 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting and a career-high 11 rebounds to earn Big Ten Player-of-the-Week honors. His effort at Wake Forest marked the first time since 2009 that a Big Ten player had 20 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 90 percent from the field.
Almeida put together a dominant effort against UNO on Nov. 18, when he had 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting, and seven rebounds. Against Tulane on Nov. 21, the 6-foot-11 center keyed Nebraska’s second-half effort with 10 points, six rebounds and four blocks, as he scored nine of his 10 points in the second half. Almeida had eight points and three blocked shots against USC and added six points, five rebounds and a season-high four blocked shots in the loss to Creighton.
Huskers Have Relied on Walk-Ons With only eight recruited scholarship players available for this season, Nebraska relied on its walk-ons to play crucial roles during the 2012-13 season.
Mike Peltz saw action in 14 of NU’s first 16 games as the first guard off the bench, averaging 2.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.1 points per game before being sidelined with a knee injury. Peltz had a patella tendon debridement on his left knee and had surgery in late January. The typical rehab schedule for the surgery is three to four months, allowing him to be at 100 percent for offseason workouts. Peltz had one of his best games of 2012-13 at Oregon, totaling four points and four rebounds in 15 minutes of action. Peltz played a career-high 22 minutes against Kent State, where he grabbed six rebounds, including four on the offensive glass, and had three rebounds and two assists in the win over USC on Dec. 3. Peltz tied for team-high honors with four assists in 18 minutes off the bench against Central Michigan.
When Brandon Ubel missed two games with an elbow injury, Jordan Tyrance stepped into the rotation and provided two of the best performances of his career. After playing just 13 minutes in Nebraska’s first 16 contests, Tyrance played a then-career high 12 minutes at No. 22 Michigan State on Jan. 13, totaling two blocked shots and two assists. He followed that outing by setting career bests in points (10), rebounds (seven) and minutes (21) against Purdue on Jan. 16. He continued to see playing time since Ubel returned, averaging 5.3 minutes a game over the final 15 games.
Trevor Menke was the third Husker walk-on who has played a significant role, as he appeared in 15 games as a backup point guard. Menke, who was put on scholarship for the season, had five assists and one turnover in 65 minutes of work.
Husker Legacies The 2012-13 Huskers have a trio of players whose parents starred at either the collegiate or professional level. Freshman Shavon Shields is the son of former Husker and Kansas City Chiefs great Will Shields, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December of 2011 and was enshrined last summer. He is also a two-time finalist (2012-13) for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Sophomore Jordan Tyrance is the son of a pair of former Husker standouts, as his father, Pat Tyrance Jr., was a two-time All-Big Eight linebacker and also an NCAA Today’s Top Six Award winner, while his mother, Renita Robinson was a former NCAA triple jump champion. In addition, sophomore David Rivers’ father played collegiately at Arkansas Little Rock for four seasons.
2012-13 Husker Tidbits
Nebraska went a perfect 5-0 on the ESPN family of networks this season, posting wins over Penn State (twice), Wake Forest, Northwestern and Purdue.
Nebraska closed out the Devaney Center with a 53-51 win over Minnesota on March 6. The Huskers spent 37 seasons in the building, compiling a 447-151 (.751) record. NU never had a losing record in the building, and won 10 or more games in 30 of 37 seasons, including an 11-7 mark in 2012-13. The building is currently being renovated and the facility will become the home for the Husker volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics teams beginning in the fall of 2013.
10 of Nebraska’s 18 losses this season have been to ranked teams. The Huskers’ 10 ranked foes matches the school record for one season, tying the mark set by the 1991-92 and 1994-95 teams. NU went winless in 10 games versus ranked teams.
Tim Miles became the first Husker coach to win a conference tournament game in his first season, as Moe Iba (1981), Danny Nee (1987), Barry Collier (2001) and Doc Sadler (2007) all dropped their first-ever conference tournament game.
Nebraska’s 89 points against Central Michigan on Dec. 22, was the Huskers’ highest total since scoring 94 on Southern Utah on Dec. 29, 2009. It was also NU’s highest total in a road or neutral site since scoring 89 in a 101-89 loss at TCU on March 15, 1999.
Husker coach Tim Miles became just the sixth coach in the 117-year history of Nebraska basketball to win his first four games. In fact, only two Husker basketball coaches had won their first four games since 1920.
Earlier this season, Miles became the first Nebraska head coach to win his first road game at Nebraska since Paul Schlisser in 1919-20, a 47-9 win over Hastings College on Jan. 13, 1920. Prior to Miles’ win at Wake Forest, the previous 14 Nebraska basketball head coaches had lost their first road game as Husker head coach.
Nebraska’s 16-point victory at Wake Forest was its largest road margin since a 77-60 win at Minnesota on Nov. 29, 2003, and the seventh-largest win over the past quarter century.
Nebraska’s win over Wake Forest marked the first time the Demon Deacons had lost at home in seven ACC/Big Ten Challenge games and was just their third loss in the series history.
Nebraska held Horizon League champion Valparaiso to just 48 points in a 50-48 win, the Crusaders’ lowest point total in 29 games dating back to Nov. 25, 2011. Over the last three-plus seasons, Valparaiso has been held to 50 points or less just four times.
Nebraska’s 50 points in the win over the Crusaders equaled the fewest the Huskers have scored in a win since a 50-44 win over Oregon State on Dec. 12, 2009.
Nebraska held Southern to 55 points and Valparaiso to 48 points, marking only the fifth time in the last 60 years that the Huskers had held its first two opponents of the season to 55 points or less (1958-59, 1985-86, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2012-13).
The Huskers defeated Jacksonville State while going 0-of-5 from 3-point range on Dec. 18. It marked the first time since Feb. 14, 1998, that NU won a game without making a 3-pointer.
Nebraska went 32-of-41 from the foul line against Penn State on Feb. 9, as the 32 made free throws were the most since also making 32 free throws against Texas A&M on Jan. 26, 2005.
Nebraska’s sweep of Penn State marked the first time the Huskers had swept a conference opponent since Colorado during the 2008-09 campaign.
Nebraska overcame a 19-point first-half deficit in the win over Iowa on Feb. 23. That was NU’s largest comeback in a conference game since 1997 and the third-largest comeback in school history.