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Huskers Take on Lopers in Exhibition Opener
Freshman Tai Webster and the Huskers take on UNK Monday night.
Photo Courtesy Nate Olsen/NU Media Relations
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Courtesy: NU Media Relations
11/03/2013
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Exhibition #1 - Nebraska-Kearney
Game Date: Nov. 4, 2013
Tipoff Time: 7:05 p.m.
Venue: Pinnacle Bank Arena
Capacity: 15,000

Nebraska Cornhuskers
2012-13 Record: 15-18, 5-13 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
Record at Nebraska: 15-18 (2nd year)
Career Record: 298-238 (19th year)

Nebraska-Kearney Lopers
2012-13 Record: 7-19, 4-14 MIAA
Co-head coaches: Tom Kropp and Kevin Lofton
Kropp at UNK: 449-222 (24th year)
Career Record: 123-102 (9th year)

Huskers on TV/Radio/Internet
Television: None
Online: BTDN (video.btn.com, subscription required)
Play-by-play: James Voboril and Jon Kipper

Radio: Across the state on the IMG Husker Sports Radio Network, including KLIN (1400 AM/94.5 FM) in Lincoln, KFAB (1110 AM) in Omaha and KRVN (880 AM) in Lexington.
Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
Expert Analysis: Matt Davison
Internet Radio/Stats: Free on Huskers.com

Huskers Take on Lopers in Exhibition Opener

In the final dress rehearsal before the curtain goes up on the 2013-14 season, the Nebraska basketball team takes on the University of Nebraska-Kearney in an exhibition game Monday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m. at the Pinnacle Bank Arena and will be produced by the IMG Husker Sports Radio Network with Kent Pavelka calling the action and Matt Davison adding color commentary. The game can be heard for free on Huskers.com and available on the Huskers’ app on iOS or android devices. 

Live video streaming of Monday’s game will be carried on the Big Ten Digital Network (video.btn.com) with James Voboril and Jon Kipper on the call, as the exhibition game is one of five Husker basketball games on BTDN in 2013-14.

While season tickets have been sold out for the entire 2013-14 season, a small number of individual tickets are available for Monday’s game with prices ranging from $7 to 15. For more information, visit Huskers.com, call 800-8-BIGRED or visit the Nebraska Ticket Office at Pinnacle Bank Arena (south side of arena) beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

After a season when Nebraska had just eight recruited scholarship players available en route to going 15-18, the Huskers will be much deeper in 2013-14 for second-year coach Tim Miles. Nebraska not only returns nine letterwinners, including starters Ray Gallegos, Shavon Shields and David Rivers, but adds eight newcomers and several of those players are expected to play prominent roles.

Three of the new additions are expected to start on Monday, including freshman Tai Webster and transfers Terran Petteway and Walter Pitchford. In fact, 10 of the 12 scholarship players in the program are in their first or second year at Nebraska.
With such a young team, some of the leadership will fall on the shoulders of senior guard Ray Gallegos. The most experienced player on the NU roster, Gallegos is also the Huskers’ top returning scorer at 12.5 points per game and led the Big Ten with 83 3-pointers, which ranked second in school history. Gallegos also ranked in the top 10 in the Big Ten in steals (1.4 spg, eighth) and minutes played (37.5 mpg, 1st).

Another key for the Huskers will be the continued development of sophomore Shavon Shields. The 6-foot-7 forward reached double figures eight times, including a career-high 29 points in a win at Penn State. At the 2013 Big Ten Tournament, Shields averaged 16.5 points on 61 percent shooting and 5.5 rebounds per game and joins Gallegos and Terran Petteway as co-captains for the upcoming season. 

Nebraska 

2012-13 stats

No.

Name

Yr.

Ht.

Wt.

Pts.

Rbs.

0

Tai Webster

Fr.

6-4

194

N/A

N/A

15

Ray Gallegos

Sr.

6-2

182

12.5

3.1

5

Terran Petteway

So.

6-6

209

N/A

N/A

31

Shavon Shields

So.

6-7

219

8.6

5.1

35

Walter Pitchford

So.

6-10

234

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nebraska-Kearney

 

2012-13 stats

No.

Name

Yr.

Ht.

Wt.

Pts.

Rbs

5

Davion Pearson

Jr.

5-11

175

N/A

N/A

24

Kevin Dineen

Fr.

6-1

180

N/A

N/A

42

Tyler Shields

Jr.

6-4

200

10.3

6.8

44

Connor Beranek

Sr.

6-6

190

N/A

N.A

5

Kendal Glidden

Sr.

6-7

230

5.2

2.9

Scouting UNK
Nebraska-Kearney visits Lincoln for an exhibition game looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2012-13 season. The Lopers went 7-19 on the year, including just 4-14 in their first season in the MIAA. Co-Head Coaches Tom Kropp and Kevin Lofton have retooled their roster, as just five letterwinners, including two starters, are back while adding 10 transfers. Kropp was a legendary two-sport athlete at UNK and was drafted by both the NBA and NFL before playing in the NBA. He has guided the Lopers to 20 wins or more in 11 seasons of his 18 seasons, including 10 NCAA appearances.

Senior Mike Dentlinger is the Lopers’ top returnee, as he averaged 12.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, but he is not expected to play Monday because of an ailment. Junior Tyler Shields will be expected to be one of the leaders for UNK, as he averaged 10.3 points per game, including 58 3-pointer, and a team-high 6.8 rebounds per contest. Senior Kendal Glidden anchors the frontcourt, as he averaged 5.2 points on a team-best 60.7 field goal percentage and 2.9 rebounds per game. 

One name which will be familiar to Husker fans is Connor Beranek, who is the younger brother of former Husker and Loper Drake Beranek. He averaged 15.9 points and 8.0 rebounds at Doane College in 2012-13.

Huskers in Exhibitions
Nebraska is 51-6 all-time in exhibition games dating back to the 1966-67 season and have won their last nine exhibition games since a 54-50 loss to SIU-Edwardsville prior to the start of the 2006-07 season.

This is the 10th straight year Nebraska has played an exhibition game against an in-state foe, as the Huskers are a perfect 12-0 all-time against in-state teams. Monday is the Huskers’ only exhibition game, as NU hosted South Dakota State in a closed scrimmage on Oct. 27.

Last year, Nebraska relied on a balanced attack in topping Midland University, 68-40. Dylan Talley was the only Husker to finish in double figures, totaling 10 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes of action, but six players had at least eight points and 11 of the 12 Huskers who saw action broke into the scoring column.

Webster Looks to Join Rookie List
Tai Webster is in position to join an exclusive club of true freshmen starting the Huskers’ season opener. The 6-foot-4 guard from Auckland, New Zealand is the frontrunner for the point guard spot, marking the second straight year that Tim Miles has started a true freshman at the point guard spot. Benny Parker started at point guard in the 2012-13 opener.

Although he is a freshman, Webster was considered one of the top international guards in this year’s senior class. He played for New Zealand’s national team in qualifying for the 2012 Olympics, averaging 13.5 points per game in 52.5 percent shooting in three games. He also played in New Zealand’s National Basketball League, averaging 18.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game last spring despite being the youngest player in the league.

How Shavon spent His Summer
Sophomore Shavon Shields spent part of the summer with the Denmark U-20 National Team, leading the country to the championship of the 2013 Nordic Championship. He averaged 13.3 points per game in wins over Sweden, Finland and Estonia, capping the tournament with a 17-point, 12-rebound effort in a 101-94 double overtime win over Estonia. Shields had nine points in the opener against Sweden and 14 points in the victory over host Finland.

Newcomers Set for Husker Debuts
Much of the talk about the Huskers has been focused on a trio of transfers who will make their debut in 2013-14. Sophomores Terran Petteway and Walter Pitchford both sat out the 2012-13 season after transferring into the Husker program, while junior guard Deverell Biggs redshirted the 2012-13 season. The trio comprised the Huskers’ scout team that pushed the starters in practice throughout the season.

Petteway played in 27 games at Texas Tech as a true freshman in 2011-12, making 11 starts for the Red Raiders, including 10 in Big 12 action. Pitchford played on Florida’s Elite Eight squad and made 13 appearances for the Gators in 2011-12.
Biggs will make his debut against South Carolina State on Nov. 17, as he will not play in Monday’s exhibition or the first two regular-season games.

Red/White Scrimmage Recap
Tai Webster’s jumper with 14 seconds left lifted the Red squad to a 39-37 victory in the Red/White Scrimmage at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sept. 29.

Webster, a freshman from Auckland, New Zealand, hit a jumper to break the deadlock in front of 7,500 fans in the Huskers’ first event at Pinnacle Bank Arena, a $179 million dollar facility in the Haymarket District of Lincoln. Webster, who finished with eight points and three assists in 21 minutes, was one of three newcomers who paced the victorious Red squad. Leslee Smith had a team-high nine points, while freshman Nick Fuller added eight points and four rebounds. Senior guard Ray Gallegos also chipped nine eight points, including a pair of three-pointers.

Sophomore transfer Walter Pitchford led all scorers with 10 points and added five rebounds for the White squad, while sophomore Sergej Vucetic added six points in a losing effort.

Captains Chosen for 2013-14 season
Nebraska Coach Tim Miles announced on Oct. 12 that senior Ray Gallegos and sophomores Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway were chosen as team captains for the 2013-14 season. It is the first time that any of the three Huskers had been chosen captain. Shields and Gallegos are returning starters, who started 19 and 33 games, while Petteway sat out the 2012-13 season after transferring from Texas Tech.

Game One Presented by Ameritas
The University of Nebraska Athletic Department announced on Oct. 18 that Ameritas will be the presenting sponsor for the Husker men’s and women’s basketball season openers at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Game One presented by Ameritas will take place on Friday, Nov. 8, as the Nebraska men’s and women’s basketball teams host their first regular-season games at Pinnacle Bank Arena, a $179 million facility in Lincoln’s Haymarket District. Both basketball games are expected to shatter school single-game non-conference attendance marks, trumpeting the start of a highly anticipated 2013-14 campaign for both programs.

“The Husker basketball season-opening celebration will be a historic day in Lincoln,” said JoAnn Martin, Ameritas President and CEO. “We’re excited to help make this once-in-a-life time celebration happen in the family friendly atmosphere of the Haymarket District and the new arena.”

University of Nebraska Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst said the presence of Ameritas will enhance the atmosphere surrounding the basketball openers.

“We are excited to welcome Ameritas as the presenting sponsor for Game One,” said Eichorst. “Ameritas has not only been a long-time supporter of Nebraska Athletics, but also of projects which have benefitted communities across the state. Having Ameritas on board for Game One will help make November 8th a memorable day for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans.”

The day begins with a special “Invest 2 Be the Best” pep rally Friday morning inside the arena, which will feature approximately 5,000 middle school youth from Lincoln and surrounding communities. The youth pep rally is one of several special events planned for Nov. 8.

The Husker women, coming off their second NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in four years, will open the day’s festivities, as Coach Connie Yori’s squad takes on 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifier UCLA at Noon (central) in a game televised statewide on NET and carried on the Husker Sports Radio Network. The game with the Bruins will be the first regular-season game in the history of the arena and features a pair of teams that finished in the top 20 of the final 2013 USA Today Coaches rankings.

At 8 p.m., Dunk City will invade the Star City, as Coach Tim Miles and the Husker men take on NCAA Sweet 16 qualifier Florida Gulf Coast in a game that will be televised nationally on BTN and on the Husker Sports Radio Network. It is the first of five Sweet 16 teams that the Huskers will face at home during the 2013-14 season. Fan are encouraged to be in their seats by 7:30 p.m. for pregame festivities.

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 the previous 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 resided in the Big Ten, including Michigan and Wisconsin which rank first and fourth, respectively in that category. Nebraska set a school record with two turnovers against Purdue on Jan. 16, breaking the mark of three set on three previous occasions.

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).

Record-Breaking Season Ticket Sales
The move to Pinnacle Bank Arena has been a boon to Nebraska basketball, as the Husker program has shattered season-ticket records. On May 3, all of the season tickets alloted for 2013-14 had been accounted for, as season-ticket sales were up nearly 95 percent from 2012-13. In addition, all 1,650 seats in the Nebraska student section - including all 1,000 lower-bowl seats - had been purchased.

The Huskers’ New Home
Opened on Aug. 29, 2013, the 15,000-seat Pinnacle Bank Arena is the new home of the Nebraska men’s and women’s basketball programs. Pinnacle Bank Arena is part of a $344 million project in the Haymarket District also includes a 200-room hotel, 100,000 square feet of retail space, another 100,000 square feet of office space and 100 residential units.
The $179 million dollar arena is be easily accessible in downtown Lincoln as nearly 5,100 parking stalls will be within walking distance of the facility by the fall of 2014. Pinnacle Bank Arena includes an expansive student section with 1,000 seats on the 100 Level, including behind the team benches. Pinnacle Bank Arena also includes 36 suites, 20 loge boxes and 11 permanent concession stands around the arena.

Containing 470,400 square feet, the new Pinnacle Bank Arena seats over 15,000 fans when configured for Husker Basketball games. It is divided into two bowls (upper and lower) and three levels (100, 200, 300) with Premium Seating Suites and Loge Boxes located between Level 100 and Level 200. There will be over 160 concession points of sale and two private Club Lounges, one located on the Main Concourse (Level 100) and one on the Premium Level Concourse.

 

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