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Huskers Look to Knock Off No. 10 Michigan
Ray Gallegos and the Huskers travel to No. 10 Michigan on Wednesday.
Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
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Courtesy: NU Media Relations
02/04/2014
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Game #21     at Michigan
Game Date    Feb. 5, 2014
Tipoff Time   5:31 p.m. (CT)
Venue         Crisler Center
Capacity       12,271 

Nebraska Cornhuskers
2013-14 Record: 11-9, 3-5 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
    Record at Nebraska: 26-27 (2nd year)
    Career Record: 309-247 (19th year)

Michigan Wolverines
2013-14 Record: 16-5, 8-1 Big Ten
Head Coach: John Beilein
   Record at Michigan: 138-90 (7th year)
    Career Record: 689-408 (36th year)

Huskers on TV/Radio/Internet
Television: BTN
(Ch. 610 on DirecTV; Chs. 439, 9500 on DISH; Chs. 24 and 333-SD, 1333-HD on Time Warner Cable; Chs. 80 SD, 1080-HD on Cox Cable)

   Play by Play: Eric Collins
   Expert Analysis: Stephen Bardo

 Online:  BTN2Go

Radio: 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

Satellite Radio (Michigan Feed): Sirius Ch. 108, XM Ch. 190

Huskers Look to Knock Off No. 10 Michigan
After winning three of its last four games, the Nebraska basketball team travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a matchup with the No. 10 Michigan Wolverines on Wednesday night.

Tipoff at the Crisler Center is set for 5:31 p.m. (CT) and the game will be carried nationally on BTN (Ch. 610 on DirecTV, Chs. 439 and 9500 on Dish; Chs. 2, 1333 on Time Warner Cable) with Eric Collins and Stephen Bardo on the call. The game will also be available online and on mobile devices on BTN2Go.

Wednesday’s game will also be carried across the state on the 27-station Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Matt Davison calling all of the action, including flagship stations KLIN (1400 AM/94.5 FM) in Lincoln and KFAB (1110 AM) in Omaha (complete list of affiliates is on page five of the game notes). The game can also be heard on Huskers.com and is available on the Huskers’ app on iOS or android devices, as well as Sirius and XM Radio.

The Huskers (11-9, 3-5 B1G) have been off since a 60-55 win over Indiana on Thursday night. In that game, the Huskers overcame a 16-point first-half deficit, outscoring Indiana, 41-23 in the second half to improve to 10-1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Sophomore Terran Petteway led the Huskers with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting and added three assists to pace four Huskers in double figures. Nebraska’s 16-point deficit was the largest the Huskers had overcome this season and second-largest during Tim Miles’ tenure in Lincoln.

Petteway has played some of his best basketball during the Huskers’ surge over the last two weeks, averaging 21.5 points per game over the last four games, while shooting 61 percent from the field in that span. On the season, Petteway is now second in the Big Ten in scoring at 18.2 points per game.

Nebraska now closes the first half of Big Ten play looking for their first road win of the season. The Huskers had chances to pick up victories in each of their two road games, as they led in the final six minutes at both Purdue and Penn State, but were unable to hang on down the stretch.

Michigan (16-5, 8-1 B1G) looks to rebound after its first loss in Big Ten play, a 63-52 setback at Indiana on Sunday. The Hoosiers held Nik Stauskas to just six points on a 1-of-6 shooting, as he entered the game second in the Big Ten in scoring at 18.4 points per game. Michigan’s loss snapped a 10-game win streak dating back to a loss to then-No. 1 Arizona on Dec. 15.

In the first meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska suffered a 71-70 loss to the Wolverines on Jan. 9. The Huskers had two chances to win in the final seconds but a missed shot by Terran Petteway and a missed tip-in by Leslee Smith allowed Michigan to escape with the one-point win.

By the Numbers
.833 - Nebraska’s winning percentage in games decided by five points or less under Tim Miles. The Huskers are 10-2 in such games over the last two seasons.

2 - Nebraska’s two-game conference win streak is its first since joining the Big Ten.  The last time NU won three straight conference games was during the 2010-11 season.

6 - Nebraska’s last six games have all been decided by six points or less.

11 - In the NCAA’s official RPI released Monday, 11 of the 12 teams are in the top-100 of the RPI, including five schools in the top 22.

35 - Points by Terran Petteway against Minnesota on Jan. 26, the second-highest scoring effort in the Big Ten this season. Petteway is also the only Big Ten player with multiple 30-point games this season.

 

Scouting Michigan
Michigan comes into Wednesday’s game with a 16-5 record and a No. 10 ranking following a 63-52 setback at Indiana on Sunday. The Wolverines had won 10 straight before the loss to the Hoosiers and are tied with Michigan State at the top of the Big Ten race with an 8-1 conference mark.

The Wolverines returned three starters and eight letterwinners from a team that won 31 games and were the 2013 NCAA runner up. Under the direction of John Beilein, the Wolverines have reached the NCAA Tournament in three straight seasons, including the program’s first Final Four appearance since 1993 last season. Michigan has been tough at home, going 9-1 this season with the only loss a 72-70 decision to then No. 1 Arizona on Dec. 14.

Michigan has been without the services of preseason All-American Mitch McGary, who played in just eight games before electing to undergo back surgery. McGary averaged 9.5 points and a team-best 8.3 rebounds per game. Despite McGary’s loss, the Wolverines have been led by a trio of sophomores in Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Caris LeVert, all of who average in double figures. Stauskas leads Michigan and ranks among the Big Ten scoring leaders at 17.8 points per game while shooting 45 percent from 3-point range. He also paces UM with 73 assists. Robinson, who could have been a first-round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, averages 13.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while LeVert is at 12 points per contest. In conference play, Michigan is shooting 51 percent as a team and has been balanced offensively with four players averaging double figures. In addition the tandem of Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford are combining for 13.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game in Big Ten play while shooting a combined 76 percent from the field.

 

Nebraska-Michigan Series History
Wednesday’s meeting is the 12th between the Huskers and Wolverines. Michigan leads the all-time series, 9-2, in a series that dates back to 1949, although the Wolverines’ win over the Huskers in the 1992 Rainbow Classic was later vacated.

Michigan has been ranked in the national polls in five of the 11 previous matchups, including No. 2 during the lone meeting of 2012-13, a 62-47 win in Ann Arbor. One of Nebraska’s two wins in the series was a 74-73 win over No. 1 Michigan at the NU Coliseum on Dec. 12, 1964. In that game, Fred Hare’s buzzer beater knocked off the Cazzie Russell-led Wolverines. That win is one of three wins over No. 1 ranked teams in Nebraska’s history. Nebraska is 2-1 all-time in Lincoln with wins in 1956 and 1964.

 

Last Meeting vs. Michigan
Derrick Walton Jr. hit a driving layup with 23 seconds remaining, lifting Michigan to a 71-70 win over Nebraska in front of a sellout crowd of 15,012 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Walton’s heroics put the Wolverines ahead in a back-and-forth game which saw 11 ties and 10 lead changes, as neither team led by more than six points the entire game. The Huskers had a shot to win, but Terran Petteway’s drive slipped off the rim and Leslee Smith’s putback attempt at the buzzer rolled off the rim, as Nebraska suffered its first loss at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Petteway, who had 14 of his 16 points in the second half, kept the Huskers in the game down the stretch, hitting baskets to tie the score at 67 and 69 before his free throw with 34 seconds left gave Nebraska a one-point lead at 70-69 before Walton’s basket gave the Wolverines the lead for good.

Last time Out
It was a tale of two halves, as Nebraska overcame a 16-point deficit with a 60-55 win over Indiana Thursday. The Huskers overcame a 13-point halftime deficit by shooting 52 percent in the second half to outscore Indiana, 41-23, over the final 20 minutes.

Terran Petteway led four Huskers in double figures with 18 points, including 13 in the second half to lead Nebraska to its second straight Big Ten win. Nebraska outscored Indiana, 20-8 in the opening seven minutes of the half to erase the deficit and made the plays down the stretch to win.

Trailing 40-29, Petteway’s 3-pointer and a four-point play from Ray Gallegos highlighted a 10-0 surge that pulled Nebraska within 40-39 after a Petteway jumper with 13:01 left.
Nebraska trailed 46-43 after Evan Gordan’s jumper with 8:03 left, but took control with an 8-0 spurt keyed by one of the most unlikely contributors. Freshman Nathan Hawkins, making his first appearance since Jan. 4, tied the game with his second 3-pointer of the season before a pair of Shields free throws with 6:57 left gave the Huskers their first lead since the opening minutes of the night. Walter Pitchford then capped the run with a 3-pointer from the wing to give the Huskers a 51-46 lead.

Indiana, which shot 45 percent but committed 19 turnovers, fought back and was within 51-50 with 4:40 left before Shields, who finished with 11 points and career bests in both assists (four) and steals (four) hit a driving layup. Petteway then hit a long 3-pointer that staked Nebraska a 56-50 lead with 2:05 left.

Indiana would pull to within three, at 58-55 on a Yogi Ferrell 3-pointer with 48 seconds left, but the Huskers hit just enough free throws in the final minute to improve to 10-1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Pitchford and Gallegos finished in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively for the Huskers. Ferrell led three Hoosiers in double figures with 14 points and five assists.

 

Story Lines
*-Nebraska looks for its third straight conference win, the first that has happened at Nebraska since a three-game win streak during the 2010-11 season (Oklahoma State, at Oklahoma, No. 3 Texas).
*-The Huskers will look for their second straight win over a ranked foe, which would mark the first time that has happened for the Huskers since 2010-11 (No. 3 Texas, No. 22 Missouri). The Huskers snapped a 15-game skid against ranked teams with a 68-62 win over No. 17 Ohio State on Jan. 20.

*-Nebraska looks to snap a 20-game losing streak against ranked teams on the road. The Huskers’ last road win against a ranked team was a 65-59 win at No. 22 Texas A&M on Feb. 23, 2008. In all, NU has lost its last 23 games away from home against ranked teams since the win over the Aggies.
*-The Huskers have lost nine straight games against top-10 teams dating back to a 70-67 win over third-ranked Texas on Feb. 19, 2011.
*-Terran Petteway not only leads the Big Ten in scoring in conference games (19.2 ppg), but he is also the only player in the conference in the top-10 in both scoring and rebounding (6.1 rpg).
*-Petteway has scored in double figures in each of the last 17 games, the longest stretch by a Husker since Aleks Maric reached double figures in 17 straight games spanning the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. If Petteway reaches double figures against Michigan, the 18-game streak would be the longest by a Husker since Venson Hamilton had 20 straight games during the 1998-99 season - a year he was named Big 12 Player of the Year.
*-Wednesday’s game will be the second since junior guard Deverell Biggs was dismissed from the program on Jan. 28. The Huskers are 4-1 in the five games he missed with the only loss coming at now No. 7 Cincinnati on Dec. 28.
*-Nebraska has been proficient from 3-point range over the last three games, shooting at a 45 percent clip (29-of-64) and averaging nearly 10 3-pointers per game.
*- Ray Gallegos could jump two spots on Nebraska’s career 3-point chart on Wednesday as he enters the game with 142 in his career. He is within striking distance of eighth (Tyronn Lue, 145) and seventh (Cookie Belcher, 146) on NU’s all-time list.

 

Quick Look at Nebraska
As second-year coach Tim Miles continues his rebuilding process at Nebraska, the Huskers’ roster is starting to take shape. Only two of the 12 players on scholarship have been at NU longer than two seasons (Ray Gallegos and David Rivers), while Gallegos is the only scholarship senior on the 2013-14 roster.

This season, Nebraska is picked 12th in the preseason poll of writers with a roster which is 293rd (of 351 teams) in experience according to KenPom.com. Four of NU’s eight primary rotation players are in their first year of competition at Nebraska, although three of the newcomers (Pitchford-Florida; Smith-SMU; Petteway-Texas Tech) have previous Division I experience.

*-Nebraska enters the game at No. 72 in the RPI released on Monday with a schedule ranked 23rd nationally. According to RealtimeRPI, it is the fifth-toughest schedule in the conference, as six of the 12 schools have schedules in the top 25 nationally.

*-Of Nebraska’s nine losses, six are to teams ranked in either the AP or coaches poll this week (OSU, Iowa, UMass, Cincinnati, Michigan and Creighton).

Miles, who was given a seven-year contract when he was hired in 2012, led the Huskers to a 15-18 record last year, as 14 of NU’s 18 losses came against NCAA Tournament teams despite having only eight recruited scholarship players available. Nebraska played one of the nation’s toughest schedules in 2012-13, facing 10 ranked teams while the strength of schedule was 13th nationally. The Huskers finished 10th in the Big Ten in 2012-13 after being picked to finish last by 23 of the 24 beat writers in the league.

Finding Offensive Pace
Despite having several new faces in the rotation, the Huskers have been a much more prolific offensive team in 2013-14. The Huskers are averaging over 10 points more per game than at this point last year, including a season-high 90 points against UMass on Nov. 21 - NU’s highest single-game total since the 2009-10 season.

*-Nebraska’s team scoring average of 68.7 points per game is on track to be the highest at Nebraska since the 2003-04 season, when Nebraska averaged 70.5 points per game. In fact, Nebraska has averaged 70 points per game twice since 2000.

*-The Huskers’ tempo has vastly increased, as Nebraska was over 300th in adjusted tempo in each of the last three seasons and is now 182nd this season entering Wednesday’s game at Michigan.

*-Last year, NU was 12th in the Big Ten in scoring offense at 58.3 points per game. So far this season, Nebraska has been held under 60 points just four times in 20 games.

*-Nebraska is one of 54 teams averaging more than 10 points per game from 2013-14 entering this week’s action.

*-Nebraska’s 82 points against Minnesota marked the most points by the Huskers in a conference game since joining the Big Ten in 2011-12.

*-Nebraska scored 80 or more points in consecutive games against South Carolina State and UMass, the first time that has happened since the 2008-09 season.

*-Nebraska has had eight players reach double figures at least once this season. The Huskers had two games where five players reached double figures and seven others with four double-figure scorers.

*-Nebraska has already scored 75 or more points five times this season after just reaching that plateau twice in 33 games during the 2012-13 season.

*-In two seasons under Miles, Nebraska is 21-8 when scoring over 60 points.

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 allotted for 2013-14 had been accounted for, as season-ticket sales were up nearly 95 percent from 2012-13. It marked the third straight season that tickets sales were up.

*-Nebraska is on track to shatter the school’s single-season attendance record of 13,357 per game set in 1992-93. Nebraska enters February averaging 15,239 fans per game in 2012-13, including the seven largest crowds in school history.

*-The previous school record for season ticket sales was 12,000 set in 1992-93. The Huskers sold over 14,000 season tickets for its first season in the building.

*-During non-conference action, attendance was up 56 percent from the 2012-13 season.

*-Over the last five seasons, only four schools have increased their attendance by more than 3,000 fans per game in a single season with the largest increase by BYU in 2010-11 (4,685 per game increase). Nebraska is currently averaging 4,887 more fans per game than in 2012-13.

*-The Huskers have rewarded the fans by going 10-1 in the first season at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Nebraska finished non-conference play unbeaten for the first time since 2010-11, and knocked off their first ranked foe since 2012 with the win over No. 15 Ohio State on Jan. 20.

The Son Also Rises
Nebraska sophomore Shavon Shields is on his way to creating an impressive resume in his own right. While his father, Will, is one of the greatest linemen in college and NFL history and a three-time NFL Hall of Fame finalist, the younger Shields has played an integral role over the last two years on the court.

As a freshman, Shavon overcame an early season elbow injury and averaged 8.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in 29 games. Shields started to shine during the 2013 Big Ten Tournament, averaging 16.5 points on 61 percent shooting in games against Purdue and Ohio State. 

*-Shields, who was hampered by a knee bruise suffered in practice early in Big Ten play, comes into Wednesday’s game averaging 11.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, as he ranks second on the team in scoring, rebounding and assists.

*-He has been solid the last three games following the Huskers’ first bye, averaging 11.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. In his last game against Indiana, Shields had 11 points and set career bests in both assists (four) and steals (four) in NU’s five-point win.

*-Shields has the team's longest starting streak at 39 games dating back to last season.

*-He has been in double figures 12 times, and has grabbed at least six rebounds in 12 of NU’s 20 contests. Shields tied or set season bests in rebounds in three straight games, including 10 boards against Penn State.

*-Shields broke out against No. 17 Ohio State on Jan. 20 with a game-high 18 points and nine rebounds. In the previous five games, he was averaging five points per game on 24 percent shooting.

*-Shields has paced the Huskers in scoring four times and has a pair of 20-point games this season. Both of his 20-point nights came against 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifiers (Florida Gulf Coast and Creighton).

*-He was named Big Ten Player of the Week and Lute Olson National Player of the Week for his effort against Sweet 16 qualifier Florida Gulf Coast in the season opener. In that game he scored a game-high 28 points - one off his career high - hitting 8-of-13 shots from the field and a perfect 12-of-12 from the line. The 6-foot-7 forward also led NU in rebounds (six) and assists (three).

*-Last summer, Shields played for the Denmark U-20 National Team, leading the country to the 2013 Nordic Cup 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.

*-Off the court, Shields is a microbiology major who wants to become a doctor following his basketball career and was named first-team Academic All-District VII on Jan. 31, as he carries a 3.77 GPA in mircobiology.

Petteway, Pitchford Provide Impact for Huskers
While the Huskers were short-handed last year with just eight recruited scholarship players available for action, Nebraska knew that help was on the way in the form of transfers Terran Petteway and Walter Pitchford, both of whom were sitting out in 2012-13.

Petteway, who began his career at Texas Tech, has been one of the Big Ten’s best newcomers. He enters the week ranked second in the conference in scoring at 18.2 ppg, while also averaging 5.3 caroms per outing.

*-Petteway has raised his scoring average over 15 points from his true freshman year at Texas Tech. Prior to joining the Husker roster, his career high in points at the college level was 13 against DePaul in 2011-12.

*-Petteway is on track to enjoy one of the highest scoring sophomore seasons in school history. At 18.2 points per game, it would be the highest by a Husker sophomore since Tyronn Lue averaged 18.8 points per game in 1996-97. In fact, only three players have averaged more than 16 points per game as a sophomore - Dave Hoppen (19.9), Lue and Jerry Fort (18.0).

*-He put together the finest game of his career in the win over Minnesota on Jan. 26 with a career-high 35 points on 10-of-15 shooting and six rebounds. Petteway hit four 3-pointers in the win and went 11-of-14 from the foul line.

*-Petteway is the only player over the last two seasons with multiple 30-point games. The last person with three 30-point games in a season was John Shurna of Northwestern in 2011-12. Only nine Big Ten players have had multiple 30-point games in a season since 2010.

*-He has seven games of at least 20 points this season, including four of the seven away from Pinnacle Bank Arena.

*-Reached double figures in 19 of 20 games after just having one double-figure effort prior to this season and has tied or led Nebraska in scoring in each of the past 10 games, dating back to Dec. 21. He reached double figures in 17 straight games dating back to his effort against UMass.

*-Petteway had a streak of three straight 20-point games (27 vs. Citadel; 22 at Cincinnati; 20 at Iowa) - the first time that has happened at Nebraska since Aleks Maric had four consecutive 20-point games in 2006-07.

*-Nearly put together a double-double in the loss at Purdue with 19 points, nine rebounds and two steals, along with two blocked shots.

*-Recorded his first career double-double at Iowa on Dec. 31, leading all scorers with 20 points and grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds.

*-Ranks sixth in the Big Ten in free throw shooting at 83.9 percent after shooting just 46 percent from the line during his lone season at Texas Tech.

*-Led the Huskers at the Charleston Classic in November, averaging 22 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in three games.

*-Became the 25th Husker to post a 30-point game, as he had 30 points in a 96-91 loss to UMass. In that game, he hit 8-of-20 shots from the floor, including a trio of 3-pointers, and converted 11 of 12 shots from the foul line. He is now one of only 13 Huskers in program history with multiple 30-point games.

Pitchford, who played 13 games at Florida in helping the Gators to the Elite Eight in 2011-12, has started at center for the Huskers, averaging 8.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-10 forward is a threat from long range, shooting 39 percent from 3-point range to rank among the Big Ten leaders in 3-point percentage.

*-Reached double figures in scoring nine times, including a season-high 14 points against Western Illinois on Nov. 11, and 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting against Minnesota on Jan. 26. Against the Gophers, Pitchford had seven of Nebraska’s first 10 points and added a pair of assists.

*-Was in double figures for the second straight game with 11 points in the win over Indiana on Jan. 30

*-Put together the best game of his career at Iowa on Dec. 31, finishing with 13 points and 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the year. Pitchford had eight offensive rebounds in the loss to the Hawkeyes.

*-Finished with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting against Michigan on Jan. 9.*- Posted his first career double-double against Arkansas State on Dec. 14 with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

*-Played a key role in the Huskers’ win over Miami in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge with 13 points and five rebounds against Miami.

*-Totaled an incredible 339:23 without a turnover dating back to his time at Florida before his first turnover on Jan. 9. The streak lasted 22 games, as he was the last regular rotation player in the country without a turnover.  On the season, he has just six turnovers in nearly 430 minutes of action.

Webster Makes a Point, Plays the Point
Tai Webster has found a home in the Huskers’ backcourt, averaging 5.6 points, 2.4 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game coming into Wednesday’s game with Michigan.  While he is averaging just 4.0 points per game in Big Ten play, he also leads the Huskers in assists (17) and steals (11) and shooting 75 percent from the line in conference play.

Webster had five points and four assists in 29 minutes in the win over Minnesota and had four points, two assists and two steals against Indiana. He dished out four assists and matched his personal best with four steals at No. 22 Iowa on Dec. 31 and put together his best game in Big Ten play against No. 17 Ohio State with nine points, including 5-of-6 from the foul line, and two rebounds.

The 6-foot-4 freshman enjoyed the best game of his career on Nov. 24 against Georgia, scoring 14 points and dishing out three assists in NU’s 73-65 win. Webster scored 13 of his points in the second half and went 7-of-9 from the foul line. It was his second double-figure effort of the Charleston Classic, as he totaled 12 points and two assists in NU’s loss to UMass. He has dished out a season-high five assists on three occasions, most recently against Arkansas State on Dec. 14.

With his start against Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 8, Webster became just the ninth true freshman to start a season opener in the last 18 years. Webster totaled nine points, two rebounds and an assist in helping the Huskers to a 79-55 win. He reached double figures for the first time in his young career against South Carolina State on Nov. 17, totaling 13 points, four rebounds and two assists.

Although he is a freshman who does not turn 19 until after this season, 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. Webster is among the five Big Ten freshmen to watch by ESPN’s Paul Biancardi, joining Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, Illinois’ Kendrick Nunn, Michigan’s Zak Irvin and Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes.

Gallegos Dials in From Long Distance
Senior guard Ray Gallegos is Nebraska’s top returning scorer, giving Tim Miles a luxury that few Husker coaches have had over the past few years. Gallegos’ 12.5 points per game average is the highest for a Husker returnee since Aleks Maric in 2007-08.

While Gallegos is known for being a long-range shooter who can hit shots in bunches, he has been more well rounded in 2013-14. He is fourth on the team in scoring at 8.2 points per game while averaging 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

*-Leads the Huskers with a career-high 3.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio on the season and has more than twice as many steals as turnovers on the year. Since moving back into the starting lineup on Dec. 4, Gallegos has a 4.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

*-Is enjoying his best shooting season both overall (.394, previous best was .366 as a freshman) and from 3-point range (.376, previous best was .349 in 2009-10).

*-Ranks sixth in the Big Ten with 2.1 3-pointers per game, including a trio of 3-pointers in the win over Indiana on Jan. 31. He also has four 3-pointers in the first matchup with Michigan on Jan. 9.

*-Has already set career high in assists on two occasions, including five assists against The Citadel on Dec. 21 and Minnesota on Jan. 23.

*-Enjoyed one of his best games of the season at Cincinnati on Dec. 28 with a season-high 18 points, including four 3-pointers, while dishing out three assists.

*-Leads the Huskers with 38 3-pointers this season and now sits in ninth place on Nebraska’s career 3-point chart with 142. He is three 3-pointers away from eighth place on NU’s career chart (Tyronn Lue, 145, 1996-98). Gallegos also ranks 60th on NU’s all-time scoring list with 720 points and would tie Brian Conklin (729, 2001-04) with nine points against Michigan.

*-Opened the 2013-14 season by hitting six of 10 3-pointers in a win over South Carolina State on Nov. 17, the fifth time he has hit on at least six 3-pointers in a game.

 

As a junior, he connected on 83 3-pointers, a total which ranked second on Nebraska’s single-season list. It is more impressive when you consider that Gallegos made only 21 3-pointers during his first two seasons at Nebraska before redshirting in 2011-12.

*-Led the Big Ten in 3-pointers per game (2.5 per game) during the 2012-13 season. He became the first Husker basketball player to lead the Big Ten in any statistical category.

*-Connected on a career-high seven 3-pointers at Iowa on March 9, 2013, a total which is one shy of Nebraska’s single-game record.

 

Value the Basketball

Under Tim Miles, one major emphasis is taking care of the basketball, and the Huskers were among the nation’s best in that category in 2012-13.  Nebraska finished 10th nationally with 10.7 turnovers per game - nearly three fewer than 2011-12. NU’s turnovers per game were the fewest in school history, bettering the 11.30 per game in 1984-85. Nebraska committed 10 turnovers or less 15 times in 2012-13, including a school-record two turnovers against Purdue on Jan. 16.

This season, the Huskers have also been among the national leaders in that category, ranking 73rd nationally with 11.4 turnovers per game. Nebraska is fifth in the Big Ten in turnover margin at +1.6 per contest. The Huskers also do a good job of getting the ball from opponents, ranking fourth in the Big Ten with 7.3 per game. 

Setting a Benchmark

For Nebraska, one of the biggest improvements has been the development of its bench this season. Nebraska is averaging over 20 points per game from its bench, compared to just over seven last season. With the dismissal of Deverell Biggs, the Huskers will have to replace nearly 10 points per game from its bench.

Despite the loss of Biggs, the Huskers feature one of the Big Ten’s best sixth men in Leslee Smith. The 6-foot-8 junior forward has been the Huskers’ most consistent performer according to Tim Miles, as he gives NU a physical post presence. Smith is averaging 7.3 points on 58 percent shooting and a team-high 5.9 rebounds per game to rank 13th in the Big Ten. Smith is one of only two players from the British Virgin Islands playing Division I basketball.

*-Leads the Huskers and is eighth in the Big Ten in double-doubles, most recently an 11-point, 10-rebound effort at No. 3 Ohio State on Jan. 4.

*-Has five games with at least 10 rebounds, as he is fifth in the Big Ten in that category. He is the only player on the list who is not a starter.

*-Leads the Huskers in both blocked shots (16) and steals (23) while averaging less than 20 minutes per game. Smith is bidding to become the first Husker to lead Nebraska in both steals and blocked shots in the same season.

Sophomore Benny Parker has been in the lineup all 20 games this year and has 1.9-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio as NU’s backup point guard. He had four points and a pair of assists in 10 minutes off the bench against Minnesota. Junior David Rivers is NU’s other primary post player, as he averages 2.2 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. He played 14 minutes - his highest total since Nov. 30 - against Ohio State on Jan. 20. Against Minnesota on Jan. 26, he grabbed four rebounds and had a blocked shot in 20 minutes. Against Indiana last Thursday, freshman Nathan Hawkins provided a boost, as he had three points and a rebound in 10 minutes off the bench - all in the second half.

*-Nebraska has received 15 double-figure games from its bench, including seven from Deverell Biggs and five from Leslee Smith.

*-Against South Carolina State, Nebraska’s bench combined for 51 of the 83 points, making the fifth time in the last decade NU has received at least 50 points from its bench.

*-Last year, Ray Gallegos and Dylan Talley both ranked among the top five in the Big Ten in minutes per game at over 35 minutes per game.  This year, no Husker is averaging more than 31.9 minutes per game, while eight active Huskers average at least 12.0 minutes per game.

*-Nebraska had three players reach double figures in the win over Georgia (Tai Webster-14; Ray Gallegos-11; Leslee Smith-18). 

Ending a Streak
Nebraska ended a 15-game losing streak to ranked teams with the win over No. 17 Ohio State on Jan. 20. The streak dated back nearly two seasons, and also marked the first win over Ohio State since joining the Big Ten Conference prior to the 2011-12 season. The six-point win snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Buckeyes, and marked Nebraska’s first win over OSU since 1985.

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 which 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 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 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 are 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. 

Husker Legacies

The 2013-14 Huskers have a number of players with relatives in college athletics. Sophomore 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. Will Shields is also a two-time finalist (2012-13) for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Two other Husker players have parents who participated in college sports, as David Rivers’ father, Ezelle, played collegiately at Arkansas Little Rock for four seasons, while Tai Webster’s father, Tony, was a first-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection at Hawaii.

Player

Relative

Sport-School

Worth Noting

David Rivers

Ezelle Rivers

MBB-Ark.-Little Rock

Four-year letterwinner; Starter in 1983-84 

Shavon Shields

Will Shields

FB-Nebraska

2011 College FB Hall of Fame; 12x NFL Pro Bowler

Tai Webster

Tony Webster

MBB-Hawaii

First-team All-WAC in 1983; Ranks 4th on Hawaii steals list

 

Corey Webster

MBB-New Zealand

Member of New Zealand National Team

Nathan Hawkins

Lauren Hawkins

VB-Memphis

Two-year starter at middle blocker/rightside hitter

Terran Petteway

Terrell Petteway

MBB-Lamar

Played at Lamar & professionally in England from 1999-2004

 

Miles Wins No. 300 vs. WIU

Nebraska Coach Tim Miles collected his 300th career victory on Nov. 12 against Western Illinois. Miles, who is in his 19th season as a college head coach with stops at Mayville State, Southwest Minnesota State, North Dakota State and Colorado State before taking the Nebraska job in March of 2012. Ironically enough, his 200th win came against current Husker assistant Craig Smith when Miles was at North Dakota State and Smith was the head coach at Mayville State.

Huskers Boast Experienced Coaching Staff

Tim Miles has put together an experienced staff as Nebraska looks to rebuild its program. In addition to Miles, who is in his 19th season, the coaches have combined for nearly 40 years of coaching experience.

Craig Smith is in his 17th season as a college head coach and has been with Coach Miles at nearly every stop of the way. Smith was Miles’ top assistant in his final four years at Colorado State and served as interim coach at CSU when Miles took the Nebraska job in March of 2013.

Chris Harriman is in his second season at Nebraska after working for the late Rick Majerus at Saint Louis University for four seasons. Harriman also spent four seasons as an assistant at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

Kenya Hunter is the newest member of Miles’ coaching staff as he was added in June of 2013 after spending the previous six seasons at Georgetown. He also served as an assistant coach at Xavier and Duquesne and as director of operations at North Carolina State.

 

Peltz Put on Scholarship

Nebraska Coach Tim Miles announced on Jan. 22 that senior Mike Peltz has been on scholarship for the spring semester. The 6-foot-3 guard/forward from Alliance, Neb., majors in business administration and is scheduled to graduate this August. Peltz played in 14 games last season before undergoing knee surgery. This year, he has appeared in seven games, totaling nine rebounds in 35 minutes of action.

 

2014 Legends Weekend Set for Feb. 28-March 1
Nebraska basketball Coach Tim Miles is welcoming all former Huskers back for the 2014 Legends Weekend.  The two-day event is from Feb. 28 to March 1 and is open to all former Husker basketball players, coaches and team managers.

The second-annual event includes a private reception on Friday evening, tours of Nebraska’s facilities, including the Hendricks Training Complex and Pinnacle Bank Arena, a chance to watch the Huskers’ game-day shoot-around, as well as tickets to Nebraska’s game against Northwestern on Saturday, March 1.  All of the former players in attendance will be recognized during a special halftime ceremony and receive a special gift.

To sign up for Legends Weekend and for a special group rate, contact Teddy Owens in the Nebraska Basketball Office at towens@Huskers.com or by phone at (918) 906-4229 by Feb. 12.

Feb. 23 Game Time Set vs. Purdue

The Big Ten Conference announced that Nebraska’s game against Purdue on Sunday, Feb. 23, will tip off at 3:15 p.m. (CT) on BTN. The game was part of a Big Ten Wildcard weekend, and the start time and television network was TBA.  The only remaining game with a TBA start is Senior Day against Wisconsin on March 9.

 

Huskers Sign Oklahoma Big Man
Nebraska Men’s Basketball Coach Tim Miles announced that Jacob Hammond signed a National Letter-of-Intent with the Husker basketball program on Nov. 13, the first day of the fall signing period.

Hammond, a 6-foot-10, 230-pounder from Comanche, Okla., is considered one of the nation’s top big men in the class of 2014. Hammond is rated among the top 150 players in the country by Rivals.com, while he was a consensus three-star selection by ESPN.com, Scout.com and 247 Sports.com. The 6-foot-10, 230-pounder is rated as the No. 2 prospect in the state of Oklahoma by both ESPN.com and 247 Sports. Hammond is the first Rivals’ top-150 recruit Nebraska has signed since the site began ranking prospects in 2003. Hammond selected Nebraska over a number of schools, including Oklahoma, TCU and Texas Tech.

Hammond currently attends Comanche High School, where he plays for Coach Nick Price. As a junior, he played for national power Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kan., for Coach Kyle Lindsted when he averaged 12 points per game in helping the school to a 29-1 record and a No. 6 ranking in the MaxPreps Academy Top-10 in 2012-13.  Hammond, who grew up in the Dallas area before his family moved to Oklahoma, spent the summer playing for the Dallas-based Pro Skills and the Oklahoma Magic AAU programs. As a sophomore, Hammond averaged 14 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks per game for the Oklahoma City Storm, a home school team, and began his high school career at Duncan High School as a freshman.

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