Nebraska basketball coach Tim Miles met with the media before Tuesday's practice and hit on several topics, including the return of Shavon Shields to the Husker lineup, the team's success in cutting down turnovers and the challenges that Tulane brings for Wednesday's matchup with the Huskers. Here are some highlights from Miles' remarks.
What is Shavon Shields' injury status
"Shavon is going to practice today with no limitations, so the only limitation will be if he feels comfortable playing."
Is this the first time he's had no limitations
Have you ever had a player deal with this injury before
"This is my first one in 18 years of head coaching and this is the first bursa sac."
Did this injury affect him more than you thought it would?
"No. When they had to go in and do surgery and there is an infection, you know it is going to be longer than you want it to be so we will take it as it goes."
When he's healthy, what does he bring to the team?
"If you ask our players, they will tell you they really like playing with Shavon. He's a good player. He knows how to play. He makes everyone around him better, and he will be a valuable addition for us."
How far did it set him back?
"You never know. I would not expect him to come out and be the player I coached in the summer or the fall. I think it will take some time to work into that, but there is no doubt it set him back a little bit.
On how much time to expect Shavon to play early on
"He will play as long as he does well and helps the team."
Where do you see him playing, on the wing or in the post?
"I don't know what he is yet (position wise). I played Mike Peltz at four for a little bit the other day. I don't get caught up in the numbers. I just look at lineups and see what we need. He's another guy who can come off the bench and help us anywhere.
On limiting turnovers in recent games
"It is better ball movement, player movement, caring about the ball and understanding that we can't throw the ball to them and let them run down the court. These next two opponents are going to challenge us mightily when it comes to that. It will be much more like our scrimmage against Iowa State than what we have seen in the meantime. We will see a lot more pressure and more guys running through the passing lanes, but we have practiced against that here and there. At times, we have put our scout team out there and working our guys to be more ball tough. This week will be a big challenge for us to see how far we have come in the turnover game."
Coach (Ed) Conroy does a real nice job with them. I like their athleticism. They play with a motor and they compete, compete and compete. They are really active on the glass and have quick, long, athletic guys getting to the glass. I don't know if that translates to into huge numbers for them, but when I watched them, their activity level is really good on the glass. Their defensive pressure is really good and they disrupt you plenty.
They have guys like (Ricky) Tarrant, (Kendall) Timmons and (Josh) Davis inside. He's a left-handed, athletic, long and is a handful. Guys like Brandon Ubel, Shavon Shields and David Rivers will have their hands full.
On Benny Parker and his improvement
Benny has been doing a great job for us. I thought that he had his biggest hiccup the other night when he got two ticky-tack fouls and had to sit for a long time. Then he came out and wasn't quite into it and got in trouble with coach, but responded really well. I was very encouraged with how he finished the game. He has a great deal of athleticism. I don't think there is any question that is greatest strength is his on-ball defense. He can be disruptive and help our defense by getting the ball stopped. He's been really good for us early.