A quartet of Nebraska basketball players were honored Wednesday, as the Big Ten Conference announced its Winter Academic All-Big Ten Teams.
Juniors Trevor Menke and Kye Kurkowski and sophomores Shavon Shields and Sergej Vucetic were among the 32 basketball players from around the conference honored Wednesday. Nebraska’s four selections were second in the Big Ten.
Menke and Kurkowski were honored for the third straight year, as Nebraska finished with a 19-13 record and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Menke, who is a social science education major, played in five games and hit his only 3-pointer of the year in NU’s win over Purdue, while Kurkowski is an agricultural engineering major who played in five games and had his only basket at NCAA Sweet 16 qualifier Michigan.
Shields, who majors in microbiology, is honored for the second straight year, as he averages 12.8 points and a team-best 5.8 rebounds per game. An honorable-mention All-Big Ten pick and two-time Big Ten Player of the Week, Shields had four games of at least 20 points, including a career-high 33 points against Illinois and 28 points against Florida Gulf Coast.
Vucetic, who has not declared a major, played in seven games and had four points and four rebounds, including two points and two rebounds against South Carolina State. It is the first time that Vucetic has earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.
To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Under Coach Tim Miles, Nebraska has had seven Academic All-Big Ten selections over the past two seasons.
The Huskers finished the 2013-14 season with a 19-13 record and a fourth-place place finish in the Big Ten with an 11-7 mark. Under Miles, the Big Ten Coach of the Year, the Huskers reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998, while their 11 conference wins were the most since the 1965-66 season. Nebraska is expected to return all five starters, including first-team All-Big Ten performer Terran Petteway, for the 2014-15 season.