Huskers Look to Knock off Unbeaten Buckeyes
2013-14 Record: 8-5, 0-1 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
Record at Nebraska: 23-23 (2nd year)
Career Record: 306-243 (19th year)
Ohio State Buckeyes
2013-14 Record: 14-0, 1-0 Big Ten
Head Coach: Thad Matta
Record at Ohio State: 264-73 (10th year)
Career Record: 366-104 (14th year)
Huskers on TV/Radio/Internet
(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: Jim Jackson
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 (OSU feed): Sirius Ch. 85, XM Ch. 85
Huskers Look to Knock off Unbeaten Buckeyes
The Nebraska basketball team looks to snap a two-game losing streak on Saturday, as the Huskers travel to Columbus, Ohio, for a matchup with No. 3 Ohio State.
Tipoff is set for 11 a.m. at Value City Arena 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 Jim Jackson on the call. The game will also be available online and on mobile devices on BTN2Go.
Saturday’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 (8-5, 0-1 B1G) enter Saturday’s game with an 8-5 record after dropping a 67-57 setback at No. 22 Iowa on Tuesday evening. In that game, the Huskers cut a 20-point deficit to 60-55 with under two minutes remaining, but Iowa hit enough free throws in the final minute to hold on. Nebraska, which was last in the Big Ten in rebounding, enjoyed a 44-42 advantage on the glass against Iowa, but could not overcome 30 percent shooting from the floor against the Hawkeyes.
If the Huskers are to pull their first upset against a top-five team away from Lincoln since 1994 on Saturday, the Huskers will need another strong rebounding effort and create some points against a Buckeye squad that leads the Big Ten in scoring defense at 55.1 points per game.
In the loss against Iowa, Nebraska put four players in double figures and received strong performances from sophomores Terran Petteway and Walter Pitchford. Petteway led all scorers with 20 points - his third straight 20-point game - and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds, while Pitchford put together his best game at Nebraska with 13 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
Nebraska and Michigan State are the only Big Ten teams on the road twice during the opening week, and the Huskers will be tested by an Ohio State (14-0, 1-0 BIG) team which is one of the last eight remaining unbeaten teams in the country. LaQuinton Ross leads a balanced OSU attack with 13.8 points per game, while All-Big Ten guard Aaron Craft averages 9.4 points, 5.0 assists and a Big Ten-best 2.5 steals per game.
By the Numbers
6 - Tuesday’s game against Iowa marked the sixth time in the last 10 years that multiple Huskers had double-doubles in a game.
- vs. Colorado (2/22/06) - Wes Wilkinson (17 pt., 13 reb.); Aleks Maric (13 pt., 13 reb.)
- vs. Baylor (2/6/06) - Jason Dourisseau (16 pt., 10 reb.); Aleks Maric (14 pt., 13 reb.)
- vs. Missouri (1/30/08) - Aleks Maric (13 pt., 13 reb.); Ryan Anderson (11 pt., 10 reb.)
- vs. Missouri (2/13/08) - Aleks Maric (32 pt., 16 reb.); Ryan Anderson (15 pt., 11 reb.)
- vs. TCU (12/11/10) - Jorge Brian Diaz (13 pt., 12 reb.); Toney McCray (15 pt., 10 reb.)
- vs. Iowa (12/31/13) - Terran Petteway (20 pt., 12 reb.); Walter Pitchford (13 pt. 12 reb.)
100 - Ray Gallegos will make his team-high 100th appearance on Saturday against Ohio State.
Scouting Ohio State
Under Thad Matta, Ohio State comes into Saturday’s game with a 14-0 record and a No. 3 national ranking. Matta, who served as an assistant to former Nebraska Coach Barry Collier at Butler, is in his 10th season at OSU and has guided the Buckeyes to seven NCAA appearances, including an NCAA runner-up finish in 2007 and a Final Four appearance in 2012. OSU returned four starters from a team that won 29 games and reached the Elite Eight in 2012-13.
OSU has been stout defensively, ranking fourth nationally in scoring defense (55.1 ppg) and not allowing a team to reach 70 points this season. The Buckeyes are holding teams to just 37 percent from the field, including a conference-low 24 percent from 3-point range. OSU has non-conference wins over Marquette and Notre Dame and opened Big Ten play with a 78-69 win at Purdue.
The Buckeyes are a balanced team with four players averaging over nine points per game and nine players who average double-figure minutes. Junior LaQuinton Ross averages a team-high 13.8 points per game and shoots 37 percent from 3-point range, while senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr., averages 13.4 points per game and has a team-high 25 3-pointers. All-Big Ten selection Aaron Craft is a four-year starter who averages 9.4 points, 5.0 assists and a Big Ten-leading 2.5 steals per game. Shannon Scott is second in the Big Ten with 2.2 steals per game and also dishes out nearly four assists per outing. The Huskers and Buckeyes will meet twice this month, as OSU visits Pinnacle Bank Arena on Jan. 20.
Nebraska-Ohio State Series History
Ohio State leads the all-time series, 9-2, in a series that dates back to 1936. The Buckeyes have won eight straight meetings dating back to 1987, including all three meetings against the Buckeyes in 2012-13.
Nebraska won two of the first three meetings, including a win in the 1985 Sun Bowl Invitational, but OSU swept a home-and-home series and also picked up an 85-74 win in Columbus in the 1989 NIT before winning the first five matchups as Big Ten schools. Including Saturday’s game, the Buckeyes have come into the contest ranked in seven of the last eight meetings, including five times in the top 10.
Last Meeting vs. Ohio State (B1G Tournament)
Nebraska ran into a hot-shooting Ohio State team, as the No. 10 Buckeyes posted a 71-50 win over the Huskers in the Big Ten quarterfinals at the United Center.
Ohio State shot 59 percent on the night, including 77 percent in the second half, to break open a 28-23 halftime lead. OSU took control in the opening minutes of the second half, using an 11-0 run in the first four minutes to build a 39-23 lead. Sam Thompson scored seven of his career-high 19 points in the spurt, as he went 8-of-9 shooting on the night, including three 3-pointers. In all, the Buckeyes hit 11 of their first 12 shots from the floor in the second half in building a 26-point lead. Nebraska made one last run, using a 15-3 spurt to pull within 59-45 after a Dylan Talley basket with 5:23 left, but OSU scored seven of the next nine points to push the lead back to 19 after a Deshaun Thomas’ 3-pointer with 3:58 left which effectively ended the Huskers’ comeback hopes.
Thompson and Thomas led OSU with 19 points each, while OSU held Nebraska to 41 percent shooting and forced 15 Husker turnovers. Brandon Ubel led Nebraska with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting and seven rebounds, while freshman Shavon Shields added 14 points and five rebounds.
Last Time Out
Behind double-double from sophomores Terran Petteway and Walter Pitchford, Nebraska nearly cut a 20-point second-half deficit to five before falling to No. 22 Iowa, 67-57.
Nebraska trailed 55-35 with 8:16 left, only to go on a 20-5 spurt behind the play of Petteway and junior Deverell Biggs to pull within 60-55 after a Petteway 3-pointer with 1:45 left. The Huskers trailed 61-55 and had the ball with under a minute left, but a costly turnover ended the run, and Iowa made 6-of-8 foul shots in the final 47 seconds to hold on for the win.
Nebraska shot just 30 percent from the field, but stood tall against the Big Ten’s best rebounding team. The Huskers out-rebounded the Hawkeyes, 44-42, behind career highs from both Petteway and Pitchford. Petteway led Nebraska with a game-high 20 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, while Pitchford posted his second double-double in the losing effort with 13 points and a season-high 12 rebounds.
Roy Devyn Marble led Iowa with 15 points, while Aaron White had 13 points, including nine in a 16-3 Hawkeye run to end the first half, and seven rebounds.
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.
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.
This season, Nebraska is again picked 12th in the preseason poll of writers with a roster which is 293rd (of 351 teams) in experience according to KenPom.com. Six of NU’s 10 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.
In Tuesday’s Big Ten opener against Iowa, 47 of Nebraska’s 57 points (82 percent) were scored by players making their conference debut, while 35 of NU’s 40 rebounds (does not include team rebounds) were grabbed by players in their first Big Ten game.
Huskers vs. Ranked Teams
Saturday’s game at Ohio State marks the second ranked opponent the Huskers will see in Big Ten play. In all, the conference has four teams ranked this week, including three in the top five (Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State), while two others are receiving votes.
*- Nebraska is 59-232 all-time against ranked teams and has knocked off at least one ranked team in 11 of the past 13 seasons (all but 2010-11 & 2012-13).
*- Nebraska is winless in 11 tries against ranked teams under Tim Miles and has lost 14 straight games against ranked opponents since a 70-69 win over No. 11 Indiana at the Devaney Center on Jan. 18, 2012.
*- Nebraska looks to snap a 19-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 22 games away from home against ranked teams since the win over the Aggies.
*-The Huskers have lost eight straight games against top-10 teams dating back to a 70-67 win over third-ranked Texas on Feb. 19, 2011.
*-The Huskers have lost their last 27 games away from home against top-10 teams, including 23 straight road games. Nebraska’s last road win against a top 10 team was a 74-69 win at Iowa State on Feb. 22, 1997.
Nebraska-Purdue Jan. 12 Time Set
The Big Ten Conference announced the start times for the men’s and women’s basketball games on Sunday, Jan. 12. The times were listed as TBA on the schedule until the NFL Playoff schedule was set. The Huskers will take on Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., at 11 a.m. (CT) and the game will be televised on BTN.
Finding Offensive Pace
Despite having six new faces in Nebraska’s primary 10-man rotation, the Huskers have been a much more prolific offensive team in 2013-14. The Huskers are averaging nearly 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 71.0 points per game is the highest in six seasons, as the 2007-08 team was the last Husker team to average more than 70 points per game thru the first 13 contests.
*- 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 twice in 13 games.
*-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 of its 10 regulars reach double figures at least once this season. The Huskers had two games where five players reached double figures and five 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.
*- According to KenPom.com, Nebraska ranks 74th in free throw percentage rate this season after ranking 331st nationally in the category in 2012-13. Two of Miles’ final three Colorado State teams ranked in the top 40 in that category.
*- In two seasons under Miles, Nebraska is 18-6 when scoring over 60 points.
Setting a Benchmark
As the Huskers have looked at different lineup combinations, one constant during non-conference play has been improved bench play. Nebraska is averaging 22.6 points and 14.9 rebounds per game from its bench entering Saturday’s game with Ohio State, with Deverell Biggs and Leslee Smith providing much of the punch off the bench.
Biggs is third on the team in scoring at 9.6 ppg while averaging 18.9 minutes per outing. He is shooting 41 percent from the floor and is fourth among all Big Ten bench players in scoring average. Biggs scored a season-high 18 points against Northern Illinois on Nov. 30, one of four double-figure efforts this season. The 6-foot guard also led NU with six rebounds in the loss to Creighton on Dec. 8, and dished out a season-high six assists against Arkansas State on Dec. 14. He opened Big Ten play with 12 points, four rebounds and a pair of steals in Tuesday’s loss at Iowa.
Smith has been the Huskers’ most consistent performer in non-conference play according to Tim Miles, as he gives NU a post presence. Smith is averaging 7.7 points on 58 percent shooting and a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game to rank 12th in the Big Ten. He also leads the Huskers and ranks 12th in the Big Ten with 1.0 blocks per game. The 6-foot-8 junior college transfer has two double-doubles on the season, most recently 10 points and 10 rebounds against The Citadel on Dec. 21. He was limited to just 10 minutes at Iowa on Tuesday.
The primary rotation is rounded out by guards Benny Parker and Nathan Hawkins and forward David Rivers. Parker has been NU’s primary backup point guard and has appeared in all 13 games. Hawkins missed NU’s first eight games with a foot injury and has eased his way into the rotation, while Rivers has appeared in eight contests.
*- Nebraska’s bench has out-scored its opponents in eight of the last 11 games since Biggs and Ray Gallegos returned to the lineup on Nov. 17.
*- 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 31.1 minutes per game, while nine Huskers average at least 13 minutes per game.
*- Nebraska had three players reach double figures in the win over Georgia (Tai Webster-14; Ray Gallegos-11; Leslee Smith-18).
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.
*- The previous school record for season ticket sales was 12,000 set in 1992-93. Nebraska is averaging 15,143 fans per game in 2013-14, including the four largest crowds in school history.
*-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). Heading into the start of Big Ten play, Nebraska is averaging 4,791 more fans per game than in 2012-13.
*-The Huskers have rewarded the fans during non-conference play, going 7-0 at home and out-scoring foes by 15.4 points per game. Six of Nebraska’s wins have been by double figures, as the Huskers finished unbeaten in non-conference play for the first time since 2010-11.
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, the younger Shields has played an integral role over the last two years on the court.
As a freshman, Shields 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 and becoming a leading option.
*- Shields enters the Iowa game averaging 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, ranking first or second in all three categories.
*- Despite being a sophomore, Shields has the team's longest starting streak at 32 games dating back to last season.
*- He is 25th in the Big Ten in scoring and has been in double figures nine times to rank second on the team. He has also been a consistent rebounder, grabbing at least six rebounds in eight of NU’s 13 contests, including a season-high eight boards at Cincinnati.
*- Shields has paced the Huskers in scoring three 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 - on 8-of-13 shooting 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.
Transfers Make Immediate Impact for Big Red
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, Walter Pitchford and Deverell Biggs. The trio led a scout team which regularly pushed the Husker starters in practice and set the stage for the 2013-14 season. All three have played significant roles for the Huskers this season.
Petteway, who began his career at Texas Tech, has been one of the Big Ten’s best newcomers. He enters the weekend ranked fifth in the conference in scoring at 17.3 ppg, while also averaging 5.2 caroms per outing.
*- Petteway has raised his scoring average more than 14 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 17.5 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 has six games of at least 20 points this season, including a career-high 30 points against UMass in the Charleston Classic.
*-Petteway has three straight games of at least 20 points (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.
*- Entering Thursday’s games, Petteway is tied for the conference lead with six 20-point games, joining Michigan’s Nik Stauskas and Illinois’ Rayvonte Rice.
*-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 third in the Big Ten in free throw shooting at 85.9 percent after shooting just 46 percent from the line during his lone season at Texas Tech.
*-Reached double figures in 12 of 13 games in 2013-14 after just having one double-figure effort prior to this season.
*-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.
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 8.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-10 forward is a threat from long range, shooting 39 percent from 3-point range.
*-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.
*- Posted his first career double-double against Arkansas State on Dec. 14 with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
*- Reached double figures in scoring six times, including a season-high 14 points against Western Illinois.
*- Played a key role in the Huskers’ win over Miami in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge with 13 points and five rebounds against Miam.
Biggs has become a vital spark plug off the bench, as he averages 9.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while playing 18.9 minutes per game. He was a first-team NJCAA All-American at Seward (Kan.) Community College in 2011-12 before redshirting last season. Biggs, who is from Omaha, was the Huskers’ first scholarship recruit from Nebraska since 2001.
*- Enjoyed a memorable debut against South Carolina State on Nov. 17, scoring 17 points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out a pair of assists in 23 minutes off the bench.
*- Reached double figures four times, including a season-high 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting in NU’s win over Northern Illinois on Nov. 30. In that win, he preserved NU’s lead by hitting four free throws in the final eight seconds to clinch the win.
*- Dished out a season-high six assists against Arkansas State on Dec. 14, the highest single-game total for a Husker this season.
*- Nearly led Nebraska to a comeback win at Iowa, finishing with 11 points, four rebounds and a pair of steals, as the Huskers cut a 20-point deficit to five in the final two minutes.
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 been among the national leaders in that category, ranking 31st nationally with 10.5 turnovers per game. The Huskers have committed 10 turnovers or less in six of 13 contests.
Nebraska also ranks third in the Big Ten in turnover margin at +3.5 per contest. The Huskers also do a good job of getting the ball from opponents, ranking second in the Big Ten in both steals with 8.0 per game.
Webster Makes a Point, Plays the Point
Tai Webster has found a home in the Huskers’ backcourt, averaging 6.2 points, 2.6 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game entering Saturday’s game at Ohio State. Webster has been a much better distributor in recent games, averaging 3.5 assists per game over the last eight contests, including a streak of five straight games with a season high before it was snapped against The Citadel on Dec. 21. Webster had four assists and matched his personal best with four steals in Tuesday’s Big Ten opener at Iowa.
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.
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 fifth on the team in scoring at 7.9 points per game while averaging 1.8 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game.
*- Leads the Huskers with a 5-to-1 assist-to-turnover rate on the season in his 11 games. He has been even better since moving back into the starting lineup on Dec. 4, posting a 9-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio over Nebraska’s last six games.
*- Is enjoying his best shooting season both overall (.397, previous best was .366 as a freshman) and from 3-point range (.397, previous best was .349 in 2009-10). He is 15th in the Big Ten in 3-point percentage.
*-Has already set career high in assists on two occasions, including five assists against The Citadel on Dec. 21.
*-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 23 3-pointers this season and will move into a tie for ninth place on Nebraska’s career list with Paul Velander (128, 2006-09) when he connects on his next 3-pointer.
*- 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.
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.