Game #4 vs. Massachusetts Game Date Nov. 21, 2013 Tipoff Time 11:30 a.m. Venue TD Arena Capacity 5,100
Nebraska Cornhuskers 2013-14 Record: 3-0, 0-0 Big Ten Head coach: Tim Miles Record at Nebraska: 18-18 (2nd year) Career Record: 301-238 (19th year)
Massachusetts Minutemen 2013-14 Record: 3-0, 0-0 Atlantic 10 Head Coach: Derek Kellogg Record at UMass: 88-77 (6th year) Career Record: Same
Huskers on TV/Radio/Internet Television: None
Online: ESPN3.com (http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index?) and the WatchESPN app Play-by-Play: Bob Picozzi Expert Analysis: Tim Welsh
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 (NU feed): Sirius Ch. 108, XM Ch. 190
Charleston Classic Schedule
Nebraska vs. UMass
UAB vs. New Mexico
Georgia vs. Davidson
Temple vs. Clemson
ESPNU or ESPN3
ESPN2 or ESPNU
Times listed are central
Huskers Face UMass in Charleston Classic Opener The Nebraska men’s basketball team hits the road for the first time in 2013-14, as the Huskers will head to Charleston, S.C., to compete in the Charleston Classic Presented by Gildan. The four-day, eight-team event features games on Thursday, Friday and Sunday across the ESPN family of networks (full schedule below).
Nebraska opens tournament play on Thursday, as the Huskers take on unbeaten Massachusetts at TD Arena beginning at 11:30 a.m. (central). The game will be online on ESPN3.com and on the WatchESPN app with Bob Picozzi and Tim Welsh on the call. There is no television on Thursday.
The tournament opener with the Minutemen 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. The game can be heard for free on Huskers.com and is available on the Huskers’ app on iOS or android devices.
The Huskers will be tested during the four-day event, as the four teams on the Huskers’ side of the bracket are a combined 11-0 entering this week’s action. In addition to the 3-0 Huskers, New Mexico is 2-0 and ranked 19th in this week’s AP poll, UMass is 3-0 and receiving votes in the national polls and UAB is also 3-0 to start the season. The Huskers will play either New Mexico or UAB on Friday, depending on Thursday’s results. The other side of the bracket consists of Clemson, Davidson,Georgia and Temple.
UMass will be a difficult test in the tournament opener, as the Minutemen already boast wins over Boston College and LSU and are coming off an 85-69 win over Youngstown State on Sunday. The Minutemen returned three starters from a team that won 21 games and went to the NIT in 2013, highlighted by senior point guard Chaz Williams (21.0 ppg, 8.0 apg).
The Huskers wrapped up its three-game homestand with an 83-57 win over South Carolina State on Sunday. Nebraska regained the services of guards Ray Gallegos and Deverell Biggs after both players missed the first two games of the season. The duo both came off the bench, combining for 35 points. Gallegos had a game-high 18 points, including 6-of-10 from 3-point range, while Biggs had 17 points, three rebounds and a pair of assists in his Husker debut. NU’s 83 points was its second-highest total in Tim Miles’ two seasons at NU. Nebraska’s much-improved depth has been evident early on, as the Huskers got 51 points from the bench. Junior college transfer Leslee Smith added 12 points and seven rebounds on Sunday to join Gallegos and Biggs in double figures. In all, NU put five players in double figures.
By the Numbers 0 - Previous meetings between the Huskers and UMass, as Thursday’s game will be the first matchup between the schools.
1 - Number of Husker basketball letterwinners from South Carolina - Mikki Moore. A Gaffney, S.C., native, Moore spent 13 seasons in the NBA from 1998 until 2012.
62 - Number of seconds the Huskers have trailed during the first three games - all coming in the first two minutes of Sunday’s win over South Carolina State.
74.7 - Nebraska’s points per game over the first three games, which is the highest after three games since the 2004-05 team averaged 80.3 points per game in its first three games. Last year, NU averaged 63.7 points per game in its first three contests.
+8.0 - Nebraska leads the Big Ten in turnover margin at +8.0 turnovers per game and has committed a league-low 7.7 turnovers per game.
Scouting Massachusetts Massachusetts comes to Charleston riding a 3-0 start, including victories over Boston College (86-73) and LSU (92-90). UMass is coached by Derek Kellogg, who played for Coach John Calipari at the school in the mid-1990s. Kellogg is in his sixth season at UMass, and has guided the program to consecutive NIT appearances in 2012 and 2013. Last year, UMass went 21-12 before losing in the first round of the NIT. The Minutemen return three starters and seven letterwinners and were picked to finish fourth in the Atlantic-10 preseason poll. They are led by senior point guard Chaz Williams, who is a two-time first-team All-Atlantic 10 selection. Williams averaged 15.5 points, 7.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game as a junior while his 242 assists ranked second nationally in 2012-13. Williams earned A-10 Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 21.5 points and 10.0 assists per games in two wins last week. Junior center Cady Lalanne provides a solid inside game by averaging 18.7 points on 78 percent shooting and 11 rebounds per contest. He was A-10 Player of the Week during the opening weekend, totaling 27 points on 12-of-16 shooting and 12 rebounds against Boston College.
Series History vs. UMass Nebraska’s game on Thursday will be the first meeting between the two schools, the only first-time opponent on the schedule (NU could face Clemson on Sunday in the first matchup between the schools). The Huskers are 9-8 against the current members of the Atlantic-10 Conference.
Last Time Out Ray Gallegos scored a game-high 18 points off the bench to lead five players in double figures, as Nebraska improved to 3-0 with an 83-57 win over South Carolina State.
Gallegos showed little rust in his first action of 2013-14 by hitting 6-of-10 from 3-point range, as the senior guard finished with 18 points in 23 minutes. Deverell Biggs added 18 points, two assists and three rebounds in 23 minutes in his Husker debut. Freshman Tai Webster added 13 points and four rebounds, while Leslee Smith finished with 12 points, a team-high seven rebounds and three steals and Shavon Shields added 10 points and six rebounds.
Nebraska took charge on the defensive end early, holding South Carolina State without a field goal for a stretch of 7:42, as the Huskers built an early double-figure lead. The Huskers used an early 13-1 run, highlighted by 3-pointers from Walter Pitchford and Biggs to take a 13-3 lead after a Smith putback.
Nebraska would keep the visitors at bay during the first half by going 6-of-12 from long range, including four 3-pointers from Gallegos in his 2013-14 debut. Gallegos’ fourth 3-pointer of the half gave the Huskers their largest lead of the half, at 36-23 with 2:35 left. South Carolina State would chip away in the final minutes, using an 8-3 run to pull within 39-31 at the break on an Adama Adams’ jumper to beat the halftime buzzer.
South Carolina State (1-3) pulled to within 40-35 after an Adams basket with 18:21 left, but baskets by Shields and Terran Petteway highlighted a 7-0 spurt which pushed the lead to 12 points after Petteway banked in a jumper. The Bulldogs were unable to cut the lead to single figures, but continued to hang around and were within 65-51 after a Devin Joint basket with 8:30 left before Nebraska finally put the game out of reach. Smith’s dunk ignited a 10-0 Husker spurt over the next two and a half minutes, as NU built a 75-51 lead and cruised to a 26-point win.
UMass Continues Tough Early Season Slate Thursday’s opener against Massachusetts continues a challenging non-conference schedule for the Huskers. Three of NU’s first four teams made postseason appearances in 2012-13. NU’s strength of schedule could improve depending on this week’s tournament results, while the Huskers still have defending ACC champion Miami and road trips at Creighton and Cincinnati before opening Big Ten play at nationally-ranked Iowa on Dec. 31.
Last year, Nebraska ranked 13th nationally in strength of schedule, a major reason why the Huskers were the only under .500 team in the top 100 of the RPI at the end of th regular season. In Miles’ final season at Colorado State in 2011-12, the Rams had the fourth-toughest schedule in the nation.
Finding Offensive Pace Despite having five new faces in Nebraska’s primary nine-man rotation, the Huskers have been a much more prolific offensive team in the early stages of 2013-14. The Huskers are averaging 11 points more per game than at this point last year, including 79 points against Florida Gulf Coast and 83 against South Carolina State. The Huskers currently lead the Big Ten in 3-point percentage and are fourth in field goal percentage. Last season, NU scored more than 75 points twice in 33 games.
Points from the Bench Nebraska relied on its bench in Sunday’s win over South Carolina State, as the Husker bench scored 51 points in an 83-57 victory. It marked only the fifth time in the last decade that NU’s bench put up at least 50 points in a game and the first time since the 2004-05 season. Sunday’s effort may be an anomoly, as Ray Gallegos, who started every game in 2012-13, came off the bench after serving a two-game suspension. He led NU with 18 points, but Deverell Biggs and Leslee Smith added 17 and 13 points, respectively. Smith averaged 11 points and six rebounds off the bench in NU’s two games last week.
•-Against Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 8, sophomore Benny Parker had a career-high nine points and two steals in 27 minutes. He single-handedly sparked the Huskers in a 10-0 second half run with seven points and both steals.
•-In NU’s win over Western Illinois on Nov. 12, Smith had 10 points, five rebounds and a pair of steals in 20 minutes. Smith scored six of his points in a 23-7 first-half run, turning a one-point lead into a 17-point advantage.
Quick Look at Nebraska As second-year coach Tim Miles continues his rebuilding process at Nebraska, Nebraska’s 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 team.
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 after being picked to finish last by 23 of the 24 beat writers in the league.
This season, Nebraska is picked 12th in the preseason poll of writers with a roster which is 271st (of 351 teams) in experience according to KenPom. Five of NU’s nine 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.
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, is now 301-238 in his career 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.
The Son Also Rises Nebraska sophomore Shavon Shields in 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 is carving out his own impressive career 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 was one of the few freshmen whose numbers improved during Big Ten play in 2012-13, as he upped his scoring and rebounding averages to 9.2 and 6.0 to rank among the Big Ten leaders. During the Huskers’ Big Ten Tournament run, the 6-foot-7, 219-pounder became one of the Huskers’ go-to players, averaging 16.5 points on 61 percent shooting in games against Purdue and Ohio State.
One of three captains this season, Shields picked up right where he left off and comes into this week averaging 17.0 points and a team-high 5.3 rebounds per game. Shields is seventh in the Big Ten in scoring, fourth in field goal percentage (.593) and fifth in free throw percentage (.905). He has reached double figures in all three games and put on a show against Florida Gulf Coast in the opener on Nov 8. He led all scorers with 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) en route to earning Big Ten Player of the Week and the Lute Olson Award National Player of the Week. Shields’ 28-point night marked the most points by a Husker in a season opener since 2006. He followed up with a 13-point effort in Nebraska’s win over Western Illinois on Nov. 12, and 10 points and six rebounds in Sunday’s win over South Carolina State.
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 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. Shields had nine points in the opener against Sweden and 14 points in the victory over host Finland.
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 Walter Pitchford, Terran Petteway 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.
Pitchford, who played 13 games at Florida in helping the Gators to the Elite Eight in 2011-12, gives the Huskers an athletic big man with extended shooting range. The 6-foot-10 center is averaging 8.7 points per game on 53 percent shooting, including 6-of-10 shooting from 3-point range. Pitchford, who also is averaging 3.7 rebounds per game, led NU with 14 points in the win over Western Illinois on Nov. 12, including eight straight points in a first-half run.
Petteway, who began his career at Texas Tech, has been one of the Huskers’ most valuable performers. He added 15 pounds since coming to Nebraska, earning lifter-of-the-year honors in 2012-13, and was chosen as a team captain before playing a single game at Nebraska. He comes into this week’s tournament averaging 11.3 points and team highs in both rebounds (5.3 rpg) and assists (2.0 apg). Petteway had 17 points in the opener against Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 8, and nearly had a double-double in NU’s win over Western Illinois on Nov. 12, with 13 points and nine rebounds.
Biggs made his Husker debut in the win over South Carolina State, scoring 17 points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out a pair of assists in 23 minutes off the bench. He earned first-team NJCAA All-America honors at Seward Community College in 2011-12.
Webster Makes a Point, Plays the Point Tai Webster has found a home as the Huskers’ starting point guard, averaging 10.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.33 assists per game entering the Charleston Classic. Webster is one of five Huskers averaging double figures while playing 30 minutes a contest in the early going.
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 followed up with eight points, three rebounds and an assist in NU’s win over Western Illinois. Webster played his best game in Sunday’s win over South Carolina State, totaling 13 points, four rebounds and two assists.
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. 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.
Double-Figure Returneees Rare Recently Nebraska regained the services of its top scorer last week, as Ray Gallegos returned from a two-game suspension against South Carolina State. Gallegos, who averaged 12.5 points per game in 2012-13, returned with a flourish, scoring 18 points in NU’s 83-57 victory. Gallegos’ per-game average is the most for a Husker returner since Aleks Maric in 2007-08. In fact, Nebraska has returned only four double-figure scorers since the 2006-07 season.
Gallegos was Husker Ironman If it seems like Ray Gallegos was on the court nearly every minute last season, it probably is true, as he was one of the nation’s leaders in minutes played in 2012-13. •-According to kenpom.com, Gallegos ranked third nationally in percentage of minutes played, as he was on the court for 93.7 percent of the Huskers’ minutes in 2012-13. 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 (2009-2013), 16 Big Ten players, including Gallegos, have played at least 90 percent of their team’s minutes in a season, and Gallegos’ season total was second to Penn State’s Talor Battle in that stretch. •-Gallegos played all 40 minutes 10 times in 18 Big Ten games and 12 times during the 2012-13 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. •-Gallegos was on the court consecutively for a stretch of 218:39 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).
Gallegos Dials in From Long Distance Senior guard Ray Gallegos gives the Huskers a long-range shooter who can get on a roll from long distance. 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.
•-He 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.
•-Gallegos 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. •-He opened 2013-14 by hitting six of 10 3-pointers in a win over South Carolina State, the fifth time he has hit on at least six 3-pointers in a game.
•-Gallegos now has 110 3-pointers in his career, seven shy of 10th place on NU’s career 3-point list.
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. Despite losing its top three point guards from 2011-12 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 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. Nebraska set a school record with two turnovers against Purdue on Jan. 16, breaking the mark of three set on three previous occasions.
In all, five of the top 11 teams in the country resided in the Big Ten, including Michigan and Wisconsin which ranked first and fourth, respectively in that category.
In the first three games of this season, Nebraska is averaging just 7.7 turnovers per game, a total which leads the Big Ten. The Huskers had just five turnovers in Sunday’s win over South Carolina State - the lowest total since the Purdue game last season. NU also leads in turnover margin at +8.0 per game, as the Nebraska defense has caused 15.7 turnovers per game to rank second in the conference in that category.
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