Nebraska Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Nebraska Cornhuskers
Big Ten (19-12, 11-7)


Most pegged Nebraska to finish 12th in the Big Ten and those who didn’t almost certainly had them at 11th. But the Cornhuskers surprised everybody. They only lost one game in their new arena and that was back in early January in the middle of an 0-4 start to Big Ten play. Following their second loss to Michigan on February 5th, Nebraska won eight of their last nine regular season games to earn a fourth place conference finish.

Big Wins: 1/20 Ohio State (68-62), 2/16 at Michigan State (60-51), 3/9 Wisconsin (77-68)
Bad Losses: 11/22 vs. UAB (74-87), 1/12 at Purdue (64-70), 1/23 at Penn State (54-58)
Coach: Tim Miles (2 seasons at Nebraska)

Why They Can Surprise:
Back in 2011-2012 during his freshman season, Terran Petteway started 11 games at Texas Tech and averaged 3.3 points per game. After sitting out a year, the 6-6 forward emerged as one of the best players in the Big Ten, averaging 18.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Petteway’s clutch scoring and leadership has taken the Cornhuskers to the next level. Shavon Shields, a big 6-6 wing, has built off of a great freshman campaign with an even better sophomore season. He is a superb slasher and finisher around the basket and the best rebounder on the team. Walter Pitchford, yet another sophomore, spent one year at Florida before heading to Lincoln to make his mark. The big man joins Petteway and Ray Gallegos as the best three-point shooters on the Big Ten’s most prolific outside shooting team.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Until February and March, Nebraska really struggled away from home. Their first true road win of the season came on February 8th against Northwestern. Prior to that they beat Georgia on a neutral court and lost nine games away from home. Victories in East Lansing and Bloomington were very nice, but the jury is still out on just how well this team can play away from home. At the least, the consistency that has developed is less prevalent on the road. That is where Coach Tim Miles needs his young backcourt, which also includes freshman Tai Webster and sophomore Benny Parker, to play above their age and keep the turnovers down.

Probable Starters:
Tai Webster, Freshman, Guard, 4.1 ppg, 2.0 apg
Shavon Shields, Sophomore, Guard, 12.7 ppg, 1.6 apg, 5.8 rpg
Terran Petteway, Sophomore, Forward,  18.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg
David Rivers, Junior, Forward, 3.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Walter Pitchford, Sophomore, Forward, 9.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Ray Gallegos, Senior, Guard, 7.0 ppg, 1.4 apg
Benny Parker, Sophomore, Guard, 2.4 ppg
Leslee Smith, Junior, Forward, 5.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.0 (268th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.7 (47, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.9 (239, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.9 (90, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (199, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.0 (182, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.5 (117, 8)
Rebound Margin: -1.4 (240, 11)
Assists Per Game: 9.6 (335, 12)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.9 (51, 6)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2011    NIT    First Round loss to Wichita State
2009    NIT    First Round loss to New Mexico
2008    NIT    First Round win over Charlotte
2008    NIT    Second Round loss to Mississippi
2006    NIT    First Round loss to Hofstra
2004    NIT    First Round win over Niagara
2004    NIT    Second Round loss to Hawaii

*all team stats through 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules