Nebraska announced on Thursday that all-Big Ten performer Terran Petteway is heading to the professional ranks.
“I want to start off by thanking the city of Lincoln and state of Nebraska for all of the love and support that you guys have shown me over the last three years,” Petteway said. “This is a bittersweet moment for me because Lincoln has become a second home to me, but in the same instance has helped me grow as a man and ballplayer, and I love y’all.”
Petteway spent the past two seasons playing for the Huskers after transferring into the program from Texas Tech. As a junior, he averaged 18.2 points and earned third-team all-Big Ten honors. He was a first-team all-Big Ten player as a sophomore, when Nebraska played their way into the NCAA tournament.
“I’m happy for Terran and his family,” Nebraska Coach Tim Miles said. “While I had hoped he stayed with us for his senior year, I completely support his decision, and we will help him as much as we can through this process. I believe any team in the NBA or otherwise would love to have Terran on their team.”
Petteway is on track to earn his degree next month.
Nebraska’s Terran Petteway admits mother’s battle with cancer is affecting his play
Nebraska junior wing Terran Petteway is one of the Big Ten’s most prolific scorer’s and better overall players. This season though, the 6-foot-6 Petteway has had some peaks and valleys, including a shouting match with head coach Tim Miles during a loss to Wisconsin.
On Friday, Petteway revealed in a press conference with head coach Tim Miles, that he’s dealing with his mother battling cancer.
According to a story from Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald, Terran’s mother, Joetta, is in her third bout with cancer. Joetta was diagnosed with a rare form of soft-tissue cancer in 2013 and was in remission by the spring of 2014. The native of Galveston, Texas received a recurrence, however, and is being treated by chemotherapy.
“That’s the thing that’s been weighing on me the whole season,’’ Petteway said Friday to reporters. “I just didn’t know how to handle it.’’
Not only had Petteway not revealed his mother’s battle with cancer publicly, but very few teammates even knew what the junior was going through. In a meeting with head coach Tim Miles on Wednesday, Petteway offered to step down as a team captain, a gesture which Miles refused. From there, according to Barfknecht, Petteway told his teammates about his mother in an emotional meeting on Thursday before choosing himself to speak to the media on Friday.
“I really did feel relaxed after I got that off my chest,’’ Petteway said. “That was really holding me down, and kind of bringing my teammates down.’’
Barfknecht also noted that Petteway looked as relaxed and comfortable as he had in weeks, even smiling on multiple occasions during Friday’s press conference in relief.
“I wanted to let you guys know that’s why I’ve been looking frustrated every game,’’ said Petteway on Friday.
Miles also showed support to Petteway, and his mother, at the press conference. The team plans to get Petteway home as soon as possible but he also feels like he needs to be with the team and not let them down as well.
“People don’t always understand what young people go through. But what Terran doesn’t understand is the Husker Nation support and his team’s support. When people know he is worried about his mother, they will embrace that,’’ Miles said.
Petteway has averaged 18.9 points per game this season, good for third in the Big Ten, but the Huskers have struggled to a 13-11 start and 5-7 record in conference play. Maybe now if Petteway is more relaxed with this news off of his chest, he can feel like he can play with more freedom.
CBT wishes Joetta Petteway and the Petteway family the best going forward in her recovery.
Terran Petteway’s first season on the court for Nebraska was a successful one, as he averaged 18.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game last season and earned first team All-Big Ten honors. However there’s always room for improvement, and for a player who shot 42.6% from the field and 32.7% from three the percentages are what the All-America candidate is looking to boost in 2014-15.
Petteway was productive in No. 21 Nebraska’s 80-61 win over Northern Kentucky Sunday afternoon, scoring 25 points and grabbing six rebounds. Petteway shot 7-for-15 from the field, making six of his nine attempts from beyond the arc, in leading the way for an offensive attack that finished the game with three starters in double figures.
Shavon Shields added 18 points and David Rivers 12, with the latter making all five of his field goal attempts while also grabbing six rebounds. As a team Nebraska shot 47.9% from the field, but the 8-for-22 afternoon from deep is something they’ll need to improve upon especially when considering what those numbers look like without Petteway’s performance. The other Huskers combined to shoot 2-for-13 from beyond the arc, and that is one of two areas where Nebraska will look to improve moving forward.
Nebraska finished the game with just ten assists, breaking even in assist-to-turnover ratio, with Shields and reserve guard Benny Parker being the only players to dish out multiple assists (two apiece). Last season just 42.3% of Nebraska’s made field goals were assisted, one reason why they were ranked in the bottom half of the Big Ten from an efficiency standpoint.
Distribution will be key for players such as Parker, sophomore Tai Webster and freshman Tarin Smith as Nebraska takes on tougher competition heading into Big Ten play. Improvement in that area will make things easier for Nebraska’s primary scoring options, with players such as Petteway becoming even tougher to defend as a result.