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.
“I said it, BUT we didn’t shake on it,” Miles texted to Eisenberg. Miles later added, “Let’s just hope we have this conversation in March.”
Petteway, meanwhile, finds it amusing that his head coach — who is currently ink free — brought up this bet and seems to be entertaining the idea.
“I thought he was just joking around at first, but he kept saying he was serious,” Petteway said to Eisenberg. “I’m like, ‘Alright, I’m going to hold you to it.'”
Miles doesn’t sound like he’s fully committed to the idea of this bet, but now that it’s out in the public, he’s probably going to have to go through with this if it actually happens. How would it look in recruiting or with his own locker room if Miles backed out on an amusing bet that he made with one of his players?
But as Miles also pointed out to Eisenberg, I hope we’re at least entertaining this conversation in March and it potentially comes up because it would make for a fun extra wrinkle to the NCAA Tournament.
The term “under the radar” can be a difficult one to define with regards to college basketball. For some, lists of such players will be dominated by guys whose programs are part of the nightly highlights packages you doze off to in the early morning hours. But for others, the term “under the radar” applies to players who in November may be on the outside looking in with regards to All-America teams. Below are some players who may not be considered to be preseason All-Americans but have a shot at landing on one of those teams at season’s end.
1. Larry Nance Jr., Wyoming: When it comes to the Mountain West the traditional contenders (New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV) tend to get most of the attention from fans outside of the region, so the son of the former Cleveland Cavalier may not be as well-known to them. But he should be, as Nance averaged 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game last season. Nance is returning from a torn ACL, but he’s expected to be at full strength when the season begins later this month.
2. Darrun Hilliard, Villanova: Hilliard was a bit miffed that he wasn’t chosen to be Big East POY at their media day, and rightfully so. The senior is coming off of his best season as a Wildcat, averaging 14.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. And with James Bell out of eligibility, Hilliard could be even more productive for the preseason favorites to win the Big East.
3.Shawn Long, Louisiana: Losing Elfrid Payton hurts, but in the 6-foot-9 Long head coach Bob Marlin has a very good piece to build around in an attempt to make a second straight trip to the NCAA tournament. Last year Long accounted for 18.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots per game.
4. R.J. Hunter, Georgia State: When it comes to the best shooters in America, Hunter’s clearly on the list. He averaged 18.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season, helping lead the Panthers to a Sun Belt regular season title.
5. Isaiah Taylor, Texas: Taylor was good as a freshman, averaging 12.0 points, 4.0 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game. But there’s clearly room for improvement, as evidenced by the shooting percentages (39.1% FG, 26.3% 3PT), and the Longhorns’ deep front court should result in cleaner shooting opportunities for him.
6. A.J. English, Iona: While the Gaels will have to account for the loss of Sean Armand, English returns after averaging 17.2 points, 4.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore.
7. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown: Who was the pick to win preseason Big East POY? Smith-Rivera was, and with Markel Starks gone the Hoyas will need a big year from the junior guard. Smith-Rivera accounted for 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest in 2013-14.
8. DaVonte’ Lacy, Washington State: Ernie Kent has a tough job in front of him, but it helps that Lacy has one last season of eligibility. As a junior Lacy averaged 19.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
9. Zak Irvin, Michigan: With Caris LeVert on our All-America team, we’ve essentially pegged him to make the jump that has become commonplace during the John Beilein era in Ann Arbor. But why not Irvin? Thanks to the Wolverines’ personnel losses, he’ll be in a position where he’s asked to do more offensively than just “catch and shoot.”
10. Terran Petteway, Nebraska: While Petteway was a first team All-Big Ten selection last season, that hasn’t led to his being included on many preseason All-America teams. He averaged 18.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season, and if Petteway can improve from an efficiency standpoint look out.
FIVE NAMES YOU’VE HEARD BEFORE BUT DON’T SEE ON TV OFTEN
1. Keifer Sykes, Green Bay
2. John Brown, High Point
3. D.J. Balentine, Evansville
4. Daniel Mullings, New Mexico State
5. E.C. Mathews, Rhode Island
The off guard spot is a loaded position this season, but the top of the class has gotten there in unique ways. The top two players at the position were considered mid-major recruits. The third and fourth best off guards are both from Texas but weren’t considered good enough for the best programs in that state. No. 5 redshirted his first season in college. No. 6 spent two years on a Mormon mission. No. 9 plays at a mid-major program, while No. 10 spent two seasons playing for Houston.
There’s a moral to that story, but I think you can figure it out.
1. Caris LeVert, Michigan: It’s amazing how far Caris LeVert has come since high school. A lanky, 6-foot-6 mid-major prospect, LeVert was committed to Ohio until John Groce took the Illinois job. As a junior in college, he’s a first-team all-american and the best off guard in the country. LeVert will replace some of the scoring Michigan lost with Nik Stauskas going pro as he excels in the kind of pick-and-roll actions that John Beilein gets his stars in.
2. Ron Baker, Wichita State: Another guy that was considered a mid-major recruit coming out of high school, Baker had to more or less convince the Shocker staff to take the chance on him as a walk-on. I’d say it worked out well. Baker was a huge part of their run to the 2013 Final Four, was a star on the team than started last season 35-0 and now has a chance to play his way into the NBA Draft’s first round.
3. Terran Petteway, Nebraska: Petteway is one of the nation’s most entertaining players to watch. He’s a big-time scorer for the Huskers, but he’s not exactly the most efficient player. He takes a lot of tough shots, but when he gets into a rhythm, he also makes a lot of those tough shots. You don’t want to restrict his aggressiveness, but with some improved shot selection we could be looking at the Big Ten Player of the Year.
4. Marcus Foster, Kansas State: Foster was a revelation last season, averaging 15.5 points as a freshman despite being completely overlooked coming out of high school. He’ll play with the ball in his hands a bit more this season and looked more explosive this summer when I saw him work out. With all the talent on Kansas and Texas, Foster could end up being the Big 12 Player of the Year.
5. Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia: The nation’s most underrated guard, Brogdon is one of the best all-around perimeter players in the country. He defends, he rebounds, he play the point if need be, he hits threes. He’s also as consistent as anyone in the ACC, as he scored double-figures in every game in league play and every game after the New Year except for one.
6. Tyler Haws, BYU: There isn’t a better guard in the country at running off of screens than Haws, who finished last season shooting 40.4% from three while averaging 23.2 points. With Matt Carlino gone and Eric Mika on his mission, there’s a chance that Haws could end up leading the nation in scoring as a senior.
7. Buddy Hield, Oklahoma: Hield was one of the most improved players in the country as a sophomore, becoming a guard that averaged 16.5 points and shot 38.6% from three in Lon Kruger’s uptempo offense. Also a terrific defender, don’t expect Hield’s development to slow down now.
8. Aaron Harrison, Kentucky: I had my doubts about ranking Harrison this high, as he was a 35.6% three-point shooter that made a name for himself by hitting three big threes in the 2014 NCAA tournament. But after seeing the way he played during Kentucky’s trip to the Bahamas this summer, Harrison looks primed for a big year as he looked to be in better shape and with an improved pull-up game.
9. R.J. Hunter, Georgia State: There may not be a better shooter in the country than 6-foot-5 R.J. Hunter. The son of GSU’s head coach, Hunter is joined by Ryan Harrow and Kevin Ware in what is one of the most talented back courts in the country. He needs to get stronger and better defensively, but Hunter could be looking at an NBA career by the time he’s done in Atlanta.
10. Joe Young, Oregon: Young had a very good season for the Ducks as a junior before opting to return to school. As a senior, Oregon likely won’t win a ton of games, but expect big numbers from Young as the Ducks will have limited options offensively.
11. Rashad Vaughn, UNLV: One of the most slept-on freshmen this season. Vaughn is a big, athletic guard that can really score. UNLV likes to run, and there will be a lot of shots available. Expect big numbers.
12. Norman Powell, UCLA: Powell struggled to become known playing alongside UCLA’s talented wings the last two seasons. He’ll be needed to play a leadership role on a talented-but-young Bruin sqaud.
13. Wayne Selden, Kansas: Selden struggled with a knee issue last season that limited his explosiveness. If he can stay healthy throughout the season, you’ll see why the powerful off-guard has a chance to be a lottery pick.
14. E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island: Matthews won’t get as much national attention as some of the other guys on this list, but the lefty combo-guard will be one of the best players in the Atlantic 10 this season.
15. Zak Irvin, Michigan: Irvin proved that he is a talented and athletic jump-shooter last season while dealing with bouts of streakiness. He’s not the next Nik Stauskas, not with LeVert and Derrick Walton on the roster, but he’ll be a piece stretching the floor for John Beilein.
16. Rasheed Sulaimon, Duke: Sulaimon has a lot to prove after a disappointing sophomore season that saw him lose playing time to less-talented backups. Duke needs him to be a big-time perimeter scorer to compliment Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor.
17. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown: DSR has a chance to end up being the Player of the Year in the Big East this season. He averaged 17.6 points as a sophomore and will have a bigger role offensively with Markel Starks gone.
18. Michael Frazier, Florida: Frazier is one of the best shooters in the country, but he wasn’t more than just a shooter last season. Florida will have a lot of new faces, and Frazier will need to take on a more expanded role.
19. D.J. Newbill, Penn State: He won’t get much attention playing for Penn State, but Newbill is one of the best scoring guards in the Big Ten.
20. Jarvis Summers, Ole Miss: Marshall Henderson got all of the attention last season, but it was Summers (17.3 points, 3.8 assists) who was the team’s best player.
ALSO CONSIDERED: Gary Bell (Gonzaga), Jabari Bird (Cal), James Blackmon (Indiana), Kellen Dunham (Butler), A.J. English (Iona), Daniel Hamilton (UConn), DaVonte Lacy (Washington State), Rodney Purvis (UConn), D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State), RayVonte Rice (Illinois), Isaiah Whitehead (Seton Hall)