"It was a completely different game from high school to college. Strength is such a big deal, especially in the Big Ten with how physical it was," said Shields. "I got a lot strong. Along with that, I really worked hard with coach working on my shot, doing some mechanical things to make it better."
In just his second-year with the program, Shields will be looked at as a leader on the floor with so many new faces this season joining the squad in 2012-13.
"I think I have gotten better at being vocal with my teammates," said Shields. "We will be pretty young this year and I will have to talk a lot more. The coaches expect it."
Shields was a huge surprise for the Huskers last season, averaging 8.6 ppg. on 47 percent shooting, grabbing 5.1 rebounds per game. His play earned him Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice during the season.
"People didn't expect that," said Shields when asked about last season. "Coming off elbow surgery and not being highly ranked out of high school, I don't think people knew what to expect...I felt like I knew I could have a good season and people around me knew I could do it."
After starting 19 times last season, Shields is expected to start every game this season, barring injury.
"It's going to be a really fun year. A new arena, new guys who couldn't play last year, new faces, it's going to be exciting," said Shields. "I feel we are a lot deeper than we were last year and will be able to get up and down more. We lost two scorers in Brandon Ubel and Dylan Talley, but I think we replace them with so much more."