Huskers not to overlook Omaha

Nebraska (2-1) takes on Omaha (2-1) at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Less than 48 hour after his team dropped their first game of the season, Nebraska head basketball coach Tim Miles said they will grow from it.

Taking their show on the road, the Huskers dropped an overtime affair, 66-62 to Rhode Island on Saturday night. Ram fans stormed the court after upsetting the ranked Nebraska (2-1) squad.

“I thought our offensive efficiency was worse than our rebounding,” said Miles, who saw his team shoot only shoot 36 percent from the field and 15 percent from the three-point line. “A lot can be said Terran [Petteway] had a bad game, but at the same time, we got to get the right guys in the right spots. That’s just not happening at this point. We are starting slower on offense than I expected we would.”

Petteway, a potential All-American candidate, managed to go just 5-of-18 from the field and 1-for-7 from three-point land. The junior also hurt his ankle in the second half, which could cause him to miss Tuesday night’s contest against Omaha.

”We’re going to meet with him, talk about it, look at some things, talk about decision making," Miles said. "That’s really what he’s got to get better at is making decisions, when to shoot.”

A known concern going into the season, Nebraska was outrebounded 49-36 in the loss. Miles points to his team’s physicality for the margin and says it’s on him as a head coach.

“We were so low in numbers,” said Miles. “If you take your top six or seven guys against the other guys, it’s not always equal competition. There are some things you split in half and make them engage in ways that you are not worried about a practice injury. I think a made a mistake in that. I did a lot of team stuff, team defensive stuff.”

Next up, the Omaha Mavericks (2-1), who are fresh off a win over Marquette over the weekend.

“I think it should get the attention of our players,” Miles said. “I’ve been a part of one of those wins like that, where you’re kind of the fledgling Division I team nobody’s paying attention to and you get into a Marquette and win....It’s pretty cool stuff.”


* Miles called Nebraska a “basketball state” with the recent success of Creighton, Nebraska, and Omaha. The Blue Jays are currently ranked after beating Oklahoma this past week. Nebraska dropped out of the rankings after their loss to Rhode Island.

* In 15 minutes of action, Nebraska freshman Tarin Smith was respectable in his first road game, scoring three points and recording three assist. “I thought he made one questionable play late,” said Miles. “At the same time, he defended well...he was in the middle of a couple of our runs in that game. He will continue to get minutes.”

* Omaha is averaging 90+ a game this season, so Nebraska’s defense will be tested on Tuesday night.

* One of the few bright spots against Rhode Island was junior Shavon Shields, who scored 25 points and nine rebounds. Miles says the Kansas native worked incredibly hard this offseason and fans/media are seeing the payoffs. Shields is averaging just under 20 points per game this season.

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