LINCOLN, Neb. - After a 10-point loss to No. 5 Wisconsin on Tuesday night, a game where the Badgers shot 21 more free throws than the Huskers, Nebraska guard Terran Petteway said his team needs to overcome this season’s officiating.
“We know are going to be playing 5x7 or 5x8 every time we play, so it’s just something we have to mentally prepare for,” said Petteway. “There is nothing we can do about it.”
Words of pure frustration from the junior All Big-Ten caliber player. We shouldn’t be surprised they came out of his mouth. You can see the same frustration on the floor when Petteway makes a turnover, gets called for a foul, or misses a shot.
Tuesday night’s loss to the Badgers wasn’t because of officiating. Maybe the refs missed a call or two – it happens every game. It is usually only emphasized or made into the story though when nothing sees to be working for a team.
The Huskers only scored 13 points in the first half against Wisconsin. Tuesday’s loss had everything to do with the hole Nebraska put themselves in – nothing more. Petteway and his teammates might feel the world is out to get them, at this point it looks more like the rims.
“He’s just so frustrated,” said Nebraska assistant Chris Herriman, when talking about Petteway on 93.7 The Ticket during a Wednesday afternoon. “His body language is complete frustration. Does that make it acceptable – no. He’s got to do a better job. It’s something we talk about everyday - handling frustration.”
Herriman’s interview echoed head coach Tim Miles’ same thoughts on Tuesday night. When Miles was asked if he felt players were letting the officials bother them, he replied, “we need to get over it if it is.”
Nebraska wouldn’t have made the NCAA tournament last year for the first time in over a decade without Petteway. When he’s on, he’s Nebraska’s best offensive player. Herriman points out the junior has put a lot of sweat and equity into the program, but sometimes your greatest strength can be your biggest weakness.
“Terran is a guy who wants everything right now,” said Herriman. “He wants the defensive possession over so it’s why he might at times reach or gamble, or go for a steal. He wants to score right away, which is why he sometimes comes down and takes quick shots. He wants to be in the NCAA tournament tomorrow. He wants to win the Big Ten right now.
“He’s a tremendous competitor, he’s a tough kid…at times we have probably put too much faith in him making the next play or he will improve. That’s part of the maturation process for Terran.”