April 20, 2015

Death ruled a homicide in ex-Husker Phillips’ prison cell

Lawrence Phillips mugshot

Lawrence Phillips mugshot

The death of a man sharing a prison cell with former Nebraska I-back Lawrence Phillips was ruled a homicide by strangulation, according to a coroner’s report released Thursday.

37 year old Damion Soward was found dead early Saturday in a California prison cell that he shared with the 39 year old Phillips, who is an inmate at Kern Valley State Prison serving a sentence of 31 years and four months.

Phillips was convicted of twice choking his girlfriend in 2005 in San Diego and later that year drove his car into three teens after a pickup football game in Los Angeles. Soward was sentenced from San Bernardino County to serve 82 years to life for a first-degree murder conviction.

Petteway declares for NBA draft

Terran Petteway and the Huskers come up short against Baylor.

Terran Petteway 

University of Nebraska junior guard Terran Petteway announced Thursday morning that he is forgoing his senior season to declare for the 2015 NBA Draft.  Petteway, a fourth-year junior from Galveston, Texas, is on track to earn his degree in May and has spent the last three seasons at Nebraska after transferring from Texas Tech.

“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.”

“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.”

A two-time All-Big Ten performer at Nebraska, Petteway earned first-team honors in 2013-14 and third-team accolades this past season. He started every game for the Huskers over the last two seasons and ranks 20th on Nebraska’s career scoring list with 1,143 points.

He holds two of the top-10 scoring seasons in school history (579, seventh, 2013-14; 564, eighth, 2014-15), while his 18.1 points per game career scoring average at Nebraska ranks second in school history. Petteway joined Dave Hoppen as the only two players in program history to score 1,000 points in their first two seasons at Nebraska, and Petteway reached double figures in 59 of 63 games as a Husker.

This past season, Petteway topped the Huskers and ranked fourth in the Big Ten in scoring at 18.2 points per game, while also placing among the Big Ten leaders in 3-pointers (2.2, eighth), assists (2.8, 14th) and steals (1.1, 15th) per game. He led NU in scoring, assists and blocked shots (27), while ranking second on the team in rebounding (4.9 per game) and steals (35). A preseason Wooden Award Nominee, he was one of 15 players on the Julius Erving Award Watch List, recognizing the top small forward in the country. He reached double figures in 29 games in 2014-15, including 13 performances with at least 20 points. He closed the season with a strong performance against Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament, scoring a game-high 29 points, as he hit 4-of-7 from 3-point range and went 11-of-13 from the foul line.

Petteway put together one of the best sophomore seasons in school history in 2013-14, leading Nebraska to 19 wins and the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998. He averaged a Big Ten-leading 18.1 points per game along with 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, as he was second on the team in assists and rebounding. A first-team All-Big Ten performer, Petteway was also a first-team all-district honoree by both the NABC (coaches) and U.S. Basketball Writers Association.  He was a consistent scorer for the Big Red, reaching double figures 30 times in 32 games, including a pair of 30-point outings. His best performance came in a win over Minnesota, when he had a career-high 35 points.

He began his college career at Texas Tech during the 2011-12 season, where he played in 27 games and made 11 starts for the Red Raiders, averaging 3.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

Story courtesy NU Athletics

Omaha Benson star signs with Creighton basketball

Creighton

Creighton

Former Omaha Benson High School star Khyri Thomas has signed a letter-of-intent to play basketball at Creighton. Thomas, the captain of the Omaha World-Herald’s All-Nebraska Boys Basketball team in 2014, spent last year at Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Va.

He will join fall signees Martin Krampelj, Justin Patton and Marlon Stewart on the Creighton roster next season and have four years of eligibility remaining.

“We are thrilled to add Khyri to our basketball program,” said Creighton head coach Greg McDermott. “He is a tremendous athlete that has the ability to score from the perimeter and attack the rim on offense, while having a chance to become an elite defensive player because of his length and ability to defend multiple positions. His humble and unselfish approach to the game is exactly what we look for in a student-athlete.”

Thomas is a 6-foot-3 guard who hails from Omaha. He led Class A as a senior in high school when he averaged 19.2 points per game while contributing 6.9 rebounds per contest. Thomas was named the state’s Mr. Basketball by NebraskaHSHoops.com, and he led all players at the 2014 state tournament by scoring 78 points in three games while leading his team to a third-place finish. Thomas also surpassed 1,000 career points at Benson, where he was coached by former Creighton big man Donnie Johnson.

Thomas has spent the past year playing for Matt Donohue at Fork Union, where he averaged 18 points and seven rebounds per game.

Fork Union boasts a proud history and includes former NBA guard Shammond Williams, Under Armour Founder/CEO Kevin Plank, and Heisman Trophy winners Vinny Testaverde and Eddie George as alums.

Creighton went 14-19 last season under the direction of Greg McDermott, who owns 121 victories and three trips to the NCAA Tournament in five seasons with the Bluejays.

 

Lawrence Phillips suspected of killing cellmate in California prison

Lawrence Phillips

Lawrence Phillips

Lawrence Phillips, the one time St. Louis Rams running back, who was given a chance to turn his troubled life around by then head coach Dick Vermeil, is suspected of murdering Damion Soward, a 37-year-old who was serving 82 years to life for first-degree murder.

Phillips is serving 31 years in prison in California for attacking his girlfriend and driving his car into three teens.  The alleged killing took place on Saturday morning.

At the University of Nebraska, Phillips was suspended for allegedly dragging his ex-girlfriend by her hair down a flight of stairs. He was, reinstated by the team before the end of the season. Nebraska went on to win a national championship.

The Rams drafted him sixth overall in 1996, less than a year after he allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend.

In 2005, Phillips twice choked his girlfriend and then drove his car at teens after a pickup football game.

Fans are ready for the next era of Nebraska football, following large turnout for Spring Game

Terrell Newby carried a spring game high seven times in the near two and half hour scrimmage (photo/NU Athletics)

Terrell Newby carried a spring game high seven times in the near two and half hour scrimmage (photo/NU Athletics)

Fans are ready for the next era of Nebraska football.  The Mike Riley era opened with an exciting Spring Game debut in front of 76,881 fans at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.  The Red held off the White, 24-15, thanks to a 17-0 lead in a game that featured four, 20-minute quarters.

Scoring Summary

First Quarter (Red 10-0)
RED – 14:04 – Adam Taylor 8 run (Drew Brown kick) – 9 plays, 75 yards, 5:56, RED 7-0
RED – 8:00 – Drew Brown 36 FG – 5 plays, 14 yards, 2:57 – RED 14-0

Second Quarter (Red 17-2)
RED – 8:11 – Jamal Turner 29 pass from Zach Darlington (Brown kick) – 5 plays, 79 yards, 3:43, RED 21-0
WHITE – 0:00 – TEAM Safety

Third Quarter (Red 24-2)
RED – 4:36 – DeMornay Pierson-El 32 pass from Tommy Armstrong Jr. (Brown kick) – 2 plays, 56 yards, 0:52, RED 24-2

Fourth Quarter (Red 24-15)
WHITE – 16:09 – Jordan Nelson 52 pass from Ryker Fyfe (Spencer Lindsay kick) – 6 plays, 75 yards, 3:51
WHITE – 9:19 – Jariah Tolbert 25 pass from Tyson Broekemeier (2PAT pass failed) – 4 plays, 47 yards, 1:53

NEB Spring Game 2015

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