April 18, 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



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.


Nebraska basketball inks Bakari Evelyn and Jack McVeigh to letters of intent

University of Nebraska men’s basketball coach Tim Miles announced Wednesday that Bakari Evelyn (Detroit, Mich.) and Jack McVeigh (Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia) have signed National Letters-of-Intent to join the Husker basketball program next season.

Evelyn, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound guard, spent the 2015 season at Hillcrest (Ariz.) Academy playing for Coach Nick Weaver. Evelyn averaged 25.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game in just nine games after GFVXSTNFQCWPFST.20150415224635becoming eligible following his transfer. He spent his first three seasons at Southfield (Mich.) Christian, helping the school to a 73-7 record and three straight Class D state titles. He was considered the top player in Class D and one of the best players in the metro Detroit area heading into his senior year. As a junior, he averaged 17.4 points and 4.4 assists per game, highlighted by a 28-point, seven-rebound and four-assist performance in the state title game victory. During his sophomore campaign, he averaged 20.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.6 steals per game to earn first-team all-state honors. Bakari, who also visited UTEP, is the son of Cassandra Stone and Gerald Evelyn.

“Bakari is a great kid with a big personality who is also an excellent student,” Miles said. “He is also a student of the game of basketball which excites me. He is a combo guard who shoots the ball well and uses screen and roll very well. He finds shooters and inside guys alike while penetrating, which has been an important missing ingredient in our style of play. Because of his attitude and the fact he can play either guard position, he’s a great fit for our program.”
McVeigh, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound wing, is one of the top international players in the class of 2015, as he attends the Australian Institute of Sport, the same program that produced seven NBA players in the last 15 years, as well as MVURGXPLLQBLVTN.20150415225018Husker great and 2012 Olympian Aleks Maric. McVeigh made his debut for Australia’s Senior National Team at the 2014 Sino-Australia Challenge and was voted captain of Australia’s Under-19 National Team in 2014. He was unable to play because of illness, but the Under-19 team qualified for the FIBA Under-19 World Championships this summer in Greece. In addition, he was also chosen to play on the Australian Select Team in 2014 and represented his country at the 2013 adidas Nations event, averaging 11.6 points and 3.6 rebounds while playing against some of the top basketball players in the World in his age group. In domestic competition, he led his Queensland team to a runner-up finish at the 2014 National Under-20 Championships, averaging 27.5 points per game on 55 percent shooting and 9.3 rebounds per game. His efforts earned McVeigh the Bob Staunton Medal as the tournament’s most outstanding [Read more…]

Darby powers Nebraska baseball to 8-6 victory over Omaha Mavericks

NU DarbyA 5-for-5 night from senior Austin Darby powered the No. 23 Nebraska baseball team (28-11, 5-4 Big Ten) to a 8-6 win over the Omaha Mavericks (16-17, 9-6 Summit) on Wednesday night at Hawks Field. With the victory, the Huskers took the two-game season series from the Mavs.

Darby’s career-high five hits included three singles and two doubles, while he also added a pair of RBIs. Taylor Fish and Blake Headley each notched three hits on the evening and each drove in a pair of runs. The Huskers needed all 16 hits they got on the night, as the NU defense committed three errors for the second straight game, which resulted in two unearned runs for the Mavs.

The Huskers had to rally late in the game after the Mavericks evened the score, 6-6, in the top of the eighth. The Huskers held a 6-1 lead after the sixth innings, but the Mavs scored four in the seventh before tying the game in the eighth. [Read more…]