The Cornhuskers are looking to get back to the NCAA tournament in 2015-16, and to do it they'll need to be clicking on all cylinders. New faces such as Kansas transfer Andrew White III in the backcourt and Ed Morrow in the frontcourt will give the team a different look, but the wings are an integral part of the equation as well.
Let's take a look at Nebraska's wing players for next season.
Shavon Shields, Senior
Shields is the senior leader and will be the go-to guy for the Huskers this season. He's been a co-captain since his sophomore year and The BTPowerhouse writers ranked him #18 in our countdown of the top 25 players in the Big Ten for good reason. In 2014-15, Shields was second to Terran Petteway in scoring and assists with 15.4 and 2.2 a game respectively, while leading the team with 6.0 rebounds. His team-leading 82.7 percent free throw shooting, along with consistent effort at the defensive end, are a couple of reasons he's indispensable and has led the team in minutes the past two seasons.
The main area Shields need to improve is his perimeter game. Although he doesn't take a large number of outside shots, he made only 19.5 percent of his three point attempts last season. For a player who's on the floor so much, providing a deep threat would open up the floor for himself and his teammates. Improving his shot selection in general should help boost his 44 percent field goal shooting.
Jack McVeigh, Freshman
Jack McVeigh could be a gem for Nebraska. One of the top international recruits in the class of 2015, he represented Australia this summer in the FIBA U-19 World Championships where he averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 5.7 rebounds. On the Huskers' trip to Spain in August, McVeigh impressed with averages of 9.8 points and 6.3 rebounds. He also led the team with 44 percent three-pointers, and could potentially become the deep threat the Huskers have been lacking.
He's a good athlete and all-around effort player with a high basketball IQ. Experience against international competition has helped to mature McVeigh's game to a level above what you'd expect from a typical freshman, so it's easy to see him earning playing time early in his career.
Nick Fuller, Sophomore
Nick Fuller will be looking to increase his role and compete for more minutes in 2015-16. As a redshirt freshman in 2014-15, he played in only 16 games on the season, but showed some promise late in the year. Fuller played in five of Nebraska's last six Big Ten regular season games, including a breakout 12-point, five-rebound game against Maryland. Following that performance, he got his first start against Iowa, playing a career-high 30 minutes.
Fuller made 3 of 8 three-point attempts in 2014-15. While that's a very small sample size, he has a nice shooting stroke and could potentially develop into an added deep threat.
Shavon Shields is the veteran leader of this team. He will likely be on the floor the majority of the time, possibly limiting the opportunities McVeigh and Fuller have to get on the court. McVeigh's all-around game will provide depth, but outside shooting could end up being a reason he gets immediate playing time. Both McVeigh and Fuller hope to provide contributions throughout the year and help this revamped Huskers squad make a run in the Big Ten.