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Nebraska Forward Terran Petteway Faces An Uphill Battle Towards the NBA

The forward will have a professional career, but it'll likely be overseas.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

In case you missed it, the Nebraska forward announced that he was leaving the program and declaring for the NBA Draft. The move wasn't a huge surprise all things considered, but it was definitely a questionable move by the Texas native when you take things into consideration.

Terran Petteway transferred from Texas Tech and quickly became a presence in his first season at Nebraska, averaging over 18 points per game as he helped propel Nebraska to the NCAA Tournament. The hype train heading into this past season was the real deal for Petteway as the junior was a preseason Wooden Award Top 50 nominee, preseason All-American and on the Julius Erving Award Watch List. Petteway, who came out of nowhere and suddenly looked like an eventual draft pick, suddenly became one of the hottest players in the Big Ten. Then the season began.

To say that the 2014-15 season was disappointing for Nebraska would be an understatement. A good part of their struggles stemmed from Petteway, who had a rough season even though he lit up the scoreboard for 18.2 points per game. Of course a good part of the reason for his point total was the fact that he was shooting 15 field goals and almost six free throws per game, becoming a volume shooter that liked to routinely play hero ball. Considering he only hit 39% from the field and 31% from deep, Petteway almost became a liability more so than a positive factor for his team. When Petteway was on he was a huge reason why Nebraska was competitive, but look no further than Nebraska's two losses to Maryland. Nebraska lost said two games by a combined seven points with Petteway shooting a miserable 7 of 36 from the field.

Petteway's tendency to play hero ball more or less highlights what any team will likely get with him. Petteway is a scorer, that is obvious. He's going to shoot the ball constantly and the harsh reality is this past season his scoring stemmed from the volume of his shots and nothing else, with Petteway being painstakingly inefficient during the season. The forward is an athletic wing that could score and get to the rim at the collegiate level, but to excel as a scorer in the NBA he's going to need to be better than a 39% shooter. Even in a considerably stronger sophomore season Petteway only hit on 42.6% of his field goals and hasn't been very good from beyond the arc, either.

Most draft sites either list Petteway late in the second round, if at all, meaning Petteway isn't going to get a guaranteed contract, even if he ends up getting drafted this summer. He'll definitely get a shot at a NBA roster, but unless he can dramatically improve his jumper there seems to be little chance of sticking. The D-League is definitely a possibility next season, but there's also a strong chance Petteway may be positioning himself for a professional career overseas where he could likely thrive. That thought process gains even more traction when you realize Petteway could have transferred out of Nebraska and been eligible immediately, likely drawing a long list of suitors if he chose that route as a grad transfer.

So now that Petteway has left Nebraska after a disappointing junior season, there is enough athleticism and skill that he'll get a chance. But the reality is Petteway is an inefficient volume shooter that doesn't have a good enough jump shot to likely stick around in the NBA. Now the question remains if some team will decide to take a feeler on Petteway at the end of draft night or not. Petteway has a professional career waiting for him, the only question is if it'll be in the NBA or somewhere overseas.