The Nebraska Cornhuskers had a pretty forgettable season, but one of their most memorable players for the past few years has been Shavon Shields. Shields became the leader of the team after teammate Terran Petteway left early last season. Petteway had led the team in scoring and assists in both the 2014 and 2015 seasons with Shields as a solid second option. After stepping into the spotlight this season Shavon finished the year averaging 16.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists while leading the team to a 16-18 record and 6 Big Ten wins. Tim Miles is definitely going to miss having a guy of this caliber in his locker room, but as it looks right now, the NBA is a long shot.
Heading into the NBA Draft, Shields finds himself in a very similar position to Petteway last season. Last year, Petteway worked out for a few teams pre-draft, but ultimately went undrafted and got a shot to play in the NBA Summer League. He played well enough to earn a spot on the Atlanta Hawks for a few preseason games, but was later waived and ended playing for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Indiana Pacers affiliate) in the D-League. Petteway did well with the Mad Ants, starting in 23 games and scoring a career-high 36 points in a win over the Canton Charge.
Petteway's achievements over the past year are likely a best-case scenario for Shields. Shields has been a great player for Nebraska and has endeared himself to Husker fans and Big Ten fans in general, but it doesn't appear that an NBA roster spot is likely in his future. He is a good scorer who passes the ball well, but he is only average defensively. To hear your name called by the commissioner, you really need to have something special that teams are looking for and Shields doesn't seem to have it. He didn't get an invite to the combine and only worked out for a couple of teams.
The son of a former NFL player, Shavon undoubtedly knows that the pro sports are a fickle beast. Expect Shields to earn a spot on a Summer League roster, but his future is ultimately appears to be in the D-League or with a European squad. Or his future might not be in basketball at all, Shavon is an extremely smart guy and earned academic all-american honors while majoring in biological sciences at Nebraska. So he may end up in a lab or a classroom somewhere down the line. No matter where he ends up, they will be lucky to have him.