Wisconsin post: Nebraska players

Wisconsin post: Nebraska players

After a signature program win, Nebraska's Shavon Shields, Terran Petteway and Walter Pitchford came to the microphone to talk with the media.

On if the environment at Pinnacle Bank Arena
(Shavon Shields) "Come on now. You know that's number one. Fans were in it tonight. They stayed in it the whole time and we really appreciate their support all season."

On if they were aware that a win gave them the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten Tournament
(Shields) "Yeah, we did. Win the game and get in the tournament - that's all we were focused on. We should approach it the same way no matter what. We should approach it the same way no matter what. We are trying to a game no matter what. It's not like we knew Ohio State loss, so we can lose. We still have goals that we need to get to. So, if we come in relaxed and it doesn't matter if we lose - we're still gonna get the four seed - that's a terrible attitude to come in with."

On what the crowd at PBA meant this year
(Shields) "Huge. Huge! I mean, it just really brings energy and I feel like it takes players out of what they want to do if they are opposing. The free throws - Wisconsin is a really good free throw shooting team - and I think the crowd effected them on a couple of those. So, just little things like that really feed of us and catapult us. Definitely just feed of the energy they bring us. We want to perform for them. They've been behind us through thick and thin. So, we just feed off them."

On Wisconsin and how tough they were
"I mean, they are ninth in the country. They are a tough team to play. I don't know what else to say about it. They execute on offense really well. They give you different looks defensively that were not really accustomed to. We stayed on the attack and got stops when we needed them. We finally slowed them up in the second half after playing terrible defense in the first half. But we finally slowed them up and got the win."

On what changed defensively in the second half
(Shields) "We got to take a stand (on defense)." (Terran Petteway) "We just calmed down and had a little bit more poise than we did in the first half."

On if the changes made on defense were technical
(Petteway) "No, we just had to calm down. As you could see, it was pretty emotional every one was trying to hide their nose and just take a deep breath."

On if they feel they are an NCAA Tournament team now
(Petteway) "Most definitely. We beat the number nine team in the country. I think we should be in, but that isn't up to us. We just need to keep playing and doing our job and everything else will come." On how they felt after offensively despite not getting to the free throw line in the first half
(Petteway) "Once we took the lead in the second half, we told ourselves in the huddle we weren't giving the lead back up and that's what we did and got the win."

On if Petteway attacking the basket more in the second half was by design
(Petteway) "That was pretty much what we practiced all week preparing for them because we know they like to show and then back up. So, we were planning on just going into them and getting 44 into foul trouble, which is what we did. So, that was all in the game plan."

On the similarities of this team and his former Florida team
(Pitchford) "They were both different. They are a great team. We're a really good team. We still need to work on some things but we are playing together and..." (Petteway) "We are meshing at the right time - coming together at the right time." (Shields) "You could kind of tell at the start of the season and at the start of the conference season we were all kind of on our own agendas and didn't really know how to play with each other and what each other was doing. Now we are really playing off each other and playing for each other and playing together. We've really bought into the 'US ALWAYS' and ever since that meeting we had that we got to be together, we've really taken off." (Petteway) "I don't know if you guys see it, but it's a lot of fun out there."

On what the meeting was about
(Petteway) "Changing the attitude of the program and changing the attitude of how you come to practice everyday. In order to get better, you got to be willing to be coached. That's really what changed with our whole team is staying together." (Shields) "Be there for each other. How can I be a better teammate? How can I be a better player today? Just coming to practice with that attitude everyday and just keep getting better, keep getting better, keep getting better. Because we still have a lot to improve on in order to get to where we want to go, so we just got to keep it going and not let our heads get big and stay modest and keep our underdog thing going."

On if they played a perfect game tonight
(Shields) "No. We still got some people we want to get going. Some things we want to get going. Play a full 40 minutes solid. We had some pretty bad lapses today." (Petteway) "I think once that happens everybody will know."

On if there was a particular defensive stop they were proud of
(Shields) "Benny (Parker) got that stop in the post and we got that tie up." (Petteway) "If you see everybody tries to post Benny up, but he's a strong guy. I haven't seen one guy post him up all year, so once he comes in, I know we are getting stops."

On if this is the craziest environment he's every played in
(Petteway) "Most definitely. Coming from where I came from. This tops it all."

On if they noticed everyone standing
(Petteway) "Yea, I noticed it and when I rushed the court my brother Mike was the first person I saw coming in the middle of the crowd - that was crazy." (Shields) "My ears started to hurt. I got out right away. I just ran around the court. It was loud!"

On if Mike Pelz's pregame proposal to his girlfriend was a secret
"(Walter Pitchford) knew, because they are roommates, but the rest of us didn't know." (Shields) "We asked Mike, 'What are you going to say in your speech.' and he said, 'I got something big for you guys.' and that was all he would say. I said, 'You got to tell me, are you going to cry on me?' (Petteway) That kind of got everybody going." (Shields) "That was crazy. I'm happy for him."

On what the two seniors - Mike Pelz and Ray Gallegos - mean to the team
(Petteway) "They mean a lot. Ray and Pelz - they do their jobs. They come in and do their jobs every single day. Ray, when we are open he is going to shoot the ball. It doesn't matter if he missed ten shots in a row, we are going to keep shooting. Pelz makes us better in practice every day. That's what he does. Makes us better every day.

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