Published Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 12:01 am / Updated at 12:55 am
BASKETBALL
Miles knows: NU freshman Fuller can fill it up
Florida Gulf Coast at Nebraska
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 8
Where: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: 1110 AM KFAB

LINCOLN — Nick Fuller is correctly listed as a Nebraska newcomer, but the 6-foot-6 true freshman wing hardly feels like one.

In early June, he finished at Sun Prairie (Wis.) High on a Friday afternoon and was in Lincoln two days later to start summer school at NU. After banking six credit hours and going through summer workouts with his new teammates, Fuller feels like a Husker.

“Being here all summer, I know all the routines,” he said. “Now it's just on to the next step with practices starting.”

Fuller didn't even have to wait for the official start of practice last Friday for Nebraska coach Tim Miles to yell at him.

“There was some of that in the summer, too,” Fuller said, smiling. “That's the nice part about the summer is you can get some workouts in and start the transition. I'm definitely excited — a little nervous, too, because it is my first time through.”

Miles said it's too early to know how Fuller might fit in the Husker rotation, but one quality gives him hope for immediate playing time.

“He can score the ball,” Miles said. “He has such a beautiful shot. A good offense always needs an excellent shooter, so that gives him a chance to be in the lineup.”

As a four-year high school starter in a big-school class, Fuller shattered the conference scoring record with 1,940 points. The old mark was 1,669 by Jeronne Maymon, now a senior at Tennessee.

Fuller scored 30 points or more 15 times in his career. As a senior, he averaged 25 points and 11.2 rebounds. He was second-team all-state and a two-time area and conference player of the year.

“When we started recruiting him, I was really impressed with his size and shooting ability,” Miles said. “That's something we sorely needed — and still do. Plus, he moves pretty well and competes really well.”

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Fuller lived in a suburb of Madison, Wis., but didn't get much attention from the hometown Badgers. Others who were interested included Minnesota, Butler and Colorado, but he picked Nebraska.

“The facilities and everything are great,” Fuller said. “But the biggest thing that attracted me was coach Miles and the staff.

“With coach Miles, I had an instant connection, as with all the assistants. The facilities definitely helped. But the key point of knowing where I wanted to be rested with the coaches.”

He likes Miles' offensive style, with a lot of penetration and kick-out passes to the perimeter. But Fuller said he doesn't want to get labeled as a shooter only.

“I want to be an all-around player,” he said. “I want to rebound. I've really been working hard on my defense.

“I'll do some scoring if I get some opportunities. But as a freshman, I just want to help out — kind of be that X-factor who does a little of everything to help the team.”

NOTES: Miles said Shavon Shields has had no ill effects from his nasty fall in last Friday's public scrimmage. The sophomore forward practiced twice the day after the fall. ... Nebraska took Tuesday off from practice. NU has 42 days to get in 30 practices before the Nov. 8 home opener against Florida Gulf Coast.

Contact the writer: Lee Barfknecht

lee.barfknecht@owh.com    |   402-444-1024    |  

Lee Barfknecht has won nine national writing awards from four separate organizations, and is a 12-time winner of the Nebraska sportswriter of the year award. He covers Big Ten football and basketball, Nebraska basketball and other college financial issues for The World-Herald.

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