Has Shabazz Napier taught us nothing?
Have we not learned that merely worrying about the obvious obscures others equally worthy of our attention?
Of course we haven’t. We are sports fans, the ultimate prisoners of the moment, more fickle than Hollywood when it comes to tabbing our flavors of the month.
It’s understandable. The Duke and Kansas freshmen, like the Duke and Kansas freshmen of a year ago, are wildly talented, future NBA lottery-bound players to get tongues wagging.
But there’s also the Napier thing. Who was talking about the UConn senior this time last year? Besides Kevin Ollie, no one. By April he was powerful enough to get the bureaucratic sloth that is the NCAA to pry open its Super-Glued wallet and spring for free snacks.
Which is to say, there are plenty of players out there equally deserving of our attention, players we probably forgot in the abyss from March until September, but players we will probably be saying "Oh, yeah" about come January or so.
Terran Petteway is one of those players.
The guard didn’t do much, well, besides putting Nebraska basketball on the map, which is only slightly less difficult than putting Kansas football on the map.
Petteway averaged 18.1 points per game overall, and 18.6 in Big Ten play to lead the conference in scoring. He also led the Cornhuskers to their first NCAA tournament since 1998, a 19-13 overall record and 11-7 mark in the league.
Thanks to his social media-friendly coach and his own free-spirited look (one colleague took to calling Petteway the biblical shepherd), Petteway was a 0-to-60-in-a-month star last season.
But along came a loss to Baylor in the tourney, and then came the offseason. So now if you say the name Terran Petteway, it’s an "Oh, right, him," response.
We get it. Nebraska and basketball still don’t roll off the tongue, so it’s reasonable that perhaps Petteway could get lost in the shuffle.
But again -- Napier.
Napier showed he could take over games as a junior and then took over a season as a senior. Petteway scored 35 against Minnesota and an even more critical 23 in a win against Michigan State in East Lansing.
Fueled by the Huskies’ postseason ban in 2013, Napier played with a vengeance in 2014.
Fueled by the Huskers’ NCAA tournament loss in 2014, Petteway has spent this offseason in the gym, packing on another 15 pounds of muscle.
Now, no one is saying the Cornhuskers will win the national championship (well, maybe Tim Miles will; you never know what he’ll say), but we are saying don’t forget about Terran Petteway.
Call it the Lesson of Shabazz.