In this week's edition of Postin' Up, we sat down with sophomore point guard Benny Parker. With the recent events that transpired this past week, Parker's role in Nebraska's bench rotation increased in a big way as he moved up to the No. 2 point guard off the bench.
The Kansas City, Kan., native talks about his career as a Husker thus far, as well as some of his basketball superstitions, his Super Bowl pick and what it's like to often times be the shortest player on the floor.
HOL: You kind of caught everyone off guard the other day when you knocked down a pair of mid-range jumpers against Minnesota. Have you taken it upon yourself to be a bigger part of the offense now that Deverell Biggs is no longer around?
BP: "I think I've come a long way, because I'm actually starting to hit shots in practice too. Coach has told me to just bring that same confidence to the game. Now that that situation has happened, maybe that will help me get more confidence in games and take more shots."
HOL: Was it always just a confidence issue with you as far as being more of a scorer?
BP: "Pretty much. The times I've been in, I've just tried to create for my teammates. Now that Deverell's gone, I'm going to have to generate more scoring and just make more open shots when I can."
HOL: At 5-9, you're generally one of the smallest guys out there on the court, if not the smallest. What's that like, and does it give you even more motivation to go out and prove yourself?
BP: "It's something I've always been used to, especially in college, because everybody's taller in college. Coach has just told me to bring that same mentality to the game and just use my speed and my strength to my advantage. I've always relied on my speed, because I try to get in transition as much as I can to create for others or get to the rim. Speed is a great attribute to my game."
HOL: I noticed after the Ohio State game last week, when the students rushed the court, you immediately took off your jersey as soon as the final buzzer sounded. Is that a superstition deal or what?
BP: "That time when they rushed the court, I knew it was going to be so hot in the circle, so I was just getting prepared and took my jersey off. Back in high school I'd take it off just because I was about to go to the locker room. I've always kind of done it, but that time when they rushed the court, I just knew it was going to be so hot. Last time when they rushed the court after the Minnesota game (last season), it was so hot in the middle of the circle. I was prepared for it this time."
HOL: Did you ever play any other sports?
BP: "I used to play football. I played slot (receiver) and DB. Slot was my favorite."
HOL: I've talked to a couple of the football players about their skills on the basketball court. Have you ever played pickup with those guys during the offseason?
BP: "We have a couple of times at the rec. Tommy Armstrong showed up, Jamal Turner, Avery Moss, Alonzo Moore and LeRoy Alexander. Those are the main guys."
HOL: If you had to pick one football player to be on your squad in a pickup game, who would you take?
BP: "I would go with my boy LeRoy. He said he wanted to play basketball, but I guess football had more opportunities for him."
HOL: Are you much of an NFL fan?
BP: "Sort of. I like college better."
HOL: Really? I figured you'd be a big Chiefs guy seeing how you're from Kansas City.
BP: "Mmm, not really. I'll root for them when they're playing somebody, but I wouldn't be butt hurt if they lost."
HOL: So do you have much interest in the Super Bowl?
BP: "I want the Seahawks to win. I don't know, to be honest, I just like their colors (laughs)."
HOL: Good enough reason as any, I guess. Speaking of the Seahawks, as an athlete, what was your take on that whole Richard Sherman issue?
BP "I think the media put too much into it. Just like in practice, we talk stuff to each other all the time. It just happens in sports, and I think it just got blown out of proportion."
HOL: I ask every guy this: what's your favorite song to listen to before a game?
BP: "I'd have to say "I Know" by Yo Gotti."
HOL: Before we wrap this up, what's one of your favorite Tim Miles story or quote from the past two years you've played for him?
BP: "It's just always funny when he tries to call us out after we have like multiple days of practice. He'll say, 'I know what I see and I know what I smell.' That always gets me."