Nebraska men's basketball coach Tim Miles announced Wednesday that senior guard Ray Gallegos, the team's leading returning scorer from last season, has been suspended two games and will miss the Huskers' season opener Friday night against Florida Gulf Coast.
Miles said Gallegos violated team rules, and the length of the suspension was the coach's decision. Miles said he learned of Gallegos' violation before Monday's exhibition game against Nebraska-Kearney, but reiterated that Gallegos didn't play in the game because of a tight hip, not because of suspension.
Gallegos will also miss Nebraska's game Tuesday against Western Illinois. He joins guard Deverell Biggs on the suspension list; Biggs is serving a three-game suspension, which started with Monday's game, for his DUI citation last December.
"It's unfortunate, because we've got very good guards out because of conduct, behavioral issues," Miles said. "That's too bad, but you know what? I believe in our team and the rest of the guys we've got, that we can figure it out and find a way to win."
Gallegos, the team's lone scholarship senior, averaged 12.3 points last season while leading the Big Ten Conference in three-pointers and minutes played. His teammates vote him one of three team captains, a status Miles said Gallegos would retain.
"I believe in Ray. I believe in him," Miles said. "I do think that he can get past this and be a productive, good player for us and still have a leadership role.
"It's disappointing, but at the same time, I'm not so sure Ray's not going to come back better from this. Give him a couple of weeks to collect his thoughts, and he's going to have to fulfill a couple of obligations to return to our program, and I think those can be beneficial for him."
In other roster news, Miles announced that junior walk-on guard Jordan Tyrance is leaving the team because of personal reasons, and that freshman Nathan Hawkins has a stress fracture that will prevent him from playing Friday night.
Miles said he was unclear how long Hawkins may be out.
Tyrance, a Lincoln native, played in 23 games last season, including a 10-point, seven-rebound performance in Nebraska's January game against Purdue.
"I support Jordan in this," Miles said. "He and I have had a couple of heart-to-hearts over the last few days, and Jordan's moving on. I support him and look forward to helping him make sure he gets his college degree."
Without Gallegos, Nebraska is likely to go with the same bigger lineup that Miles started against Nebraska-Kearney, with 6-foot-8 Leslee Smith and 6-10 Walter Pitchford, along with Shavon Shields, Terran Petteway and point guard Tai Webster.
"I think so," Miles said. "We'll see what I have left."