gtmo’s Ridiculously Predictable, Preposterous Preseason Prognostications – 2015/16 Edition

Well, here we go Again…


Courtesy: Creighton Athletics

It’s August, and time for another round of gtmo’s annual predictions for Creighton Men’s Basketball.  
Four years ago (2011-12) the Creighton Men’s Basketballers traveled to the hot Bahama Islands on a every 4 years overseas trip.  That summer tour helped to bond, build comraderie and team chemistry, and solidify an unselfish attitude amongst the teammembers.  The result was an unprecedented 3 year run of success by the Jays.
This year the team was allowed another overseas junket – the destination was to Italy.  The Jays technically have nine (9) new faces and bonding, chemistry, and unselfishness will be vital to this season’s success.  Reports point to progress along those lines on this trip, as well as the fun of playing against someone other than teammates in practice.  While these exhibition games are meaningless except for their use by the coaches for further teaching, correction, and growth – the jays did handily win the 3 tilts.  The fanbase is hopeful that similar results to 2011-14 will be realized again.  I for one, am confident that increased successes are at hand for Creighton Basketball.  
As in most seasons there are questions raised, myriad opinions voiced, positions postulated, and predictions put forth.  Perhaps moreso this season as the Jays have so many new faces onboard, with the Katrina-like rubble of last season lingering in the minds of the faithful, and of course the fog of the unknown – casting doubts and fertilizing fears in some among us.  Fortunately I brought along my basketball breakout bag – filled with faith, hope, and charity.  Along with the big 3 there is an ample supply of confidence in our program, our teams, and our coaches.  Included are stout rations of Blue Juice, chili cheese dogs (sustinence), and salted peanuts (extra enegry).  A requisite change of Jays garb, a phone for wifi/streaming vids, and an solar powered emergency radio and charger, with strobe flashlight for news, weather, sports updates, and to shine the light of faith-reason-confidence into the foggy recesses of doubt and fear.  You can thank me later.
A couple of the other (few) Bluejay optimists suggested I change up and use “reverse logic/reverse karma” this season.  I thanked them for the suggestion, but declined.  Some things hold true:
The sun rises in the East…
Governments will raise taxes…
Banks and Cable companies will add new fees…
The P5 will continue to cheat…  
gtmo will publish his ridiculous Jays hoops predictions.  
Besides – Folks might not realize that we are merely 2 months away from hoops practices and roughly 3 months away from the start of the season – were it not for these predictions.  Think of me as one of the harbingers of Fall… along with the snowbirds flying South, and the tree leaves changing colors, etc.  
Courtesy:  Creighton Athletics
And Now…
Everyone has an opinion – this one is mine.  There is no formulae, no scientific methodology, no magic…merely my opinion.  Historically over these last 10 years of predictions I have been generally pretty close.  It helps that Creighton Basketball has generally been great over the last 20 or so years.
Last season, in a compromise move towards my more conservative and pragmatic Jays brethren, I factored in an across-the-board reduction of 5% in my predictions (off Coach Mac’s averages, and his 27 win average).  Other offensive categories reduced 5%/defensive categories increased 5%.  This season I have reduced predictions 15% of gtmo (Mac) normal, due to the numbers of new personnel and last year’s shock-to-the-system.  
gtmo’s Ridiculously Predictable, Preposterous Preseason Prognostications – 2015/16 Edition
Non-Conference schedule    –  11-2    (losses @ Oklahoma, @ LUC)
Big East schedule                 –  12-6    (1 home loss)
Regular Season Totals       –  23-8  
BET                                      –   2-1    (lose in the Championship game)  
Pre-Dance totals                   –  25-9
NCAA                                  –   2-1    (SS run)
2015-16 Campaign             –  27-10
I see a strong start to the season (a regular CU trait), with a probable 7 or 8 game streak.  Winning at Indiana early and winning the LV tourney.  Possible losses at Oklahoma and at Chicago Loyola.  If the team has a jumpstart from the Italy trip and plays well early…I could see 12-1 in the non-conference portion of the slate.  However, my newfound “conservatism” insists that I stick with the above predicitons of 11-2/12-6 for a Regular Season talley of 23-8.
I think the team will rebound from last year’s horror story regarding shooting, but NOT to EW/DMD/RedBull levels:  
  
2FG%  – 46%
3PT FG%  –  35-36
FT%  – 75%
In moving up a bit to 35%  3PT shooting may continue to be poor.  Therefore imho less reliance on the 3 is in order for the team, at least until such time as they show the ability to reliably make the 3PTer. There is no need to launch a high number of 3pt shots when the numbers show poor efficiency in making them.  Should the team show the ability to hit 3’s at a respectable rate (37-40%), then a gradual increase to approx 22-25% of total shots (15-23 3Pters/game) would be okay.  
With the increase in team athleticism I see renewed emphasis on penetration, the mid-range game, rebounding, and 2nd chance putback scoring.  With more action in and around the paint the Jays should see an increase in FT shooting from fouls around the hoop.  Folks always note that defenses will collapse into the paint without the 3 Pter.  However with good midrange shooters, defenses will pay for not covering the 12-17 ft shots.  Defensively our increased athleticism should pay off in upticks in steals, disruption of the passing lanes, altered and blocked shots, and rebounding.

Lastly, I loved seeng the marked increase in game tempo, marked increase in the number of shots attempted, and our defensive disruption caused by our length and athleticism during the summer tour. I hope that such developments continue.

Overall 2015/16 will be a good rebound season from last year’s disappointment.  With a bit more rapid progression, a little luck, and good leadership from the Seniors, and Mo, and Cole; this team has the potentials to be even better than my humble predictions (3-4 more wins and closer to “gtmo normal”).  As always I am hopeful for the best.  2015/16 promises to be another exciting season of Creighton Basketball.
Enjoy the ride!
gtmoBlue
Courtesy Creighton Archives
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