gtmo’s Ridiculously Predictable, Preposterous Preseason Prognostications – 2016/17 Edition

Ah August…hotter than grits n sausage on a griddle.  Well, here we go Again…

Courtesy: Creighton Athletics

It’s time for another round of gtmo’s annual predictions for Creighton Men’s Basketball.

The team was allowed another overseas junket last season – to Italy.  The Jays used the overseas trip to build and sustain comraderie and chemistry.  The team appeared on the verge of busting out on several occasions, but an end-of-year swoon cost CU an opportunity to dance in the NCAAs. The fanbase is pumped and hopeful that with last years experiences and the increases in on-the-court talent that Creighton will return to challenge for the Big East title and land a berth in the NCAAs this season.  I for one, am confident that increased successes are at hand for Creighton Basketball.

Three new members are in the Jays rotations – Marcus, Davion, and Kobe. As in most seasons there are questions raised, myriad opinions voiced, positions postulated, and predictions put forth.  After last season’s rebound performance and a good showing in the NIT, the faithful are optimistic.  Of course adding a proven talent like Marcus Foster helps tremendously in building expectations.  The 2 new frosh will see varying degrees of PT most dependent upon the performances of those ahead of them.

The ascent of CU amongst transfer destinations has diminished the doubts and fears amongst the fanbase.  The performances of Mo and Cole, along with the progress made by many members, and of course Marcus’ eligibility, have folks already primed and pumped for the season. There is an ample supply of confidence in our program, our teams, and our coaches – the faithful are raring to go.

Courtesy:  Creighton Athletics

without further ado…

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.

Two seasons ago (post DMD), 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%.

Last season I reduced predictions 15% of gtmo (Mac) normal, due to the numbers of new personnel and 2014-15’s shock-to-the-system.

This season there are no compromises nor reductions.  The Jays are expected to thrive this season, and win.
gtmo’s Ridiculously Predictable, Preposterous Preseason Prognostications – 2016/17 Edition
Season Segment Record Notes
Non-Conf schedule W-12   L-1 Loss at Ariz. State
Big East schedule W-14   L-4 Split w Gtwn, SH, Nova, StJ No Home losses
Win 1st Big East Title.
Reg Season Totals W-26   L-5
BET W-2   L-1 BET Championship Game
Post Reg Season Totals W-28   L-6
NCAA W-3   L-1 EE Run
2016-17 Campaign W-31   L-7 Campaign Totals

I expect a strong start to the season (a regular CU trait), with a probable 10 or 11 game streak.  Winning vs Wisconsin in Omaha and winning the USVI tourney.  Possible loss at Arizona State.  If the team plays well early…I see 12-1 in the non-conference portion of the slate.

The returning players should show an uptick in shooting and overall play.  The confidence gained from last season, the increased competition on the team, and the success in the NIT will stoke a hunger to return to the NCAAs.

Shooting levels

2FG% Trending up – 46-48%%

3PT FG%  Trending up –  37.5-39%

FT%  – trending up – 79%

In moving up to 37.5% (and potentially higher)  3PT shooting may again become a mainstay.  With more mature and healthy shooters, I expect to see the guys consistently and reliably make the 3PTer.  As long as the team shows the ability to hit 3’s at a respectable rate (37-40%), shooting a reasonable amount of them would be okay (approx 22-25% of total shots).

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 seeing 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 last season.  We were actually decent defensively last season.  I hope that such developments continue.

 

Big East 1st Team – Marcus and Mo, Big East 3rd Team – Cole, Big East HM – Khyri

 

Overall 2016/17 will be a solid continuation of overall team improvement, carrying over from last year’s team.  This team should compete and win the Big East regular season title.  With a bit more progression, a little luck, and good leadership from the Seniors, and Marcus; this team has the potentials to be even better than my humble predictions (3-4 more wins ).  As always I am hopeful for the best.  The 2016/17 season promises to be another exciting season of Creighton Basketball.

Enjoy the ride!
gtmoBlue
Courtesy Creighton Archives
(Been out doin' Honeydo's, running errands, and transporting cats.  Sorry for 
the delay.)
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