If these predictions are up it must be 15 August 2018.
Keys to Success: Think Big. Put the Past behind you. No Fear (God is with you).
…and Consistent best efforts.
Quoting the great Steve M. Sipple @HuskerExtraSip Lincoln Journal Star:
“Those games on Fox look extraordinary…… everything about the Creighton gameday atmosphere on TV screams big time”.
“When I watch those (Creighton) games……incredible atmosphere….court looks fabulous…….it looks big time….because it is big time….”
It really is August, already. Time again for git’s annual predictions. There’s a lot to be said for continuity and consistency, as you’ll never reach a goal if you quit. These August 15th predictions here are the official ones I’ll run with all year. The prelim April thru July stuff is just fodder for message boards and warmups.
Two seniors, 2 juniors, and the fellas. What a talented and underappreciated young group of ballers we have this year. The vast majority of media prognosticators, including my boy Andy Katz, https://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/article/2018-08-02/college-basketball-can-villanova-win-another-title have my Bluejays in the bottom half of the BEast this coming season. Poor talking heads…ahem, how little they know.
Our guys have enough returning experience in Martin, Davion, Ty-Shon, Mitch, Kaleb, and Jake, to settle down the newbies and to make the next step up. Add to this core group the 2 transfers in Damien and Connor and we have a very experienced and capable group of 8 seasoned players. I like this group.
Denzel has to sit and will be a blessing on the scout squad, but the rest of the newbies have the potential to contribute this season. Chris has been in the weightroom, getting stronger. Marcus has been sitting out, but will be ready come practice in October. Jett is working out as well. I suspect that the frosh will surprise us all with their contributions this season, especially Chris with time at the 3 & 4. Sam just finished winning a championship with the Aussie National Team at the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championships in Thailand. He was rolling! https://pickandroll.com.au
I expect Martin to be his consistent self and breakouts from Ty-Shon, Mitch, and Jacob. I see Jacob as a potential BE PoY candidate. Davion should show both offensive and defensive maturity at the PG and run the show – more passing/less dribbling. The big wings (Damien & Connor) will bring inside-outside game to the party, as well as 3 point shooting. This should be a balanced offensive team, with any of the four positions (2-5) being able to torch the opposition. While unsure as to how much PT Marcus will get, I expect him to bring a nice “change of pace” to the PG spot as a score 1st PG.
Some think we may see some hi-low post sets with Martin/Jacob – Martin/Sam. While that may be the case, I would not expect a wholesale switch from the current 4 out & 1 under uptempo and transition pace we have come to know and expect.
Defensively, Davion, Damien, and Connor will bring intensity and grit to this team. I also see less “ole” defense from our Bigs and SGs. With the athleticism and length of our guys, this 2018-19 squad has the capability to be one of our better defensive teams. They don’t necessarily need to be a Top 20 defense…but if they are top 40-60 it should be enough to be respectable. Defensive toughness, in select spots and times, ability to stop runs, and the ability to force TOs when needed, can make this team a unit tough to beat.
Sidebar discussion: Effectiveness vs Efficiency, from Jul 2015.
Over the last 8 years the Jays avg annual record is 23-12. We have played “pretty basketball” and strived to be very efficient. For the most part we have been successful, in that CU has been top 40 in six of the last eight seasons in efficiency (kenpom). Efficiency has gotten us to, and maintains our current BE mid pack status.
However, when it fails whether from off shooting nights or great opponent defense, it fails gloriously. In physical, gritty, dirty, “muck it up” games during the same span the Jays have had the misfortune of being one of the more unlucky teams in college basketball. In “muck it up” games blowouts have been common. This 8 year span has also been capped by a string of untimely injuries.
In order to take the next step, in becoming the top team in the BEast and being a force both nationally & in the dance, becoming a much tougher & effective team is in order. My Jays need to get tougher, with more hustle, anticipation, rebounding, grit, and determination… outwork ’em. I don’t care if it takes double digit 2nd and 3rd putback shot attempts – as long as we win.
It seems this years’ personnel fit that bill. I, for one, am very optimistic for the 2018-19 Bluejay season.
Sidebar Discussion: Anonymous Eagle July Preview/ response.
Anonymous Eagle/Besay – It will be difficult to play at the same level they did last year considering the Big East is going to be a lot tighter with St. John’s and Georgetown projected to be much improved. Combine that with Marquette’s stacked roster full of potential and ‘Nova’s quick reload and you’re probably going to see a lot of close games in the Big East. I’m not so sure Creighton will be a contender this year.
It all depends on three things:
Can their young players can step up?
Can they win close games?
Can Cashaw have a major impact this season?
If all these check out, then you might see Creighton in the Tournament again. Let me be clear: they probably need to answer all three with a resounding yes.
The 4 teams you mention specifically all have a bunch of newbies to integrate, along with untested sophs and jrs. StJ, Gtwn, Marquette, and Nova all have big holes to fill and will rely on new and untested players. It’s gonna be a wide open season in the Big East!
Can Creighton get into the mix and be effective? Yes. Alexander, Ballock (sophs), and Zegarowski (frosh) step up. Cashaw and Jefferson (transfers) step up and contribute significantly on both sides of the ball. Win close games? Epperson, Krampelj are back for paint defense, Cashaw, Jefferson, and Mintz for perimeter D. Jays will reload and roll on. They’ve got a good shot to win the BE in a tumultuous season.
…and the NCAAs Joe Boozell too… https://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/article/2018-07-23/64-fearless-predictions-2018-19-college-basketball-season Ten BE mentions, including #48…5 BE teams make the dance.
Now, let’s get to it!
2018-19 Big East projected final standings…
1) Providence Experience, depth, and strong recruiting class. Can Ed get max effort/play from returnees? Can Prov handle the pressure as a front runner also? Plus Ed Cooley remains as one of the most underrated coaches in America. Cooley rides his starters hard, little time for others. He sat MAL forever after the non-con, so MAL has little BE experience to go on. Nice incoming class, will they see the court? Read where a Holt is at 70% now and they expect him to have him 100% come conference play. 10Aug18: I had Prov as 1st for almost all of the offseason, but now have doubts…slide to 3rd place. 12Aug18: Doubts yes, but also depth…gonna roll with the Friars.
OmahaGuy: Friars fans should feel pretty optimistic for next season. Very talented recruiting class is on their way in and some good players will remain on board including Watson, MAL, Diallo, and a healthy Emmit Holt. They’ll have a stacked backcourt to go with a couple good big guys in Watson and Holt.
2) Creighton Krampelj, Mintz, Ballock, and Joseph return, with sophs who gained valuable PT last season in Epperson & Alexander. Jays p/u a good class with PG Marcus Z, Fwd Chris B, and Grad SG Conner C getting considerable PT. Transfer wing Damien Jefferson is a sterling replacement for Thomas. Frosh Samson Froling having a sensationally great international summer, can he crack the rotation? Yes, he will. Jays have enough grit to escape the 4th-6th place logjam.
3) Butler How Kamar Baldwin goes, the Bulldogs are likely to follow. Add in McDermott, Jorgenson, Fowler, Christian David, Thompson, and transfer Jordan Tucker. This is a very good squad. Recruit forwards Golden and Hastings will not see much PT. Tucker joins in at the semester break. These guys (Bulldogs) have been considered sleepers…not so Kemosabe. Butler should be a very, very good team, and when added to their home court advantage…should be a formidable squad. ESPN/247 Preseason #24. 10Aug18: Bumped up to 1st. 12Aug18: Back to 3rd.
4) Xavier Excellent young returning cast, who saw good minutes last season, in Jones, Scruggs, Harden, Gooden, & Marshall. Gates is the only true upperclassman and X has a mix n match class of transfers and recruits. Will need a couple of the frosh and transfers to step up. However, this could be a low seeding if the returnees develop into ironmen. 4-6 is a coin flip.
5) Villanova Very light on experienced returnees. One of the youngest teams, if not the youngest, in the league. Can Eric & Phil carry this young team? 3 lightly used sophs, RS Painter, transfer Joe Cremo, and a great frosh class. Next year? Top 10 in all preseason polls.
6) Marquette Initially had the Warrior/GEs much higher. See this for amplification-They are the GW experts. Wojo is history. https://www.anonymouseagle.com/2018/7/30/17628388/marquette-golden-eagles-basketball-espn-bpi
Jeff Borzello: This one will immediately raise some eyebrows. The Golden Eagles finished .500 in the Big East last season, got pummeled in the Big East tournament by Villanova, then lost in the NIT to Penn State — and then lost leading scorer Andrew Rowsey and his 20-plus points per game. However, the model (BPI) projects Marquette to have the best offense in the country … and the 90th-ranked defense. Markus Howard returns in the backcourt, and Sam Hauser could be poised for an all-Big East campaign. Steve Wojciechowski is expecting a big boost from his newcomers: Nebraska transfer Ed Morrow, Fordham graduate transfer Joseph Chartouny and freshman Brendan Bailey.
7) St Johns Ponds, Simon, & Clark are back. Picked up a top juco in LJ Figueroa. Big class including 2 transfers in Dixon and Keita, and RS Diatke. Mullin has talent on the roster. Can he coach ’em up? Is Mullin history also?
8) Georgetown Govan is back, Derrickson no. Good recruiting class. Lots of questions. Next year.
Hoyahooligan: I think starting line up looks like Akinjo, Mcclung, Pickett, Govan. PF is TBD: could be LeBlanc, or Walker, or maybe Yurt if the new rule gets in place in time. Or we could go small and start a third guard either Mosely or Blair and move Pickett to PF. Could be Mourning or Johnson too, plenty of options at PF.
9) DePaul Need PG Gage & Ctr Butz to stay healthy and the frosh to inject some life into a team that desperately needs it. Strus, Cain, and Cyrus struggled, but transfer SG Coleman-Lands should help. The frosh Deiner, Cameron, and stretch 4 Maslennikov will need to contribute. Leitao’s history as well.
10) Seton Hall Myles Powell is the big name here. Add Myles Cale, a few returning roleplayers, and 2 good transfers in Quincy McKnight and Taurean Thompson. Recruiting class was #62 with 3 200+/- recruits.
Ben Snider: The Pirates are in this basketball limbo where the reasonable expectation is an 8 or 9 seed. I don’t think that changes this year. They have enough talent to potentially reach the coveted “Second in the Big East” mark this year, but I wouldn’t count on it. Holy God above, I need college basketball to start.
Non conference slate – 11-2
2018-19 Creighton Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
Day Date Opponent Site Time (CST)
Sat. Oct. 27 WINONA STATE (Exh.) CHI Health Center Omaha 7:00 pm
Tues. Nov. 6 WESTERN ILLINOIS CHI Health Center Omaha
Sun. Nov. 11 EAST TENNESSEE STATE CHI Health Center Omaha
Thurs. Nov. 15 OHIO STATE$ CHI Health Center Omaha
Mon. Nov. 19 vs. Boise State% George Town, Grand Cayman 6:30 pm
Tues. Nov. 20 vs. TBD% (Georgia State or St. Bonaventure) George Town, Grand Cayman
Wed. Nov. 21 vs. TBD% (Akron, Clemson, Illinois State or Georgia) George Town, Grand Cayman
Wed. Nov. 28 MONTANA CHI Health Center Omaha
Sat. Dec. 1 GONZAGA CHI Health Center Omaha
Sat. Dec. 8 at Nebraska Lincoln, Neb.
Fri. Dec. 14 GREEN BAY CHI Health Center Omaha
Tues. Dec. 18 at Oklahoma Norman, Okla.
Thurs. Dec. 20 COE CHI Health Center Omaha
Thurs. Dec. 27 UMKC CHI Health Center Omaha
|gtmo’s Ridiculously Predictable, Preposterous Preseason Prognostications – 2018/19 Edition|
|Non-Conf schedule||W-11 L-2||Zags & poss road loss or Clemson?|
|Big East schedule||W-14 L-4||2nd, No Home losses|
|Prov, But, X, Marq|
|Reg Season Totals||W-25 L-6|
|BET||W-3 L-0||Win BET Championship|
|Post Reg Season Totals||W-28 L-6|
|NCAA||W-3 L-1||EE Run|
|2018-19 Campaign||W-31 L-7||Campaign Totals|
|1st Team BE||Epperson|
|2nd Team BE||Krampelj|
|2nd Team BE||Cashaw|
* I am limiting my selecting of post season awards to my Creighton selections above.
**Unmarked photos all courtesy of Creighton Athletics.