If these predictions are up it must be 15 August 2019.
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, 4 juniors, and the fellas. What a talented and underappreciated group of ballers we have this year. Poor talking heads…ahem, how little they know.
Our guys have enough returning experience in Davion, Damien, Ty-Shon, Mitch, Marcus, and Jake, to settle down the newbies and to make the next step up. Add to this core group the 2 transfers in Denzel and Kelvin and we have a very experienced and capable group of 8 seasoned players. I like this group.
Antwann Jones 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. Shereef has been in the weightroom, getting stronger. Jalen is working out as well. I suspect that the frosh will surprise us all with their contributions this season.
I expect Ty-Shon to be his consistent self and breakouts from Denzel, Mitch, and Jacob. I see Ty-Shon as a potential BE PoY candidate. Davion should show both offensive and defensive maturity at the PG/SG with more passing/less dribbling. The big wings (Damien & Denzel) 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. Marcus will run the show and I expect him to bring leadership to the PG spot as a score 1st PG.
Several preseason polls (USAToday, CBS, Athlon Sports, 3MW – 3 Man Weave) have the Jays in their top 25’s and a few more (ESPN, Busting Brackets, NBC) also have them on the cusp of rankings. This is primarily due to the number of returnees, starters, and scoring that CU has back. Always good to see others recognizing the talent on the team. In fact 3MW’s Matt Cox goes gtmo in his take… https://www.three-man-weave.com/3mw/creighton-preview-2020 Lunardi’s latest has the Jays a 5-seed, which has them as 2nd in the Big East.
With our shortage of bigs 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. I do expect to see Kelvin get substantial minutes of PT as there may still be questions with Jacob. With the departures of Martin and Sam we have subtraction at the 4 & 5 spots.
My concern, like many other folks, is whether we have enough bodies to weather the seemingly typical Creighton injury spate. If Jacob and Kelvin can stay healthy this team can be really good. However, until shown that the 3 bigs will be reliable, I have no choice other than to apply some brakes to my predictions.
Defensively, Davion, Damien, and Denzel 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 2019-20 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.
Now, let’s get to it!
2019-20 Big East projected final standings…*
1. Villanova: It would be silly to bet against Jay Wright’s program at this point, but the Wildcats have more than a name and pedigree this season. They’re loaded with talent and experience with a great recruiting class. They’re not in the top-tier of national title contenders this preseason, but they’re not far behind, either.
2. Seton Hall: The distance between Villanova and the Pirates is relatively narrow, with Seton Hall returning a ton of talent from last year’s NCAA tournament 10-seed. Myles Powell is a difference-maker on both ends, and it’s far from a one-man squad. This group will have to improve, but it’s got the profile of a team that’s capable of making a significant leap.
3. Creighton: This is a team that will be knocking on the door of preseason top-25s on the strength of a solid-though-not-remarkable returning core. Ty-Shon Alexander is a serious breakout candidate, if such a distinction fits for a player who averaged nearly 16 points per game last season. The additions of Ctr Kelvin Jones and SF Denzel Mahoney, if reasonably productive, can make the difference between 2nd and 4th place conference finishes for the Jays.
4. Xavier: The Musketeers aren’t all that different than Seton Hall, with talented returners from a good team needing who fit the bill of a team on the rise. It’s easier said than done, and they’ll have to deal with increased expectations, but this team has the chops to be the best in the conference if things break their way.
5. Georgetown: The Hoyas were really fun to watch last season, but the trick for them is going to be making the transition from entertaining young squad to a still-green-but-successful team. The easiest path to that would be improved shooting as the youthful Hoyas struggled to connect from distance consistently.
6. Marquette: The Golden Eagles may have been the favorites to win the conference had the Hauser brothers not elected to transfer, but their departures throws this season into question for Marquette. The cupboard is obviously not bare even beyond Markus Howard, who might just power the program to near the top of the league on his own, but it’s certainly a harder team to peg.
7. DePaul: The Blue Demons got over .500 last season, but it came on a diet of non-conference cupcakes and then four wins in the CBI. With the addition of transfers PF/Ctr Carte’Are Gordon (SLU), PF Darius Hall (Ark), possible play (with waiver) of PG Charlie Moore (KU), and a standout frosh class incl. Top 100 recruits Romeo Weems and Markese Jacobs, here’s betting DePaul equals or betters last season.
8. Providence: Alpha Diallo is one of the conference’s best and most productive players, but the Friars have to improve offensively if they’re going to get back to the NCAA tournament after a five-year streak was snapped last season.
9. Butler: The Bulldogs are probably the best candidate to outperform these rankings, on the strength of Kamar Baldwin’s talent alone, but they just haven’t proven enough beyond Baldwin to slide them further up the list.
10. St. John’s: Mike Anderson has his work cut out for him after Chris Mullin was only able to get a First Four appearance in four years with the Red Storm. St. John’s has only been in the NCAA tournament proper twice since 2005.
*Used NBC's list with rearrangement to suit me.
Courtesy: Creighton Athletics
Non conference slate – 10-3**
2019-20 Creighton Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
|Nov. 12||@ Michigan
(Year 5 of 8, Game 5)
|Not Nov. 18||Cal Poly
LV Invitational Home Game
|Nov Nov. 18||LV Invitational Home Game||TBD||FS1/FS2/FSN|
|Nov. 28||vs. Iowa
Las Vegas Invitational
|Nov. 29||vs. Texas Tech or San Diego State
Las Vegas Invitational
|University Release||FS1 Loss|
|Dec. 3||Oral Roberts||Oral Roberts Schedule Release||FS1/FS2/FSN|
|Dec. 7||Nebraska||Nebraska Release||FS1|
|Not Dec. 14 (Concert)||Oklahoma
Big East/Big 12 Challenge
|Dec. 21||@ Arizona State||Arizona State Schedule Release||FS1/Pac-12 Net Loss|
Incomplete non-conference Schedule courtesy of White and Blue Review.
Dec. 30 Big East opener…vs
Iowa/Texas Tech ranked.
|gtmo’s Ridiculously Predictable, Preposterous Preseason Prognostications – 2019/20 Edition|
|Non-Conf schedule||W-10 L-3||Loss @Mich, LV Final, & @Arizona St.|
|Big East schedule||W-13 L-5||3rd, No Home losses|
|SH, X, Marq, DePaul, Nova|
|Reg Season Totals||W-23 L-8|
|BET||W-2 L-1||2nd in BET Championship|
|Post Reg Season Totals||W-25 L-9|
|NCAA||W-2 L-1||SS Run|
|2018-19 Campaign||W-27 L-10||Campaign Totals|
|Cat.||18-19||18-19 Prediction||19-20 Prediction|
|1st Team BE||Epperson||Alexander|
|2nd Team BE||Krampelj||Mahoney|
|2nd Team BE||Cashaw|
|BE Newcomer||Jefferson||K. Jones|
** Initially only had a loss @ASU, but revised non. conference slate record pending the reliability of our 3 bigs. If 1 or 2 sustain injury, this season will tank along with them. Also revised conference finish from 2nd to 3rd place.
*** I am limiting my selecting of post season awards to my Creighton selections above.
Unmarked photos all courtesy of Creighton Athletics.