December 1, 2018: #1 Gonzaga @ Creighton Zags 103-92 over Jays.
As is said there are no moral victories and a loss is a loss. I am however, very encouraged by our men’s basketball team.
Our Jays are not playing nearly as well as they can or will, with 2 of 3 bigs recovering from injuries. Mitch Ballock- expected to be one of our primary scorers – has only performed as expected on 1 or 2 occasions thus far. Our PG by cmte is not yet performing optimally.
In spite of the above we hung toe to toe with the far more experienced #1 team and not withstanding the 4 minutes lapse mid 2nd half, AND the overwhelmingly lopsided disparity in foul calls, were in the game and had an opportunity to win it. While there is no shame in losing to the top team in the nation, we did hang 92 points on the #1 team, nothing beats winning.
This 2018-19 Creighton basketball squad is good. With continued development & incremental improvements this team will be one of the twenty best teams in the country. The team is 6-2, won the in season tourney over #16 Clemson, and is on schedule to meet/exceed my expectations.
Our guys are playing well, defining team roles, and will continue to improve. They can and will contend for the Big East crown.
Recruiting: A few recruits were expected at the Gonzaga game. Jacob Padilla made mention that 2021 recruit SG/SF Hunter Sallis attended.
Attempting to schedule a visit for 2019 Fwd Tristan Enaruna. Possibly over the Xmas season. He’s gaining more notice as KU has now offered.
Soccer: The regular season champs Men’s season ended abruptly at the BET. No NCAA bid given. Coach Bolovich retired and Asst. Coach Johnny Torres was promoted to HC. Good move for continuity.
Volleyball: the 28-4 Jays won both the Regular Season & BET championships. #9 CU (9-seed), again hosted 1st & 2nd round games. The team won vs South Dakota, but bowed out in the 2nd round vs #22 Univ. Washington. Excellent season, but too short a stay in the tournament.
Previews, stories, and vids at goCreighton, white and blue review, Bluejay Banter, and the Omaha World Herald.
* unlabeled photos courtesy of Creighton Athletics.
“Horses Always referred to in the Bible in connection with warlike operations,
except #Isa 28:28 The war-horse is described #Job 39:19-25” – from Angelfire.
In the descriptions of the 4 horses of the Apocalypse, the white horse is the steed of conquest. A fitting description of this years Jays team. Go forth & conquer.
The general national and local media have picked our team in the bottom of the Big East (with exception to NBC, Kenpom-33rd, and the Atlantic-46th / smart cookies!). Our fanbase has generally bought into the “too young” and doom-n-gloom movements as well. Many (media and fanbase) are talking a 7th – 9th place finish and some are “hoping” for a midpack 10/8 conference slate and sneaking into the dance. Only a few of us have bucked that trend and stated that the Jays will finish top half of the conference. I say we finish 2nd in the league. I have picked Epperson as the PoY and Jefferson as Newcomer of the Year. (note: NBC By Travis HinesMay 22, 2018, 12:46 PM EST , 4th. NBC By Travis HinesOct 16, 2018, 9:00 AM EST , 9th.) I’m disappointed with Travis’ waffling.
While the bulk of the local yokels media is busy bashing the Jays slight, tangential connection to the FBI trial, looking for increased clickbait, Jon Nyatawa, our beat guy is putting out a series of good articles. His most recent is on the four Sophomores of this team, the folks we will need to ride in order for success this season. (I don’t subscribe to Omaha’s rag, so you’ll have to read it yourselves if needed.) Jon also has a new “meet the team” spread. Check it out.
As an aside, Mr. Nyatawa is a professional and puts out well readable articles and opinions. Not being from the area his stuff is generally fair, objective, and non-biased. He is quite knowledgable on the intricacies of basketball and his insights and opinions are valuable and welcomed.
Seniors Cashaw and Joseph will be valuable contributors and provide senior leadership, while Juniors Krampelj and Mintz have the most returning experience and PT. Our four Sophomores may well be the lynchpin upon which we rest the season.
Alexander, Ballock, and Epperson played significant roles and had decent playing time as backups to last season’s star players. These guys along with transfer Damien Jefferson, who learned the system while doing his mandatory sit out, will be instrumental in providing the leadership, scoring, hustle, and unselfishness in which our success lies. This quartet are smart, athletic, and team 1st guys, In making the “sophomore leap” in effectiveness, scoring, and hustle, our 4 will become the glue of the overall team. They are ready for shouldering the load for this team, as they have all worked quite hard during the offseason to get ready for their time in the spotlight. I’m excited to see the fruits of all of their labors!
…and these guys below are ready to contribute to this years success as well!
The season officially begins next Tuesday, 06Nov18, and the fellas have been workin it in practices, scrimmages, and exhibitions.
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,”
Creighton has a habit of winning. The Program has consistently exceeded expectations. I expect no less this season. The team has a few cupcakes in Western Illinois, East Tennessee St, and Ohio St., as well as the field of the Caymans Classic to tune up and get ready for the grind. Time to put it together on the court, for real!
This is one of, if not the most talented, deep, and athletic teams in Creighton history! The fellas are ready to get to it. Bring on the Season! Go Big Blue…Let it Fly!
Rise n Fly Jays. Let’s ride this season to great heights and glories!
Jays Volleyball – VB Finally moved up to #9 after seven weeks at 10th in the nation. 20-4 on the season. BE is weak and CU has a middling RPI. Folks sweating on BJU about running the table and hosting a NCAA session. See goCreighton and BJU for more. Win both this week and the Jays take the top seed in the BET.
Jays riding a roller coaster in the polls. Fell from #8 to #19, now back up to #14. Jays clinch BE regular season championship at DePaul. At 11-3-2, Jays clinch #1 Seed, home field advantage in the upcoming BET.
Season finale and Senior Night is Wednesday vs Georgetown…
Hoops – Practice has begun!! Of all the major media outlets only NBC has the Jays in the top tier of the BEast (3rd). Lindy’s, Street&Smiths, Athlon, all join Blue Ribbon and the others in pegging the Jays in the Bottom 4 of the conference. The BE Coaches also pegged the Jays 9th. Boy are they all in for a shock.
Most had the Jays in a similar spot last season and we finished 3rd (tie). As per my August 15th predictions I see the Jays a strong 2nd in the BEast, about 25-6 on the regular season. We have the BE level talent and size, 4 upperclassmen, good experience level, a stellar incoming class, and excellent coaching. Jays reload.
Ty-Shon had 17, Mintz 12, and 4 others in dbl figures in the exhibition game last Saturday. Sam Froling had another good showing and STARTED the game.
Recruiting: Getting ready for the season…alls quiet on the recruiting front.
2019 – 04Oct18 Brandon Rachal – One time Jays recruit ended up at LSU but left for JUCO this year. He’s a talented 6-5 guard/wing who is comfortable handling the ball and is a veracious rebounder as well. Seton Hall recently offered. Averaged 4.4 ppg – 3.3 rpg – 0.7 apg last year as a freshman for LSU. Interest, yes. Offer, Unk.
Kendall is a 2021 6′-6″ recruit from Minnesota that plays PG and has been labeled as a PG, SG and SF by different scouting services.
He’s rated as a 5* recruit and I read he was scheduled to make an unofficial visit to Creighton on Oct. 19th.
Leftovers: Creighton has 10 open offers for 2019, with 2 rides to give. Asked around the local boards as to who else the coaches were focusing on, but no leaks nor hints. Coaches being very tight-lipped after the situation with Zach.
IMHO I think they are looking intently for copies of Nnaji & Harvey (a PF/C and big wing) just in case. So in addition to Enaruna and Beverly above, think bigs Tre Mitchell (C) #93. As for Wings it’s combo guard Sedrick Hammond (Combo G) or an as of yet unknown recruit.
FBI Trial: ESPN and Dickie V. late to the party; mention of Arizona and Creighton phonecons, looking for clickbait. Omaha World Herald getting on the clickbait train as well. Don’t know or care about UA, but Andy Miller and his agency ASM Sports (plus his associate Dawkins) represented Justin Patton at the time. Calls went up to NBA Draft day, then stopped. No smoke here.
Colin Powell last night “we have come to live in a society based on insults, on lies, and on things that just aren’t true.” Make certain that you have the entire story from all sides before you draw conclusions.
Misc: Top 3 pt shooting schools – this century.
Top 3-point shooting teams this century: 1. Duke 2. Belmont 3. Notre Dame 4. Creighton 5. Davidson 6. Florida 7. Kansas 8. Gonzaga
Creighton targets Zeke and Zach made other plans. Nnaji narrowed his list to elites only and Harvey re-opened his recruitment and reclassed to 2020. With that the Jays Nation expectations nosedived. We are in a lull before the fall signing period and things are exceedingly quiet.
Fortunately the Jays did have 1 commit (2 open scholies) in 2019 PG Shereef Mitchell. Reef is an local Omaha area Top 150 product and I expect his stock will continue to rise over the course of this season. He’s a very good athlete, smart, and may still be growing. It’s still early and anything can happen. However, If we only get 1 commit for 2019 that will be more than enough. Shereef Mitchell has starpower, talent, and is a very tough, hardnosed player. A class of one? More than enough for this Creightonian!
Just saw this on his twitter feed…Reef Mitchell sportin’ the new Jays home uni… and his Mom sporting the new road jersey as well. Nice… Enjoy!
Excellent player. Photogenic, with an infectious smile. Way to go Reef! Lookin’ good in that Creighton uni! The 2019 Class is in great hands.
There was a recent Bluejay Underground post on Creighton’s professional players. The vast majority of the attention is showered on the NBA Pros, Kyle Korver, Anthony Tolliver, and Doug McDermott…and rightfully so as the NBA garners the most attention. New NBAer’s Justin Patton and Khyri Thomas get a bit of attention as well.
What is surprising is how many former Jays are doing well playing professionally overseas. Several players have made good careers with teams/longevity in Europe and Asia. Of the older new generation, Bob Harstad, DeAnthony Bowden, Nerijus Karlikanovas, & Livan Pyfrom for example, have done exceedingly well overseas with long careers and accomplishments. Even Rodzilla, Rodney Buford, despite a checkered professional history, put together a 14 year career. That being said, he should have played much longer in the NBA. Some have followed Gregory Echenique since he played in Europe, South America, the Olympics, and now Japan. Some have recently followed Justin Carter, especially since his NBA tryout a few years ago, now in Dubai.
These gentlemen named above do Creighton proud as they not only developed into good professionals, but continue to be fine ambassadors for the university. Bob Harstad after a 10 year overseas career, returned to become a local stalwart of Creighton and was inducted into the Creighton and MVC HOFs. DeAnthony Bowen after an 11 year career recently returned to complete his Creighton degree. Several former players have matriculated into the coaching profession. Several (40-50) players and personnel also returned to the Hilltop this year for the HOF weekend for Coach Altman and Kyle Korver. The bonds which were built and developed for Creighton and for each other are still strong. It warms my heart to know these guys still love and connect with each other.
Another bright surprise is the fact that Dane Watts has performed well over the last decade. That he has pieced together a nice 11 year run professionally that would surprise most Creighton fans. Dane was always a good player and a fan favorite, but few would have guessed he would have this kind of longevity professionally. Justin Carter and Kenny Lawson are having stalwart careers as well, with Justin at 8 years and Kenny at 7 years thus far. The talent displayed at CU was evidently greater than many of the CU faithful gave credit for.
Below is a snippet of the Creighton listing on US Basket.com
In New York the 1st of several criminal trials involving shoe companies funneling money to college recruits, players, & families opened this week. Defendants are Adidas executive James Gatto, Adidas consulant Merl Code, and former ASM associate/aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins.
A few days ago (Oct 04, 2018) Brian Bowen Sr., Tugs’ dad, testified in NY court that Creighton was one of several schools that had offered money for Brian II (Tugs) to enroll and play basketball. Bowen Sr also testified that he was informed of all of these offers by aspiring agent Christopher Dawkins (a former ASM “runner”- associate agent). Dawkins was fired at ASM last spring and was handling all of the contacts and negotiations for Tugs recruitment. The Bowens’ ultimately accepted a U of Louisville offer and Bowen II enrolled in the summer of 2017.
All of the offeree universities may be at risk of both federal and NCAA trouble if these alleged offers are proven. There’s also the fact that the other allegations of actual completed payments are from Louisville, Kansas, NC State, among others.
According to NCAA rule 13.2.1, simply offering money, jobs or other inducements is an NCAA violation even if money doesn’t change hands. “An institution’s staff member or any representative of its athletics interests shall not be involved, directly or indirectly, in making arrangements for or giving or offering to give any financial aid or other benefits.”
The Hilltop has put out a series of statements…of their internal audits and finding no wrongdoings. AD Rasmussen has also stated cooperation with any info requests. Both the AD and Coach Mac deny any wrongdoing and spoke towards the programs values.
“Integrity is one of the guiding principles of coach Greg McDermott’s men’s basketball program, and the university is committed to upholding those values.”
To date, the Creighton University Athletics compliance office has not been contacted by the FBI or the NCAA.
Tim Krueger – From the Wizard of Oz we all remember the line “Toto we aren’t in Kansas anymore.” Well Jays’ fans, we aren’t in the Valley any more. And of course while none of us want rule breaking or scandal, it does show that our recruiting has moved to a new level.
As Dan Wetzel said, “Creighton is now playing with the big boys.”
HDMD (Creighton fan) pointed out on one of the Creighton boards that some of the faithful (paraphrase) “are okay with this. Possibly more than we would think.”
“IMO the Jays are a clean program and I seriously doubt that they would make an offer such as this. It goes against everything we do as a program.” – James Harvey /gtmoBlue
As the trial is ongoing, with this one and 2 future trials, we shall do periodic updates on the proceedings.