Repost: gtmo’s 2008-2009 Bluejay Basketball Predictions

Repost of the 1st of gtmo’s annual predictions from 11 years ago… boy how time flies!

2008-09 Basketball Schedule

Non-Conference Opponents—Home 7-0
11/16/08–New Mexico
12/10/08– Dayton
12/13/08–Northern Colorado / LVC
12/15/08 -Liberty /LVClassic
Oral Roberts
Bracketbuster- Akron
Open
Open??

Away 2-1
Arkansas-Little Rock
Nebraska –Rumored to be 11/29/08
St. Joseph –Rumored to be 12/6/08 (L)

Neutral 2-0
12/22-12/23 Las Vegas Classic (2 gms in LV)
Depaul
Saint Louis

Conference
MVC – 14-4 1st Overall 25-5
MVC Tourney – 3-0 28-5
NCAA – 2-1 30-6

***Poss 3-1 dependent on Seed/Pairings.

What actually happened that season…

2008–09

Dana Altman

27–8

14–4

T–1st

NIT Second Round

 

2008-2009
MPG PPG RPG BPG SPG APG TO
Kenny Lawson (So.) 23 10.2 6 2 1 1
Kenton Walker (So.) 22 5.9 5 1.5 1
Chad Millard (Jr.) 20 7.8 5 1.5 1 1
Casey Harriman (So.) 15 5.9 4
Justin Carter (Jr.) 17 9.1 4 1.4 1 1
P’Allen Stinnett (So.) 21 15 4 1 3 2 1
Booker Woodfox (Sr.) 18 12.6 2 2
Kaleb Korver (So.) 13 4.6 1
Josh Jones (Fr.) 11 2.2 1 0.7 2 2
Josh Dotzler (Sr.) 16 5 1 3 4 1
Cavel Witter (Jr.) 14 11.5 1 1.4 3 2
Antoine Young (Fr.) 10 2.2 1 0.7 2 2
200 92 35 6 10.2 19 11
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From the Old Spice Classic – My Take

The Milk House – Disney Wide World of Sports
Lake Buena Vista, FL
28 Nov 09

Old Spice Classic – My Take

There is NO Doubt the I drink the Blue Kool-Aid. I am one of the Diehard Blue Kool-aid guys for my Creighton Bluejays. This hurts me MORE than it hurts you or the team.

Thursday – 26th Michigan

Roll Jays, Roll.

The Jays Played a very good game – good enough to win, for approximately 32-35 minutes. The team was focused, the intensity was there, and so was desire. With approx 8 minutes left CU was up by 5-6 points…playing well. Michigan was one or two Jay buckets away from total collapse. Then the old ‘bugaboo’ hit. Creighton went into a stall, an unintentional stall. A couple of well timed turnovers and a poor shot or two…both clubs were horrible over this point (4-5 minutes). Eventually UM hit a bucket, then followed with another – they were off the hook and back into the game. UM went ahead….and AY hit a buzzer beater to force OT. You know the “Rest of the Story.” This tilt should have ended in regulation as a Jays win!

What is it with CU Basketball and the Name Game? We were the better team on Thursday, the team with focus, with desire, with execution. Harris and Sims were no great match for our guys on this day. Instead of a much needed signature win, the Jays allowed the Wolverines to get back into the game. Instead of ‘applying the dagger’ or ‘stepping on their necks’, we allowed them new life. Michigan was ready to fold – we let ’em off the hook! It was different than the way we gave it up at Dayton, yet so reminiscent of soo many games versus “Name” or ranked teams. This needs to STOP – IT NEEDS TO STOP RIGHT NOW! There is no ‘next step, next level’ if the Jays continue to ‘roll over’ in big games. I am OKO TA! Pissed!

Friday 27th – Xavier

Jays get EARLY Start on Disney Sightseeing…

Whether is was residual hurt, shock, anguish, or the opportunity to get a headstart on seeing the Disney sights… Jays seemingly take the 2nd half off against Xavier. Xavier – the Team everyone loves to hate (especially in Dayton)… Jays were in it to win it in the 1st half. Made a comeback from a double digit deficit to close within 8 at the half. Our guys looked to be primed to make a game of it.

The first 5 minutes of the 2nd half were even, as the 2 teams traded buckets as the second session got underway. Then it happened…slowly, gradually, incredibly, the Musketeers hit an unanswered chippy here, a layup there, throw in a breakaway bucket even. Before you knew it the cold shooting and lack of shooting Jays were in a 22 point hole at the 10 minute mark. Who wants to shoot? seemingly only Ethan Wragge and Darryl Ashford…no one else made an attempt to rise to the occasion. Kenny got a few buckets, but they were scattered over the 20 minute period, he was not given enough consistent opportunities to make a significant effort.

It was as if the team “lost interest” in the game…Hell, this is Xavier. How do we lose interest in beating Xavier? Perhaps we were still on CST? Perhaps they heard about some of the Special discounts on the amusement venues and wanted to get a head start. Perhaps they thought it was Saturday already – and were absorbed in thoughts of the rides, gifts, and chow available during the “day-off”? Whatever it was that pre-occupied the Jays thoughts on Friday, the result was a 15 point beatdown, for “Lack of Interest”.

WE gave UM an early “X-mas gift ( which Marquette promptly stole from them) and took a “day-off” against Xavier…so the Jays are relegated to the 7th Place game against a tough playing Iona squad on Sunday.

I gave my Championship Session tickets away to a visiting couple on my way in at Noon on Friday, since the Jays have chosen not to participate. I am not interested in the 5th Place, nor 7th Place games.

P’Fro and a couple of others had mused “what if the Jays come out of the OSC with an overall 3-3 record…how will they respond.” Well, we get the opportunity to find out. This is a very talented team we have. They need to find, buy, or steal a “Killer Instinct”. It is not acceptable for the Bluejays to ‘roll over’ to a Name or Ranked Team when they had clearly outplayed them. Nor is it acceptable to take a ‘game off”, for whatever reason. Many folks talk about playing for 40 minutes – and some of the team reflect that line of thought in their responses in the media. I say nay.

It’s not about playing “40-minutes” vice 30 or 35…Very few teams play at a high level for more than 25-30 MPG, consistently…it is a difficult thing. What is possible is to play with high level determination, drive, heart, and fortitude…to will individual players into making the ‘deciding plays’ – to play with the Will to Win. The Jays are seriously lacking the 2-3 players who exhibit the Will to Win over the odds, over the circumstances, over laziness, and over fear.

Until we develop an intense Will to Win, coupled with the willingness to put opponent teams away with dispatch, we will continue to receive what we expect: 20+ W’s, an occasional MVC Tourney title, and a 1st/2nd Round exit in the NCAAs or NIT.

I am outta here – headin’ back to St. Pete’s – EARLY!

PS: This season has started off with an unacceptable couple of 1st’s:

1st First Game loss in 12 years, with (1st under .500 record in YEARS…)

1st loss by CU when we score 80 or more since 2001! (One of my alltime favorite records and quotes – hence the infamous “Case for 80” essay of a few years’ back.)

1st First Round loss in a 3-4 day Tourney in 17 events!

Plus we embarrassed the University and ourselves (team) on National TV with the way we played at Dayton – gave up the big lead. “Played valiantly, but lost.”

It is high time to put an end to this potential negative trend – Today!

As for consiliatory remarks made by opposing coaches.

I take no consilation from any remarks made by opposing winning coaches. ‘We are a good team’ – Hell, We KNOW THAT, his saying so carrys no further weight, his statements add no balm to the wounds. He got a W he didn’t deserve – that happens from time to time, we’ve done that as well. But his speech is put forth from the winner’s box. I’d much rather hear Belein or other coaches say that very same speech – after the Jays had whupped his butt!

I firmly believe in this team…We have the capability to be the BEST Creighton Basketball Team ever! We have allowed 3 excellent early season opportunities to slip away. The road gets tougher from here on out. It is past time to roll up our collective sleeves and ‘git to work’, as we will have far fewer chances to impress from here on out this season.

Now is the time for our Jays to buckle up…they have made the Way tougher for themselves. Time to stop digging ourselves in a hole…It is time for the Jays to forge ahead with grit, determination, and the Will to Win.

Anything short of that will find us hoping for “next season” very early.

gtmo

From the Old Spice Classic – My Take

The Milk House – Disney Wide World of Sports
Lake Buena Vista, FL
28 Nov 09

Old Spice Classic – My Take

There is NO Doubt the I drink the Blue Kool-Aid. I am one of the Diehard Blue Kool-aid guys for my Creighton Bluejays. This hurts me MORE than it hurts you or the team.

Thursday – 26th Michigan

Roll Jays, Roll.

The Jays Played a very good game – good enough to win, for approximately 32-35 minutes. The team was focused, the intensity was there, and so was desire. With approx 8 minutes left CU was up by 5-6 points…playing well. Michigan was one or two Jay buckets away from total collapse. Then the old ‘bugaboo’ hit. Creighton went into a stall, an unintentional stall. A couple of well timed turnovers and a poor shot or two…both clubs were horrible over this point (4-5 minutes). Eventually UM hit a bucket, then followed with another – they were off the hook and back into the game. UM went ahead….and AY hit a buzzer beater to force OT. You know the “Rest of the Story.” This tilt should have ended in regulation as a Jays win!

What is it with CU Basketball and the Name Game? We were the better team on Thursday, the team with focus, with desire, with execution. Harris and Sims were no great match for our guys on this day. Instead of a much needed signature win, the Jays allowed the Wolverines to get back into the game. Instead of ‘applying the dagger’ or ‘stepping on their necks’, we allowed them new life. Michigan was ready to fold – we let ’em off the hook! It was different than the way we gave it up at Dayton, yet so reminiscent of soo many games versus “Name” or ranked teams. This needs to STOP – IT NEEDS TO STOP RIGHT NOW! There is no ‘next step, next level’ if the Jays continue to ‘roll over’ in big games. I am OKO TA! Pissed!

Friday 27th – Xavier

Jays get EARLY Start on Disney Sightseeing…

Whether is was residual hurt, shock, anguish, or the opportunity to get a headstart on seeing the Disney sights… Jays seemingly take the 2nd half off against Xavier. Xavier – the Team everyone loves to hate (especially in Dayton)… Jays were in it to win it in the 1st half. Made a comeback from a double digit deficit to close within 8 at the half. Our guys looked to be primed to make a game of it.

The first 5 minutes of the 2nd half were even, as the 2 teams traded buckets as the second session got underway. Then it happened…slowly, gradually, incredibly, the Musketeers hit an unanswered chippy here, a layup there, throw in a breakaway bucket even. Before you knew it the cold shooting and lack of shooting Jays were in a 22 point hole at the 10 minute mark. Who wants to shoot? seemingly only Ethan Wragge and Darryl Ashford…no one else made an attempt to rise to the occasion. Kenny got a few buckets, but they were scattered over the 20 minute period, he was not given enough consistent opportunities to make a significant effort.

It was as if the team “lost interest” in the game…Hell, this is Xavier. How do we lose interest in beating Xavier? Perhaps we were still on CST? Perhaps they heard about some of the Special discounts on the amusement venues and wanted to get a head start. Perhaps they thought it was Saturday already – and were absorbed in thoughts of the rides, gifts, and chow available during the “day-off”? Whatever it was that pre-occupied the Jays thoughts on Friday, the result was a 15 point beatdown, for “Lack of Interest”.

WE gave UM an early “X-mas gift ( which Marquette promptly stole from them) and took a “day-off” against Xavier…so the Jays are relegated to the 7th Place game against a tough playing Iona squad on Sunday.

I gave my Championship Session tickets away to a visiting couple on my way in at Noon on Friday, since the Jays have chosen not to participate. I am not interested in the 5th Place, nor 7th Place games.

P’Fro and a couple of others had mused “what if the Jays come out of the OSC with an overall 3-3 record…how will they respond.” Well, we get the opportunity to find out. This is a very talented team we have. They need to find, buy, or steal a “Killer Instinct”. It is not acceptable for the Bluejays to ‘roll over’ to a Name or Ranked Team when they had clearly outplayed them. Nor is it acceptable to take a ‘game off”, for whatever reason. Many folks talk about playing for 40 minutes – and some of the team reflect that line of thought in their responses in the media. I say nay.

It’s not about playing “40-minutes” vice 30 or 35…Very few teams play at a high level for more than 25-30 MPG, consistently…it is a difficult thing. What is possible is to play with high level determination, drive, heart, and fortitude…to will individual players into making the ‘deciding plays’ – to play with the Will to Win. The Jays are seriously lacking the 2-3 players who exhibit the Will to Win over the odds, over the circumstances, over laziness, and over fear.

Until we develop an intense Will to Win, coupled with the willingness to put opponent teams away with dispatch, we will continue to receive what we expect: 20+ W’s, an occasional MVC Tourney title, and a 1st/2nd Round exit in the NCAAs or NIT.

I am outta here – headin’ back to St. Pete’s – EARLY!

PS: This season has started off with an unacceptable couple of 1st’s:

1st First Game loss in 12 years, with (1st under .500 record in YEARS…)

1st loss by CU when we score 80 or more since 2001! (One of my alltime favorite records and quotes – hence the infamous “Case for 80” essay of a few years’ back.)

1st First Round loss in a 3-4 day Tourney in 17 events!

Plus we embarrassed the University and ourselves (team) on National TV with the way we played at Dayton – gave up the big lead. “Played valiantly, but lost.”

It is high time to put an end to this potential negative trend – Today!

As for consiliatory remarks made by opposing coaches.

I take no consilation from any remarks made by opposing winning coaches. ‘We are a good team’ – Hell, We KNOW THAT, his saying so carrys no further weight, his statements add no balm to the wounds. He got a W he didn’t deserve – that happens from time to time, we’ve done that as well. But his speech is put forth from the winner’s box. I’d much rather hear Belein or other coaches say that very same speech – after the Jays had whupped his butt!

I firmly believe in this team…We have the capability to be the BEST Creighton Basketball Team ever! We have allowed 3 excellent early season opportunities to slip away. The road gets tougher from here on out. It is past time to roll up our collective sleeves and ‘git to work’, as we will have far fewer chances to impress from here on out this season.

Now is the time for our Jays to buckle up…they have made the Way tougher for themselves. Time to stop digging ourselves in a hole…It is time for the Jays to forge ahead with grit, determination, and the Will to Win.

Anything short of that will find us hoping for “next season” very early.

gtmo

…And so it begins…

And so it begins…The 2009-10 College Basketball Season is upon us.

Finally! The 2009 College Hoops season is here. Hurrah! Last evening the Jays ran through the paces against an average Div II Missouri Western State University. Not a remarkable game, but a good stint to knock the rust off, to 3-in-1 oil the gears, to pump the clutch and brake a couple of times, before puttin’ the Bluejay Madness Machine in gear.

Some – like gtmo would jump on the fact the Jays ran up the score into the mid – 90’s. gtmo loves high scoring games. And the team also played defense – forcing 22 TOs.

Some – would denote the disparity in the rebounding totals. Perhaps they would be apt to scrap the entire team and start anew? I would only add that when you’re shooting over 50% for the game, there will not be many offensive rebbies, although that doesn’t excuse not competing for all rebounds. It will work itself out in practice and as the season progresses.

Some – others would say “it’s not a good test” for the team – playing the Weak Sisters of the Poor. It was an exhibition game – not a ‘test’ of anything, unless you’re SYRACUSE (heh, heh, heh.). Jays just lookin’ to do a couple of “dry runs” before headin’ up to Dayton. For what its’ worth, the game vs UNO will feature, a very good Div II squad in the Mavs, one that plays with a lot of passion, poise, and will be primed to follow the Le Moyne lead – in upsetting their crosstown Div I rival. (Can’t sleepwalk in this one vs the Mavs).

I will give the coaching staff the benefit of the doubt…get a couple of games under your belt – even if they are only exhibition games, in order to better understand what the guys need to improve upon immediately before the season kicks in next week. Waiting until they arrive in Dayton to find out rough edges is not a good thing.

The Surprise of the game, in my humble opinion, was Ashford. The boy came out on fire – hitting like he’s been here for a year or two. Wow!
– Five guys in dbl figures – no surprise there.
– Five guys with around 20 mpg – no surprise there.
– DA playing everyone, including the waterboy – no surprise there.
– Heck, even my man Matty D got in the game…way to go Matt.

The 21st Rated Dayton Flyers will be primed (they also won fairly big last night – exhibition game vs Ferris State) and seeking to administer a little payback for the butt whuppin’ they took in Omaha last season. However, with the spate of guard injuries, guards slowly returning from injury, and off guards possibly being pressed into service at the point…Hmmmm – sounds like TO city. The Flyers shot well against Ferris – expected, and had their characteristic poor FT shooting and 23 TOs!

Expect Dayton to ‘try’ and run with the Jays…Bad move. The Flyers are generally a poor shooting squad, and are horrible at the line. They may well look like MWSU did last evening – if they can’t buy some buckets. I expect the Jays to Win, and win convincingly in Dayton. Main difference will come down to who hits at the FT line. Jays by 8-10.

Gonna Be a Great basketball season for the Creighton Bluejays. Buckle your seatbelts, lower your helmet visors, it’s gonna be a Real Blast of a rocket ride!

Luv Ya P’Allen – Be the Man!


Go Big Blue – Go Jays!

Sizing up the Competition…Non-conference teams eval capsules

Sizing Up the Competition

Evaluative Capsules of the Non-conference Opponents

Continued…

The final 3 Old Spice Classic teams.

Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI. 2008-09 Record: 25-10 Postseason: NCAA 2nd Rd

Marquette is reloading. Having graduated/lost 4 starters will hurt. PG Acker has decided to graduate in Dec. 09 – will not play. Hayward is the only returner with significant PT. The Warriors (GE‘s) bring in a top recruiting class and do retain some experienced players. Their system will remain the same as the new coach is a longtime assistant at the university, but the learning curve for the new arrivals will be steep. Several of the new recruits can expect to see PT, of those Jerone Maymon, Buycks, and Junior Cadougan may impact. The Warriors (GE‘s) will take a step back from the Top 25 this year.

Returning Players: PF Lazar Hayward, PG Cubilan, Ctr Chris Otule, SF Joe Fulce, and Juco (Sr.) SG Jimmy Butler, Ctr 7′ Liam McMorrow.

New Recruits: 7 recruits – Three 4-stars PG Cadougan, PF Maymon, & SF Erik Wms. 7′ Ctr Mbao, PF Bret Roseboro, Jucos AA PG Dwight Buycks and SG Darius Odom-Johnson.

<!– @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } Creighton University Bluejays, Omaha, NE. 2008-09 Record: 27-8 Postseason: NIT 2nd Rd

The Bluejays will probably be seeded 6th or 7th in the OSC. The 6th seed being most likely so as not to be paired against Xavier in the 1st Round. For Jays fans who love to think we can still ‘sneak up’ on folks – here’s your opportunity to ‘sneak’. Losses – Sr Gds Woodfox & Sitzman graduated, So PF Walker transferred. Impact Recruits: Runnels, Ashford, Bock.

Probable matchups – 1st Round: Baylor; 2nd Round: #18 Michigan; Finals: FSU or # 21 Xavier.

Returnees: C–Lawson, Fds–Millard, Harriman, Carter, Gds–P’Allen, Vel, KK, AY, JJ, & 2 w/o Fds.

New Recruits: Cali PGs 4-star Andrew Bock and Greg Allen, Tx Juco SG 3-star Darryl Ashford, SF Ethan Wragge, and OK Juco AA PF Wayne Runnels. Add 2 walk-on Gds.

Iona University, Iona, NY. 2008-09 Record: 12-19 Postseason: None


The Gaels are by default the hosts of the OSC. They are in the midst of rebuilding and although will compete, do not have the horses to contend for the tourney crown. The Gaels play 10-12 players deep, with 8 having 14 or more minutes per game. Gary Springer (MAAC 3rd Team) & Devon Clarke graduated. This will be a great learning experience for their team. Pelcher & McGill will impact team.

Returning Players: Scott Machado – MAAC Rookie of the Year.

New Recruits: Ctr 6′ 9” Chris Pelcher (#45 ESPN), SF Rashard McGill, and SG Ben Mockford.

Well that’s it for the 2009 Old Spice Classic field. Now…Who will win it?

My best guess is the University of Alabama team. However, this isn’t the UA blog…

The Creighton University Bluejays will win this event, as they truly ‘sneak’ up on the field, play their normal sterling complete games on neutral courts, and surprise the experts, pundits, and the naysayers. Creighton wins the 2009 Disney/ESPN Old Spice Classic.

Whaaaa, you were thinkin’ Bellevue College, College of St Marys’, Doane? C’mon…git (mo) with the program.

Luv,

gtmo

Sizing up the Competition…Non-conference teams eval capsules

Sizing Up the Competition

Evaluative Capsules of the Non-conference Opponents

Continued…

More Old Spice Classic teams.

Baylor University, Waco, TX. 2008-09 Record: 24-15 Postseason: NIT Finals

The team has a chip on its’ shoulder and is out to prove folks wrong about the level of their program. This Bears team is talented and can play. Went to the postseason NIT finals last season. Leading scorer Curtis Jerrells graduated. Rogers, Carter, & Dunn are dbl digit scorers. Dennis and Jefferson could be Impact Frosh. Baylor is tough, they play quick, not big. The Bears have enough juice to possibly crack the Top 25. Baylor is the most likely 1st round pairing for the Jays in the Old Spice tourney. Coach Scott Drew won’t play very deep into his bench, but the Jays will have their hands full with this team.

Returning Players: Fwd Kevin Rogers, Gds Carter, Dunn, & developmental Ctrs Lomers, Diene.

New Recruits: 6 total – Three 4-stars – SG Dennis & McLaughlin, PF Jefferson, 2 3-stars SF Givon Crump, PG Walton, & a Croatian Ctr Dragan Sekelja.

Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. 2008-09 Record: 25-10 Postseason: NCAA 1st Rd

The Seminoles are a very talented team who finally began to live up to expectations last season. FSU is a potential Top 25 team. They have size and skill across the board and are a very dangerous type of team to play early. One possible weakness is the numbers of new kids into the program and the amount of time required to figure out how to play together/develop team chemistry. Lost 21 ppg PG Toney Douglas. With their talent level they can win while beginning to build internal team chemistry – win by hustle. I wouldn’t want to see this team in the 1st Round of any tournament. All their newcomers are impact players.

Returning Players: All Acc Frosh Ctr Solomon Alabi and PF Chris Singleton, Ctr X. Gibson, Fwd Deividas Dulkys. PG Luke Loukes, SG scorer Derwin Kitchen, and SG defender DeMercy.

New Recruits: Cali AA 5-star SG Michael Snaer, Fwd Terrence Shannon. Possible – Ctr 7′ Jon Kreft.

also in the Old Spice Classic –

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL. 2008-09 Record: 18-14 Postseason: None

A very, very talented and deep team. They are talented enough to be ranked in the preseason polls, but won’t be due to media bias. On paper this team can beat anyone and should have beaten the bulk of their opponents played over the last 2 seasons. New coach Anthony Grant will turn this team around this season. ‘Bama is deep, talented, and athletic, the Tide will contend for the SEC crown this season. They will be competitive in the OSC, but will not be playing together well enough in November, in order to win the Orlando tourney. The Tide lost 3 Srs., of which SF Alonzo Gee will hurt the most. Sr. PG Ron Steele quit the team prior to last season. Green was SEC All-Frosh Team, Hillman led team in steals @ 1.78 gm. Coleman and Knox started over 30 games each. The Tide didn’t make the NCAA field and opted out of the lesser post seaon tourneys.

Returning Players: 6′ 9/10” PFs Coleman, JaMychal Green, & Justin Knox, SG Senario Hillman and PG Tony Brock…plus several role players.

New Recruits: 5 including: 4-stars Ctr Shawn (Kempin’) Kemp, Jr and SF Tony Mitchell.

LE: Kemp will attend Prep school to get grades in order.



Sizing up the Competition – Non-conference Opponents

 

Sizing Up the Competition

Evaluative Capsules of the Non-conference Opponents

It’s July already. Time for prognostications, predictions, and for we pundits to put the old Waggoneer in gear. While waiting for the opportune moment to spring my annual fearless predictions for the Jays Basketball season, I thought I’d provide a bit of light fare with my evaluations of the slate of known opponents, thus far, in the non-conference portion of the schedule. As more tilts are inked in and confirmed, I will add the appropriate capsulized evaluations. I will attempt to do these chronologically, as best as possible, given there are still holes in the non-conference slate.

Having said all that, I will go out on the limb of my Kool-Aid tree, and state without qualification:

The 2009-10 Season is going to be a Banner Year in the History, Legacy, & Traditions of Creighton Basketball.


You heard it here First…from gtmoBlue, the old Blue Kool-Aid swiller himself.

Sizing Up the Competition

Evaluative Capsules of the Non-conference Opponents

Team Capsules

November 2009



University of Dayton, Dayton, OH. 2008-09 Record: 27-8 Postseason: NCAA 1st Rd

I was expecting to play this one in mid to late December, then I read on Wildjays site that this is the opener…WOW! This is not the way to open the season. How about 1 or 2 tuneup games 1st. This is the game which concerns me most of any on the non-conference slate, and now even moreso. UD @ Dayton is always an exciting game, Dayton Arena is a tough venue to play, and their crowd is a voracious, diehard crew. If the Jays were to lose any nonconference game, this is the one I’d pick, especially if we are ranked by the date of our visit to UD-which will not be the case in November. The Flyers lost Brian Roberts, but return a veteran laden and very athletic team. Win, lose, or draw – this will be one tough game for the Bluejays. This is why the offseason has to have the serious, strictly business tone this year. It will be tough ‘out of the gates’ and will continue thru November. The Jays will earn their non-conf record this season

Returning Players: Ctrs Huelsman and Jr. Devin Searcy, Fwds Chris Wright & Luke Fabrizius, Sgs Marcus Johnson & Paul Williams, and Pgs – athletic London Warren and speedy Rob Lowery.

New Recruits: Local 3-star PF Matt Kavanaugh.



Mississippi Valley State Univ, Itabena, MS. 2008-09 Record: 7-25 Postseason: None

The boys from Itabena will be at it again this year, swingin’ for the fences as the most traveled team in Division 1. As is well known now, their basketball program will take a game anywhere – in the name of supporting the rest of the Delta Devils sports slate. This season will be no exception in that regard. After a splendid 2007-08 and a NCAA berth, MVSU lost 5 Srs. and were in rebuilding mode last season. Rebuilding will continue this season as well, as the Devil’s lost Eric Petty and Dwayne Harmason to graduation. The Delta Devils are nearly as well traveled as the Harlem Globetrotters. I don’t expect to see D’ play much, but it will be good to see him again. Seeing as how it is early in their road slate when they arrive in Omaha, we could expect a good game with the Bluejays.

Returning Players: Jr Ctr Shannon Behling, F Orlando Smith, Mike Clark, & Gds Newsome & McReynolds are the key returnees.

New Recruits: 8 newcomers – 2 6′ 6” frosh, 6 Jucos incl – DeAngelo Jackson (former Jay) and 2 Cochise CC, AZ players – Jason Holmes 6′ 9” – Chicago & Mike Mayo 6′ 3” – LA.

Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA. 2008-09 Record: 8-23 Postseason: None

Southern has CU connections, as their Asst. AD is a former Jays Athletics staffer. The Jags lost Sr. Gd Chris Davis – leading scorer, but return most of their starters. They competed well against the Jays on their homecourt last season, but don’t look for a repeat performance this season. The Jays will look to put the Jaguars away early at the Qwest Center.

Returning Players: Barry Honore, Stefon Wiley, Ernest Jones, and Jazz Williams bring experience back. Juco Transfer McCall Wollman should see more time this season.

New Recruits: None

University of ArkansasLittle Rock, AR. 2008-09 Record: 23-8 Postseason: None

The Trojans of UALR are a good team by any standard, and have been a good midmajor club for a few years now. They won 20+ games last season, the 2nd straight year of making that accomplishment. UALR should again contend for the Sun Belt West Division Crown and the league title. Moore, Edwards (1st Team All-Sunbelt), & Mouzy are dbl digit scorers. Fwd Fowler is Defensive POY. As we all remember, they beat the Jays in Little Rock last season. While I don’t expect a repeat win on their part, the men of Troy will be competitive for at least the 1st half, in Omaha.

Returning Players: PG Steve Moore, Gds Brandon Patterson, Matt Mouzy, Fwd Shane Edwards, John Fowler.

New Recruits: 8 newcomers incl: 3 Star – 6′ 10” Will Neighbour, Birm, AL

-More to come-