In the Paint-(Posts)

Bluenotes Short Riff – 24 July 2019

Summertime…and the living is easy.




Men’s & women’s workouts are underway.  The men prepare for their initial practices beginning 8 July.  NCAA allows 10 practices in conjunction with summer trips.

Australia:  The Jays begin preparing for their trip to Australia.  Dates:  1-13 August 2019.  Whiteandbluereview has daily practice reports.

LE:  All East Coast Tour: Start off in Melbourne, then fly up to Cairns in the north, finally back to the middle to Brisbane.
A bit odd…like going from Miami to Boston to Virginia Beach? A whole lotta flying for the fellas.

August 5 6 p.m. Melbourne area…

(3 a.m. CST) [b]B’Ball Australia Centre of Excellence Shore School Live stats likely.
No video.[/b]

August 8 8:30 p.m. Cairns area…

(5:30 a.m. CST) Cairns Taipans Cairns Convention Centre Live stats likely.
No video.

August 12 7 p.m. Brisbane area…

Brisbane Bullets Invitational team up against the Creighton Bluejays (NCAA Division 1)
About this Event
It’s the Bluejays against the Bullets at Auchenflower Stadium, with the visitors from Creighton University to take on a Brisbane Bullets Invitational side.The Invitational team will be coached by CJ Bruton and feature players from the Bullets NBL roster and development squad, plus invited players including the best from the QBL and South East Queensland’s most promising up and coming talent.

The Omaha based university is on an Australian tour and will be keen to show off their talents against their Australian opponents. Secure your seat fast, as there won’t be tickets sold on the door (online sales only)!

Aussie_east coast


Team USA:  As stated previously, graduate Geoff Grosselle and Ty-Shon Alexander will represent the USA, Big East, and Creighton in the 2019 Panam Games, in Lima, Peru, from July 26 to August 11, 2019.  Ty-Shon will catch up with the team in Australia afterwards.  The Panam team scrimmaged yesterday (Wednesday).  Won big, 102-64.  See @Bigeast and  Scrimmage was streamed on twitter.

Team USA1

USA Basketball


Our latest commit, 7 footer Kelvin Jones (grad transfer) is on campus.  Practicing. Needs conditioning work, but servicable.



LE:  Denzel’s Back!  Reports are he’s on campus, but will have to sit out 1st semester.  Probably see him on the court by the Arizona St. Game.



Recruiting –  No news, no Visits.

Other –  Awards

Men’s Basketball Earns NABC Team Academic Excellence Award

Martin Krampelj Named to 2018-19 NABC Honors Court


No 2020 Commits as of now.

Plenty of chatter over on holyland of hoops irt UConn, expansion, & biggest fan bases.  Check it out.


Staccato: Recruiting Update

Courtesy – Creighton Athletics


There is an old, but ongoing discussion on Creighton boards as to the efficacy and wisdom of aiming high in recruiting.  Some say “shoot for the stars” (including yours truly) and many say “be realistic and shoot for the ones we can get”.  Amongst the star shooters are those who submit that since we are in a major conference, targeting top 50 recruits is part of the territory and within our range.  The realistic camp says don’t waste time or resources on kids in the top 50 (we can’t realistically get) and concentrate on the 50-150 range of recruits, where we have had some successes.  Creighton is notable for early identification and evaluation of talent.  As such the Jays often get in early on prospects before they “blow up” into national recruits.  Getting in early does not often result in getting commitments, but it does get the brand noticed on a national level.   It should be noted that Alexander was a top 50 recruit when we signed him and Patton became a top 50 guy after we signed him .  I submit that top 50 recruits are not out of reach for the Jays.

The current 2020 recruiting list from Creighton Rivals has 23 targets on it.  The White and Blue Review list has 46 targets, of which 27 are major recruits.  14 of the Rivals list are in the Rivals Top 150, although several WBR notables are not included on the Rivals list.

Creighton 2020 Offer List (from Creighton Rivals Com)
Isaiah Jackson PF 5 0 6’9″ 200 Waterford Township, MI 3 Undecided
Isaiah Cottrell PF 4 0 6’9″ 215 Las Vegas, NV 9 West Virginia
Matt Cross PF 4 0 6’8″ 225 Wolfeboro, NH 12 Undecided
Ben Carlson PF 4 0 6’9″ 205 Woodbury, MN 14 Undecided
Kiyron Powell PF 3 0 6’9″ 200 Evansville, IN 28 Undecided
Max Murrell PF 3 0 6’8″ 190 Omaha, NE Undecided
Xavier Foster C 4 0 7’0″ 225 Oskaloosa, IA 7 Undecided
Ryan Kalkbrenner C 4 0 7’0″ 225 St. Louis, MO 12 Undecided
Matt Nicholson C 0 6’11” 215 Clarkston, MI Undecided
Matt Nicholson C 0 7’0″ 225 Clarkston, MI Undecided
Jalen Suggs PG 5 0 6’4″ 185 Minneapolis, MN 4 Undecided
Ethan Morton PG 4 0 6’5″ 180 Butler, PA 12 Purdue
Jalen Green SG 5 0 6’5″ 170 Fresno, CA 1 Undecided
Cameron Thomas SG 5 0 6’3″ 185 Mouth of Wilson, VA 6 Undecided
Darius Maddox SG 4 0 6’5″ 175 Washington, DC 20 Undecided
Kadary Richmond SG 4 0 6’5″ 165 Brooklyn, NY 22 Undecided
Ty Berry SG 3 0 6’3″ 180 Newton, KS 31 Undecided
Luke Kasubke SG 3 0 6’4″ 175 St. Louis, MO 32 Undecided
Nick Blake SG 3 0 6’6″ 185 Los Angeles, CA Undecided
Ziaire Williams SF 5 0 6’8″ 180 Sherman Oaks, CA 3 Undecided
Julian Strawther SF 4 0 6’7″ 210 Las Vegas, NV 15 Gonzaga
Quevian Adger SF 3 0 6’7″ 185 Coppell, TX 35 Undecided
Kerwin Walton SF 3 0 6’5″ 185 Minnetonka, MN 42 Undecided
Jayden Scrubb SF 4 0 6’6″ 200 Carterville, IL Undecided

Notable WBR targets not on the above list include:  16- Jalen Suggs, 19- Walker Kessler, 22- Cameron Thomas, 37- Cam’ron Fletcher, 60- Jayden Stone, and 85- Darius Maddox.

The argument goes that CU should focus its’ efforts on attainable talent (50-150+), to hone in on the Jayden Stones (60), Kalkbrenners (68), Carlsons (83), Richmonds (107), Springs (134), Berrys (141), Powells (149), and NR’s like Nicholson.  “Get the guys we can get”.  The realists see efforts to snag top 50 recruits as wasted resources and time.

The aim high group and I submit that it takes no more time or effort to recruit top 50 kids as it does the 50-150 group.  The fact that CU successfully evaluates and id’s kids early also means that we are “in on” some of these elite kids from the very beginning.

Exp:  Creighton offered current #20, Rivals 5-star Isaiah Jackson back in November 17, 2017…Well before he began to “blow up” into the star he is today.  As such, Creighton is still in play with Jackson as he begins to narrow his list of schools.  We saw yesterday that CU is amongst 6 schools with his interest.  He has yet to take any visits and that will tell the tale as to who he is serious about.


NCAA Basketball Recruiting: Analyzing Isaiah Jackson’s final 6 teams

Again, I submit that top 50 recruits are not out of reach for the Jays.  Although rare to date for a Creighton to snag top 50 kids, it is bound to happen as CU is excellent in identifying talent, currently has several key open billets for top talent, plays in a major conference, and style-of-play is excellent for prepping guys for the pro game.  Creighton has successfully put 5 guys in the current NBA, 2-3 more in the NBA’s summer league, and up to 10 players to overseas pro teams.  Talent looking to play immediately and make a difference have taken notice and could well decide to give the Jays a try.

It came as a surprise to some Jays fans that Jackson expressed interest in CU.  Elite talent and so-called O&D’s (Isaiah Jackson, Zaire Williams) will give the Jays consideration given the criteria in the paragraph above.  But it should not come as a surprise given the elite level of evaluation given recruits by the Jays coaching staff.  Elite talent could do much worse, sitting behind 1 to 2 layers of players ahead of them at so-called elite teams.  It’s just a matter of time before Creighton begins to reel in some of the annual cream of the crop recruits.  It’s just a matter of time before CU becomes another new destination university like Auburn, LSU, W. Kentucky, and Tx. Tech…just a matter of a little time.

big east logo
Courtesy – Big East


Bluenotes Short Riff – 5July19

Summertime…and the living is easy.




Men’s & women’s workouts are underway.  The men prepare for their initial practices beginning 8 July.  NCAA allows 10 practices in conjunction with summer trips.

Australia:  The Jays begin preparing for their trip to Australia.  Dates:  1-13 August 2019.

Team USA:  As stated previously, graduate Geoff Grosselle and Ty-Shon Alexander will represent the USA, Big East, and Creighton in the 2019 Panam Games, in Lima, Peru, from July 26 to August 11, 2019.  Ty-Shon will catch up with the team in Australia afterwards.



Our latest commit, 7 footer Kelvin Jones (grad transfer) will arrive this week.



LE:  Denzel’s Back!  Reports are he’s on campus, but will have to sit out 1st semester.  Probably see him on the court by the Arizona St. Game.



Recruiting –  

Jays got an official visit from 2020 7 footer Matt Nicholson this week, according to WBR’s Matt DeMarinis.  Nicholson is from Clarkston, Michigan and is rated a 3-star recruit.  He has emmense Upside.  Has major offers from Jays, Xavier, Northwestern.



LE- 6Jul19 – Jays appear in the hunt for longtime 2020 recruit Isaiah Jackson.  Jackson is a top PF out of Michigan.   He is currently listed as #20 nationally.

NCAA Recruiting
Jul 1
Isaiah Jackson is a top 3 PF in the 2020 class. His recruitment will likely be a battle between Michigan State and Michigan but these schools are also involved. #GoSpartans #L1C4 #BearDown #GoBlue #GoJays #ThisIsUconn

IMG_1368 … 493556001/

Back to Michigan for his Sr. year. Wants a state title.


No 2020 Commits as of now.

Plenty of chatter over on holyland of hoops irt UConn, expansion, & biggest fan bases.  Check it out.

Window of Opportunity

WOO:  Potential for BE Contract Renegotiation



While most on the Big East related message boards figure there will be a standard contract extension related to the admission of UConn to the Big East, citing clauses in the original 2013 contract verbiage, a few are thinking otherwise.

Over on the Big East message board,, under the thread: Reputable Barnyard poster, Moderator Jet915 reposted an anonymous UConn member.  I found this post notable as this anonymous individual spelled out his ideas.  Notably his take on contract renegotiations was very interesting.

Postby Jet915 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:07 am

This is an interesting post:

I was an insider here many, many years ago. I haven’t posted here in over half a decade, but decided to check in on Friday, when I got word UConn was going to get an invite. And honestly, a lot of the responses/reactions are surprising. So I wanted to offer some feedback and maybe a ray of hope for those that feel this is the wrong move.

Just as an fyi, my clients are people at ABC/ESPN, Fox, CBS, inside the Big 12, SEC, ACC, and Big Ten (but not the Pac-12 or NBE). So while I’m not privy to every detail, I know & understand a lot of the mechanations of realignment.

First, for those believing UConn shouldn’t have given up the P5 dream..that dream was never going to come to fruition. Unfortunately, P5 realignment is all about dollars. And dollars are delivered by eye balls. Simply put, UConn doesn’t deliver the eye balls necessary to justify the paycheck they’d receive from a conference like the ACC or Big 12. The Big 12 vetted UConn heavily a number of years ago. What they learned was UConn’s value to their TV partners (ABC/ESPN/Fox) was well less than the paycheck they would have to pay UConn as an equal member. This is why the Big 12 came out and announced they were vetting schools, then opted to not expand. Point blank, their partner networks came back and said the per team payout would drop if they added UConn, UCF, USF, BYU, Houston, Cincy, or Memphis (the 7 schools they vetted). Networks run all kinds of numbers when it comes to TV…regional viewership, national viewership, cross-promotional viewership (i.e. fans of other teams that watch your games b/c they either hate you or your Ws/Ls impact their team), etc. UConn’s numbers are way too low, with very little prospect of ever getting them up. It’s just a small fan base where it counts (football). And in case anyone’s thinking the obvious, yes, I would imagine the ACC regrets some of their expansion decisions. The ACC makes less money today on a per member basis than it’d have made had they not expanded with BC, Syracuse and Pitt. Those were really poor additions and the TV numbers in their regions and within their fan bases has been abysmal.

Second, the NBE has outperformed their TV contract handily. And not only have their TV #s been way better than forecast, they’ve won 2 National Championships in the last 4 years. So the conference’s contract is way under-valued. The problem is, they signed a long-term contract that doesn’t expire until spring 2026. The only way their contract can be opened back up for revaluation by Fox, is if there is a change in their membership. Adding UConn allows the Big East to bring their contract up to market value based on the Big East’s performance on TV the past 5-6 years + UConn’s value. So that contract is going to seriously, seriously jump in value. And, UConn is going to provide a significantly greater boon to the NBE’s TV payout than they ever would have in the ACC or Big 12, simply b/c if you look at the historical ratings for basketball, the highest annual TV rating (b-ball) for most programs in the OBE was against UConn. The NBE adding UConn for basketball would be a poor man’s version of the Big Ten adding Notre Dame for football. There’s so much history & bad blood there, the ratings will be outstanding. So if you’re looking at the current AAC payout and comparing it to the current NBE payout, and thinking “this sucks, what the **** are they thinking?!?!…..when the dust settles, UConn will make MORE money in the NBE (+ whatever they do for football) than they were making in the AAC. 

From a financial perspective, this is going to be a huge win for UConn. The big question is how this affects ticket sales for football. But looking at recent attendance data, I assume UConn’s leadership felt a move of the football program out of the AAC couldn’t hurt that revenue stream enough to off set the huge jump they’ll get from the NBE side.

Lastly, I get that when you’re emotionally invested and grew up a die hard fan, the NBE feels like kissing your sister. But outside the region, the NBE is very, very well respected. It’s not a little brother conference in the eyes of college sports fans. I’m in TX and can tell you the NBE is respected right alongside the ACC. Adding UConn is only going to bolster that. And from a perception & recruiting standpoint, it will be a HUGE benefit for UConn. Obviously, coaching is key #1, but it just became a lot easier for Hurley to sell the program to recruits. There was no chance for UConn to flourish in any sport in the AAC. Sure, they could win some games in football and basketball, the same as UCF, etc. But UCF is still pulling in peon recruits on the level of the worst P5 programs, even with two straight years of elite production. So all UConn could ever hope for is to be a big fish in a small pond, who’s TV viewership numbers are too small to ever get a P5 call up. At least in the NBE, UConn basketball can get back to being one of the flagship programs in college basketball. That wasn’t going to happen playing Tulane and SMU.

Also, you can expect the NBE to stay at 11 teams. They’re going to want a round robin schedule, which is doable with 11, but problematic with 12.

So, for as much as I am less than elated at the notion of expansion with a public school, money talks.  If this addition opens the doors for contract renegotiation and if this anonymous guys notions prove to be facts, I am elated.  Money talks and bs walks.  I’d still prefer Gonzaga. but if the Big East stands to gain a financial windfall as part of the expansion, I am all for it.
big east logo
Courtesy: Big East Conference

UConn – Disrupt Big East

Disrupt Big East!


Disrupt X
photo: Rush the Court

Well, there goes the neighborhood.  The public University of Connecticut (UConn) is in talks to rejoin the Big East Conference (BE).  @DigSportsDesk reported Friday night, 21Jun19, that UConn is in talks to return to the Big East, for the 2020-21 school year.  On Saturday, 22Jun19, writers @PeteThamel and @DanaONeil picked up on the rumor/story and scuttlebutt has it that the move will be confirmed this week.

Quiet as it’s kept the Holyland of Hoops message board had been talking in reference to this move over the last several days in 2 different threads and cited the UConn message board (the Boneyard) chatter on Friday night regarding reliable posters on the site, including one Chief00.

Chief00 said:   “The report is true – basketball is heading to Big East. Chief has been holding back on publicizing this news but here it is.”

The Chief has spoken…now its official!

Like  Reactions:JMick, UofCT2009, KSC94 and 7 others  (HLOH)

As one who placed great value on the Big East Presidents’ going all private in the revised Big East iteration, a move such as admission of a public school to the mix, imo, greatly alters what has been a excellent reconfiguration to date.

As a conference of private schools, the BE had reduced government reporting, less intrusión by the media, and were hardly bothered by incessant FOIA requests.  The conference is highly proactive in dealing with the press and has excellent Public Relations offices already, but had the luxury of being highly selective in their disclosures.  Opening up a public/private conference partnership returns the BE to the mayhem of older iterations of itself and the crush of information seekers of all walks.

It seems at 1st blush that many on our member sites and on HLOH welcome this potential move by UConn returning to the BE and are happy to have them return to the fold.  Whether this is primarily from old, long-time BE fans and notions of “old time sakes” or newbies as well who seek increased conference value, most appear receptive of the move.  I question the motivations of these folks.

I for one, am reluctant to relinquish being a private school conference and grudgingly let go of the privacy benefits the Big East has accrued.  I am inclined to advise the Big East to stay private and look elsewhere for expansión:  Private schools such as Gonzaga and St Louis and future ACC private school castoffs (as the rift widens in that conference) are perfect fits.  Let Uconn sink.  They are the American Athletic Conferences’ albatross.  We don’t need another conferences’ problem child.  UConn would be a disruption to good order and discipline.

Furthermore, UConn brings little to the table in their return.  Yes, they have a sterling history these last 20 years or so, but little else.  The men’s basketball team has fallen greatly over these last 6 years.

Coach Ollie’s championship in 2014 seems decades removed, even if only 5 years ago.  The last 2 seasons have been dismal for UConn, both on and off the court.  Their record is abysmal, attendance has fallen off a cliff, recruiting is down, and their fanbase has abandoned ship.

Money has and continues to flood down the drain in attempts to prop up their weak football program, and UConn subsidies are a drain on Connecticut’s financial coffers.  A return to the BE will help their basketball programs, but do little to stem the football hemorrhaging.  They are the AAC’s and state of Connecticut’s problem – the Big East should not get involved.

big east logo
Courtesy:   Big East Conference

Glissando: Panam Games Mens Basketball

The 2019 Panam Games Team has been selected.



For the record the 2019 Panam Games USA Basketball team has been selected.  Back in December 2018 USA Basketball and the NCAA selected the Big East to field this years team.  It is the 1st time a single conference has been chosen to represent the USA in the Panam Games.

Providence HC Ed Cooley is the coach of the Panam Games USA team.  He’s had a difficult job as several big stars have graduated or are in the NBA Draft and 5-6 current Big East squads are doing overseas trips this summer, which has depleted the available talent pool from which he can draw his team roster.  Three days ago a complete roster was made public.  It has several surprises in its’ makeup.


The biggest surprise is the selection of a few prior graduates who are Euro pros now.  Tyler Wideman and Geoffrey Groselle both play in Europe, but provide much needed size to this small USA Panam team.

G – Gillespie, Pipkins, Duke
G – Powell, Heron, Malinowski
G – Alexander, Cale, Reeves
F – Diallo, McDermott, Samuels
C – Wideman, Groselle, Watkins

Reaction on the Holyland of Hoops message board was less than ecstatic.  example…

kayako- So we have no real PG, got some much needed size by getting past BE players, and 5 Providence players. I’d have to think Zegarowski and Akinjo weren’t available.

I was personally shocked to see CU’s Ty-Shon Alexander listed, as the Jays have an extended trip to Australia in early to mid August.  I saw a blurb on either or the World Herald Jays page stating he would catch up with the team after the Panam Games completed, flying from Peru to Australia.

Generally speaking the USA doesn’t do well in Panam competition, and garnering 3rd place finishes is the best we have mustered in years.  To be fair, most countries are using professional players to make up their teams.  The USA still fields teams with predominantly college level players.*

Ed Cooley, Seton Hall’s Kevin Willard, and Brown Univ.’s Mike Martin are the coaches of the team.


big east logo

*Correction:  In looking at the Panam Games homepage, I noted that the 2015 Panam Games USA Men’s team consisted of 9 former college and pro players – many of which played overseas – and only 3 college players.

The current team information is not yet posted.

Staccato: Recruiting Update

Grad Transfer Kelvin Jones Commits to the Jays



Hard work pays off.  Diligence, persistence, and dogged determination wins the day.  The Creighton coaches have been doin’ work these last 2 months after the season ended to fill the frontcourt holes created by the departures of Sam Froling and Martin Krampelj to the pro ranks.  There efforts bore fruit on Monday when, former Idaho State graduate transfer Kelvin Jones, commited to the Hilltop.  Jones is immediately eligible to play.

Creighton adds Idaho State grad transfer Kelvin Jones to bolster front court for next season

photo:  UTEP Basketbaall

According to columnist Jeff Goodman, Jones had interest from Virginia Tech, Oregon, Arkansas, Georgia, Washington State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Boise State, St. John’s, and DePaul.  Kelvin had previously visited VT.  He cancelled other planned visits and commited 1 day after visiting Creighton.

The 6-11/230lb senior is a rugged interior presence.  He averaged 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and shot 55.3% from the field in 29 games last season with the Bengals.  IMHO Kelvin seems to have a fire burning within and still untapped potentials to his game.  Fortunately, in joining the Jays, that potential can be tapped by our coaches and our system.

Coach Huss gave me a phone call — and I can tell you right off the bat that I have never been so excited after talking to coach and hearing his spiel about the campus and their situation,” Jones said. “Right from the get go I was excited to go check it out.

Once we went to check it out it was a whole other deal seeing that place.

He followed his instincts and chose the right school to finish his collegiate career.

For my senior year I just wanted to go somewhere like Creighton where the fans are all about the team and all about winning. That’s all this final year is about.

Welcome to the Hilltop Kelvin.


Lok Wur update:  Lok has cut his list to 5 schools – TAMU, Oregon, Hawaii, Creighton, & Virginia Tech.

OWH Photo

Big thank u to all 34 college programs(juco-D1) for believing in me and offering me a scholarship. I will now put my focus on these 5 programs moving forward

2020 Ryan Kalkbrenner Update:  Ryan revisited U of Illinois after visiting Creighton.  He has an official visit to Stanford this week.  Looks as if he’s knocking down his visits for a November decision.
2020 Kiyron Powell Update:  No news as of yet.