White and Blue Review

August 1, 2009

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Through the collaborative efforts of Polyfro, Otter, and my blogs, there is a new site for Creighton Sports News and Commentary.  Creighton fans, please visit our new site:

http://www.whiteandbluereview.com

Go Jays!


Add Florida A M to Schedule

July 21, 2009

According to Jeff Goodman’s blog, on the rundown of the MEAC conference teams, it is mentioned that Florida A&M will have a game against the Bluejays this seasion.    Florida A&M was ranked 321 out of the 347 teams in Division I last season and had a 10-21 record.  The Rattlers are filled with young players as only 2 starters return, but also had one of their veteran players,  senior Josh Davis, transfer out of the program.

As the budget crunch has hit Florida A&M, here is more from Mr. Goodman:

For the next 10 days, Eugene Harris is a one-man show.

While many high-major staffs whine to me that they need and want the NCAA to allow a fourth staff member to take the road during the July recruiting period, the Florida A&M head coach will be out for the entire 10 days all by his lonesome.

“It’s pretty difficult,” Harris said. “Especially when you’ve got to cover four courts in one game. I try to watch a volume of players in the summer, but there’s no way one person can get the job done correctly.”

Harris doesn’t have a secretary and hasn’t been allowed to replace assistant Johnny Jones – who retired this past January – due to the economy. His one assistant, Reggie Sharp, is expecting his first child any day.

“I didn’t want him to come out on the road, with this being his first child,” Harris said. “I’m a family man and sometimes we get caught up in this business. I believe the first four weeks is the most important time of a child’s life and he can help his wife, too.”

Harris, who said he had 10 buy games and pulled in an excess of $600,000 last year for the school, feels good about this year’s team. Entering his third season at the helm, he’ll have a roster filled with players he recruited.

“A year ago, we had a 5-foot-10 small forward,” he said. “Now we’ll have three guys at that spot who are all 6-foot-6.”

So there you go, here is one of those guarantee games for the Jays for the coming season.


2010 Class Full of Guards

July 21, 2009

Creightonjoey is a frequent poster on The Bluejay Cafe and a contributor to this blog following Creighton Bluejay Recruiting.  Check out his Recruiting Page.

——————————————————

‘Known Prospects’:

John Gasser - PG/SG - 6'4''

Ricky Kreklow - SG/SF - 6'5''

D.J. Peterson - SG/SF - 6'5''

Austin Kaczor - SG - 6'4''

Jacob Thomas - SG - 6'3''


Losing Guards:

Cavel Witter PG

Returning Guards:
PG
Andrew Bock (Soph.)
Antoine Young (Jr.)

SG
P’Allen Stinnett (Sr.)
Kaleb Korver (Sr.)
Darryl Ashford (Sr.)
Josh Jones (Soph.)

The 2009 addition of Andrew Bock combined with Antoine Young’s excellent rookie season give the Jays stability at the PG position for the foreseeable future. This would rule out the Jays making a serious run on talented Bishop Miege PG Trevor Releford, who has seemingly played his way out of Creighton’s reach with offers from Oklahoma, UCLA and Tennessee to name a few.  The Jays do seem very interested in Wisconsin product John Gasser who at 6’4” can play as more of a SG than his natural PG position. Gasser has offers from Northwestern, SLU and a few other mid-major schools.  Gasser has stayed fairly under the radar until recent success in AAU tournaments leading the talented Wisconsin Swing to multiple quality wins.  Virginia, Virginia Tech, Indiana, Illinois, and Minnesota have all begun to show Gasser interest. Gasser has made it no secret he would like to compete in a Big Ten atmosphere, but a visit to Qwest Center Omaha on game day might change his mind.

There is no question that SG position will be the deepest position for the 2010-2011 Jays, yet Stinnett, Korver, and Ashford graduating leaves only Josh Jones for the 2011-2012 season. This would seem to be a position of importance for the 2010 class.  The aforementioned Gasser would seem to be a good fit. But the Jays are also looking at sharpshooter Jacob Thomas, seen by many as the top 2010 college prospect in Minnesota. Reports claim that his grades could be an issue. Nebraska shooter Kaczor has impressed and has recently said he is leaning toward playing basketball over football.  DJ Peterson plays for Minnesota AAU powerhouse Howard Pulley, along with Thomas, and already claims offers from Baylor and UW-Green Bay.  He lists Creighton as showing some interest.  The most intriguing prospect at SG could be Missouri native Ricky Kreklow who has offers from Missouri, SLU, SIU, Missouri St., and Virginia.  Kreklow’s parents coach at Missouri which would seem like an obvious choice, but in many interviews Kreklow has mentioned his interest in getting away from home in order to grow as a player and person.  Despite that, Kreklow has listed Missouri along with Creighton as the top of his list before the summer. He impressed in summer work-outs at Minnesota, a school which he says would jump right to the top of his list if they were to offer. He has some relatives in Minnesota and has made it clear an offer from Tubby and crew would be enticing.

Despite the constant pleading for height from the Jay fan-base, it is clear that one and possibly two scholarships could be used on guards during this recruiting season.


Bluejay Banter for 7/19/09

July 18, 2009

This Sunday on the Bluejay Banter Radio show, Tim and Heath no wait– former Bluejay Nick Bahe will be discussing  the following:

  • They will be continuing the Valley basketball season preview with a focus on Indiana St.  (Indiana St. is ranked #137 on College Hoops Net look at the top 144 teams for the 2009-10 season.)
  • Indiana St. coach and former Bluejay assistant Kevin McKenna will be on the show talking about the Sycamores.
  • Former Jay Anthony Tolliver will be on the show to talk about the continuing quest to land on an NBA team and his current status on the New Orleans Hornets summer league team out in Las Vegas.
  • As always, other news going on in Creighton Athletics.

Tune  in on Sunday at 10AM on 1620 AM in Omaha or online at 1620thezone.com


Around the Rim–7/15/09

July 15, 2009

Been pretty crazy lately with summer activities so I haven’t been able to do as much in-depth stuff as I would have liked to this summer.  Anyway today’s ATR is more of a link dump more than anything as a lot of these things have already been talked about or know about, but interesting nonetheless.

  • George Mason coach Jim Larranaga twittered on Sunday that MVC commish Doug Elgin and coach Dana Altman called to see if they could move the December 12th matchup to ’10-’11 but coach Larranaga said NO.   He has since removed those two entries from his Twitter, but makes you wonder what was going on.  I’m wondering if Creighton was trying to schedule a home game that weekend since there was no UNO hockey in town that weekend.
  • A big congratulations goes out to the Creighton Sports Information Office as they received 4 publication awards for the Volleyball and Men’s Basketball media guides from this past season.   Rob Anderson and the staff there do a great job for the program.  This is a great honor.    Here were the rest of the winners.   The Creighton department was also recognized by the conference this past season as the top SID office in the conference.  Great job.
  • The NCAA removed the “last 12 games” criteria from the NCAA Selection Committee’s toolbox starting this season.  I guess there was a point of confusion between the different members of the selection committee on the weight of the last 12 games.  Some people thought it was more important than others and the application of that tool was not consistent.  So while the last 12 games for most teams deal with Conference play, it will be interesting now to see if the non-conference schedules carry more weight now.
  • A Saluki fan that started a new site a few months ago came out with his opinion of the rankings of the basketball facilities in the MVC.  The Qwest Center tied with Wichita’s Koch Arena as the best in the league.  I’m not sure you can really put the two on the same line.  The blogger talks about the facility as well as the environment, though he only has the Saluki home court 6th in the list.  If you want to put environment over the actual facility, I think it would have been higher than Drake and Northern Iowa.    We will have to see where Evansville ranks in a couple of seasons with their new Arena.
  • An interesting article in the Wall Street Journal this week about AAU teams and how players are being developed without fundamentals and focused more on what coaches want athleticly to be recruited.  College Basketball is starting to look more like the NBA and individuals rather than teams.  I wonder if AAU basketball is the crux in all of that.  At the same time the NCAA is really scrutinizing recruiting services.  I always wonder how Scout, Rivals and the like get away with how they have access to the players and influences without getting in trouble.
  • I will have to give props to the Omaha World Herald in the past few weeks as they have been heavily covering not only Creighton Basketball, but Creighton Athletics in general.  They have talked about the Ryan Center about how it could give more access to the Men’s team due to open practices over there  and some Soccer news.    With basketball, they have done features on P’Allen Stinnett, Cavel Witter, and others.However, because of the newly re-designed site, most of those articles are falling off the online site within a few days when new articles are put up there.  That is too bad.  There are some great features there and as more and more newspapers try to add more online features to draw more interest, it appears the OWH would rather people not read the newspaper on the internet and instead purchase the newspaper and cut out news clippings.  I guess that is a model to go, but could really give the Jays and people outside of Omaha more exposure.  I also figured since they were cutting off western Nebraska since they don’t deliver papers out there anymore better online information and access so those people could still keep in contact with Omaha.   But to each their own.
  • A website called “The Hoops Report” has started previewing their top 65 basketball teams for the upcoming season and have Creighton in at #61.  Interesting enough, I will be excited to see how well Kenton Walker does in the starting lineup…..obviously they didn’t get the memo on him.
  • Here’s an interesting way to introduce the non-conference schedule for basketball.  Marquette (who the Jays may play this season in the Old Spice Classic) started this week announcing 1 game each day and giving a little capsule of the team they are playing with the full schedule to be released by the end of July.
  • Finally, since it is a big recruiting period, here are some recent articles on players the Jays seem to be interested in:  Elliott Eliason, Ricky Kreklow, Jose Bonilla and Josh Gasser.

OHWA Combine and Charity Basketball Update

July 14, 2009

As mentioned a few weeks ago when I said that this organization will change the landscape of basketball in Omaha, we are only a week and a half away from the Omaha Health and Wellness Academy’s Midwest Spotlight and Developmental Combine running from July 23-25.

Some of the nation’s best high school basketball athletes will be in town along with current and former NBA stars as a part of the week/weekend of activity.  I highly suggest if you have children interested in basketball or know of emerging talent in the area, that you get signed up for this.   As I have mentioned before, this will be an event that is the first of it’s kind here in Omaha and will grow from here.  The Omaha Health and Wellness Academy is about developing and refining basketball skills.   You can play AAU ball and play on club teams to showcase talent, but how does that talent get developed?  Exposure is great, but but it means nothing if you do not have the talent to perform.  Nebraska has never been a stopping point for national talent, but the Omaha Healtha and Wellness Academy really wants to make Nebraska one of those places to develop national talent at not only the high school level, but to also work with current college and NBA players.

Another interest in this combine for the basketball fans in the area will be the Charity Basketball game which will be on Saturday night the 25th at Omaha South high school.  We already know about Spud Webb being a part of the halftime festivities of the game, but the rosters are just about solidified and here are some players of interest that will be participating or there at the game:

Creighton

  • Nick Bahe
  • Anthony Tolliver
  • Nate Funk –Though I understand Nate is injured, he is still going to be there.  Unknown if he will be able to play
  • Pierce Hibma

Nebraska

  • Terrence Badgett
  • Bruce Chubick
  • Marcus Walker
  • Charles Richardson

Others

  • Dean Thompson-Omaha Racers fame
  • Jared Anderson–Bellevue University
  • Ben Holling-Bellevue University

Along with others that will be named in the coming days as well as a few surprises.    Go get your tickets now for this event.  At only $10, it should be well worth the cause and entertainment.


Odd Man Out?

July 5, 2009

Sunday’s Bluejay Banter radio show on 1620 the Zone had a lot of great information today.  From talking to Art Mains of Missouri St. media talking about the Bear’s chances next season to Creighton’s strength and conditioning coach Zach Duval talking about the Jays offseason workouts with Justin Carter leading the way and hearing that  P’Allen Stinnett puked for the first three days of workouts, it was definitely entertaining.

However, Cavel Witter was also on the show today.  A great interview reliving a bevy of winning shots in his career–The 40+ against Bradley on senior night, the winning shot against Rhode Island in the NIT, and the three clutch free throws at the end of the game last season against Southern Illinois to send the game into overtime–Cavel has had some great performances in the friendly confines of the Qwest.  The question everyone has been asking for a month or two now was, “Cavel, will you be on scholarship?”   And he answered a resounding “Yes.” He went on to say, he didn’t know anything else about how that was being handled.

So as Otter pointed out a little more than a month ago the return of Witter poses the question of who does not get a scholarship, or at worst, who may not be coming to Creighton of the 5 signees?  From all indications, it appears that the players that didn’t transfer out and graduated will be a part of the ’09-’10 Jays and newcomers Ethan Wragge, Andrew Bock and Wayne Runnels have been eagerly participating in offseason drills here in Omaha.  So as the dust settles and as Greg Allen and Darryl Ashford have not arrived in Omaha yet, are one of the two now not coming to Creighton?

This past week the Omaha World Herald published another article on Cavel Witter’s story on his quest to return to the Jays.  Later in the week when an article was published on the offseason program, questions arose about Ashford and Allen on their status with the team:

Two recruits — Darryl Ashford and Greg Allen — have yet to report as they take care of academic issues. Both said when they committed to Creighton in the spring that they hoped to be in Omaha by mid-July.

Altman declined to comment when asked if he’s concerned that either Ashford or Allen might not be able to clear all of their academic hurdles.

“That’s their business,” he said.

Ashford has had challenges in the past with academic problems as he was recruited out of high school by Bobby Knight and appeared to be a part of a Texas Tech class in ’07 when academic problems kept him from getting into Texas Tech.  He subsequently went to a prep school where again he was recruited by Texas Tech for ’08 class but still had to settle for Junior College in Jacksonville, Texas.   However, as he said when he signed is Letter of Intent,  he will do what he needs to in order to get to Omaha.

Allen on the other hand just graduated high school.  There were some academic issues with him as well as far as his SAT scores go as he originally committed to Idaho during the fall, but did not have a qualifying SAT score.  After receiving a qualifying score in the winter, recruiting interest went up in Allen and the Jays were the lucky ones to receive the commitment.  You could hear the excitement Greg has in coming to Creighton.    But if coach says there is still some academic work for Allen just getting out of high school, it sort of raises some red flags to me.

Allen is a little more of the interesting case as well because literally a few days after Allen was signed to his Letter of Intent (taking the scholarship left by Cavel Witter), the story came out of Cavel Witter trying to return to the team.

As far as NCAA Letter of Intents go, players aren’t required to sign them.  However, it keeps the John Wall’s and Xavier Henry’s of the world dangling their carrot out there that they may jump to another school if a different situation arises.   But for informational purposes,  there are a few situations where the LOI becomes null and void that might apply for one of the incoming players:

a. Admissions Requirement. This NLI shall be declared null and void if the institution named in this document notifies me in writing that I have been denied admission or, by the opening day of classes in the fall 2009 has failed to provide me with written notice of admission, provided I have submitted a complete admission application.

(1) It is presumed that I am eligible for admission and financial aid until information is submitted to the contrary. Thus, it is mandatory for me, upon request, to provide all necessary academic records and an application for admission to the institution named in this document.

(2) This NLI shall be rendered null and void if I am eligible for admission, but the institution named in this document defers admission to a subsequent term. . However, this NLI remains binding if I defer my admission.

b. Eligibility Requirements. This NLI shall be declared null and void if, by the opening day of classes in the fall of 2009, I have not met (a) the institution’s requirements for admissions, (b) its academic requirements for financial aid to student-athletes, or (c) the NCAA requirements for financial aid (NCAA Bylaw 14.3) or the junior college transfer requirements, provided I have submitted all necessary documents for eligibility determination.

(1) This NLI shall be rendered null and void if I become a nonqualifier (per NCAA Bylaw 14.3). NLI remains valid if I am a partial qualifier per NCAA Division II Bylaw 14.3.2.1.

(2) This NLI shall be rendered null and void if I am a midyear football junior college transfer and I fail to graduate from junior college at midyear (only for Division I nonqualifier). The NLI remains binding for the following fall term if I graduated, was eligible for admission and financial aid and met the junior college transfer requirements for competition for the winter or spring term, but chose to delay my admission.

c. One-Year Absence. This NLI shall be declared null and void if I have not attended any institution for at least one academic year, provided my request for athletics financial aid for a subsequent fall term is denied by the signing institution. I may still apply this provision if I initially enrolled in an NLI member institution but have been absent for at least one academic year. To apply this provision, I must file with the appropriate conference office a statement from the Director of Athletics at the institution named in this document that such athletics financial aid will not be available for the requested fall term.

Now, I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but it looks to me that if I had to take a guess, either Ashford or Allen will not be on this team this season.   Something is making me lean towards Allen.  Now it isn’t out of the question that one of the players like Allen ends up going to Junior College for a year.  He may even go to prep school for that matter.  However, that opens up the recruitment again for him and he may not return to Creighton after this.

There is still a possibility that he could still be a Jay as it is listed in a(2) up above that if Allen defers admission to another semester, his LOI is still valid as long is it isn’t a full year as it says in section c (where he would then have to apply for a provision) . What could be a real hit is if both players for some reason don’t end up making it to Creighton.  That changes the landscape again.  It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.

In the end, we got one question answered today, but it just raises and keeps alive several more during this crazy offseason.  What do you think?


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