Sunday, November 9th, 2PM
Qwest Center Omaha
The time the fans and the players have been waiting for—an actual game with fans in the stands. After spending time with the Iowa St. Cyclones last weekend, the Jays open up the season by playing an Exhibition game against D2 Central Missouri.
Here are the basics to know about Central Missouri:
- They play in the same conference (MIAA) that the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks play. So it is like playing UNO but just a little different. The Mules are picked to finish second in the conference this season just ahead of UNO
- They are located in Warrensburg, Missouri. That is the home of recent graduate Dane Watts.
- Central Missouri will be playing a game at the Sprint Center in Kansas City this season so this will be a good primer for them to play in a big arena.
- Probably the most famous alumni from Central Missouri is current American Idol David Cook
The Mules, led by All-MIAA player Joe Young also return 9 players and 3 starters from a team that went 18-10 last season. Two seasons ago, Central Missouri made it to the D2 Final Four. They may be a little road weary (but not as road weary as they could have been) coming in as they had a game with Austin Peay in Tennessee on Thursday night and just falling short 80-75. Originally the game with Austin Peay was scheduled for Saturday night when the Creighton exhibition was announced which would have been quite a trip to get to Omaha for an early afternoon game on Sunday.
But the group that the fans will come out to see is the 2008-09 Creighton Bluejay Basketball team. This will be a good game for the players to get their feet wet and reacquaint themselves to the Qwest Center and the fans and also to see this team against competition. I hope to see a lot of pressing in the beginning to get the intensity going and I also expect to see a lot of substitutions to see some different combinations together that you may not expect to see in a regular season game. There are a couple of starting spots up for grabs and performance in this game could contribute to the decision on who will fill those roles to start the season. Josh Dotzler, P’Allen Stinnett and Kenny Lawson are pretty set for the starting lineup while Booker Woodfox, Justin Carter, Casey Harriman, Chad Millard and Kaleb Korver will be competing for the other two starting jobs.
Speaking of Justin, this will also be the first chance to see the player who everyone has been talking about this summer and the preseason. In watching him in the open house last week, he was just all over the court and making plays. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to the atmosphere. Also, we will probably see Freshman Antoine Young and Josh Jones make their debuts as Bluejays. These two Omaha guys have been committed to this program for so long, it will be nice to see them finally set foot on the court and play a game. There is always talk about redshirting players, and it is doubtful it will happen this year with Josh or Antoine, but they can still play in the Exhibition game before that decision is made.
There really isn’t that much more to preview at this time other than to see a game. It has been a long time coming and the anticipation expressed on the message boards has been intense. But as we lead up to the opening game against New Mexico a week from Sunday, this is good filler until then.
Unfortunately for me I’ll have to watch the game after the fact since I will be out of town…..that stinks. But I will be at the game next week to kick off the season against Steve Alford and the New Mexico Lobos.
Prediction: Creighton: 86, Central Missouri: 69–It will be close in the first half, but then Creighton will pull away in the 2nd as they close out the preseason.