Gametime Primer: Jays vs. Miss. Valley St.

creighton VS.  mvs

Tuesday, December 2nd, 7PM
Qwest Center Omaha

Radio: Big Sports 590 AM or Bigsports590.com
TV: None, Video Streaming Available

Creighton Game Notes | Miss. Valley St. Game Notes (none)

Other Previews
Stinnett will play Tuesday night (OWH)

The Jays get a game at home in the friendly confines of the Qwest Center against the second of three SWAC opponents they will face this season before heading to St. Josephs for another road game.  Here is what you need to know about Mississippi Valley State:

  • The Delta Devils are in the midst of a 12 game road trip to start the season and playing game number 9 against Creighton over an 18 day span which is almost the norm for SWAC teams
  • During this 18 day span, the team has traveled to the states of Arizona, Washington, Oklahoma, Montana, Georgia and Iowa before arriving in Omaha.
  • MVS played Iowa St. Saturday and were tied with the Cyclones at halftime and close throughout the 2nd half before Iowa St. finally pulled away in the final 8-10 minutes of the game.
  • The head coach is Sean Woods in his first year with MVS and known for his days at Kentucky.
  • Probably the most known alumni from Mississippi Valley State is 49ers football great Jerry Rice.

With everything that has happened in the past week, it is probably an after thought that this game is going on Tuesday night.  Creighton lost two key road games this past week blowing double-digit halftime leads and basically playing without P’Allen Stinnett.

It is hard to ignore the situation going on with P’Allen based on two things.  One, he is a key player for this team.  Without him there are some glaring holes.  With him, you never know.  If anything it gets the crowd a little more excited and the players understand what he means to the team.  Secondly, as this team trying to define itself, you have to determine whether you plan things with him or without him.  Without him, someone else has to pick up the scoring slack and getting the crowd involved.  With him, you have to figure how his driving ability to the basket can change other player’s roles.

Although this will be, dare I say, a guarenteed win, will we be able to see any differences with this team?   Will this team be distracted?  We may not really be able to tell.  If the game is a struggle, then the team is still working through some issues.  If it is beat down, then I think things are on the right track.  The team that comes out on the court Tuesday night will be how this team will be the rest of the season.  There needs to be a conclusion to the distractions and there needs to be a direction.  The season doesn’t stop, it just keeps going.

I’ll get of my soapbox and focus on the good things.  Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the leader of this team is Josh Dotzler.  As much as he struggled with the turnovers Saturday night, Josh tried to carry this team on his shoulders and tried to make plays.  He even hit the three to tie things up at the end.  Kaleb Korver and Casey Harriman are starting to settle into their roles and appear to be doing a great job on what they need to do.  Kenny Lawson is almost there, just needs a complete game effort.  Booker Woodfox sort of got pinched out of the gameplan Saturday night and there needs to be more done to get him some open looks.  Cavel Witter takes a step forward and a couple back sometimes, but he will come around.  Justin Carter has to understand that the same plays he made in JUCO won’t work here unless you get a mean streak.

There are so many positives and the fact that the team did not play the greatest on the road and still only lost by 2 points in both instances says that there is a lot to this team and that they are so close.  Just resolve the distractions and think about playing basketball.  That is the key here.  Previewing Tuesday’s game is like throwing a penny in a pond.  It could go almost anywhere, but a loss won’t happen.

Prediction:  Jays 90, Mississippi Valley St. 49

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