Monday, December 22, 9:30PM
Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas Classic
We have heard about this Las Vegas Classic tournament for months and there really isn’t anything left to say other than let’s play the games and get the heck out. First off is the Fresno St. Bulldogs. Creighton is pretty familiar with this team. It almost seems to be a yearly thing. Here is what you need to know about the Bulldogs:
- A freshman, Paul George, leads the team in all the main categories. 3 other players average double-figures in points.
- Creighton leads the all-time series against Fresno St. 5-1, however Fresno won the last meeting in 2006.
- In this all-time series, 5 of the games have been played in the past 7 seasons.
- All of Fresno’s wins have come against nobody’s as their losses include UNLV, Oregon St., and St. Mary’s
- Notable alumni include Robert Beltran, better known as Commander Chakotay of the USS Voyager (Star Trek)
To be honest, I think the idea of this trip is not for the competition, but a chance for P’Allen Stinnett to play in front of family and friends. Last season, the Jays pulled out of the Vegas tournament to play against BYU, Louisville and North Carolina (which is the Las Vegas Invitational) and then got bumped down to the Las Vegas Classic. Surprise, surprise, the Jays get Fresno St. in the first game.
These two teams and the fan bases should be pretty familiar with each other at this point. Thanks to the Bracketbusters, Creighton has had some exposure to the West Coast and may have been a factor in getting Kenny Lawson and Kenton walker to Creighton. Then you add Justin Carter to the mix, you have the West Coast Connection. So if you add them all to the mix, it is sort of a big homecoming game for several of the Jays players. It used to be a “State of Iowa” type of thing as far as players go, but now it is the “State of California” with a little “Vegas” mixed in.
Though the Jays struggled somewhat in the first couple games in this “tournament” against Northern Colorado and Southern, I think the Jays have been playing really well lately. This team is coming together and the shooting is hot and a lot of players have a lot to play for in this trip. Not playing against anyone for a week, this team should be full of fire and excitement and I expect to see this team focused.
Fresno St. is a young team and have had problems handling Creighton in the past. Look for this game to get out of hand and hopefully a win to face Depaul in the finals.
Prediction: Creighton 77, Fresno St. 60