Wow, a New Year already. 2008 went a little too fast for me this year. Anyway, here are some things around the Valley and Jays opponent world that might be of interest.
- Of course, most Jays fans are aware of the little controversy that Coach Greggggg Marshall stirred up after the Wichita St. game the other night. First it was Marshall talking in his postgame show about how Creighton was trying to run up the score and that they ran a lob-dunk play with 50 seconds left to go in the game when no one else seemed to really see that and that he was going to put that in his memory. Then it was Matt Perrault’s comments about Marshall’s comments which generated a whole long thread on Shockernet. Wichita Eagle reporter Paul Suellentrop put in his own 2 cents about the situation and followed up with Marshall a couple days later. Finally Suellentrop wrote an entry on how there are no coaching rivalries in the Valley anymore and the prospects of some developing. I guess at this point, Marshall is the only one that is trying to create enemies all over. I guess I was right in feeling that Wichita was more of a rivalry than some put credence to.
- Speaking of rivalries, more notable rival, Southern Illinois is having the wheels fall off the bus in Carbondale. Reports out of there to start the new year is that two SIU players have left the program. Though the players that left did not contribute much this season, it is still bad to see those type of things happening. This is now 5 players that have left the program since the end of last season including starter Josh Bone who has since walked on at Tennessee. What is hanging out with Chris Lowery like?
- A nice segway into another SIU related thing, they are trying out interactive Text Messaging this season. It was originally tried out at SIU football games, and also for a few home basketball games. I think this would be a great idea to have something like this to encourage or remind students of games so that they are there and even to season ticket holders to remind them to make sure to go to the games or get the tickets to friends who will use them. There could be a lot of possibilities with this. Maybe even updated stats to phones for those who can’t see those small numbers on the rolling boards by the court. Or even something that fans could text in the player of the game so that T. Scott and the announcer of the week don’t have to determine the player of the game–the fans could decide. Interesting stuff.
- The 2009 Las Vegas Classic main teams were announced. Since Creighton played in it this year, thought you might be interested who will be taking part next season–BYU, Nevada, Nebraska and Tulsa. About the same level of teams that competed this season in that tourney so it is not like Creighton missed out on something big as far as that tourney goes compared to what is coming in next year. Probably all teams that really could play each other in a home-home.
- Creighton recruit for next year, Andrew Bock, has been getting a lot of press lately out in California. He has really been a leader for his Eisenhower basketball team and seems to be looking like a great steal for the Jays. He helped lead his team to the finals of the Maxpreps holiday tournament which the teams in the tournament have some better players in the nation playing. Bock made a name for himself in this tourney. Here are some of the other performances by him in games this season so far–1, 2, 3, 4.
- A local Terre Haute business has bought all of the remaining tickets for the Indiana St./Illinois St. game on January 10th and anyone and everyone can have free tickets to that game. Wow. that is a pretty nice thing to do. I wonder how many tickets that actually is? What are the chances that anything like that would happen for a Creighton game…..Oh wait, there probably isn’t anyone left to do that because all the corporate hoopti-do’s have bought a lot of the lower bowl tickets at the Qwest. I bet the tickets bought at Indiana St. can’t be many more than the ones left at the Qwest Center that do not belong to season ticket holders.
- You betters out there, here is the MVC power poll on which teams do the best covering the spread. Creighton has covered 4 of the last 5 point spreads.
- Looking at Statsheet, the moving out of the 3-point line continues to have an effect on teams. Percentage is down (33.9% compared to 35% last year) and has gone up each month, but fewer 3-pointers are being hoisted each month as well. One interesting stat is that the seniors are shooting the best from three (35.4%) and each class underneath is a little bit lower (Jr-34%, So-33.9%, Fr-32%) As for the Valley, Bradley is suffering the most as they are shooting almost 7% less from three (30.5%) than last year. SIU has benefitted the most raising their percentage to 39.6% from 34%. The Jays are 3.8% better than last year so far shooting 40.4% from three. An article from a couple weeks ago discusses these results so far as well.
- The rest of the Jays games will be available on TV for at least the local market (of course assuming they get a Bracketbusters game on TV, they get MVC Wildcard weekend on FSN and they don’t play Thursday night in St. Louis in the MVC Tourney). Creighton was able to work out a deal with WTVP in Peoria to get the game at Bradley available in Omaha on Cox Channel 2. The rest of the games will be on Fox Sports Net, ESPN Family of networks, statewide on NET, or locally on KMTV. Here is the schedule.
- And finally, some may have seen this already, but Illinois St. players are not shy saying they are looking to have an undefeated season. If this isn’t bulletin board material to motivate teams against them, then I don’t know what is. It is one thing to be confident, but to be cocky….We’ll see how they feel after the game on Saturday with the Jays.