When I was little I had this Superman “Choose Your Adventure” book where you would start at the beginning of the book and at certain points you had two options—Turn to page 18 if you think Superman should attack the enemy or Turn to page 29 if you think Superman should regroup. Invariably though I read the book several times and you would think that I would know better, I would every once in a while pick the option that “Superman got surrounded by Kryptonite and you died….Darn it, wrong again.
Well this is what I am starting to feel like with this Creighton team. Though they know which choices they need to make and the things they need to do, but they pick the wrong option and it turns out to the same result. This time it was a horrible home loss to Northern Iowa who had not won in Omaha since 1996.
Too much dribbling. Too much standing around. Too many ill advised shots. Missed free throws down the stretch.
Really things were looking good. The Jays started out with fire in their eyes and flying around defense. A quick 9 point lead and a Northern Iowa team on their heels. But then 2 quick fouls on Booker Woodfox with 16 minutes left in the first half and it was like the air got let out of the balloon. It was like everything they were doing just stopped and Northern Iowa got back into the game and by the middle of the 2nd half, they had a 9 point lead on the Jays.
Altman was so frustrated that he benched most of the team for the 2nd half including starter Kenny Lawson and stuck with Woodfox, P’Allen Stinnett, Josh Dotzler, Cavel Witter, Justin Carter and really the surprise of the game Chad Millard. With an ineffective Lawson and Kenton Walker, Millard came into the game and played probably his best game since the opening game of the season last season. Between P’Allen and Chad, those guys seemed to be the only ones that had any fire. Booker looked off all night including breaking his school record streak of 36 consecutive free throws missing two key ones down the stretch. I thought Antoine Young did some great things in the first half since he was needed to play more because of Woodfox’s foul trouble. He was willing to take it to the rim and was a nice spark. But once again come the second half, did not see the court. I know Coach Altman wants to have his “veterans” out there, but I will never understand why he won’t play the guys that are having a great night to see if it can continue. It was surprising that Millard got that opportunity.
The longer I have to keep hearing Dana Altman say year after year, game after game, “We have a long ways to go. I don’t think anyone believes me.” is the same song and dance. Something has to change one way or another. Time to try something different. When is any Bluejay team going to be “Where they need to be?”
No reason to belabor any stats because it was all just horrible. Then you have 3 referees in Tom Eades, Gerry Pollard and Zelton Steed, who had lost control of the game and just didn’t have a clue on what they were calling.
Eades was one of those same referees who did the Illinois St. game and I thought that game was a little skewed. That guy loves to call technical fouls and he called a real doozy on P’Allen and Kwazo Ahelgebe from UNI when really it was all Ahelgebe. Ridiculous. This guy has refereed 9 games in the last 10 days flying from LA, to the UNI/Indiana St. game,and then to the States of Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, Illinois, back to Texas and then up to Omaha for tonight’s game. The dude has to be tired.
Pollard has also been quite busy the last 10 days including the Evansville/Indiana St. game on Sunday. That one was a little messed up as well when Indiana St. really controlled the game for the most part and then in the final minutes, Pollard made some really cheap calls on the Sycamores that sort of led to the Evansville comeback at the end.
Steed is one of those referees that likes to keep the scores in the 60’s. He sort of looked like he was just coasting along tonight mainly because he doesn’t usually do MVC games. On a late in the game call on an out of bounds between the three of them, they all seemed like they didn’t have a clue whose ball it was an obviously should have been called a jump ball but instead was given to UNI.
I can handle bad referees, but I don’t think I have seen a worse called game since the Miami NIT game a few seasons ago. I thought the crowd was close to a revolt tonight.
Anyway, what’s done is done. Doesn’t get any easier as the Jays take on Bradley this weekend in what could leave Bradley sittting up by themselves at the top at 5-0. They knocked off the undefeated Illinois St. Redbirds tonight. Right now, is decision time on which page the Jays want to go. Do they want to make the choice that keeps them in the game or are they going to choose the kryptonite. I guess we’ll wait and see.