Around the Rim–7/15/09

July 15, 2009

Been pretty crazy lately with summer activities so I haven’t been able to do as much in-depth stuff as I would have liked to this summer.  Anyway today’s ATR is more of a link dump more than anything as a lot of these things have already been talked about or know about, but interesting nonetheless.

  • George Mason coach Jim Larranaga twittered on Sunday that MVC commish Doug Elgin and coach Dana Altman called to see if they could move the December 12th matchup to ’10-’11 but coach Larranaga said NO.   He has since removed those two entries from his Twitter, but makes you wonder what was going on.  I’m wondering if Creighton was trying to schedule a home game that weekend since there was no UNO hockey in town that weekend.
  • A big congratulations goes out to the Creighton Sports Information Office as they received 4 publication awards for the Volleyball and Men’s Basketball media guides from this past season.   Rob Anderson and the staff there do a great job for the program.  This is a great honor.    Here were the rest of the winners.   The Creighton department was also recognized by the conference this past season as the top SID office in the conference.  Great job.
  • The NCAA removed the “last 12 games” criteria from the NCAA Selection Committee’s toolbox starting this season.  I guess there was a point of confusion between the different members of the selection committee on the weight of the last 12 games.  Some people thought it was more important than others and the application of that tool was not consistent.  So while the last 12 games for most teams deal with Conference play, it will be interesting now to see if the non-conference schedules carry more weight now.
  • A Saluki fan that started a new site a few months ago came out with his opinion of the rankings of the basketball facilities in the MVC.  The Qwest Center tied with Wichita’s Koch Arena as the best in the league.  I’m not sure you can really put the two on the same line.  The blogger talks about the facility as well as the environment, though he only has the Saluki home court 6th in the list.  If you want to put environment over the actual facility, I think it would have been higher than Drake and Northern Iowa.    We will have to see where Evansville ranks in a couple of seasons with their new Arena.
  • An interesting article in the Wall Street Journal this week about AAU teams and how players are being developed without fundamentals and focused more on what coaches want athleticly to be recruited.  College Basketball is starting to look more like the NBA and individuals rather than teams.  I wonder if AAU basketball is the crux in all of that.  At the same time the NCAA is really scrutinizing recruiting services.  I always wonder how Scout, Rivals and the like get away with how they have access to the players and influences without getting in trouble.
  • I will have to give props to the Omaha World Herald in the past few weeks as they have been heavily covering not only Creighton Basketball, but Creighton Athletics in general.  They have talked about the Ryan Center about how it could give more access to the Men’s team due to open practices over there  and some Soccer news.    With basketball, they have done features on P’Allen Stinnett, Cavel Witter, and others.However, because of the newly re-designed site, most of those articles are falling off the online site within a few days when new articles are put up there.  That is too bad.  There are some great features there and as more and more newspapers try to add more online features to draw more interest, it appears the OWH would rather people not read the newspaper on the internet and instead purchase the newspaper and cut out news clippings.  I guess that is a model to go, but could really give the Jays and people outside of Omaha more exposure.  I also figured since they were cutting off western Nebraska since they don’t deliver papers out there anymore better online information and access so those people could still keep in contact with Omaha.   But to each their own.
  • A website called “The Hoops Report” has started previewing their top 65 basketball teams for the upcoming season and have Creighton in at #61.  Interesting enough, I will be excited to see how well Kenton Walker does in the starting lineup…..obviously they didn’t get the memo on him.
  • Here’s an interesting way to introduce the non-conference schedule for basketball.  Marquette (who the Jays may play this season in the Old Spice Classic) started this week announcing 1 game each day and giving a little capsule of the team they are playing with the full schedule to be released by the end of July.
  • Finally, since it is a big recruiting period, here are some recent articles on players the Jays seem to be interested in:  Elliott Eliason, Ricky Kreklow, Jose Bonilla and Josh Gasser.

Scrimmages and Exhibitions

November 4, 2008

Sounds like everyone had a good time in Ames from what I and read from the Des Moines Register and read from the GoCyclones site.   even though there was not supposed to be anything written about it since the NCAA wants everything so secretive. Shh…Wichita St. and Kansas St. had a scrimmage this past weekend also, but don’t tell anyone.  Illinois St. is so secretive, we don’t know who they scrimmaged with.

But for the stuff we can talk about, the other Valley teams started their Exhibition season for the public last weekend:

Drake beat Truman State 77-61 with the Box Score

Evansville took 2 overtimes to barely beat Div II U of Southern Indiana 71-67 with the Box Score

Then last night a few other Valley teams got started:

Bradley defeated Lewis College 74-61 with Box Score

Missouri St tops Quincy Univeristy 79-44 with Box Score

SIU rolls over Missouri Southern 82-59 with Box Score

Indiana St. will start their Exhibition season on Saturday against Albion college in Michigan while Northern Iowa starts their Exhibition season tonight against University of Dubuque.

These exhibitions are fun to watch, but they probably won’t look like a normal game since the coaches are usually tinkering with lineups and looking for things that we as fans probably don’t notice.  So really, I don’t think how these games turn our really tells us what these teams are going to be like, but it at least lets some people take a look to see what is coming down the line and an introduction to the potential of teams.

However, the exhibition season could become a thing of the past.  The coaches talk about how they enjoy the closed scrimmages so much more and get so much out of it.  Just on the Jays opponents this year, there are several who opted for a closed scrimmage instead of 2 exhibition games:

  • New Mexico scrimmaged Arizona St.
  • Arkansas-Little Rock scrimmaged Tennessee tech (at a neutral site nonetheless)
  • St. Louis scrimmaged Memphis
  • Depaul scrimmaged at Iowa
  • Marquette scrimmaged Nebraska
  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff scrimmaged somebody.
  • St. Joseph isn’t playing any exhibition games

Unfortunately for the fans, if coaches continue to enjoy the closed scrimmages so much because of the level of competition lets them see things a little more, then it is more likely that there will be no exhibition games down the line.  On the other hand, if the NCAA is so concerned about putting an end to early Midnight Madness, then they should be just as concerned with these scrimmages as these are potential matchups that could be real during the season.  Why can’t these teams play an actual regular season game?   But really, if you want to have these “closed door scrimmages” allow them to be public, put people in the stands.  If you want to call them exhibition games then call them exhibition games.  I feel like the fan is getting taken farther and farther out of  basketball by the NCAA. Stop trying to take the fans out of College Basketballand just let teams play and let the fans enjoy it.  The fans need an exhibition season too.

Scheduling and the Other Valley Schools

June 13, 2008

While the debate continues over at the Bluejay Cafe on the Jays scheduling practices, let’s take a look at what some of the other Valley schools are doing:

  • Texas Tech has released their non-conference schedule. One of their visitors is Valley foe Wichita St. From what I can tell, it doesn’t appear to have a return game tied to it, but a quality team to play from the Big 12.
  • Bradley is taking part in the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks Alaska this year. Other teams who have signed contracts to participate in the three-game-per-team event in addition to Bradley are Stanford, Central Florida and Alaska-Fairbanks. Tentative participants at this point are Winthrop, Miami of Ohio and Stephen F. Austin. BU and Stanford will be placed in opposite brackets. Not too bad of a field, but somewhat similar to the Las Vegas Classic. Bradley is still looking to secure 4 non-conference games and Coach Les is hoping 3 of the 4 can be at home. Bradley is also scheduled to play @Michigan State and Butler at home.
  • Northern Iowa is taking part in the Chicago Invitiational The other seven teams are Auburn, Bethune-Cookman, Chicago State, Dayton (the same Dayton team the Jays are playing at home this season), Marquette, Mercer and Texas Southern. With Auburn and Marquette in the mix, this tournament looks more attractive than the Vegas tourney.
  • Missouri State gets to open their new JQH Arena with a game against Arkansas. 4 years ago when the Qwest Center opened, the best Creighton could get was San Diego.
  • It is reported on Valleytalk that Evansville is playing a 1 and done deal at North Carolina. In this case, I think it is a good thing. Playing a top 5 team on the road and most likely getting blown out is nothing to be ashamed of. At least the chance is being taken.
  • And finally, Southern Illinois is one of the headlining teams for the Coaches vs. Cancer. The other main teams in the field are Duke, Michigan, and UCLA. There are more details to come out on this, but this is a great opportunity for Southern and the Valley.

So as it looks right now, many valley teams have some great quality games lined up against bigger name opponents and conferences compared to the Jays who have their obligatory game with Nebraska as the only BCS team scheduled at this point unless they get matched up with Depaul in the Vegas Tourney. If there is an opportunity for Creighton to still get a “big” game, I think they should.

If the other Valley teams are successful in these games above that are being played, I don’t think the Jays should be able to expect to ride on the coattails of these teams. With the non-conference battles and experience, this could really hurt the Jays come conference time. And isn’t the non-conference supposed to prepare you for the conference season. These other teams may be more prepared.

Oh and one other thing. Check out this cool commercial for Dayton basketball. They won the 2007-08 gold medal at the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) in the Group II awards ceremony at NACMA’s 17th Annual Convention, June 10 in Dallas, Texas.  You will have to go to the site and there is a link to watch the commercial.  It was a commercial advertising season tickets for Dayton basketball. Very cool. It would be great to see the Jays do something like this to advertise or even for the big board at the Qwest Center.

‘Ol Gary and the Huskers

June 9, 2008

These things always make me laugh

  • Over at the BluejayCafe message board, after the posting of the complete Las Vegas Classic tourney field the Jays are playing in, it once again spurred the conversation of Creighton’s scheduling philosophies. Some people say that this thing has been talked about over and over and beaten to death, but hey lets face facts: The message board has been so dead that the weeks and months of posting on the board have disappeared because people aren’t talking about them anymore, so it makes sense that the scheduling stuff is discussed over and over because everyone forgot what everyone had to say about the issue since all the old posts have disappeared :) . But since the conversation is brought up year after year, it must mean nothing has changed.
  • Not to be outdone, but the Lincoln Journal Star produced an article on the current state of the Nebraska non-conference schedule. They don’t have much home court appeal as well with Creighton as the only “marquee matchup” at home. Another funny part is the fact that Nebraska might be playing Marquette at home, but only as a pre-season scrimmage and not in front of any fans. Boy, would hate it to be a “real” game. Apparently BCS schools are stonewalling to schedule a comperable opponent on the road until they can get that “guarantee” game scheduled. So many BCS schools still have openings on their schedule and even willing to go on the road. The list is rather attractive, too: Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Alabama and Mississippi State are among those schools with at least one opening.
  • Finally, though there have been stories about this over the past couple of weeks, you have to love our good ‘ol friend Gary Williams, the coach of Maryland. As recent as a couple of years ago, Gary was very vocal about the Valley and how they “gamed” the RPI system and didn’t deserve to have as many teams in the NCAA Tournament in 2006 saying, “They haven’t been banging down anyone’s door in the ACC to play. The phone works both ways, last time I checked.” I still haven’t seen a Valley team on the schedule as I am sure all 10 teams would love to do a home and home. Since winning the National Championship in 2002, Maryland has only been to the Big Dance once in the past 4 seasons. Well, he is literally running the wheels off of the bus and may be lucky to field a full team this season. He has had 3 new recruits that can’t make the grade–Tyree Evans, Gus Gilchrist and Bobby Maze and a current player Shane Walker jump ship. Looks like Gary is cracking under the pressure to continue winning. After being so arrogant, it is well deserved.