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.
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P’Allen vs. the Referees

January 29, 2009

Tuesday night against Indiana St. towards the end of the game, there was a nice outlet by Justin Carter to P’Allen Stinnett and he went in for a dunk…..and he held on to it for a little longer than he should have.  Yep, he got a Technical Foul called.  Now there has been some discussion on the Bluejay Cafe about whether the technical should have been called and then even some went on to say how they are tired of P’Allen getting technical fouls all together.

First off, I thought the call  should have been a no-call.  Seriously.  It was toward the end of the game with under a minute to go, the game was pretty much decided, the player was on his own home court, and it was something in the game for the fans to get excited about.  Yes, it probably was a right call, but I don’t agree with it and believe me if it was in the ACC or SEC or some other large conference school in the same situation, that would have been a no call and let go.   But I believe some of these referees love the opportunity to call a technical foul.

So far in his career, P’Allen has gotten himself 7 technical fouls.  Thanks to our friends at Statsheet, P’Allen leads the nation in Technical Fouls in his two seasons along with Chas McFarland from Wake Forest.  Both with 7 in their career.  This season though, Robin Smeulders from Portland and Darnell Hugee from Prairie View A&M lead the way with 5 and 4 technicals respectively.

Below are when P’Allen’s technicals have been called and the referees involved:

pallentechs1

Click to see this better

As you can tell, of the 7 Technicals called on P’Allen, there are 3 referees that are on there twice in the past two seasons.  Let’s take a look at these guys a little more.

Paul Janssen–Janssen has called the most Creighton’s games (12) the past two seasons leading the way last season with 8 games.  This year is 3rd on the list calling 4 games.  Mr. Janssen is probably the most familiar with P’Allen and in his the last two games he was a referee in a Creighton game in 07-08, he called a technical foul on P’Allen.  This season, Janssen has called the Nebraska, @Illinois St., Dayton and Wichita St home games this season.

Gerry Pollard–This guy is a piece of work.  Last season Pollard called 6 Creighton games.  This season only 1.  The one game this season was the Northern Iowa game.  Pollard must have had his fill of P’Allen last season and took the opportunity to have his crew call the game a little close and gave P’Allen a T for what I remember was a double technical, but an unnecessary one.  But also, Pollard has a tendency to be quick with that whistle as he ranks 3rd in the country this season on assessing technical fouls.  He is also the guy who kicked Greggggg Marshall out of the game in St. Louis at the MVC tournament last season.

David Hall–Has refereed 10 of Creighton’s games over the past two seasons including the Indiana St. game the other night.  @Evansville, Southern Illinois andthe New Mexico were the other games.   He has to be a tired guy as he does mostly Missouri Valley Conference and Pac-10 games including calling a game out at Oregon St. the night before.  He has been kind of on a roll lately calling 4 technical fouls in the last 9 games.

Janssen, Pollard and Hall called the most games for the Jays last season so they are quite familiar with P’Allen Stinnett.  Unfortunately, that may be a bad thing when it comes to this season and beyond.  I think P has done a lot better job keeping some of his emotions in check this season, but I’m afraid that first impressions have stuck in the minds of these three referees.   Then with Tom Eades and Rick Hartzell who are tied for 4th in games called with the Jays this season (with 3 each)have been part of crews this season where a technical was called on Stinnett, the road becomes a slippery slope.  What is disppointing is that even though P’Allen may mature as a person and a player over the next few years, referees may be still quick to T-up Mr. Stinnett due to the past and first impressions.  Referees hate to be shown up, so there is a difference between making a nice play and showboating to the refs.

But here is one last thing to look at.  Other than the technical called in Vegas and the MVC tournament, all of the technicals have been called on the home court at the Qwest Center.  And really you could lump the other two together as a “home” game because of the large amount of Creighton fans at both of those games.  P’Allen is just trying to create energy for the fans and get them involved.  There is nothing better for a home team than to have the fans excited and into the game.  It wouldn’t surprise me that the things P’Allen does to get him technicals are ways to create fan energy…things that are lacking at times at the Qwest Center.  P will dunk and make a face for the camera to get people excited because that is what people want to see.  What better than to get a controversial call or a technical to get the fans all worked up and into the game to create havoc not only for the referees, but to the opposing team?  Yes, that dunk and tech on Tuesday night was towards the end of the game, but did you see the reaction of the crowd and energy that was missing for most of that game?  If P’Allen was getting technical fouls on the road, then I would pull back this theory.  Whether it hurts the team as a whole, I don’t know if that is the case yet.  But at this point, P’Allen is just being P’Allen.  Would you rather he not show any emotion?  His up and down gameplay would be the thing I would be more concerned about.    But that is for another day.


Gametime Primer: Jays vs. Miss. Valley St.

December 1, 2008

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


Turning Point

November 30, 2008

As I sat with my cousin before the game with the Jays side of the court right in front of me, I thought that it was going to be an electric game and that P’Allen Stinnett would be back in the fold and the team would be coming together to kick it to the Huskers.  “P” was hitting almost every shot he was putting up and putting down some nice warmup dunks and I was encouraged and excited.  It was not to be.  4 games into the season and the Jays are already at a turning point.  Tonight’s 54-52 loss against Nebraska isn’t necessarily about losing to Nebraska in a really ugly game, but more of a character building game and the end of the first road trip of the season with a lot of things to resolve.

1)  The Jays are falling into the trap on the road that their opponents at home fall into.  They get a nice lead on the road in the first half and the home team is able to get some fire in the second half and lose the game in the final seconds.  This is a character building experience to know how to keep leads on the road.

2)  The toughness factor-Creighton came out with fire in their eyes determined to get rebounds and were successful in that aspect tonight against Nebraska.  However, in the second half, the defense broke down and the rebound factor was not there. Turnovers killed the Jays with the point guard position involved in 11 of the 24 turnovers.

3)  Player character–The developments with P’Allen Stinnett over the past week is troubling and at the same time a distraction to the team.   Being able to play without their star player builds character, but at what price.  Setting the example for others and being a team player is an important characteristic to have.  It took a lot of character for coach Altman to try and build the character needed for P’Allen by sacrificing this game which is probably one of the more important games personally to Altman.

4)  A tough road ahead.  Though the Jays get a little reprieve in hosting Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday, the road doesn’t get easier for them as they head on the road to St. Joseph, play a tough Dayton team at home, a couple games at home that should be wins and then the tourney in Vegas with Fresno St., Depaul and St. Louis.   Next thing you know, you are in Conference play.

The game against Nebraska needs to be all of those learning experiences above all in one….it has to be or it will be a long season.

Enough of the bad, how about the good–I loved the playing time  Careb Korriman received tonight.  Kaleb Korver (23 minutes) looked like he belonged out there hitting some big 3-point shots, getting rebounds and not turning the ball over.  There was a stretch in the 2nd half where Kaleb ws put in at the 18:24 mark and other than about a minute and a half break played until the 4:02 mark.  His time today was quite effective and some great game time experience.  Casey Harriman (24 minutes) had a “working man’s” game fighting for rebounds and playing tough all game.  He came up with a great offensive rebound put back and also a great steal and basket down the stretch to keep the Jays in the game.

Then you have Josh Dotzler.  The kid tried his best to take over the game when no one else would.  He had an amazing spin in the lane basket and of all people hit the 3-point basket to keep give Creighton the chance to win.  Although he had 4 costly turnovers, you couldn’t ask for anything more.

Kenny Lawson also did what he needed to do for the most part as the biggest player on the court.  He almost had his first double-double of the season (10 pts., 9 reb.) and 4 blocks.  He kept Nebraska from driving the lane in the first half, but unfortunately not as effective in the second half.  However, in the two road games, Kenny was the most consistent and had the best games of anyone.

I hope people haven’t given up on this team yet.  There is a lot of season to go.  Though there are no state bragging rights this year, there is still a lot to look forward to.  With the stuggles the Valley has had this year, the conference season is attainable and a trip back to the NCAA’s is still in reach.  It is extremely important that fans show up on Tuesday to show support for this team.  It is also important that the Jays make Mississippi Valley State an example of what they can do as they come together as a team.

Now if this P’Allen thing would get resolved…..


Around the Rim–11/1/08

November 1, 2008

A lot of things going on lately.  Here are a few little snippets of things:

  • Today begins the College Basketball Exhibition season for most teams…..no wait that is scrimmages for some.  The Jays head to Ames today to scrimmage with Iowa St.  Wichita St. heads to Manhattan to scrimmage with Kansas St.  and Iowa is scrimmaging with Jays potential opponent Depaul.  Oh and what about North Carolina’s “secret” scrimmage.  Jeff Goodman from Fox Sports has a great listing of all the scrimmages happening this weekend.  What is sad about all of this is that all of these scrimmages are a “home-and-home” thing where most of them will be going to the opposite team’s site next year for a scrimmage.  And if you look at the matchups, these would make great regular season home-and-home games, so why won’t these teams schedule a real game where fans and media can come and have it count for something?    That is just crazy and you know you could pack the stands either way.
  • Jays opponent New Mexico is playing in the pricey Cancun tournament that also includes conference foe Drake.  $300 per person for all games of the tournament plus if you don’t stay at the resort where the tournament is being held, it is another $81 to enter the resort to get to the games.   Maybe the Las Vegas Classic is a good fit for the Jays fans and the economy where the full session tickets are not as pricey and fans have the opportunity to stay in Vegas for free.
  • An update on Anthony Tolliver and how things are going for him since the passing of his mother.  I haven’t always been a fan of the Spurs, but it is appreciated how they are handling the situation for him.  It sounds like he will be back with the Spurs this Tuesday.  Please keep Anthony and his family in your prayers.
  • CollegeHoopsNet has announced their preseason HIgh-Major Player of the Year and All-American Teams.  These are players from teams that are not from “BCS” type of schools, but are not considered “Mid-Major” either.  It is “High Major.”  Creighton’s P’Allen Stinnett is on the 3rd team along with Drake’s Josh Young and Creighton opponent Dayton’s Chris Wright. Interesting take.
  • Speaking of P’Allen, there is a great article on him in the Topeka Capital-Journal and probably other news papers since it is an AP article.  P’Allen talks about how he made a name for himself last year, but this year it’s time to take on a team role.  Very good read.
  • Kirk Wessler from the PJStar had some interesting notes from MVC Media Days.  The interesting parts were about possible expansion and non-conference scheduling.   The subject came up again and MVC Commish Doug Elgin pretty much said that expansion is not an option and if they did it would have to be an even number.  St. Louis always comes up as a school that would join the Valley because of the proximity to the rest of the league members makes more sense than being in the A-10 that is just all over the map.  In my mind Butler is another good team to consider since they play a lot of Valley teams each year and are in sort of the same geographic area.
  • The other part of the article had to do with non-conference scheduling.  In my review of the average RPI’s of the Valley’s non-conference schedule, it was noted how horrible Illinois St. scheduled their non-conference schedule.   A few years ago the Valley instituted an initiative to get member schools to work hard at scheduling good teams and to keep from playing an average RPI above 150 or suffer some type of penalty.  Though it hasn’t been enforced for a few years since things became a little better, it should almost be instituted just because of Illinois St.  Their non-conference RPI of the teams they ar facing are 215.  That hurts not only them, but the league as a whole.   Although they are ranked pretty high in the conference this coming season, I think their non-conference season is going to hurt them from being prepared and will make Osiris Eldridge become a one-man show.  We’ll have to see.
  • Just a reminder, tickets went on sale for the annual Nebraska-Creighton game on Thursday.  Get your tickets now if you want to go since the game is in Lincoln this year.
  • Finally, I mentioned earlier this summer that I was going to take on a role of a Big 12 correspondant for a great college basketball site called Rush the Court.  Originally I wanted to correspond for the Valley but another person was already signed up for the role.  However, due to some unknown circumstances, the opportunity to be a correspondant for the Valley became available again and I have agreed to do that as well.  So I will be doing updates on the league for the Rush the Court site for both the Big 12 and MVC as of right now.  So I’ll see if I can handle this great opportunity, but it also means watching a lot of basketball which should be fun.  Look for a Valley preview on their site upcoming this next week.

Valley Media Day-Part 1

October 28, 2008

So far the news at the Missouri Valley Conference media day has garnered no surprises as Creighton has been selected to win the Valley this season overwhelmingly with 36 first place votes and P’Allen Stinnett was named to the Pre-Season All-Valley team.

Big Sports 590 is down there today and they will be broadcasting all Jays coverage today from 2-6 PM.

Then head on down to the Qwest Center and watch the Jays Open House practice tonight from 5:30-7:30.  Parking in Lot B is free.


Last Summer League Games and Other News

August 6, 2008

Just a few tidbits of things in the lulls of the off-season until the schedule comes out.

  • The Metro Summer Basketball League is coming to a close this Thursday.   The way it shakes out is that UNO will play UNK at 5:30 while the UNO Grads will take on PCS Phosphate featuring P’Allen Stinnett from the Jays at 6:30 and the winners will play each other for the championship at 7:45.   P’Allen really stepped it up last week to help his team pull out a  win.  It is just fun to seem him and the other Jays play ball so if you need some entertainment, the matchups should be pretty good.
  • One Jay we haven’t seen on the court this summer is Josh Dotzler.  I talked to a friend of mine who is close to the family and the way it sounded was that he was taking the summer off to try and completely heal up after the knee surgery almost 2 years ago and all of the other “odd” injuries that have plagued him since getting injured against Southern Illinois his freshman year.     But I sometimes don’t know how much “friend” information is reliable, but if anyone else has any info, I would be game to hear it.  I suppose there is something to be said about taking a little time away from basketball to re-focus.
  • Some of you may have seen the ESPN Prestige Rankings that they put out a week or so ago on the most “Prestigious” teams since 1985.  The highest Valley team is Southern Illinois at 53rd.  The Jays come in at 59th, with Missouri State in the middle.  I can’t really say I agree with that.  The Jays somehow not getting in front of the Cubs is sort of surprising.    Rush the Court has a good breakdown of the numbers involved in coming up with these rankings and their own opinions.  I sort of go with their thoughts on this whole thing.  I mean come on, Murray State at #30?   No wonder Issac Miles went there.  All that Prestige :) RTC didn’t think Xavier deserved 8th, but really I don’t think they get enough respect sometimes and are a quality program that always seem to be in the mix.  Another interesting note was that Drake accumulated -45 points in this ranking system showing what a unique season they had last season.  But I guess it is “unbiased” just like everything else from the spin doctors at ESPN.
  • And finally on a lighter note, Jay opponent St. Joseph’s mascot the “Hawk” is nominated for the Mascot Hall of Fame.  You can check out more information on this “prestigious” institution at the Mascot Hall of Fame website.  Now I am inspired to play the Mascot game on NCAA Football 2009  Ha ha!!