Creighton Bluejays (3-1) at Nebraska Cornhuksers (4-0)
Where: Bob Devaney Sports Center, Lincoln, NE
When: 7 PM
TV: FSN Midwest in Nebraska, ESPN Full Court outside Nebraska (Webcast on ESPN360)
Radio: Husker Sports Network (1110 AM Omaha, 1400 AM Lincoln, 91 Sirius, Webcast on Huskers.com)
Is Creighton a rival?
That's one of the themes that's been bouncing around NU Hoops coverage since the post-game interviews of Tuesday's win over Saint Louis. Doc says that Creighton is just another nonconference game. But that doesn't mean that it is just another game.
Creighton is the one consistently good non-Big XII you can count on appearing on the Huskers' schedule. The fans certainly treat it like a rivalry game -- it's the one nonconference game you can expect a capacity crowd at the Devaney Center. And it's important for recruiting regional players: When there's a top-tier player in Nebraska, it sure would be nice if the Huskers could show wins over Creighton as a reason to come to Lincoln instead of Omaha.
Of course, this game is important for other reasons. Nebraska's nonconference schedule, while not strictly vegetarian as it was 2 years ago, is distinctly light on big-name opponents. To build up a postseason resume, the Huskers need all the quality wins they can get. So, winning this game is important, even if it's not a rivalry.
Scouting the Jays
At last, an opponent I have some prior knowledge about. The Jays are 3-1, having used some massive runs and sharpshooting to beat New Mexico and Oral Roberts from behind, only to get a taste of their own medicine against a good Arkansas-Little Rock team.
I've noticed two things about the Jays in what I've seen. First, the Jays generally take care of the ball, but are still vulnerable to turnovers (they coughed it up 20 times against Pine Bluff), and better teams -- like Oral Roberts and UALR -- were able to capitalize on those turnovers. The Husker guards create lots of turnovers and capitalize on them, so expect that to be one way Doc attacks Creighton.
Second, the Jays aren't a very good rebounding team. They've been outrebounded by double digit margins in 3 of their 4 games. The Huskers, despite being small, have not been completely blown off the boards in any game. Again, Creighton's weakness may play into Nebraska's hands.
But, the Jays can shoot. Better than any opponent Nebraska's played all year (and possibly better than anyone they will play). The Jays don't miss free throws and tend to take good shots. Nebraska will need to stay out of foul trouble and harrass the Creighton sharpshooters into taking bad shots if they want to win.
Please join us tonight as the Huskers try to go to 5-0 on the season over the Jays. As always, accounts are free, so sign up and join the party!