Date: Wednesday, December 9th
Location: Omaha, NE
Television: CBS Sports
Internet:Husker Sports Network
Mascot: Blue Jay
Coach: Greg McDermott (6th year)
Conference: Big East
2015-16 Record: 5-3
It's Game Time!
This is it folks, our instate rival. Or as Creighton fans call it, a social event. Because unless the Blue Jays are winning their fans are pretty much there to be seen and talk about their latest cardigan they bought at Von Mar. Or how they couldn't get themselves to drive down 45 minutes watch the Husker football team this year so they gave away most of their tickets....Want me to go on?
Honestly, I've always believed these two teams to should be playing twice a season. Once in Lincoln and once in Omaha. We should even throw in UNO to make it even more fun. They're playing division I ball now so they should be included.
2014-15 Season: 14-19 (4-14 conference)
Creighton had a rough year after the departure of seniors Ethan Wragge, Grant Gibbs, and the patron saint of Creighton basketball, Doug McDermott. They started well enough in the year. Even making it to the top 25. That is until the competition started to heat up and the holes left in the roster started to show. It also didn't help that the other Big East teams started playing decent basketball again.
All the pain the Blue Jays had inflicted on teams in the 2013-14 season were brought back on them. This was a team that went 27-8 in 2013-14 and made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Now, a mere 14-19 with only 4 conference wins.
Even with a rough season the Blue Jays lost 7 seniors to graduation and leaving a fairly young team at the helm. Losing that many seniors is never a good thing for any team but the Blue Jays have faith in their young and talented squad. Most consider this another rebuilding year for the team and they hovered around #8 in the Big East preseason polls.
Recruiting went fairly well picking up Justin Patton from Omaha North. Patton was somewhat of an unknown who was picked up by Creighton before he shot up the rankings. Fortunately for Nebraska he is being redshirted for the year but make a mental note to look out for him in the future.
They've played "decent" ball so far this year but still under what fans would consider good for the history of he program. With the exception of their loss against Indiana back in November they really should be more of a 7-1 team at this point of the year.
The Jay's are riding a two game losing streak into Wednesday's game with tough losses to Arizona State and Loyola Chicago. Two games that they should have won but could not come up with the clutch play to pull it out.
This team can score but their defense has been suspect for a lot of the year. Teams that have beaten them have been able to out hustle and rebound them on the floor. Their youth comes out when they get into tricky situations and a well managed team can easily take advantage of.
Players to Watch:
Creighton has 4 of their five starters averaging double digits per game. While this will probably drop once they start conference play it is still a good statistic to have going into the year. These boys can shoot.
Junior forward Cole Huff leads the team in scoring with 12.4 ppg. He injured his right shoulder against Loyola Chicago on Saturday and his playing will most likely be a game time decision. Doctors determined that it is a sprain so even if he does play his contributions could be limited.
Geoffrey Groselle is their big man under the basket averaging 11 points and 8 rebounds a game. Injuries have plagued his career so being healthy has brought his name up quite a bit this year.
Maurice Watson Jr. comes in next scoring 11.9 ppg. Watson struggled shooting on Sunday going only 3-11 from the field but came away with 8 rebounds in the loss.
Khyri Thomas is a freshman forward that has been one of the bigger sparks for the team this year. Averaging 11 ppg and 3.3 rebounds he has been there when the Jays have needed him the most.
What's going to probably happen:
With all joking aside,
Creighton is a good offensive team that has yet to play against much defense. Nebraska should have the skill and defensive knowledge to press the Jays. The Huskers intensity has been good for the past few games but need to control it. Our boys need to reel in the fouls to make it more of a complete game.
If the Huskers come out aggressive defensively and shake the scoring droughts they should be able to walk away from Century Link with a win. However, if the shots go dry and the crowd at Century Link gets into the game things could take a turn for the worse.