There’s not a lot to say about this one. Truman State came out completely overmatched, and except for a small portion of time where the Jays’ offense was completely out of sync in the final 4 minutes of the first half, they completely controlled this game from the opening tip.
Creighton had far superior athleticism even in their reserves, as they maneuvered their offense with ease while the Bulldogs labored on the defensive end.
What you miss in the box score was the look of overwhelming fear permeating from the tired faces of the Truman State players. As the game tipped off they each took a moment to soak in the atmosphere, yet the jittery smiles that momentarily crept on their faces as “Thunderstruck” rang out was the primal indication of nervous energy rattling through their veins.
I must admit that this added a bit of unease for the observer as the Bulldogs played with a trepidation and discomfort while operating at a seemingly junior high level compared to the talent and vigor in which the Jays play with.
No matter how many times Truman State attempted to double team the paint, they had nary a man on their squad to measure up to towering center Justin Patton. Patton eviscerated the Bulldogs down low, scoring at will and finishing the game with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The rest of the Creighton lineup scored at will, other than the aforementioned 4 minute slump in the first half, and were pulled to allow the reserves to wheel and deal for a bulk of the second half. Maurice Watson Jr., only played 20 minutes while compiling 9 points and six assists.
Marcus Foster led all scorers with a fantastic night from the field, going 9-11 for 21 points. He started the first half off with a three and started the second half with a dunk. He managed to get some “ooo’s” and “aaaahhh’s” as he slammed home a windmill dunk, his presence on the court proving too much for the D-II opponent, thus he played 18 minutes.
Martin Krampelj played some solid minutes backing up Justin Patton, though his size advantage was paramount to his success. There were multiple times where he’d get an offensive rebound and simply put it back up without making a “basketball move.” He towered over the Truman State reserves and finished with 7 points.
Davion Mintz got a bunch of minutes which correlated with some excellent play as he scored nine points while collecting three assists to just one turnover. After the game he talked a bit about how he’s progressed since the holiday break, noting that his defensive assignment in practice is some point guard named Wop, adding a degree of difficulty to a growing and prosperous player.
My favorite part of the night was the minutes played by Ronnie ‘Spaceman Slim’ Harrell Jr. In just 13 minutes of action he scored 9 points, including these two monstrous dunks:
DON'T BE SHY, RONNIE! #GoJays #TakeFlight #BIGEASThoops pic.twitter.com/KaeyY35Ecs— Creighton Basketball (@BluejayMBB) January 14, 2017
DON'T BE SHY, RONNIE! (Part II) #GoJays #TakeFlight #BIGEASThoops pic.twitter.com/ZZFovHN9Ds— Creighton Basketball (@BluejayMBB) January 14, 2017
During the preseason practices I surmised that Harrell would get a bulk of minutes throughout the season backing up Cole Huff, yet that prediction hasn’t come to fruition. Coach McDermott noted after the game that Mintz and Harrell are guys he’s pegged to be, “always ready,” and that he foresees opportunities for the two of them to get some minutes.
Overall, this was a game. That was about it. Not necessarily a competitive game, but a game nonetheless.