How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow
Game Time: 1:30pm CT
Location: CenturyLink Center, Omaha, NE
Radio: 1620AM the Zone & 101.9FM the Keg in Omaha / 540AM in Milwaukee
Odds & Ends
Creighton opened as a 6 point favorite, but has since moved down to 5 points according to OddShark.
Over/Under set at 163.
If you need help with your gambling addiction might I suggest taking those sweet dollars you’re going to waste on betting on a college game and instead donate it to your local starving blogger. I know quite a few who could use the money and it’s very legal!
Creighton and Marquette have played 82 times in their illustrious history with the Golden Eagles holding a 50-32 advantage in the series. The two have played at least once every decade since the 1920’s, excluding 2000-2010 due to the rise of the internet, and were once conference mates in the North Central Conference back in the aforementioned 1920’s.
The first ever game betwixt these two institutions took place on February 9th, 1923, with Creighton winning at home 24-9. On that same day, the newly elected Prime Minister of Australia resigned his role due to the opposing party refusing to govern in lieu of his policies, forcing the Prime Minister’s party to ask for his resignation so the country could operate at a partisan level.
Since Creighton joined the BIG EAST, the Jays hold a 4-2 record over the Golden Eagles, with three of those games finishing with a margin of five points or less.
Verba de Ludis
Marquette is better than their record indicates.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, Marquette is arguably the worst team in conference when it comes to closing games. You know that famous quote from Glengarry Glen Ross where Alec Baldwin gives his “coffee is for closers” speech? Let’s just say that the Golden Eagles have been drinking a lot of tea this year. In games against Seton Hall and Butler, both potential tournament teams, Marquette got a sizable lead and then stood around and let both teams come back and win.
Maybe they’re not a second half team. Maybe Wojo doesn’t make proper adjustments in the second half to stymie dribble-drives. Maybe Marquette just gets tired and starts thinking about the upcoming baseball season. Maybe it’s psychological or physical or metaphysical or spiritual but they did it against Pitt as well and Pitt just lost to Syracuse so by the transitive property Marquette just doesn’t have a great resume if you look only at their losses.
At the same time, they’ve got some decent wins. To grit it out against Seton Hall in their second go around was commendable. To kick the shit out of Georgetown and DePaul made me raise my thumb high into the air and whisper, “good job.”
Marquette likes to shoot threes. They love it. They typically pass the ball around the perimeter, sort of like the Globetrotters, waiting for a defender to slip and bail on a defensive assignment leaving a guy like Katin Reinhardt wide open for three. They move quickly with a bit of reckless abandon, an offense moving like a well tuned orchestra at first then slowly devolving into a jazz set as the panic begins to set in.
Marquette features an interesting lineup with a highly talented, born in 1999, point guard in Markus Howard. He’s 5’11 and lightning quick but can occasionally get flustered and make mistakes, as his AST/TO so far stands at 37/28. He’s got a lot of room to grow but he’s still just a freshman.
The Golden Eagles put gigantic stone handed human Luke Fischer in the middle and attempt to feed him in the post.
They’ve got JaJuan Johnson, who offers a slashing/midrange threat for the Eagles as well as a bit of senior leadership.
Fresh face and budding star Sam Hauser has been excellent so far this year, shooting nearly 50% from the field, gobbling up much needed rebounds, and playing above-average defense. Just a freshman, he’s been an asset for this growing group of rag tag bombers.
Haanif Cheatham has been his usual self, shooting a pretty decent 46% from the field while having the ability to go off on any particular night. It’ll be interesting to see how the Jays will play him defensively since they’ve seen him a few times before.
The Creighton basketball season has entered a new era.
The journey into the unknown started on Tuesday and will come to a conclusion this afternoon at the CenturyLink Center. There will be fans on the edge of their seats in anticipation of who will get their name announced as the starting point guard. There hasn’t been an air of mystery like this in quite some time.
Will it be the veteran shooting guard slotting in at the ‘1’ in Isaiah Zierden? Will it be the newcomer, the kid from North Carolina, the heir to the throne in Davion Mintz? Will there be shock and awe if it’s a dark horse like former high school point guard and Swiss army knife in Ronnie Harrell Jr.?
I took a twitter poll to get the fan’s perspective and this is what was foretold:
who would you like to see as Creighton's starting PG on Saturday?— alex sindelar (@crimebait) January 19, 2017
The audience will be captivated, journalists with their fingers at a keyboard ready to fire off a tweet for the masses to see, PA announcer with a forceful tone as the name rings out. Oh, the drama! The intrigue! There hasn’t really been a made-for-tv moment like this in modern Creighton basketball and the fans aren’t prepared. No one is.
Losing Maurice Watson Jr. is like losing your car keys in a mosh pit at Bonnaroo on the first day with all of your camping supplies locked inside. There’s going to be a bit of adventure to get to those supplies there after a day of adrenaline spent, but you’re probably going to sleep on the ground and cry until the ecstasy runs its course.
There’s a lot of talk about the Bluejays’ season starting over anew, that they’re 1-0 in the Post-Mo era, that nothing before matters and only games going forward count. There’s a bit of truth to that. There’s a bit of unfairness to it as well.
This will be the first test. Pass it, and the speculation will dwindle and Creighton’s stock will remain the same. Fail it miserably and the #hottakes will be coming in every direction so quickly that your hair will burst into flames.
Regardless, this defense is still stout. Justin Patton will still protect the rim. Khyri Thomas will still shut down the opposition’s best player. Marcus Foster will still pick pockets and slam a ball through the rim with ferocity.
Cole Huff and Toby Hegner will still box out, nail jumpers, make post plays, and do all the dirty things that got them to where they are. When Cole Huff drains that first iso three after a couple jab steps on a face off you’ll be overcome with a sense of familiarity. He does it so often so well that you’re going to realize that he can do a lot of things just by being Cole Huff.
We’re behind the looking glass with this Bluejays squad. It’ll be interesting to see what happens on the other side.