Look, I have to admit, I was a little scared of what Makai Mason and the Yale Bulldogs could potentially do to the Bluejays, who currently wade in the unknown waters of fragility at point guard and center. Yet, as with every voyage in the past, there’s always an unshakable and confident leader to navigate these troubled waters. With Creighton, this unflappable and grizzled leader of men was Khyri Thomas.
It certainly helped that, at gametime, Makai Mason was not slated to play, as well as their starting center.
In the first eleven seconds of the game, our hero Khyri shot and made a three point basket, assisted by fellow grizzled sea lieutenant Marcus Foster. This set some sort of tone, it struck a chord in the soul of the Jays, and Khyri was off and running. Through the first seven or so minutes, Khyri matched with a point per minute, adding an assist onto that, as the Jays built a 17-12 lead.
It took nearly 8 minutes for Marcus Foster to register his first point, a feat he accomplished with a mighty impressive drive to the hoop for a monstrous lay-in. Marcus Foster had finally awoken from his 8 minute slumber, and boy howdy he was hungry.
For the next 12 minutes of action Marcus would score 8 more points, finishing the half with 10, while getting two rebounds and two assists.
Whatever had plagued Martin Krampelj in those two exhibition games suddenly dissipated into the Slovenian mist. He quit dribbling into the ether, he quit passing to the other team, but most importantly, he started playing the ‘5’ like McDermott had designed, running the court and receiving lobs, or kicking out when he realized his post moves were futile. Although his box outs to gain defensive rebounds was non-existent, you can’t have everything, right?
When Yale cut the Jays’ lead to 20-18 it appeared that we were in for a rockfight. There was just over 11 minutes left in the half. For the sake of timeliness and your general interest in this recap, let’s skip ahead 8 minutes.
After a Marcus Foster layup, that turned into an and-one, the score was 38-27 Jays. Moments later, Khyri Thomas was tossing in a three pointer to put the Jays up 47:33.
This team can do amazing things on offense in a short amount of time, something they were able to do against a slow, shellshocked Yale Bulldog squad.
You can read all the finest rare books in a 10-story tall library. You can eat lunch with a former sitting president. You can do and see a lot of amazing things while a student at Yale, but these basketball players probably haven’t experienced anything as traumatizing as what happened to them in the second half.
Starting with a 47-35 lead at half the Jays came out... hot. Like, extraordinarily hot. It all unfolded so quickly with such veracity that they didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t miss a beat. It all started with a wicket pass from Marcus Foster to a waiting Davion Mintz in the corner, who deposited a three. Khyri Thomas then proceeded to hit back-to-back layups, followed by a dunk by Krampelj, a mid range jumper by TOBY! Hegner, then the media timeout commenced.
It was 58-46. Creighton missed one shot.
By the 7:17 mark Creighton was up 85-61. Life comes at you fast when you’re an Ivy Leaguer that has less qualifications than a midwest Jesuit University.
From then on, the Jays cruised. They enjoyed exceptional moments from guys like Kaleb Joseph, who had a steal and one handed slam to bring the crowd to its feet one final time.
Overall, the play of the Jays was mindblowingly good. If this is the sort of offense that they’re going to trot out every night then they’ve all but earned that preseason #5 slot in the BIG EAST.
Oh, and once again, Khyri Thomas is really, really good.