Some Things I Know; Some Things I Don’t
It has become increasingly more difficult to gauge what Creighton basketball is. Is it an offensive juggernaut like in the old days? Is it a basketball team in transition? Is it a bowl of Rainier Cherries sitting on the veranda next to an ice cold pale ale? Is it a figment of yours and I’s collective imaginations? Is it a vegetable? Is it your friend’s dad’s shotgun that he polishes nightly? Is it a series of buzzwords in a corporate meeting? Is it fun like a bun in the sun? Is it running like a bobsled team on the fifth of June? Is it liquid? Gas? Solid? Is it the o-zone? Is it a full ashtray on a bar patio? Is it tangible? Is it your favorite thing? Is it my darkest fear? Is it a helium filled balloon without a string? Is it a cup of hot chocolate masquerading as a cup of coffee? Is it a burnt out lightbulb in your favorite lamp? Is it my ex girlfriend’s notebook full of swear words and bad haikus? Is it smelly like a full, stale mop bucket that’s been sitting in the corner of a butcher’s shop for the past six weeks, the butcher refusing to change the water out because it’s a “science experiment” that he wants to check on daily? Is it good? Is it a lemon wedge on a hot salad? Is it barbecue sauce on a hot pocket? Is it a book that you haven’t read yet?
How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow
Game Time: 6pm CT
Location: CHICO, Omaha, NE
Stream: Fox Sports GO
Radio: 1620AM the Zone in Omaha / 1460AM in Columbus
White & Blue Review - Creighton
Odds & Ends
Ohio State is favored by one point according to Odds Shark. That means that if you’re going to place bets on this game you should put all of your money into an incinerator because that’s where you’re going to end up when you die.
Over/under set at 147. I don’t mean that you’re going to be cremated in the incinerator since that’s entirely your call - as long as you have a will and testament, otherwise you’ll be tossed into a pauper’s grave or taken to the top floor of the Woodmen Tower and become a victim of defenestration - but you’re going to hell if you place bets on a sport in which the participating competitors are paid zero dollars and just wanted to spend their late teens/early twenties in a nice place to learn things and meet good looking and like minded people and maybe do something that would make their mom cry.
Creighton and Ohio State have met eight times in their history. Creighton took three consecutive L’s to start the series, which started in 1936, but have won the last two outings with the last one occurring on November 24th, 2004.
That game in late November of twenty-aught four went into overtime and featured a game winning jumper by Tyler McKinney to win the Guardian’s Classic in Kansas City, MO.
In that game, Ohio State had a nine point lead with just under nine minutes remaining. Creighton star shooting guard Nate Funk was having himself a bad day, shooting just 3-13 from the field. In those final nine minutes Funk refused to shoot, knowing he was cold as ice, and proceeded to dish the ball to Johnny Mathies, Dane Watts, Jeff Day, and McKinney.
The selflessness led to a scoring explosion and within four minutes the score was knotted up at 48-48.
In the final moments, with the game proceeding in a nip-and-tuck fashion, the Jays seemingly secured a two point lead to walk off with the win only for JJ Sullinger to sink a jumper with twelve seconds remaining. Johnny Mathies had an opportunity to win the game at the buzzer, fired one up as time expired, but to no avail.
With all the momentum in the world, Creighton sprinted out to a five point lead in overtime. Tony Stockman then put the Buckeyes on his back and tied the game with 16 seconds left. McKinney then took the ball down court, with no timeouts holding him back, and sank a shot with five seconds left. Ohio State never got a shot up as time expired, giving the Jays a tournament title.
Verba de Ludis
Ohio State is going to play small. They’re thin in the frontcourt, which means that Martin Krampelj, Samson Froling, and Jacob Epperson should have all the opportunities in the world to score points.
What remains is what lineup works best for the Bluejay backcourt. Is it the young one with Marcus Zegarowski, Mitch Ballock, and Ty-Shon Alexander? Do you go with veterans in Connor Cashaw, Davion Mintz, and Kaleb Joseph? Do you go with size and deploy Alexander, Ballock, and Jefferson? Do you go small with Zeggy, Mintz, and Alexander? Do you let Christian Bishop free and put him into the backcourt to gain even more size? Do you burn Jett Canfield’s redshirt and run him out there with all three big guys playing at once? Do you stack the guards on each other’s shoulders and pretend they’re one player? Do you disband the basketball team all together and form a world-class curling team? Do you let Jordan Scurry run out there and take as many 3’s as he possibly can so the crowd can get their money’s worth?
It’s hard to predict that Creighton’s going to do x or y and have the confidence that it’s going to be accurate. They’re just a bunch of young people trying to do good but don’t have the life experience to do that, so it just looks like a muddled mess at times and a perfectly cromulent execution of Greg McDermott’s basketball style at others. Ty-Shon’s heroics against ETSU puts a spotlight on him to do good in crunch time, but when there’s no opportunity for crunchiness, will this team just flail in the wind like a hot fart on a cold day, or will they fight the good fight for dignity’s sake?
The Jays managed to scrap and fight against an ok ETSU team, yet for 32 minutes of the ballgame they trailed and looked not great on the offensive side of the floor. There were passes that were thrown out of bounds due to miscommunication, a bunch of hero ball possessions that ended in a forced shot, and a confusing opposition to run in transition and settle the ball in the half-court. It was bad. It wasn’t Creighton basketball. It was a funhouse mirror wrapped in a nightmare of what we, the observers, have come to expect from the Bluejay hoops team.
So, what do we do from here? Do we pick up a different hobby and call this a lost season as this ballcub meanders into mediocrity? Or do we retain hope in the youngsters, believing they’ll grow into superstars and lead this club to great heights? It’s difficult to gauge.
It’s difficult to predict.
OSU - 81 CU - 66
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