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Preview: North Florida v Creighton

Big East Basketball Media Day Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images


Game time: 1pm CT

Location: Omaha, NE

Weather at tip-off: 54° fahrenheit, northeast wind at 8mph. Partly sunny skies.

TV: FS1 or Fox Sports App

Radio: 1620am / 101.9fm / 1620 the Zone app feat the voice of Xmus Jaxon Flaxon-Waxon Bishop.


You’ve probably already heard about North Florida by now. It’s been nearly inescapable since Creighton took a twenty point lead roughly four minutes into their blowout win against Cal Poly. The narrative. The clichés. The references to Creighton’s mantra of Letting It Fly. That this was going to be the pinnacle of three point shooting.

Maybe you haven’t heard about this. That’s really too bad, it’s been a nauseating narrative that nincompoops and ne’re-do-wells nonchalantly nosh on. Well, here’s the skinny for the uninitiated:

North Florida jacks up threes like their family’s, dog’s, favorite teacher’s, best friend’s, neighborhood trash men’s, girlfriend’s, and boyfriend’s lives depend on it. Their acronym - the University of North Florida - is literally the sound one makes when throwing a ball a great distance - UNF! 53% of their points this season have come from behind the arc, good for first in all of Division One college basketball. In terms of three-point field goals attempted, they’re fifth in the country. They chuck a lot of threes and make 40.5% of them.

They operate at a similarly quick clip in regards to Creighton. On average this season, they’ve managed to cobble together offensive possessions lasting roughly 17 seconds. Their primary shooters are Ivan Gandia-Rosa and JT Escobar, who have combined for a 27-60 shooting clip from beyond the arc. This Osprey team doesn’t feature a lot of length; their tallest contributor is Josh Endicott - a reserve player that only contributes 38% of the time. Otherwise, it’s a team full of sharp shooters other than 6’7 Dorian James, who has only lifted up two threes this season - making one.

That’s what makes this an enthralling tale of basketball. North Florida is what Creighton is going to be until Denzel Mahoney and Davion Mintz come back. They’re the TJ Maxx version of the Bluejays, a group of chuckers in Jacksonville that don’t have the polish or top-shelf Von Maur talent that Creighton happens to carry.

There will be a lot of long rebounds unless the Ospreys can take full advantage of the soft rims at the CHI Center. Regardless, we’re in for a treat. Even Carter Hendrickson, a 6’7 sophomore, has managed to bang through nearly 40% of his threes this season. It’s uncanny that these two teams were matched up in a pseudo-tournament scenario.

Ospreys are fucking bad ass. They’re the hawks of the sea, patrolling the waters to catch fish in their beaks and feast upon delicious aquamarine animals. We’ve become so accustomed to red-tailed hawks following our every move - whether it’s our commute to work or just swooping in to kill those god forsaken, piece of shit rabbits that keep eating our garden. God I fucking hate those rabbits. Year after year I plant tomatoes and yet there’s some real piece of shit rabbit gnawing away at the fruit of my labor. I say that every home deserves a hawk of their own, just to balance out the god damn overpopulation of rabbits.

But wait, you say, what do you do with the infestation of hawks? If there are so many hawks that they start picking off small dogs and cats due to desperation, what do you do control the population of hawks?

Look, this isn’t a philosophical debate. The way I see it, the more hawks you have the better quality of life. It gets rid of everything that’s unnecessary in this world, including your chihuahua. I’m sick and tired of hearing those yip-yip dogs in the morning and I want justice to be served.

Now you’re upset. You love your small dog and you’d hate for it to get carried away by a hawk. But just think about this - you’d have your own personal hawk. That’s a helluva lot better than some cat-sized dog. You can take really cool photos of your hawk. Hawks are badass. Small dogs, under 20lbs, are just a waste of time and money. Get a cat. A cat can defend itself pretty well against a bird of prey, even if it loses. You honestly think your shih tzu is going to defend its honor against a creature greater than it?

Fuck no.

Verba de Ludis

It’s hard to explain how to properly view this basketball season through the correct lens. What, exactly, are your expectations?

Me, personally, would prefer that the remainder of the season - especially this game - be played in arena that can turn gravity off.

I know, you’ve already clicked out of the page. Good for you.

The idea that there are sharpshooters all over the court for Creighton leads one’s mind to daydreaming about what they’d look like in a zero-gravity situation. Mitch Ballock and Ty-Shon Alexander floating freely, bouncing off of walls, and pushing the ball towards the goal? That sounds ideal.

Yet with the surging Marcus Zegarowski and his lauded three-point percentage, you’ve got to respect his abilities. If you’re floating in space and you’ve got momentum and an open shot, who do you go to?

At this point you’ve got to pick Ballock, but Zeggy is a close second. Ty-Shon is your go-getter. Kelvin Jones just floats aimlessly, asking if beef and potatoes are the perfect pair to a dinner dish. Against a chucking team like North Florida and holy shit you’ve got the greatest no-gravity matchup ever conceived.

We’ll get to that point. It won’t be with the current roster of players, or the next one, but once I get my billion dollars after we take down the billionaire class, I’ll finally be able to implement this system. Elon Musk will be grovelling at my feet, begging me for an opportunity to be involved with basketball without gravity. I’d just kick him in the fucking mouth and tell him to re-design a truck with a child on minecraft again so his stock would plummet.

Please, I know one of my readers personally knows Warren Buffett. I’m looking at you Mike. Hook it up. Just get me a cool bil’ and I’ll get you basketball without gravity. No questions asked.

Song of the day - Neon Experience by Júníus Meyvant