QUICK SCOUTING REPORT ON CREIGHTON!!
Andy Mac Williams,
Xavier opens their 7 game February schedule Super Bowl Sunday afternoon against Creighton in Omaha(1PM EST-Fox Sports Ohio). "Must win" is sort of a ridiculous overused sports cliché IMHO. What happens if X does not win at Creighton? Do they cancel the rest of the schedule and kick the Muskies out of the BIG EAST?? Obviously, a Muskie win in Omaha would be primo on several levels. 4 game winning streaks are nasty. 4-6 in the BIG East is better than 3-7. NCAA hopes probably rest on at least 9-9 in the conference heading to NYC and the BIG East Tournament. Winning at CHI Health Arena is far from a given. The Blue Jays win over 80% of their games in Omaha. The placed will be rocking with an SRO crowd of 18,000 plus.
CU "lets it fly" especially on their home court(83PPG-42% from three- #7 NCAA-47% of their shots from outside the arc-15th most in D-1). Creighton is 12-9 overall-3-5 BIG EAST-7-5 at home.
The Jays are 1-3 in BE home games with a recent win over Butler and losses to Marquette in OT(106-104)-Villanova 90-78 and last Wednesday 83-67 to St Johns. Creighton died by the three vs the Johnnies(9-34) and failed to get the ball inside(7-15 FTs) and turned it over 14 times.
If they get things rocking in Omaha though, watch out. CU is very young with no impact Seniors. They lost two great guards(Khyri Thomas early to the pros) and Marcus Foster(to Graduation). BIG Toby Hegner graduated also and valuable energy bunny BIG Ronnie Harrell transferred to U of Denver.
The PG is a Frosh(6-2 Marcus Zegarowski). 6-3 Junior Davion Mintz is a prime ball handler also. Their top scorer is 6-5 Sophomore Ty-shon Alexander(Oak Hill Academy-18PPG-reigning BE Player of the Week).
6-5 Soph Mitch Ballock does everything(11PPG-4REBS-4 assists). 6-9 Martin Krampelj is their lone BIG starter(11PPG-6 Rebs). He runs the floor well despite 3 ACL surgeries. Depth has been hurt by injuries. 7 footer Jacob Epperson is out as is 6-5 Wing Damien Jefferson.
7 foot Aussie Sampson Froing is the main inside sub along with 6-7 Christain Bishop. Top guard sub is Syracuse transfer Kaleb Joesph.
How will X respond to the loss at Georgetown and the quick Thursday-Sunday turn around?? The team returned to Cincinnati after the DC game and departed again Saturday for Omaha.
Coach Travis Steele was not anamored with the G-town game re turnovers-settling for threes in the second half and disconnected defense. Friday's Cintas practice was very demanding.
The marching orders are clear for XU against Creighton. Control tempo! Muddy the game up! Keep CU out of transition! Chase them off the three point arc!! Pound the ball into Tyrique and Zach and kill then with twos and FTS. Easier said than done when the Blue Jays start raining in threes off the fast break!