The obvious thing to say is that Creighton is a top #25 team and we should not be embarrassed or surprised at the result Friday night, a 51-71 loss in front of a 17,000 + in Omaha.
We have a new coach, a relatively new system, and a bunch of guys that haven’t had many regulation games with each other facing a tested, good team. We all know that seasons are journeys and improvement will come after 20 games. It still hurts to see your team get stomped. It also hurts to see that there is a ton of room for improvement.
Tony Mitchell went shot for shot with All-American Doug McDermott and block for block with Echenique, the big Venezuelan for the Blue Jays. It was elsewhere that we didn’t matchup well.
Jordan Williams and Alzee Williams combined to go 7-28 from the field. There’s no telling what the reason for this was. Jordan was aggressive like Benford wants him to be but just couldn’t find his shot. Alzee got to the line a few times and make a few nice baskets. It could be just bad luck. Hopefully it was just bad luck. Benford talked about the Creighton defense playing well . . . but then threw in a mention of “execution”. That is coach speak for “it wasn’t them, it was us. Also I want to be diplomatic.”
We can give the BlueJays lots of credit for being a good team and not letting us get away with sloppy execution and lazy plays. It will be a nice lesson going into the NIT and especially into the conference season.
If we fancy ourselves a Tournament team we have to learn these lessons fairly quickly. For now, we take what ever we can into Manhattan, Kansas for the pre-season NIT. There are some good opportunities to be had there and plenty of chances to forget this game.
So that is the rational way of thinking. Let’s talk about how we really feel. IT was a let down. With the football team still trying to climb out of the irrelevance hole we have all attached our Mean Green hopes and dreams on the Tony Mitchell ship. We know he will likely leave for The Association after this, making 2012-2013 our best chance to go do Tournament Damage.
For those you too young or too just joining us, that means further than a first round exit to a traditional powerhouse. Assuming we meet expectations we can at least reach our Rightful Place in the SBC title game (and win) with an unimpressive resume which will get us a low seed to face a team like . . . Creighton.
So while I wasn’t exactly expecting a win, I was hoping for something along the lines of that Texas Tech game last year. The one where Chris Jones dropped 31 points in Lubbock. Tech ended up being awful but we came away feeling really good about a loss. This time, I don’t feel so good. I can rationalize it, sure. I can’t feel good.
Next up we have Alabama-Huntsville in Manhattan, KS on Monday at 9:30pm.