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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Bluejays of Creighton

Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown look to begin its run to NCAA Tournament Glory with a Tuesday night tilt against Creighton, and as usual we here at THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON are bringing you everything you need to know about Georgetown's next opponent.  Here with us to dish on all things Bluejays is our blog buddy White and Blue Review, your trusted source for all of your Creighton needs. Let's do this!

So, are you guys good or what?

I think Creighton is finally to the point that fans wanted them to already be at when the season started.  There were several players that needed to find their roles, the introduction of a new point guard to run a high powered offense, whether Isaiah Zierden could really come back from another knee injury and last through the season, and whether the growth of Geoffrey Groselle in the post would continue into this season.  

I would say most of those questions have been answered.  

Maurice Watson started a little hot at the beginning at the season and he is now very comfortable with things and has been a key cog in the Bluejay victories in Big East play so far.  It was well on display against Butler on Saturday night.

Integration of new faces has been pretty good with Khyri Thomas as a freshman starter.  Although he has been quiet so far in Big East play, I still look for him to have some key contributions down the stretch finishing his first season in the Big East.  Toby Hegner has thrived in his role coming off the bench after starting most of last year and has covered well when Cole Huff has been struggling.  

Zierden has actually been pretty amazing for the fact that you would never know he had a knee issue.  He is basically playing 40 minutes a game and has improved as a defender, especially after holding off Kellen Dunham for pretty much the whole game on Saturday.

Groselle had a great non-conference and has had some bright spots in Big East play, but the emergence of Zach Hanson down low has complimented Groselle and the two of them together has been quite a force inside.  

I think it is safe to say at this point in the season, the Bluejays are really good and probably better than many expected.  It just took time to see it.  

In our 1st go-around, that pesky grad transfer guard of yours shredded our defense and made Hoyas fans cry. Are you surprised how good Maurice Watson has been or does he just appear to be the second coming of Iverson when he plays us?

Well the bad news for Georgetown is that Maurice is not a grad transfer, but a regular transfer.  So that means that Watson will be around next year too and may cause quite some pain to Georgetown for the next several meetings.  There were really high expectations coming into the season with how Watson was in practice while redshirting the year before and watching him play in summer league.  However, there was some transition time that the fans didn't account for and things were really rocky initially, especially in the Indiana game (which was the 3rd game of the season).  Since then, Watson has let the game come to him and each game he has improved just a little bit more and peaking at the right time.  Georgetown fans probably remember what they saw a couple weeks ago in the game in Omaha, but if you watched the 2nd half of the game against Butler on Saturday night, he looked even better.  

The challenge is to keep him out of foul trouble because he is so important to the flow of Creighton's offense.  Because of the foul trouble encountered in the first half of the Butler game, that is why his effectiveness was not seen until the second half, but it was a huge impact.  

Do you think Creighton makes the NCAA Tournament? Walk me through the rest of your regular season and tell me the wins and losses.

Right now, they may have little room for error if they are looking for an at-large bid.  Our bracketologist did a nice outline Monday morning ( on a couple possible scenarios if Creighton were to finish 11-7 in conference play what their chances would be depending on which games they ended up winning.  Right now it probably looks like Creighton will need to be better than 11-7 in Big East play to be in better contention for an at-large.  The other tough part is that 4 of the last 6 games are on the road.  However, with the way the whole conference has been winning more on the road than at home, maybe that is a good thing.  Here is how I see it breaking down at this point.  

@ Georgetown -- W
vs. Seton Hall-- W
@ Villanova -- L
vs. Depaul -- W 
vs. Xavier -- W
@ Marquette -- W
@ Butler-- L
vs. Marquette- W
vs. St. John's - W
@ Providence - L
@ Xavier - L

That scenario above puts them at 12-6 meaning that the Jays are holding serve at home while getting road wins at Georgetown on Tuesday and at Marquette.  But really, Creighton will need to steal at least one from the top four on the road since holding serve may not happen and to get a better look from the committee if sitting on that bubble.  It could be a tough task, but not impossible and with the way they are playing right now, anything can happen.     

What's wrong with Georgetown?

I can't really say since I haven't watched them too closely lately.  To me, looking at box scores, it looks like either Smith-Rivera needs to stop taking so many shots or someone else needs to be involved in the Georgetown offense.  If he is on then Georgetown is looking pretty good.  If he has an off night where he has double digit shot attempts, not good.  Shutting him down is the focus of opposing defenses and although the rest of the team is young, they need to step up.  

Who do you like in the Super Bowl?

I hate both the Broncos and Patriots, so I didn't care who one the AFC.  I guess that means I am pulling for Carolina.  But since we are in hoops season does it really matter?  Give me a good commercial and we all win.  

What TV/Netflix shows are you watching these days? Anything casual we should be aware of?

Started watching Shades of Blue on NBC.  Let's just say J-Lo still has it.  

Curses to Showtime.  They had a free preview last weekend and my wife and I started watching Shameless.  Now we're trying to figure out how to catch up on the rest of the series without needing to subscribe to Showtime.  

Other than that, any of the Marvel and DC Comics shows that are currently on, you can't go wrong.  It helps that my kids are really into them and I can live out the excitement I had watching the cartoons and reading the comics while growing up now on TV and the Big Screen.

Rank the Big East coaches in terms of who you'd want coaching your squad in a win or go home game.

1. Ed Cooley (Providence)--Somehow the guy can win with the teams he has in the three years I have been watching the Big East and I'd let him coach my team for a win or go home game.

2. Greg McDermott (Creighton)--The thing I have always enjoyed about McDermott is his ability to take a timeout and have an effective play out of the timeout.  Maybe not so much since Doug was around, but still can draw up the play where needed.  It is whether the team can execute it.  

3. Chris Mack (Xavier)-- All the coaches that they have had over the years, they continue to win.  Mack got Xavier off to a huge start this season and he could coach my squad.

Don't have any comments on the rest, but here is the rest of my order.
4. Jay Wright
5. John Thompson III
6. Chris Holtmann
7. Steve Wojciechowski
8. Kevin Willard
9. Dave Leitao
10. Chris Mullin

Final score prediction?

I'm kind of concerned with the weather and how Creighton's flight goes to DC.  They may start things out a little slow and that may cause some troubles for them.  However, with the teams winning conference games on the road, I'm content to go with Creighton pulling out the victory on the road and continuing their winning streak with a 75-64 victory.