How are things out in Omaha? After losing Mo Watson Jr. for the season and then losing at home to Marquette, just how panicked are Creighton fans right now?
To be real honest I think things in Omaha aren't going to bad. The National Media has taken a liking to saying the Jays postseason aspirations are sinking like the Titanic. However the locals are feeling pretty good about things even after the loss against Marquette. I think the fans aren't necessarily panicked but all have different opinion on how Watson is replaced long term. Some answers came out of Saturday
The offense took a half to get used to the new Isaiah Zierden/Davion Mintz point guard setup. Zierden, the fifth year senior, started at PG but a few minutes in, Mintz came in and made an impact right away. Mintz had no fear taking it to the rim like Watson would do and while he wasn't always able to finish like he did, he drew fouls and went to the line and made shots. Mintz probably drew about 10 fouls from Marquette players. He put up Watson like numbers with 17 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds while only committing 2 turnovers. Pretty good for not playing extended minutes all season up to that point. Played 26 minutes on Saturday.
Similarly Zierden was able to find his shot again going 4-4 from behind the arc and getting fouled on another, making all 3, to have a perfect shooting day from the field. Whether it is Mintz pushing it, Zierden slowing things down if needed, or both of them in the game at the same time, there are definitely options on offense.
Unfortunately, because the focus of the week was to get Zierden and Mintz ready on offense, the defensive preparation took a hit and it showed against a highly efficient Marquette team. By the time the offense was clicking a little more, it was too much of a hole to dig out of.
Where do you think Creighton can go for the rest of the season? The Jays looked like a potential Final Four threat before Watson went down, but what would your expectations be for this team going forward?
I think Creighton can still go where people were projecting them, but it is more about whether others step up to take a more vocal lead since Watson was always talking. Creighton is really a veteran team with several 4 or 5 year players and expect to have Senior Zach Hanson back in the coming weeks. Fresh legs down low to spell Justin Patton and a bigger body in the post at times will be helpful and bring back another leader in experience and in voice.
Even though others have written them off, I think they will be out to prove something and with the right matchups could make a deep run. Final Four? Maybe not as confident anymore but if Creighton still finishes in the top 2 of the Big East, I wouldn't count them out.
Who will need to step up for the Jays in Watson's absence and how do you think they match up against Georgetown?
Marcus Foster is the one many are looking to and he maybe tried to do a little too much on Saturday taking 24 shots to score 30 points. At the same time though he played in tough situations while at K-State and came up big.
A big key though is to watch how Justin Patton does. While he has been magnificent this season so far, the last few games have shown some signs of hitting that Freshman wall that most usually do at some point in the season. It started in the Butler game a bit, and was a little more evident on Saturday against Marquette when he was saddled with fouls trouble all game, making some fixable mistakes and a learning experience. He needs to stay out of foul trouble, especially since Hanson is still a couple weeks from being back. With Georgetown big down low, he has to be smart about his play. It is a tough matchup in the paint, probably more for Creighton on defense.
Speaking of the Hoyas, have you had the chance to watch Georgetown's season unfold? Noted basketball expert Sean Spicer has said that we've been having a tremendous season so far. Do you think this is true, or is this just an alternative fact?
Can I say this--it is like watching a dumpster fire. Since Creighton has joined the Big East I have been high on the Hoyas each season only to be completely disappointed. They ended the Big East winning streak to start the non-confidence season and continue to lose games they shouldn't while somehow still beating old Big East rivals. Since that loss against Dunk City in the NCAA Tourney first round a few years ago, it has seemed downhill ever since despite the talent they are able to get. At some point it has to be coaching, right?
Over here, people have grown very frustrated with the program at large, and one of those qualms has been with the relatively hostile way Georgetown's program has treated the media. Greg McDermott, on the other hand, seems to be pretty active on Twitter. Do you see a benefit to doing that? How much of a role do you think it plays in making Creighton fans like him more?
It is so fun to see a coach so interactive with the fan base and being able to relate to how they feel and what they are thinking. McDermott always seems to say the right things at the right time and yet can have fun too, even joking with his players in social media. I don't think anyone wants him to even think about leaving for a long time and retire here. As much as the fan base loved and still love Dana Altman, McDermott is definitely the right coach for Creighton now. While Altman launched the program to new heights, McDermott has helped or evolve.
The Super Bowl is now officially set. Falcons vs. Patriots. Matty Ice vs. the Deflator. Who 'ya got?
Hands down the Falcons. Tom Brady and the Patriots are pompous rats just like an old radio host that used to cover the Jays in Omaha several years ago that was from that area.
What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten for breakfast? This can be either a peculiar food item or something that might be considered a better fit for lunch and dinner. Please spare as few details as possible.
I'm honestly sitting here for the last five minutes stumped. I'm pretty normal. I guess the strangest thing is with my son's scout troop they put eggs, ham, cheese, and veggies in individual plastic bags and they threw it in a pot over a fire while camping and then pulled them out and ate breakfast out of the bag. Pretty boring, yep.
Confess to us the one TV show, film, or song you consider to be your guilty pleasure.
Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Baskets. Sunny is like the modern day Seinfeld that I can relate to. Baskets has quirky humor that if anyone that knows me knows it fits me to a T.
Final score prediction?
I think Casual Hoya tweeted something crazy like the Hoyas have lost 16 straight Big East games to teams not names Blue Demons or Red Storm. It is Creighton's responsibility to keep that streak alive. Now that the offense has implemented their adjustments, after a couple days of focusing again on defense, Creighton can get their first win at the Verizon Center. They won't blow another double-digit lead in the final minutes like last year. Creighton 87, Hoyas 76.
It should be a good one on Wednesday night.