Thursday, November 26, 2009

GBMW: Michigan Men's Basketball Preview -- Creighton vs. Michigan

Creighton vs. Michigan at the "Old Spice Classic"

Go Blue Michigan Wolverine -- Preview -- Creighton Jays

Preview of Thanksgiving Creighton versus Michigan Basketball Game

The game is at noon on ESPN 2 and is the opening game of the Old Spice Classic from Orlando, Florida. Many across the nation will start a triple-header of NFL football, but Michigan hoops fans will receive an early present.

Creighton is a very good basketball team. Last year the team won 27 games as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, an excellent league. The team was not selected to go to the NCAA tournament, becoming the only major basketball conference team to not be selected with 27 victories in tournament history. Draw your own conclusions.

Creighton is 2 and 1 this year, losing to Dayton, a very good basketball team with a high probability of being an NCAA team. Games like this will be Creighton’s smell this opportunity to notch a couple of scalps that the selection committee could not downplay.

Creighton is a small Jesuit University in Omaha of about 7,000 students, similar to Gonzaga and Xavier. The athletic program is rather large and as could be assumed by a university of this nature noted for compliance, graduation rates, and high scholarship. The school has played before nearly 16,000 at home and averages more home attendance than some Big Ten schools. Strangely Michigan will play another Jesuit school, Marquette or Xavier, in the second round, play Boston College and Detroit, other Jesuit schools, immediately after the tournament.

Dana Altman has coached Creighton for quite a while and is in the thinking man’s school much like Coach B. of Michigan. Coach Altman has won almost two thirds of his games while coaching Creighton. The figure .667 is a very high benchmark in any type of coaching. His team will hit you with many strategies and hit you with a wave of players. It is probably better to play Creighton first rather than on day three. There have been injuries and as expected the extent in relation to the tourney will not likely be known until game time.

Three starters return and from what has been read Creighton has several new players who are playing very well, including three JC transfers. Currently five players are averaging double figures this young season, demonstrating balance that coaches dream about.

Coaches love such early season tournaments unless the result is an O for three trip. More than anything, coaches find out quite a bit about their team. Something always goes against a team, whether it be bad calls, some opponent plays the game of his life, fatigue and tired legs or the hoop becomes the size of a cereal bowl, there will be adversity to be overcome.

This game is also very important for Michigan. The schedule is brutal and Michigan must split the tough games and the conference schedule as well to make the NCAA tournament. Come March the Wolverines will almost certainly possess one of the better RPI’s in the nation. But this does no good unless a sufficient number of W’s are logged.

It would make sense for Michigan to get guys open behind the arc early and it would make sense for Creighton to test Michigan’s ability to withstand pressure. Many of you will see young Mr. Darius Morris for the first time. His job will be to get his teammates into position to beat Creighton and not contribute to a Creighton win. It will not take long to see that Coach B got a good one. Matt Vogrich is not chopped meat either. He needs some physical development and strength, but fortunately he is playing basketball, not linebacker. Matt is one of those few that no rational human would ever play in a horse game, unless a guy can make about 25 in a row behind the arc in warm-up conditions. Who among you remembers Rick Mount? Matt can get on a roll like Rick Mount from outside, but Matt will never be asked to shoot 30 times a game like Rick sometimes did. Rick was one of two reasons why there was no three-point line back in the days (late 60’s early 70’s). The number one reason was a guy named Pete Maravich.

This should be some good hoops and hopefully UM can come away with some tournament building wins, and not the dreaded O for three.

Thanks for stopping by Go Blue Michigan Wolverine
If you have any questions please E-Mail

Written by Doc4blu and ErocWolverine

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