11.20.2009 / From the Creighton Athletic Office, The Voice of Billy Bluejay.

As much as I would not like to say it, the home opener on Tuesday against Florida A&M felt like a third exhibition game. It is a difficult task for teams like FAMU. Most of the programs in the low-major conferences such as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) play virtually their entire non-conference schedule on the road in so-called "guarantee" games to collect funds used to keep their respective athletic departments afloat.

"This game will have to serve as an opportunity to tune their performance as the big test in Orlando loom for the holiday week."

This certainly doesn't lend itself to competitive basketball, however. As expected, the Jays got out to a quick and large lead then tended to lose focus in the second half as the contest was well in hand and the opponent defeated.

Also, the trends that have established themselves early have continued:
Darryl Ashford continued to put together a solid stat-line from the wing, Ethan Wragge continues to hit shots, Wayne Runnels gets to the glass consistently and P'Allen Stinnett is showing more of a commitment to setting up plays for his teammates than he ever has in his career. There was a bit of shortness of breath early in the second half, with Antoine Young on the sideline with a banged knee. However, Coach Altman seemed confident in the press conference that Antoine was fine and would be ready come Sunday afternoon.

This Sunday's contest should carry a bit more of an edge than most of the early season home dates against competition from lesser conferences did. The Jays lost last year in a road trip against Arkansas-Little Rock. While I doubt the team will take the floor looking to even the score, the loss in Little Rock can easily be seen as one of the primary deficiencies that left the Jays watching on Selection Sunday.

The Trojans have lost both contests against Division-I competition this year, losing at Ole Miss and at Tulsa. As much of a concern rebounding has been this year, it was the inability of Creighton to assert itself on the glass last year in Arkansas that was a key driver of UALR's second half comeback. Plus, the Trojans have started the year outrebounding teams by an approximate 4.5 margin a game.

This game will serve as an opportunity to tune their performance as the big tests in Orlando loom for the holiday week. It should be a great Sunday matinee at the arena!

How do you think the Jays are doing so far? Do you have any early predications for the Orlando tournament? Please share them.

Posted at 03:03 PM | Permalink
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