11.04.2010 / The Bluejays Get Ready to Kick-off a New Season. Posting by Brian Kooienga, Creighton Mens Basketball Graduate Manager

The clock is ticking for the first Creighton basketball game of the season. I would like to start the first entry in the 2010-2011 First National Bluejay Gameday blog postings by welcoming every one of our fans to what is going to be an exciting season in a new era of Creighton Basketball.

"It is not about where you are picked at the start of the season, but where you finish it, said McDermott."

So you’re probably wondering what postings you can expect to see- right?  Well, let me explain what we will be blogging about and how it will develop over the course of the season. We’ll be posting articles on the blog before every home game and will provide you, our loyal readers, interesting notes from practice, road trips, games, and any other insight that will make your Bluejay Basketball experience that much more exciting. 

Contributing to the blog postings will be Erik Crawford (Director of Operations), Nathan Wieseler (Video Coordinator), and myself, Brian Kooienga (Graduate Manager). With all of our daily interactions with the players and coaches on the team, we hope we will be able to provide a unique perspective that will allow this blog to entertain and inform. Ok, now that all the formal introductions and explanations are done, we would like to welcome all of our readers to the 2010-2011 First National Bluejay Blog, we hope you enjoy the series and check back often!

This being the first entry for the year, we will go over a quick preview of the team, and then a profile of our new coaching staff. With many new faces on the roster and coaching staff, we will run a special segment on each coach and player in the following weeks, which will allow for a much more in depth look at each individual and what they are bringing to the court this year. 

Coaching Profiles:
First things first, we need to talk about our new head coach, Greg McDermott. No stranger to the Missouri Valley Conference, Coach McDermott (or Coach Mac as he is also called) returns to the MVC after a 4 year stop in Ames, Iowa, at Iowa State University. While in Ames, Coach McDermott set multiple school records each season in both offensive and defensive categories (3 Pointers made, FG percentage, defensive shooting percentage, scoring and defensive turnovers). In addition to the team accolades and accomplishments while in Ames, Coach McDermott was critical in the development of his players, and was able to help three of his players go on to start their careers in the NBA. Before taking over the Iowa State program, Coach McDermott took Northern Iowa to three straight trips to the NCAA tournament and set school records for wins. Attention to detail, strong academic success, and a focus on effort and defense are all staples of the McDermott coaching philosophy and core concepts that will be carried over to Creighton.

Following the first full week of practice and media day down in St. Louis, Coach McDermott had this to say: “After a great fall break full of practices and a good inner-squad scrimmage, I’m really pleased with where our guys are at. “It’s not about where you are picked at the start of the season, but where you finish it.”


Northern State Preview:
In preparation for the first game of the season, although it is an exhibition game, it is still extremely important for all of the players and coaches to get their bearings set and see how this team will play and work together. The starting lineups, playing rotations, and minutes are all still up in the air, which should make for an exciting atmosphere. Like any situation where a head coach is replaced, all of the old habits, experiences, and history from a player’s previous time with a program is more or less washed away and a new, clean slate is given, which can be a blessing for some players that felt they did not produce as well as they would have liked. The Northern State Wolves come into the game also with a new head coach in Paul Sather. Coach Sather comes to Northern State after being the head coach at Black Hills State in Spearfish, South Dakota for the last five years. The player to keep an eye on for the Wolves is sophomore Collin Pryor. Pryor is the Wolves’ leading scorer and rebounder from last season, and he is looking to have a strong junior campaign on what is an experienced squad (3 seniors and 5 juniors). 

Game Prediction:
Bluejays get the ‘W’ at home in front of a rowdy crowd excited for another season of Creighton Basketball.

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to check up on Omaha’s favorite team!

Go Jays!  Brian Kooienga

Do you have any early season predictions for the Jays?  Join in the conversation NOW and post your comments. We look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on the new era of CU Basketball.

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