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01.18.2012 / Critical Road Test for Soaring Jays. Posting by Brian Kooienga, Creighton Men's Basketball Graduate Manager.

In what has been an absolutely grueling two weeks of conference play, I want to say on behalf of the staff, how proud we are of our team. Battling through colds, aches, pains, road trips, and national media distractions, our guys have managed to grind out 4 straight wins in 8 days. A pretty remarkable feat considering two of these games were on the road in hostile environments.

"The Missouri State Bears are the only team that has beaten our Bluejays at home and remain to be our only conference loss."

This week’s Wednesday night matchup waiting for the Bluejays in Springfield, Missouri proves to be a tough game, with all kinds of storylines built into it already.  The Missouri State Bears are the only team that has beaten our Bluejays at home, and remain to be our only conference loss.  Since opening up conference play 0-1 in December, our guys have fought, battled, and earned their way to a share of first place in conference standings with a 6-1 record.

Led by excellent play from senior point guard Antoine Young and junior wing player Grant Gibbs, this team is extremely unselfish with the ball, and is actually leading the country in assists per game.  With the ability to move the ball around quickly and efficiently, Doug McDermott and Gregory Echenique have had remarkable success the last several games because of our ability to get them the ball where they need it, and more importantly, when they need it. 

When we arrive in Springfield, there will be one theme for the trip, revenge.  Since arriving in Omaha, Coach McDermott and his staff has not beaten the Bears.  Dating back even further, Antoine Young and remaining players from years before, have an even longer losing streak to Missouri State.  If we stick to our game plan, and actually execute the game plan, unlike the December 28th game, we believe that it will be a streak that comes to an end on Wednesday.

If we can escape this road trip with a win, we will find ourselves in great shape heading in the middle of our conference season.  Having already secured road wins at Bradley, Illinois State, and Wichita State, this team has already won more games on the road than the past two years combined.  Following the game at Missouri State we play an early afternoon game against last year’s MVC Tournament champions and NCAA Tournament Team the Indiana State Sycamores.  Led by a crafty, does-it-all player Jake Odum, the Sycamores are a very dangerous team that needs to be taken very seriously.

It’s time to head upstairs in the Old Gym for practice, before I go I need to tell everyone about this awesome contest that First National Bank is putting on.  For starters, the MVC Tournament down in Saint Louis, MO is absolutely nuts.  Ask anyone that has been, and they will talk about it as being one of the most exciting weekends of their year, and it actually turns into an annual trip for most fans.  Back to the contest, First National Bank is giving away a set of 4 tickets, an autograph ball, and a huge $500 First National Visa gift card. Unreal right?  Click the link below and enter to win, I couldn’t imagine any Bluejay fan that wouldn’t want to win this contest!

www.firstnational.com/jays/

Looks like I’m late to practice, again.  Everyone be sure to tune in to our game against Missouri State on Wednesday at 7 p.m.!

Go Jays!

Posted at 04:37 PM | Permalink
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