The Bluejays are coming to Mavtown to face an improving Mav team

Scheduling is incredibly difficult in college basketball, and that I guess is why the Creighton Bluejays (4-6) will be playing at the Omaha Mavericks (7-3) on Sunday in women’s basketball.  I will not be able to watch, listen, or attend this game because of a Christmas party.  I will be able to attend the UNO-Arizona State hockey game before, so I would like to point out that I will have attended more Arizona State athletic events this year than Creighton events.

Now, I assume most local casual basketball fans pay attention to women’s college basketball as much as people who love cop movies pay attention to the 2nd to 7th Police Academy films…so allow me to set a little dinner tray for you here…I say a dinner tray because there wont be much talk about Creighton (as a team).

This is probably from one of the Police Academy films. Who the heck knows.
This is probably from one of the Police Academy films. Who the heck knows.

Creighton fans, and by Creighton fans I mean the people who pretend to love the entire athletic program of Creighton University, even though they only attend fun sounding men’s basketball games and have season baseball tickets just so they can get College World Series tickets easier, will probably just assume that Creighton won this game the second it was scheduled.  They may pick up the Omaha World Herald preview of this game and see that Omaha only has one player that scores in double figures and say “oh the Jays are going to run that tiny might as well be D2 school out of the gym.  All they have to do is stop that one player, and it is over.  The Jays will also stop that player because I said so.”

I would like to think that the Jays have a couple coaches and administrators that will be using up their promotional dollars from Uber to travel to Baxter Arena so the whole team can carpool a few rides up Dodge Street for free.  The Jays come into the Baxter on a 4 game losing streak, but 3 of those 4 games were on the road and the home game was to some low major team from the state of South Dakota… This streak has also been without the returning Big East Player of the Year, Marissa Janning, who has been out with an injury.  This game will not be as easy for Creighton to win as Jays people* think.

*I decided to categorize Omahans that pretend to enjoy Creighton athletics as Creighton/Jays people instead of fans.

The crowd could get pretty big for this game.  The game is after a hockey game, so I assume there will be some hockey fans that will go hang out at Dudley’s and get in a really good mood before coming back to the Baxter to watch some basketball.  Dudley’s has a Bloody Mary bar on Sundays, right?   Some department of something at UNO sent out some free tickets for some alumni for filling out some survey to this game.  I really just wanted to say “some” a lot there, and I have no explanation as to why.  There will be Creighton people that will attend, as long as they can get through what they perceive as the harsh ghettos of Omaha to find the Baxter Arena.  An 8 pm start time on a Sunday is as odd as a collegiate hockey game on a Sunday, but several people should be done with work for the year so it might as well be a Saturday to most people.  There should be some movie goers that will be in the middle of a Star Wars hangover that may need to go straight from Aksarben Cinema to the Baxter to cure that hangover.  The Creighton-UNO women’s basketball game can be their personal pizza and Dr. Pepper.  String along a few people that still don’t understand you can buy tickets online and will get to the cinema and realize the earliest showing that is not sold out is 4 hours away…ah what the hell is going on at that arena over there?  Women’s college basketball games appear to be only taking about an hour and a half to finish now, so it is not like it is that late anyway.

I am sure there will be that Creighton group that thinks they cannot attend this game because they cannot help that UNO program build and do not want to help them pad their attendance.  Sad/Fun note:  The Mav women’s basketball team averaged the lowest attendance in all of division one last season with an average of 190 per game and a total of 2,850 on the season.  This season through 5 games, the Mav women are averaging about 615 people per game and already have a total attendance of 3,079.  That’s fine Jays people, don’t come if you don’t want to…don’t support your athletic program “on the road” when you can.  Don’t worry about padded attendance stats, you’re not the same people that bragged up one of the biggest home attendances in college volleyball after Nebraska made the CenturyLink Center their second home.

Even though the Mavs are coming off of an over time loss in a game that they led by 24 points, the Mavs are no joke.  The 3rd quarter is a little scary for them as it is the only quarter that they are being outscored by their opponents for some reason.

Again, one might look at this team and see they only have one player that is a double digit scorer and think they are just a one player team.  That is not true, but by the way, that one player is amazing.  With seven playable newcomers, I really did not have high expectations before the beginning of the year.  I thought this season was going to be like a television show in its first season that had some good characters, but was still trying to figure itself out and set up plot lines for the next season.  Mikaela Shaw was going to be the main character with everyone else getting a little screen time to develop their stories for future seasons, and they were going to set everything up for the introduction of the new character named Dapprich that will get plenty of screen time in the second season.  I just thought, if they could get through this season with a minimal amount of departures, then the next season would be something you cannot wait to binge watch on Netflix a few times.  With 7 wins already, the Mavs appear to be ahead of schedule. There is still some figuring out, but you can tell the team grows more and more every game.  That probably sounds really general, but watch the freshman on the team from game to game.  You can actually see Hogue, Vidal, and Brecht piece everything together game after game.

I thought with all the new faces and youth that Brittany Lange may have challenges again this season trying to set a lineup again.  Due to injuries and with trying to figure out what worked best last season, the Mavericks had already used 4 different starting lineups through 10 games last season.  This season, they have only used 2 different starting lineups, and that was just to start Marissa Preston over Amber Vidal.

You could tell Lange and staff were really excited about this recruiting class, and you should be able to see why.  The Mavs have a complete ensemble of characters that each bring something to the table.  First off, there is Shaw who you have just come to expect will come out with a 45 point, 18 rebound, 7 assist game at some point.  Not only does Shaw currently lead the Summit in points per game, but she is tied for 5th in the league with her own teammate, Vidal, in assists per game.  Shaw can pass out of double teams to Remy Davenport and Ellie Brecht who can each hit threes and mid range jumpers, or to Vanessa Barajas who appears more comfortable on offense and cutting to the basket for easy buckets, or to Caroline Hogue to pull off a post move down low…the Mavs appear to have more options offensively this season.

Teams cannot just go into the lane on the Mavericks either.  Barajas and Hogue are the number one and number two shot blockers in the Summit League.  I hope this develops to a rivalry between the two, trying to outdo each other for more blocks…similar to Antonio Banderas being obsessed with being “number one” in Assassins**.  The two of them combine for 4.4 blocks per game so far and the next closest team in the Summit averages 3.8 blocks per game.  Sara Echelberry is also starting to get a little time at the center spot and has 4 blocks in 8 games so far.  The Mavs get to add a transfer from Texas Tech to the center spot next season…and Westside graduate Jay Bridgeman…how crazy is that post player depth going to be?

**If you are unaware of what Assassins is…it is the 7 hitter hitter in the lineup of 90s Stallone movies that were all completely average in their respectful slot in the lineup…Rocky 5, Oscar, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Demolition Man, Cliffhanger, The Specialist, Judge Dredd, Assassins, Day Light, Cop Land…  This is the San Diego Padres of movie lineups.  I believe these are all films that college students watch when they are in the mood for a bad movie and to laugh that someone made these movies with the intent of making a serious movie.  I sadly have a Because You Watched Assassins list.

How crazy is the depth going to be next season if they can keep the group together?  I’ve come to just accept that at least one player will transfer or get just a job in the off season and leave team with every college basketball team every single year.  Figuring out minutes may actually be more of a challenge next season, as the team will be adding a serious scoring threat in Michaela Dapprich to play along side this cast of characters.

 

Omaha played Mizzou last night, and I still hate Mizzou

Man, I freaking hate the University of Missouri athletics.  It is the Nebraska football fan in me, dang it I hate the booger eater Chase Daniel.  They are the one athletic program, that if they have a game on television, I will tune in just at the prospect of watching them lose a game.  One of my wife’s best friends and high school teammate played softball at Alabama and I jokingly give her crap about Alabama, but we gain a bond that cannot be explained whenever Bama plays Mizzou in softball.  Actually, it can be explained, I just love watching Mizzou lose things, and she likes the 2 days a year that I kind of pretend to like Alabama.

Combine my Nebraska fan hood with my roots of my family being planted all around the state of Iowa.  I have learned over the years that Iowans hate all states that border them.  Actually, I have never gotten into a conversation with an Iowan about people from the state of Illinois, but I just assume they hate them too.  Myself, I do really like Kansas City.  I am a Royals fan, I enjoy the downtown area, I liked the Power and Light district maybe a little too much in my early twenties; but even Kansas City has to claim some of the state of Kansas to balance itself out.

I have a theory that places can not have great quality Mexican restaurants and have great Italian restaurants at the same time, it is typically one or the other.  My friends in New York City miss Mexican food and my friends in Texas completely miss Italian food.  Missouri though, I assume has both equally terrible Mexican and Italian restaurants.  BBQ is so great they seem to think they need to combine it with everything.  Oh, instead of marinara sauce, we put in some honey barbecue sauce into the angel hair pasta…trust us, it’s good.  Instead of using a Tex Mex mix for our taco meat we used some pulled pork for these tacos…actually that doesn’t sound that bad.  Our sweet and sour chicken comes with barbecue sauce instead of sweet and sour sauce…so you mean it is chicken nuggets with barbecue sauce?  No, get out of here you crazy liberal hippy.

Wait, where the hell am I here? I was feeling good about the Mavs going into this game.  Tre’Shawn Thurman and Tra-Deon Hollins were both on a roll, and obviously Devin Patterson was as well.  I cooled the pint glasses in the freezer for the Nebraska Brewing Company beers.  I made my wife some guacamole…my wife just spent the last 3 months writing a grant that may have taken 5 years off of her life and now she has to grade 60 or so 5 page papers…so you’re welcome UNO students for putting her in a good mood before grading your papers that I assume most of you procrastinated until the night before.  Oh, I also learned that my wife has trained me like a puppy.  Every time I get up to pour myself a drink; whether it is a beer; water; or a mixed drink; my wife will ask me to pour her a drink the second I sit down.  Then I have to get back up and pour her a drink, but now I have reached a conditioned point to where I will ask her if she wants a drink before I sit down.  Any woman that uses this trick…well played.

Missouri was a young team…it just seemed like this was going to be the Mavs’ night, but by the end of the game I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest and being set on fire.  Maybe the Mavs would have won this game if Montana State on Sunday was a home game, and they did not have as much traveling under their belts.  Not that I am bitter or anything.  They won…seemed like part of the plan was to force Tre’Shawn Thurman out of the game and to force the Mavs to take jump shots, and they did a good job of that in the first half.

This is probably the Tigers' new alternate logo.
This is probably the Tigers’ new alternate logo.

The SEC commentators called the Mavs a great defensive team, which is great because this is the first time I have heard anyone say the Mavericks are a good defensive team since the transition.  They said some really nice things about Derrin Hansen and the Omaha basketball program, which I feel indifferent about because I hate the SEC.  This was also the most time I ever spent watching the SEC Network.  At the beginning of the game they called UNO “the Mavericks of Omaha” and my wife made fun of them like they were trying too hard to make the game seem like some old western film.  She really wanted me to add this in here…she’s cute.  The other night she suggested that the NBA give goody baskets of treats to the first team to beat the Golden State Warriors.  I am still pretty proud of that comment.

Tra-Deon Hollins is at a point to where when I watch I am just expecting a near triple-double, like, I know the night is coming that he gets a triple-double.  Just like whenever I watch the UNO women’s team, I know a 45 point, 17 rebound, 7 assist performance could be coming from Mikaela Shaw.  It is coming and I cannot miss it.  Hollins did not have his best game, he missed a few close lay ups, but so did everyone else in the game, and he only had 3 steals.  Yep, just said a guy “only had 3 steals.”

The first half of this game was odd.  The Mavericks looked like they had problems getting the ball inside and there was no real flow to the Mavs offense.  The Mavs did not get to the free throw line for the first 15 1/2 minutes of the game.  The only points in the paint in the first half I completely recall were from Kyler Erickson, Tra-Deon Hollins, and Daniel Meyer.  Erickson played great in the first half.  Lots of energy, and he kept beating his man off the dribble and keeping his player in front of him on defense.  By the way, Nebraska and Creighton played each other…Omaha played Mizzou…and it’s like no one cares that UNK is 4-3 right now.

Jake White was playing great in the second half, he scored 12 straight points for the Mavericks and the really classy Mizzou fans were chanting “Jake White Trash.”  Way to go Mizzou fans, way to step out of your comfort zone there.  Jake White appears to play better when he is pissed…when the reason for him being pissed is not foul trouble.  Can we get Ben Kozitske and Marcus Tyus to talk smack to White in timeouts?  Just say terrible things about him and his family and cuss him out…then watch Jake White go off for 40 points, all while he is glaring at Kozitske and Tyus.  Jake White could really be the best big man in the Summit League right now…go ahead look around and argue who else is better.

Serious question, how long does it take to recover from elbow tendinitis…and did I spell tendinitis correctly?  The team needs JT Gibson back for another 3 point shooter on the court.  The Mavs were 5-22 from three last night.  I know it is ridiculous to talk stats in December as there are so many outliers, but the Mavs are 307th in the country in three point field goal percentage.  The best three point shooter on the team is Jake White, and it probably wouldn’t be the best to just stick him on the outside as he’s incredibly efficient in the post.  The Mavs’ three point shooting is there pair of 8s against three clubs showing after the river.  I have a gambling program, and I have talked about beer in this post…it’s amazing I lasted as long as I did in the state of Utah.

The Mavs do have a counter to the bad three point shooting.  The free throws.  In the year of the free throw, the Mavs have become a much better free throw shooting team.  Again, really dumb to talk stats in the first half of December…The Mavs are currently 32nd in the country in the free throw percentage, and of the teams in front of them, the only two teams that attempt more per game are Xavier and Tennessee Tech…that’s my way of saying the Mavs attempt a lot of free throws and make a high percentage of them.

They were not joking when they said the non-conference schedule was tough.  Not just the competition, but the traveling the Mavs have had so far.  To Colorado, come back to Omaha, then back to Colorado, then to Minnesota, then back to Omaha, then to Montana, then back to Omaha, then to Missouri, then back to Omaha, then to Arizona…it goes on.  Derrin Hansen said he really liked this team going into conference play if they are healthy.  He said that before they really put the redshirt on Tyus, and before Gibson’s tendinitis…and there are still a few more weeks to go.  Hopefully Gibson can come back in time for Western Illinois and IUPUI for some more depth.

2 games, 2 nights, 2 losses, and I had to eat some pride

I will accept a partial amount of blame for the loss of this Eastern Michigan game.  You see, and please do not attempt to find me and punch me in the face, but I took a Creighton season ticket holder to the game with me.  Yes, I took Dick C. Fan with me.  DCF is a UNO graduate.  He is a MavJaySker, though Husker football is the only Nebraska sport that he roots for, but he is cool with UNO sports.  DCF is more of a Creighton fan though, and because of his Creighton roots, he used to despise Jake White due to his Wichita State days.  The funny thing is, DCF actually looks a little bit like Jake White.  Remember, part of the plan is to get the MavJaySkers to get to UNO games and respect the players, coaches, and where the program has come.  I may have given DCF a little too much flack in the past.  He did follow UNO athletics in their division 2 days, but thought them moving to division 1 was a bit of a joke at first, but he appears to be comfortable with it now.

When Jake White announced that he was going to transfer to UNO, I immediately texted DCF and told him that his distant relative was going to be a Maverick.  DCF was not happy.  I think he cussed me out over a text message, and begged me to stop calling Jake White his cousin.  Over parts of last season, I would text DCF to update him on how good Jake White was playing as a Mav, and he never responded to any of the texts.

The day the Mavericks played UMKC, DCF texted me to see if I wanted to go to the Creighton game with him.  I told him no, but he could go to Eastern Michigan-UNO with me, so we struck up a deal that we go to the games together.  Tuesday afternoon, I asked him if he was excited to see his cousin play basketball.  He was the opposite of pumped.

When we got to the game, I really thought DCF was going to just start yelling expletives in Jake White’s direction.  Instead, the UNO fan in him came out, and he said “there is my boy.”  DCF even threw out a first pump when Jake White’s name was announced in the starting lineup.  Then, the game happened…


  • This is the first game that I walked up the arena and people were not on the community ice practicing curling.  DCF and I used to want to start a curling team, but we legitimately know nothing about curling.  I would feel bad if I get into curling and was instantly good at it and pissed off some guys that were doing curling for decades and saw some guy who doesn’t know how to do it is amazing.  It’s no diss at curling, I just don’t know what makes a curling guy a good curling athlete.  I’ve never heard anyone say: “oh that Caleb Steffensmeier had a pretty good basketball career, but could imagine him as a master curler?”
  • DCF asked every question you could think of about Tre’Shawn Thurman and Tra-Deon Hollins, as he remembered watching them play at Central.  I really thought about lying to him, but I told him what I knew.
  • DCF then told me how excited he was about Creighton’s Khyri Thomas, and I almost broke into tears to admit that I used to sit around and hope that Thurman and Thomas would come to UNO and kick start the program to the next level.  UNO got half of my equation.
  • DCF kept hoping that UNO would pass the ball to Jake White, this was quite the change as 3 years ago he was calling Jake White offensive names.
  • You could tell that he was immediately impressed with Tre’Shawn Thurman, and he should be.  Creighton fans will catch glimpses of him over time and be saying things like “ah crap”
  • With Thurman having 13 points and 8 rebounds at half, we shared a short discussion of Is Thurman better than Creighton forwards…it’s kind of a dumb conversation to get into, but it is what Omahans that like basketball are eventually going to talk about.  We agreed that Thurman is probably right on par with Cole Huff from an amount of talent, there are things that Huff does better than Thurman, but there are things that Thurman does better than Huff.  It would be pretty difficult for most coaches to decide who to start between them.  We then agreed that Thurman is better than Zach Hanson and Toby Hegner, but DCF pointed out that Hanson is playing the best basketball of his college career up until this point.  My thought on this is:  It is Hanson’s junior year, he should be playing the best basketball of his collegiate career up until now.  You don’t want to say, “hey, this guy was one of the best freshman I had ever seen and now he is absolute crap.  I love it.”
  • I thought the most shocking part of looking at the stats of this game was that the fouls were actually even.  Though, I continuously felt like UNO’s fouls were giving them the shaft.  No one was ever really in foul trouble except for Hollins.  I think the fouls got into the heads of some of the UNO players, especially the no calls.  It is just weird that the refs get incredibly knit picky for 97% of the game but space out for another 3% of the game.  All players need to adjust to this crap, the deeper and more mature teams are going to get through this.  I believe Scott Nagy said that…not in those exact words, but you get it, right?
  • Jake White got fouled going up for a basket and the ball flew backwards…DCF and I went on to make a number of Caddyshack 2 references.  This has to be the first time anyone has referenced this movie in quite some time.  There were also Celtic Pride references shared between us.  If Celtic Pride and Caddyshack 2 are not films you are familiar with, I am not sure we would get along.
  • DCF and I were both thinking that the Mavs should have kept Hollins out on the court when he picked up his 3rd foul pretty early in the second half.  The offense was completely flat without him.  There was too much standing around when he was on the bench.  Can we get a check on how many assists Hollins gets as a result of his penetration to the basket?  It has to be 2/3 of his assists.
  • Jake White and Tre’Shawn Thurman each had double-doubles…when was the last time UNO had two guys with double-doubles in a game…and when was the last time a Maverick had two double-doubles in a row…and when was the last time a sophomore had two double doubles in a row?
  • I had another game where I found myself asking: why did Randy Reed not play more?  The kid had some real hustle plays down the stretch…the team needed that energy for more of the game.  Can we not go with a front court of White-Thurman-Reed all at once?  I know you probably lose some three point shooting with that line and do not stretch out the floor a bunch, but just let them all set screens for Hollins and Patterson to get around and they will find a cutting man.  Is it something you want to go with for 20 minutes of the game?  No.  But I wish it is something that should be tried out for a 3 to 4 minute stretch.  Last year the Mavs went with a Rostampour-Thurman-Reed front court against Oral Roberts for a few different couple minute stretches and it really bothered Korey Billbury of Oral Roberts.
  • DCF commented about how watching Jake White now is like watching a completely different player than what he saw from him at Wichita State.  Claimed that at WSU he just stood around and wanted to shoot threes, and now he is down low posting up and getting knocked around down low.  He was really blown away at his nemesis turned…not friend…but…dude guy he has no reason to hate?
  • I tried to get DCF to go to the family that holds up pictures of Maverick players faces when they are shooting free throws and demand an answer as why they have his picture when they are holding up Jake White’s photo.  I could not convince him to do this, but it could been entertaining.
  • Thanks to Facebook’s On This Day, I was able to get reminded that 3 years ago on December 1st, I watched a terrible football game in which Nebraska was involved and it was the most embarrassed I ever was to watch a Husker football game.
  • Mavericks were 4 of 17 on threes in this game…is this killing Marcus Tyus?  Like how it was killing Mike Rostampour when he was sitting out and the Mavs could not rebound the ball?

Night 2 – Creighton vs Arizona State

This was painful for me.
This was painful for me.

I do not hate Creighton athletics, but I do get annoyed with their fans.  I would say it is safe to call me a MavJaySker…in fact I think that is my gamer tag on Xbox.  I would just much rather watch their games on television or listen to them on the radio than to actually attend a game.  Hanging with 18,000 people freak out at every single whistle, good or bad, is not my thing.  Let me make a correction there, I would be with about 14,000 people freak out at ref calls as at any given time the CenturyLink Center has a combined 4,000 fans walking the arena looking for the cheapest beer that they can find, or they are permanently planted in the beer garden to brag up about how they went to the most expensive bar in all of Nebraska.  You can also always find a handful of people reading a magazine at any given moment.

It’s also stressful to hear some drunk guy try to convince his friend that the ranking of best basketball programs goes as this:  1. Duke/North Carolina/Kentucky/Kansas…2. Creighton…350. UNO…351. Nebraska…And Creighton was a three point shot away from Booker Woodfox from beating Kentucky in the National Championship in 2009?  2010?  Ah hell, that one year the NIT second round was just as good as the NCAA Tournament.

I also love that when you go to a Creighton game and the fan’s pregame analysis is just that the other team sucks.  For three straight hours Wednesday night, I just heard how Arizona State was a shitty basketball team…then the Jays lost to them.  So I guess that means the Jays are back.


Some takeaways from the Creighton game…

  • I remember a few years ago thinking that Geoff Groselle was going to be one of the worst ever in Creighton basketball history.  He was recruited to be a Missouri Valley player, and his first couple seasons were filled with several injuries; and when he did play he would bobble the ball a lot and could never score a basket.  I thought for sure he would transfer out at some point.  He has turned into a completely competent player though, and the Jays actually draw up plays to get him the ball in the post.  He had a moment at the end of the game where he grabbed an offensive rebound under the basket and the guy in between him and the basket was 6’3″ or so, and he should have just gone back up for the easy basket, instead he pissed off 18,000 people…or just the 6,000 or so people that were paying attention.  I know the Jays were down by 3 at this point with a few minute to go, but take the easy basket when you can get it!
  • The Jays take care of the ball, and their perimeter defenders are never caught flat footed.  They really don’t have the greatest weak side defense though…which led to a few wide the hell open threes.
  • An attendance dip tonight for the Jays actually, only around 16.2k…was it the 8 o’clock start time?
  • I’m still sitting here wishing Khyri Thomas would have gone to UNO.
  • What is with Division 1 universities in Omaha not being able to box out and let up a bunch of offensive rebounds?
  • I know the Jays like having stretch 4s, but Cole Huff and Toby Hegner took 13 threes.  It’s nice to have big men that can hit threes, but having forwards that only want to take threes is…well…Walter Pitchford…  Don’t you want bigs that use it as a last resort type of thing?  Maybe I am just old fashioned and love Jake White shooting 60% in the paint.  Dumb, right?
  • Arizona State’s warm ups had hoods on them.  I am sure there is some story behind this, but I am just going to assume it has something to do with witchcraft and that is why they had a better second half.
  • Arizona State did not look like a great three point shooting team, but they hit threes right when it mattered.
  • Whoever is in the Billy Bluejay costume is doing a great job.  He spun a basketball on his finger, that cannot be easy in a costume like that.  They were also a great break dancer, seriously, a great job and could really give the Oregon Duck a run for his money…even if Billy Bluejay looks like an evil stork and not a Bluejay.
  • Cole Huff missed 2 free throws and 1 three pointer in the last 8 seconds of a 1 possession game.  I feel sorry for Huff, not just that he missed the shots, but that the Jays fans are going to completely turn on him.  How many days until they demand that Toby Hegner start over him?
  • I watched a number of Jays fans heading for the exits when Creighton was down by 1 point with 6 seconds to go, like the Jays were down by 12 points.
  • There were two guys behind me that looked like Creighton Bluejays super fans, but instead of talking about Jays basketball or cheering on the Jays, they just talked about Breaking Bad the whole time.  Seriously though, Breaking Bad was fantastic.  Great basketball scenes that were totally applicable to what was going on too.
  • I heard a number of Jays fans say that Creighton would have won that game if the refs would have called the 8 travels that Arizona State committed in the game.  I seriously want you to find me a basketball game where the refs got every single traveling call right.  I watched a number of Jays players travel with no whistles blown, and the Jays fans would clap on like it was a great move.  I complain about calls too, but I would never say the one and only reason a team lost the game is because of the fouls.
  • Isaiah Zierden is the best shooter out of Creighton, Nebraska, and UNO.  The balance in his shot is the best…the best Jerry.  The Jays have great quick plays to get him wide open on the outside too, it is the best thing about watching the Jays.
  • I really thought Greg McDermott was going to have a hard time dividing up minutes between Groselle, Hanson, Hegner, Huff, and Krampej this year, as he has seemed to have trouble distributing minutes other than when it was just obvious to go with Doug McDermott and Ethan Wragge at the same time; but Greg has done a great job of that so far this season.
  • Heard a couple of Jays fans saying the worst part about the loss was that Arizona State didn’t have any stars that scare you.  Honestly, what star does Creighton have?  Zierden is a great shooter, but is he a star putting fear into his opponents for 40 minutes?

 

I’ve gone to two basketball games in two nights, and the home teams have lost in each one.  I wanted to go to the Lady Mavs game tonight, but I am afraid I’ll drop three in a row and be the bad luck guy.

 

 

 

A few surprises in The Summit League so far

The coaches were not kidding when they said that The Summit League is a conference on the rise.  Every team has an identity, and every team thinks they have a legitimate chance at winning The Summit League.  Western Illinois with a win over Wisconsin and being 5-1 at the moment has definitely been the biggest surprise so far.  The season is still young, but we are done with the first calendar month.

I was going to come up with something looking at who the 1st and 2nd All Summit League teams were up to the end of November, but then I realized there is still a ton of basketball to be played out, so what is the point?  Instead, why not look at who and what have been some of the biggest surprises so far around the Summit?


Western Illinois with a win over Wisconsin is clearly what sticks out the most.  J.C. Fuller’s scoring going up is not that big of a surprise as he was getting better and better as the season went on for the Leathernecks last season, but shooting 72% from threes so far is big surprise.  He is not going to finish the year at 72% but he should continue to give the Leathernecks a second option after Garret Covington.

Obi Emegano being a scoring machine is not a surprise, but he has already made 21 threes on the year after making 29 all of last season.

We knew North Dakota State had to find someone to make up for the loss of scoring from Lawrence Alexander, but Paul Miller averaging 19.6 points per game, after scoring 6.7 per game last season, has been quite the jump through 5 games.

Jake White being healthy for the Mavericks has been like getting an entirely new player.  He is 5th in the Summit League in scoring right now at 16.3 points per game through 6 games, while only averaging 21.5 minutes per game.

Marcellus Barksdale did not get a double digit scoring performance until his 7th game.  He does not have a history of being a prolific scorer, but you would think the senior leader would be scoring a little more.

Tre’Shawn Thurman and Reed Tellinghuisen have caught up to AJ Jacobson.  It is not a huge surprise really.  Thurman was expected to get an increased role for the Mavericks as they lost Mike Rostampour, was Jacobson supposed to get more shots from the departure of Lawrence Alexander and the addition of a couple more post players?  Tellinghuisen is still not expected to be the main option for the Jackrabbits, but he is an efficient scorer that has added on some muscle.  The class of 2018 is a big time class for the Summit League, and there are still some junior college players and transfers that could be huge additions to the class.

John Konchar is what IPFW had been advertising.  Jon Coffman stated that Konchar would have been worth 5 more wins for the ‘Dons had he not redshirted last season.  He is averaging 11.6 points and 8.1 points per game so far.  Watch an IPFW game too, he looks like the most mature player the team has.  Coffman was also pretty big on the improvement of Brent Calhoun, but he is only averaging 1.8 points per game and shooting 31% from the field.

Nate Engesser is not starting for Denver.  He is leading the Pioneers in scoring with 16.2 points per game, but he has yet to start a game, and he is only playing 22.5 minutes per game.  Also Denver, who was thought to be the worst team in the league by many is 5-1 so far.  Many had it between Denver and Western Illinois as the two worst teams in the league, and they are both 5-1.

There are 4 freshmen averaging more than 10 points per game so far:  Konchar (IPFW), Mike Daum (South Dakota State), Dan Jech (South Dakota), and Joe Rosga (Denver).

Tra-Deon Hollins currently leads all Summit League players in assists and steals.  He leads the nation in steals as of right now.  He reminds of what it was like to play with Eddie Jones in NBA Live 99…on rookie mode.

I was pretty down on AJ Owens of Oral Roberts before the start of the season, but he is proving me wrong with 12.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, and he even leads the conference in blocks so far.  My bad.

If you look up the scores on ESPN before any games are played, and you see South Dakota, ESPN lists Eric Robertson has their must see player.  Every time.

 

 

 

Omaha played the Gophers, and there were a lot of sports on Black Friday

I am having a pretty good day so far.  I was up late last night, I watched some “Arrow” and then turned over the Netflix to my wife and she watched “Gossip Girl” as I made fun of it for 2 hours.  Woke up a little earlier than I wanted to today; but I got some groceries; had a good run where the music on my iPhone just found the perfect random mix for a run; made my wife some guacamole to surprise her when I got home; made myself a pretty solid chicken sandwich; and now I have to prepare for watching Mav basketball and Husker football at the same time, as well as listening to Mav women basketball on the radio, and allowing my wife to watch the Oregon football game.  We’re definitely getting our money out of Cox Cable today.  Oh, I feel sorry for any guy that has a wife that makes him go to Black Friday shopping.  My wife watches sports with me and brings me Starbucks.  Booyah!
  • I am wearing an Omaha Mavericks short sleeve shirt over a Nebraska Cornhuskers long sleeve shirt.  Admit it, I am your boss.
  • I really feel like the Mavs can win this game.  I don’t like saying it out loud because anyone will assume I am just bein a homer when I say it.  Omaha is capable of winning this game, and South Dakota State is capable of beating Minnesota when they play them later on this season.
  • Does Rick Pitino ever blame his son for the problems that the Boston Celtics had when he was running the team and ruining a part of my childhood?
  • I really wanted to listen to the women’s game on the radio, but I could not understand one word that was said.  It sounds as if the broadcast is coming from a shed 3 miles from the arena.
  • Hey, ESPN3 froze on me at the first media timeout.  I blame Richard Pitino for this.
  • Is home court advantage not as big for Minnesota when Omaha has a few Minnesotans on the team, and they got a Thanksgiving dinner at the home of one of the players last night?  They get the feeling of family on an away game, that cannot hurt, right?
  • I do not think Minnesota is all that great.  I find it offensive that they were preseason ranked higher than Nebraska.
  • I’m drinking a delicious coffee from Starbucks at the moment.  Their holiday cup fiasco was made up, right?  Probably even made up by them.  How can I prove it?  Damn it, I cant.
  • Daniel Meyer is looking really active in his short amount of time right now, and Tim Smallwood just looks intense.
  • At the 8 minute media timeout, I can turn on the Nebraska game.  I can definitely mute the Nebraska game as they put the worst possible group of commentators that they could find.
  • It sort of sounds as if there are more Omaha fans than Minnesota fans at this game.  You can hear them when Omaha does anything good, but you cannot find them.
  • Jake White, Zach Jackson, Devin Patterson, and Tim Smallwood all have 2 fouls in the first half; and the Mavericks are ahead by 1.
  • I am actually kind of angry right now because The Paul Finebaum Show is listed on ESPN3 that someone must watch and be entertained by.  I’ve never tuned into the Paul Finebaum show, but I assume it’s just him in front of the camera constantly sending his meal back from Outback because his medium rare steak is too red.  Then he spells out “SEC” in his ketchup.
  • Over to the Nebraska game:  Tommy Armstrong throws an interception on a play action pass.  Never seen that before.
  • I am pretty pumped for Nebraska and Oregon to play football over the next two years.  One thing I am excited for is going to Oregon and seeing how many Nebraska fans buy up tickets from all of the Oregon bandwagon fans that usually just go for a free t-shirt or some crap.  I brought this up to my wife, an avid Oregon fan, she actually thought that should play out to be an interesting scenario.
  • My father-in-law is not a bandwagon Oregon fan.  He is the guy that will set up an Oregon bar in Minnesota just so he could have a bar to guarantee himself a good place to watch an Oregon game when he is in town visiting family.  If I ever somehow got him to go to an Omaha-North Dakota hockey game (he is originally from North Dakota), he would only go if the big screen in the arena had an Oregon game on the screen.  He would somehow find his way to the arena staff and seriously demand it.  My father-in-law currently resides in North Dakota…I send him tidbits of Omaha hockey to argue with North Dakota hockey fans at the local pubs there to anger them.  You’re welcome.
  • Earlier in the game, the commentators were commenting how great Omaha’s passing is.  Every pass is a bounce pass, and not some pass thrown up at some guy’s face.
  • Jake White hit his second 3 of the game.  So far the only basket he has missed, he got the offensive rebound himself and put it back up for a score.
  • Jake White picks up his 3rd foul, I am incredibly curious how long they can keep him on the bench with Minnesota picking up a little steam right now.  He’s hot today, he’s needed out on the court.
  • You know what is better than a Hollins-to-Thurman alley oop?  Nothing.
  • Jake White gets stabbed in the face.  My wife drops the F bomb, and loudly.  It’s an extreme coincidence though, she was just reacting to Oregon State being up 7-0 on Oregon.  This reminds me:  If anyone has Intro to Gerontology and your professor is a 5 foot tall 29 year old woman, can you just yell out “Mark Helfrich sucks” or “Chuck Bass has a douche face.”  That professor will think you are the coolest student to ever take a class.
  • I have the Nebraska game on mute, but I can tell the refs are messing it up.
  • Are we sure Richard Pitino is the coach?  His no tie or jacket look makes it feel like he’s the terrible cousin that no one likes that showed up to the family dinner when they were not invited.  He wasn’t invited because of his love of strippers from Kentucky.  Too far?
  • The play with Hollins getting the ball to White near the free throw line and then White getting the ball to a cutting Thurman was fantastic.  White and Thurman each only have one assist, but they are making some good passes today.  Big men that can pass are never bad pieces to have on a basketball team.  No one complains about it.  It might really bum out Richard Pitino actually.
  • Jake White hits his third three of the game, and Omaha immediately takes a timeout as they are down 78-80.  The Gopher fans could not be more pissed right now.  4 1/2 minutes to go in the game and the commentators finally just put it together that White is from the state or Minnesota.  White is the Gopher Killer right now.
  • Jake White fouls out and you can tell he is just furious.  He played with great intensity today.  He was a warrior out there that put the Mavericks on his back when he was on the court today.  This new Jake White 2.0 is fantastic.  This is the version we were hoping for last year that was slowed down with every injury imaginable it seemed.  White could have gone for 40 today.
  • Two shirts for myself may have been a poor choice.
  • The video quality turned to absolute crap with 45 seconds to go and the audio stopped.  That’s swell.
  • I think I may throw up from the stress.
  • There were a few moments when the game was close in a few different situations where guys wanted to take poor shots and be the hero.  It was just a few, but guys can learn from that…I hope.
  • Tra-Deon Hollins puts this team on an entirely different level.  He does not need to score to take control of the game.  Hollins can give you 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals whenever he wants.  The Mavs have not had a player like that yet.  His 9 assists are the most for any Maverick against a power conference school.

Notes: Mavs rebounded really well against the Roos

It was one of the most stressful games I have seen in a while, but the Mavericks got the win, so I cannot complain.  There were some teaching moments, and there was also some great aggressive plays from the Mavericks.  I was kind of upset in the first game that the score board did not tell you how many points and fouls the players had.  I am super glad this got fixed.  The battery on my phone was getting pissed at me for having to look it up every couple minutes.

Basketball was fun last night.
The worst picture ever, but basketball was fun last night.
  • The Shock Top stand is not open on weeknight games I guess.  I just wanted Twisted Pretzel.
  • Kareem Richardson just always looks like he is ready to leave as quickly as possible.  He’s done a great job at UMKC though.  I doubt he is in Kansas City too much longer.
  • The first time I saw Shayok Shayok, he is was 6’6″, and now he is listed at 6’9″.  Why can’t I grow like that?
  • My favorite thing about the MavX ap is that it tells you the menus of all the concession stands in the Baxter Arena.  My wife is an extremely healthy eater, so usually when we go to sporting events we spend a half hour walking around the entire arena finding her something healthy to eat.  The ap cuts down on this time, and that has pretty much made my year.
  • Tra-Deon Hollins court awareness is just unreal.  I feel like he is in training to be The Flash.  In the Flash, they just shoot arrows and other objects at him to see if he can catch everything.  Hollins has a way of making it appear as if the opposing team is just throwing the ball at him to see if he can catch it.
  • Jake White appeared that he had something to prove against UMKC.   Not that it ever looks like he’s ready to put on an open mic stand up comedy routine, but he looked like he knew he had a task to stay out on the court and to not let UMKC get any offensive boards.  He was fighting out there.  The Mavs let up a few key offensive boards, but it is going to happen no matter what you do sometimes.  The Mavs only gave up 9 offensive rebounds this game, and Jake White had a big role in keeping the ‘Roos off the glass.
  • LaVell Boyd and Martez Harrison might one of the three best back courts the Mavs play this year.
  • Another guy who looks as serious as the Terminator trying to hunt down Sarah Connor is Tim Smallwood.  He’s the Timinator.  He’s constantly ready put up a three, and he chases after his misses, and he’s hustled his ass off the last two games after not getting much time against Santa Barbara.  That is exactly what you want out of a senior guard.  His near coast to coast drive was something we did not see much out of him last season.
  • I know that UMKC made quite a bit a threes in the game, the Kangaroos did find some wide open looks from the perimeter, but the Mavs did contest a lot of those shots.  Just being that the Mavs are forcing so many threes, you can tell that teams are maybe a bit nervous about having to get through Devin Patterson and Tra-Deon Hollins…The Devil’s Gate.  The ‘Roos had some threes from big guys, there are not many bigs in The Summit that can hit multiple threes a game.
  • I felt like I was watching the pre-LeBron James Miami Heat play the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals in the second half.  The Heat that year just put the ball in Dwayne Wade’s hands and kept having him drive to the basket because of the all the fouls.  Why do I feel like this?  The ‘Roos had 37 fouls in the game.  The Mavericks were 36-48 from the free throw line.  When the Mavs came down the court down 83-80, I was thinking it would almost be dumb to shoot a three.  It seemed like the Mavericks were stuck at 5 of 18 on threes for the past 15 minutes, and I was looking at the fouls and just saying that: I would bet money here that UMKC will make a dumb foul here.
  • We need to keep getting more excited for Zach Jackson.  Out of the three freshmen on this year’s team, he had the least known about him coming into the year.  He makes a few odd decisions, but for the most part he plays great, and what college freshman doesn’t make a couple questionable decision in his first three college basketball games.  There are seniors out there making poor decisions on the court.  Near the end of the game, there was an overthrown pass to him that went out of bounce and some guy near me was pissed that he didn’t try and save the ball.  Really, had he thrown the ball back it could have gone to an opposing player and UMKC would have been off to the races at the end of the game and anything could have happened.  Jackson is a high IQ player, the Mavs need that for a guy that is filling in.  I made this point earlier, the Mavs are asking less out of their newcomers compared to other Summit League teams.  Others are asking newcomers to be stars right away, the Mavs are asking the newcomers to be role players…this has to be something that will pay off.
  • Growing increasingly nervous about this team’s three point shooting as we head to The Summit League, but the Mavericks advantage is going to be Patterson and Hollins breaking down the defense and getting into the lane.  The Summit does not have a bunch of post players, White and Thurman could be 2 of the top 5 post players in the Summit League.
  • This game needed a little cowbell toward the end of the game.
  • Tre’Shawn Thurman literally wiped the floor tonight.  He was playing like he was in a video game, and his player rating kept rising because of his great play.  He’s added some moves, he was feeling it, and was incredibly focused.  He just looked more relaxed at the free throw line tonight, which I thought showed with 7 of 9 from the line.  Thurman has the highest ceiling of any Maverick that we have seen in a while.  When people walk into the Baxter Arena, they immediately take notice of the muscle he put on.
  • Kelley Wollak did a great job as the MC in timeouts.  I feel bad with her being on crutches out there though.  I was a little bummed that Mikaela Shaw could not be in Omaha and Grand Forks at the same time.  It feels like it could have been a Bill Brasky level of story that Mav fans could have screamed at a bar in the future.  ONE TIME MIKAELA SHAW RAN FROM GRAND FORKS TO OMAHA SO SHE COULD GIVE OUT A FREE OIL CHANGE AND THEN SHE RAN BACK TO GRAND FORKS TO DROP 19 ON NORTH DAKOTA….TO MIKAELA SHAW!!!!
  • Every win is needed, but this was a much needed win for the Mavericks.  UMKC is an improved team, and going on a three game road swing after going 1-2 would have been…I think my brain just tried to escape my head.
  • Who else sat there entire time asking: Why is UMKC in the WAC?

Elsewhere in The Summit

Western Illinois beat Illinois-Chicago 84-57.  Jabari Sandifer had 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists.  JC Fuller had 19 points and 9 rebounds.  Garret Covington had 17 points and 3 rebounds.  The Leathernecks are making us all look like idiots.

 

I think the Mavs played St. Marys, so I made some inane comments

I did not go to last night’s game.  It is not that I did not want to go, but it seemed impossible for me to convince another human being to go to this game with me, especially with the Chiefs-Broncos going on at the same time.  I thought of finding the one person I have a connection with that knows the least about college basketball, but also fills out a bracket each year just because their work forces them to; and I would just convince them that they beat that St. Mary’s team that is always in the bracket and winning a game or two.  I ended up not doing that.  I watched the game from home.

  • Gary Sharpe accidentally referred to Zach Jackson as Zachson…this is going to have to become a thing.
  • Hollins gets in every passing lane.  He might get 10 steals this game.
  • Can hear Sharpe and Grant Nieland talking over the audio of the commercial.  They’re thinking Omaha will win by 40 or 60.  I love this perk from Mav access.
  • Tim Smallwood is showing some great hustle so far.  Hope he keeps it up.
  • Jake White picks up his second foul, and Hansen is keeping him on the court; because why not?
  • The Mavs seem to be giving up some good looks on the perimeter to St. Mary’s, this could get scary when the Mavs are playing the likes of South Dakota State.
  • Did Tim Smallwood drink some Brawndo?
  • Devin Newsome had this running floater in the lane, that he missed, but I sat here in amazement at what was happening.  I hope he’ll use this aggressiveness in the future.
  • Hey some skinny blonde lady in a bikini just followed me on twitter.  I should give her my social security number.
  • I love the unintentional college football analysis between Sharpe and Nieland during the half time.  Sharpe called Alabama “sick.”  I’m not hip enough to use “sick” as a good thing yet.  You’re using something negative to describe something in a positive form.  I would never say “Alabama is so George Clooney as Batman.”
  • I’m bummed and happy at the same time about the redshirt to Marcus Tyus.  I am scared about this team’s three point shooting.  I think it is a legitimate concern.  I commented earlier how one injury could hurt any team in the standings from 2nd to 9th…so this could really hurt the Mavericks.  I do know that this will be a big help to Tyus’ career and his overall health.
  • The mouse on my new computer is so annoying.  Thank God it has a touch screen.
  • Daniel Meyer has a number of post moves.  It seems like he’s got part A, part B, but just cannot finish on part C of each post move, yet.  Can we just throw the ball to him for last 5 minutes of the game to let him work on that?
  • Sharpe keeps referring to players as a “southpaw” and I have no idea what it means.  I am just sitting here smiling and nodding.
  • I think Sharpe just hit on Bonnie Ryan during the kiss cam…
  • Kyler Erickson with an amazing steal of an inbound pass.  Players work harder when he’s on the court.  When my Millard South friends ask me how he is doing, I tell them he is the high energy guard off the bench.  He makes everyone else on the court work harder.  That’s an important character to have on a team.
  • Number changes sometimes confuse me.  Every time I get a glimpse of Tim Smallwood in his new number, I am just like: what the hell is Rostampour doing?
  • My wife is in the other room and is taking a break from the research she does on all of her grants, and she is watching Gossip Girl and laughing.  I’m just so damn mad right now.  By the way, do you realize how much research goes into a grant?
  • We just gave up 3 offensive rebounds on one play.  Need to work on boxing out on defense.  Newsome is the Maverick that finally came up with the rebound.
  • Meyer with a great baseline spin move to get a basket.
  • Meyer with a three point attempt.  I feel like Hansen might ground him for that one.  I feel like it’s going to be like Major League when Wesley Snipes makes an unnecessary flashy catch and manager has the best line in the entire trilogy to top off the scene.  Actually I am not sure if Major League counts as a trilogy.  Major League 2 is a significant drop off, and you would have a hard time picking between Major League 3 and George Clooney as Batman for something to sit around and waste 2 hours with.  Plus, ML3 has Scott Bakula, and it is impossible to watch Scott Bakula in a sports movie and not lose concentration wondering when the hell Paul Blake made the transition from a college quarterback in his 30s to transitioning to AAA baseball manager.  I would have gone into a coma if Sinbad was cast in ML3.
  • People are leaving a minute early, so they can beat the traffic from the 100 people at the game.
  • Mavs went 8-16 on the cursed basket.  I really think that Remy Davenport and Ellie Brecht broke the curse.
  • I wonder if an outsider is going to look at the stats of this game and say something along the lines of: Tre’Shawn Thurman only had 3 points, he’s having a sophomore slump.
  • Derrin Hansen said he needed to get these three freshmen games, so it was great to get them a game where they could figure game situations out.  All three scored in double figures.
  • This team is deeper than last season.  I know it wasn’t a top opponent, but you want your players to be efficient in games like this, and everyone off the bench played incredibly efficient.  The Mavericks were missing a high energy bench guy last season.  Now they have: JT Gibson, Randy Reed, Kyler Erickson, and possibly Tim Smallwood and Devin Newsome as high energy guys off the bench.

Some random things around The Summit League

  • I thought Wisconsin was incredibly overrated at 17, but losing to Western Illinois…after leading at halftime?  It is incredible to see Western Illinois get this win though.  They were picked 8th or 9th by most in The Summit League.  I thought they would be tougher outs in games because of their experience, but maybe still struggle.  They can be great if Garret Covington has a sidekick.
  • Denver with 3 games in 3 days.  I am still in shock that Marcus Byrd could get 8 assists in one game.  Nate Engesser with 26 points in 27 minutes against Lipscomb.
  • Paul Miller is rapidly rising as a star, as the Bison were expecting.  They were thinking that Kory Brown, Carlin Dupree, and Miller would all have to make up for the scoring loss of Lawrence Alexander.  Turns out that they just need Paul Miller to do it.  Malik Clements is looking pretty good too, the Mavs offered him out of high school.
  • I watched IPFW’s game on ESPN3 when I got home Friday night.  I am still not sold on this team as a team in the top half of the standings in The Summit.  Their highly touted newcomers did very little against Valpo.  Other than John Konchar, he looks good.
  • Oral Roberts with a nice win over Missouri State.  Former Mav, Jalen Bradley, had a game high of 16 points with 4 threes.  AJ Owens had 14 points and 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks to make me look silly.  It’s scary to think that the Golden eagles could get a win while Obi Emegano and Brandon Conley did not play very well.
  • IUPUI with a win at Indiana State…how is that Summit League-Missouri Valley challenge talk looking now?
  • South Dakota also with 3 games in 3 days.  Tre Burnette had 22 points and 16 rebounds against Wright State.

 

Notes of me watching the UNO Women’s game online

I was not able to go to the Women’s basketball game today.  I don’t have to explain myself to you!  I watched this game instead of going to watch the Husker football game, so lay off.   I got the Mav tv on the Omavs website, and I decided to take some notes during the game.

  • In the pregame, Brittany Lange stated that a bulk of her post players are sitting out this year, so finding a rotation at the 5 could be difficult.  Caroline Hogue missed a month of practice, and if finally starting to get into things.  Sara Echelberry is a good choice at the 5 with her height, but she has more of the skills of playing the 3 or the 4.
  • As someone that is the same age as Lange, she totally passes the Someone I Could Get a Beer With test that people apparently base their voting decisions on.  If Lange (and Hansen) wanted to just grab a beer at Benson Brewery and hang out, I would so be there.  Mainly because I have a billion questions of Lange.
  • I thought you could get away games on this Mav tv deal.  This is a bummer.
  • My wife is watching Gossip Girl in the other room.  I’ve watched a total of 10 minutes of that entire show.  I feel like I could make a 8 minute montage of Blake Lively sobbing horribly based on the snippets that I have watched.
  • A double dribble was called?  Is that a new rule?
  • It looks like the West side of the court is still cursed.  Every shot is a brick.  Brick Yard Brewing needs to have a stand in Baxter Arena.
  • The right plug in my headphones does not work.  I’ve gone through 3 pairs of headphones this year.  Don’t ever let me buy you headphones.
  • We’re hitting some threes!
  • Amber Vidal and Bobbi Beckwith are really active at the top of the zone.  Central Florida is having a bit of an issue getting the ball past the two of them.
  • As I say that, a UCF player makes a cut right by the two of them and gets a two point basket.
  • So many Remy Davenport threes.
  • I am a big Vidal fan.  This could be a really odd comparison, but her handle of the ball and movement to the basket reminds me a lot of NBA’s Rod Strickland.  Super weird, right?
  • Remy Davenport looks more serious and more confident than last year.  She looks ready.
  • Look at how much deeper this team is.  They only graduate one player, someone might transfer out, but hopefully not half of the team… If they can keep a bulk of this team together and add the three players sitting out this year, they are can be a very tough out for teams next year.  Dare I say, a top 3 team in the Summit?  I’m seriously just throwing out a number, because I do not know much about the other teams in the Summit other than South Dakota State.
  • The Mavericks’ plays along the top of the key with the passes are really good.  Vidal and Beckwith are finding Davenport and Brecht open with ease.
  • Jonathan Green just asked if this would be the last media time out, and he got a hard NO from a woman’s voice.
  • UCF is making it a close game here in the final four minutes.  Please don’t make me break my computer on the second day of me owning it.
  • Rylan Murry liked one of my tweets.  I am pretty upset with him on his plug of Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries.
  • You can sense the nervousness in Jon Green’s voice that he is seriously terrified that he may have cursed the sealing the win.
  • Why can the men not bring the ball up to half court like the women?  I’m seriously going to break this thing and it’s stupid super sensitive mouse touchiness.
  • I like Caroline Hogue.  I liked her the second I saw the words “record” and “blocks” on the press release of her signing with Omaha.
  • Over the summer, when I was looking at the roster of new players, I was very afraid of how Lange might do rotations and figure out minutes for all the players.  I know it is just one game, but this looks pretty good so far.
  • 10-of-39 threes for the team.  I know it’s not a great percentage, but when was the last time the Lady Mavs hit ten threes?
  • 17-22 from the free throw line, I like that.
  • I think the girl that told Green NO on the final media time out just had a had a conversation with him over the commercial audio that they would go to one more break and where she would put the audio file of the game.  I love mess ups like this in broadcasts.  I just sit at the edge of my seat like: oh my gosh, someone cuss someone else out…please!
  • The three freshman that played on the team combined for 28 of the team’s 75 points.  Those three are going to be handfuls for the Summit over the next few years.
  • A buddy and I, have an over/under bet for women’s basketball.  We had a pretty low number of wins for UNO’s basketball team because of uncertainties that we had, but I selected the over.  I’m liking my chances for a free Growler of beer.
  • The woman told Green to have a great rest of the end of his day.  Hopefully he can get home and watch his precious football (and volleyball).

 

Notes about my tears from the Mavericks home opener

So I had kind of a bummer of a day yesterday.  My laptop finally died on Thursday night and confirmed yesterday that it had passed.  It was an ASUS, and I somehow got 7 years out of that piece of crap.  I was hoping to stretch its life out until after Christmas, but I knew our relationship was ending soon, so I had been backing everything up pretty good for the last year or so.  I still lost a few things that I will never get back, but I will not lose the pride in making a cheap hunk of junk last twice as long as it should have.  If anyone wants to go to a field and break it to pieces with my wife’s softball bats and listen to some gangster rap, I’ve got a little spare time.  We can bring the cheapest 40 we can find too.  Why?  Because I think it’s actually a societal norm that if a cop catches you doing illegal stuff in the middle of a field that you need to have a 40.
But there was a basketball game last night.  It was frustrating, there was very little flow to it with all of the fouling.  Yeah, not a big fan of the fouling.  We saw some new faces and some old ones with new haircuts.  The crowd was big, which was great.  The student section was full!  It wasn’t very loud, but they did not have much to cheer for in the first half.  It was just a really odd first half.  Justin Simmons and CJ Carter were both on the sideline to cheer on the Mavs.  I think I may have saw Alex Phillips as well, but I was not 100% sure about it.
  • So my seats got temporarily moved over a section with something to do with hockey that I didn’t quite fully understand but I nodded my head because I am a weak adult, the new seats were not as great of an angle.  I made up for it by drinking a Shock Top Twisted Pretzel ale.  As far as I know, you can only get this beer at Omaha Mavericks and Omaha Stormchasers games.  I am one and done with drinks at sporting events.  I never get these people spending 80 bucks on 10 beers at a sporting event and going to the bathroom every 10 minutes.  You spent at least 100 bucks to pretend to be at a sporting event.  I’m pointing at you CenturyLink Citizens.
  • The pregame for my friend and I was at Ponzu.  Why is Ponzu so bad at wrapping their sushi?  It just falls apart.  We were able to make at least 20 Seinfeld references though.  You cant beat that.
  • As we were sitting there the marching band (or I assume the marching band) came by pounding on drums around Aksarben Village.  My friend and I discussed how it’s actually kind of weird to see school spirit around UNO.  That wasn’t there 5 years ago.
  • So Randy Reed?  High energy guy off the bench?  Damn it, I hope that continues!  He is going to play such a big role in the Summit League, everyone has a 6’5″ or 6’6″ guy they throw in at the 4.
  • I know that Santa Barbara was missing their top returning player, and Omaha was missing Marcus Tyus, but Tyus’ three point shooting was dramatically missed last night.  I still say the basket on the side of the visiting team’s bench is cursed.
  • The fouls got annoying, this is worse than two years ago, it completely took any flow out of the game.  This scares me for a team that needs a face pace and flow to win games.
  • Jake White fouled out, took some contact himself, but he was healthy and that is so awesome.  He had a hard fall to the ground and quickly got up, like it was his way of showing us all that he was alright.  I remember a game last year in  which he fell to the ground and my wife’s coach mind was saying “get up kid, get back on D, what is wrong with him?”  And I sat there like: Careful babe, he might literally break.
  • I feel like Devin Patterson is able to channel this inner Chris Paul thing from time to time, but last night was not that night.  He has taken bad games by him personally in the past and had great bounce back games in the past.  Can he save that for UMKC when he goes up against an All American?
  • Did anyone notice that Kyler Erickson has an entire Millard South section cheering for him?  I think it’s 215 or 216?  His one rebound in the game was fantastic.  It was another moment where I thought the Mavs were giving up another offense board, but then he came flying out of no where to start a break.  He was out on the floor for the last defensive play.  I want to point that out.
  • It was so hard for the Gauchos to find passing lanes with Devin Patterson and Tra-Deon Hollins on the court at the same time, like they seriously could not figure it out.  I’m coining that backcourt as: The Devil’s Gate…whether you like it or not.
  • Hollins is a bandit.  He steals everything.  Remember in Home Alone 2 when Marv is thinking of all the dumb nicknames for him and Harry?  I motion to nickname Hollins as The Sticky Bandit.  It’s also great that this team has two passers that can penetrate as well.  All the kick out threes from the two of them to Tyus and Gibson are hopefully coming.
  • I want to say this about Tre’Shawn Thurman.  He picked up that second foul in the first half, and you could tell he was just angry with himself.  He sat on that bench in absolute Hulk like anger.  He was never more ready for that second half to begin.  When the first half ended, he wasted no time getting up off that bench and running to the locker room.  The fouls did not scare him in the second half, he came out more aggressive on offense and showed off some new post moves.  You could feel his pain and anger at the end of the game as he walked off the court.  He is a leader.
  • Seeing Zach Jackson get the start was a shock for me, especially since Tyus was in warm ups.  Jackson did okay though, he didn’t pass up on his first shot and took it with confidence.  He was not scared.
  • JT Gibson also played with great confidence.  Those two threes in a row got the big crowd back into the game.  He made it a game.  Going to love watching Gibson and Jackson grow and develop.
  • Toward the end of the game, the team bench was dry.  It was a close game, and guess who got the rest of the team to get up and cheer on their teammates…Ben Kositzke.  I think I was sitting near the Ben Kositzke and Alex Allbery fan clubs too.
  • I saw Rylan Murry after the game.  He looked sad.  I wanted to yell “Skinny Love” again, but I had Pandora on Skinny Love at work all day on Thursday and I think I almost cried at the music selection.
  • Did I hear Jon Green say this right on the radio: If UNO Volleyball wins the regular season title, they get to host the Summit League tournament the following year?  Oh my.  I wish this worked to a degree in basketball.  But like, since we beat Marquette last season, they have to come to Omaha to play the following year.  Or if Wisconsin lost to Western Illinois last night, they will have to travel to the fine town of Macomb in 2016.  Why cant that be a thing?
  • IUPUI beat Indiana State.  Oral Roberts beat Missouri State.  North Dakota State beat UC Davis.  How tough is the Summit this year?
  • If the Mavericks are ever on ESPN or ESPN2, or whenever they make the NCAA tournament; I badly want to see Derrin Hansen slowly and dramatically take off his glasses like he is in the cheesiest TNT drama that has ever been produced.

My open invitation to Adam Devine to attend a UNO game with me

Dear Adam Devine,

So we have never met, but we are connected by six degrees of separation.  We both attended Millard South High School, but I graduated two years after you did.  I hang out with a few people that were pretty close to you in high school, yet I do not remember if you and I ever actually crossed paths.  You know Bob, right?  Everyone knows Bob, he’s that guy everyone kind of likes but they really hate because he makes terrible decisions and is always late to everything.  He is that character on your favorite semi dramatic-semi comedic show that you keep hoping will get written off the show and move off far far away.  Bob moved to New York recently, life in Omaha has been pretty sweet since then.  You and I were friends on Myspace though, back when I was a “comedian.”  You even wrote a generic comment on my wall once.  That was even before Workaholics, so I guess you are the one that is crazy about me…

Let me cut to the chase.  I know you are a big Husker fan, but the Mavericks are up and coming in division one.  I just bought season tickets for the first time, and if you want to come and have the most awkward blind man date of all time, you just let me know.  You are invited any time to come with.  I will not be weird and try and pitch you ideas for a television show.  Seriously though, wouldn’t a good television show be a parody of The Hills, but instead of a bunch of ritzy 21-25 spoiled kids, we could produce a show called The Bluffs?  The Bluffs would be about some 21-25 lower class dudes trying a bunch of get rich schemes to get the heck out of Council Bluffs.  You get at me about that one.

There is another Millard South alum on the Mavericks team, his name is Kyler Erickson and he seems like he is a pretty cool dude, some may even say that he is even cooler than Billy Zane.  He is a bad ass walk on that really helped the team out many moments last season, and he seems like a quality leader on the team.  I give a first pump in the air every time he scores or makes a scrappy defensive play that leads to a score.  Here is his website.  We can get behind a Millard South guy being awesome.  We should probably appreciate this, because this could be the last time a Patriot is a division one basketball player for a while.  Ryan Curtis could have played division one, wasn’t he awesome?  Don’t pretend like you were too busy to go to basketball games in your junior year.  Don’t even try it.  Oh, I was in the Mr. Millard South show two years after you.  There are so many ice breakers between us.  Being 30 and still talking about how bad ass you were in high school is totally healthy, right?  There is a Millard West guy on the team as well, so let’s not even give him a chance for our claps.  Let’s just assume that he think he’s better than us.

You need to come see the taco cannon.  So far let’s tally this up:  You get to see a basketball game for free.  You get to see a Millard South guy play college basketball.  You get to see tacos being shot out of a cannon.  I won’t even sit there and talk about how Austin Anderson was a better stand up comedian than you.  I will not bring that up once.  I can update you on other UNO athletics as well, things are incredibly different since you skipped town.  The entire campus has changed even.  When I started going in 2004, I constantly felt like I was on the set of a 1980s Michael Douglas film, but everything has been renovated now.  There are more and more dorms, and it is growing with Aksarben Village…parking somehow got worse though.  Oh yeah, Aksarben is a thing again.  There is this place called Voodoo Taco, it’s not owned by the same people that own Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, but they have really good tacos.  Oh, if you haven’t been to Portland either, I can be the world’s worst tour guide there.  My wife hails from the Portland area.

I need to put this out there.  My wife does not really like Workaholics.  I try to watch it and she is just like “why are you watching this?  They had a house full of rats and murdered the rats by throwing them into ceiling fans and other household appliances.”  I guess she just does not get classic humor.  She is in love with Pitch Perfect though, so she has become more prideful that I walked the halls of Millard South with you.  She brings it up to her friends more than I do.  Her friends are like: whoa what was Adam Devine like?  Then I’m just like: High school was weird. I listened to Weezer and ruined my track career by drinking too much soda.  So I didn’t pay much attention to the loud upperclassman guy that thought he was funny.

This is probably why I would not be the weird fan just wants to ask you what being famous is like.  I might ask what Anna Kendrick is like.  I feel like she would get me.  Instead of asking you all of those questions I would ask what alternate routes you found in Millard South when the main hallway was under construction and you didn’t want to go outside.  I am pretty excited about Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates though, and I have not even seen a preview.  It’s a reboot of that Debra Messing Wedding Date movie, right?  Seriously, how cool is it that you’re in a movie with Milton from Office Space?

So check your schedule, check the Mavs schedule, and get at me.  I am a fair guy though, so we can go to a Nebraska basketball game too.  You have to pay for that one though, but I will drive your rental car.  We can play a game too where we go to local comedy shows and sit right in the front row and watch them get super nervous that you are there.  We can have paper and take notes and they will wonder why Adam Devine is taking notes of their performance.  It will scare the crap out of them.