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Around the Rim (6/4/10)

We are two months into the Greg McDermott Era at Creighton, and two months away from his first Bluejays squad returning to campus to start the fall semester. There are plenty of questions that need answers: Is the roster finalized? What will the schedule look like? How will McDermott’s staff improve on last season’s disappointing record?

The players will spend their summers helping answer that final question, working out with Creighton Strength and Conditioning Coach Dan Bailey and playing a little Summer League basketball. That’s right: by all accounts, McDermott wants his players to participate in a local league during the next few months, much like Dana Altman’s teams did during 2007 and 2008. And while I doubt you would see any Nebraska and Creighton players on the same team like Utah, BYU, and Utah State are doing, if the past leagues are any indication the games will be fairly competitive.

But until the powers that be can finalize the summer league details, we at WBR know you need a fix for your summer hoops cravings. Enjoy the following links compiled during the past few weeks!

Player Movement

Creighton fills roster — In case you haven’t heard already, Creighton filled the scholarship vacated with the removal of P’Allen Stinnett. No, it wasn’t walk-on guard Kody Ingle, but former Gonzaga guard, Grant Gibbs.

Gibbs will sit out a year and watch while Ingle joins last year’s four walk-ons in an attempt to earn a future scholarship. With Coach McDermott only wanting to travel with 13 or 14 players on the roster, we may not be able to see as many human victory cigars next season. No word on what Stinnett plans to do next season.

Dayton adds Dillard — Former Southern Illinois guard Kevin Dillard will join the Dayton Flyers this season, and will sit for a year before suiting up in 2011-2012. He joins a crowded roster of guards that will compete for playing time one season from now.

A Bradley blogger has his own strong opinions of Dillard while following his transfer visits to Dayton and Alabama. Dillard will join another former MVC guard, Drake’s Josh Parker, as transfers to Dayton. SIU is struggling with keeping players lately, but it appears that coach Chris Lowery is willing to go back to his old coaching ways.

Bock finds a home — Creighton transfer Andrew Bock finds a school closer to home in the Pacific Tigers. Bock will sit next season and be ready to play in 2011-12. After burning his freshman season at CU as a back-up guard behind Antoine Young and Cavel Witter, Bock will have a full season to practice with Pacific and attempt to regain the form that helped him lead his high school to a state championship.

Northern Iowa players still receiving attention —Jordan Eglseder and Adam Koch are trying to begin professional careers, while coach Ben Jacobson and Ali Farokmanesh continue to live out their 15-minutes of fame by being invited to this year’s ESPY awards.

Jim Les won’t play against son While Bradley head coach Jim Les ponders going with a tall lineup next season, he told the Peoria Journal Star that they won’t schedule a game against California-Davis where his son, Tyler, will play basketball. He doesn’t want to “scheme” against him. I guess going to Bradley wasn’t an option?

Scheduling

MVC non-conference schedules — WBR continues to compile the Valley’s non-conference schedules as we find the information. A few games of note:

  • Southern Illinois will be part of the ESPN 24-hours of hoops to kick off the season, and the Salukis will also face former coaches Matt Painter and Bruce Weber in games against Purdue and Illinois early in the schedule.
  • If everything goes like it is supposed to, Evansville will host North Carolina.
  • Missouri State will travel to Oklahoma State.
  • Wichita State will participate in the Maui Invitational.
  • Indiana State will play Purdue in Indianapolis.

Let us know if we are missing any games.

Bradley following Creighton’s lead — Bradley is opening a new arena on campus that will be mainly used for women’s sports, similar to Creighton’s Ryan Center. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any men’s events there. Among scheduled events for the Braves’ men’s basketball team at the arena are the Braves’ “Midnight Madness” event and the annual Red-White game before the season starts. The 4,200-seat arena will also be used for hosting any campus-site postseason tournaments (like the CBI and CIT).

Mid’s schedule badly on purpose — I sometimes thought that Illinois State scheduled their non-conference games the way they do because they can’t get anyone to play them. But after reading this interesting article about decent teams like Morehead State and Murray State schedule their non-conference season, it appears they just bank on winning their conference tournament. But Illinois State hasn’t shown this theory works for them yet.

Former Bluejays

Korvers keeping busy — While Kaleb Korver prepares for his senior season on the Hilltop, his brothers Kyle and Klayton are keeping busy. Kyle’s foundation continues to help others, including those in the brothers’ home town. Definitely an inspiring story. It will be interesting to see after July 1 if Kyle stays in Utah or if he looks for a new team.

Tolliver building on success — Anthony Tolliver enjoyed a lot of playing time in the final months of the season for the Golden State Warriors.  Watch this great interview with Anthony. He, like Korver, is a free agent; hopefully he gets another opportunity to log minutes in the NBA.

Bits and Pieces

Altman Era in OregonBelieve me, I am ready to let Altman move on in Eugene, but since joining Oregon, the press he gets now is hard to avoid. One article outlines the whole process of Altman getting to Oregon, one on how tough it will be to turn Oregon around, and one from a diehard Oregon fan hoping this relationship will work. Even assistant coach Brian Fish gets some air time with his “positive attitude.” Well, that might be enough of reliving the past. I am definitely ready to move on.

Weems and Leonard to be watched — Missouri State finished 2009-2010 on a strong note. And now two of the better Bears players, Kyle Weems and Adam Leonard, are starting to make names for themselves outside the Missouri Valley Conference. Sports Illustrated stud Andy Glockner lists both Weems and Leonard among his “non-BCS” players to watch.

BYU unique — BYU has always offered the NCAA a unique situation, considering the school’s different policies and practices based on its religious affiliation. In the long run, will that hurt them if conference realignment was a possibility for the Cougars?

There won’t be an issue with the schedule when the Cougars travel to Omaha to face Creighton this season. The Bluejays welcome BYU on a Wednesday night (December 1) during the MWC/MVC challenge.

Betting on the Jays?Are you a betting person? The early lines are out for the 2010-11 season. Creighton is a 100-1 bet to win the NCAA Tournament. There are a lot of other 100-1 bets out there, but what is funny is if they aren’t listed, the rest of the field is 50-1. Purdue, Ohio State, and Kentucky are clearly the early favorites in this listing.

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