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Around the Rim (9/9/09)

Wow, it has been a few weeks since we have been Around the Rim. With school back in session and the Bluejay basketball schedule being released for the most part last week, the buzz for basketball season is already on the rise. Oh wait! Football season just started. But if you’re like me and you need your basketball fix, here are a few interesting stories that pertain to Creighton hoops and basketball in general.

Bits and Pieces

  • Here’s something unique for the area. The UNO Mavericks will be launching their basketball season with a 12:01 a.m. tip-off on November 15 at the Sapp Fieldhouse. These unique games are always fun for fans and I am sure the players get a little more pumped up as well. Jays fans are sure to remember (or, maybe they had so much fun they forgot) the late night Fresno State and Drexel Bracketbuster games at Qwest Center Omaha. Fun stuff.
  • Last season ESPN launched their 24-hours of basketball marathon last season with games played at all hours of the day. I was a bit disappointed that the MVC wasn’t a part of that. The folks in Bristol are bringing that made-for-TV event back this season on November 17. And again, the MVC won’t take part (no school wanted to play in the time window offered). Too bad. These types of things could really help build a little more exposure for the Valley, which has struggled to capture positive at-large consideration during the last couple of NCAA Tournaments. I suppose the coaches are the ones who probably aren’t as keen about these unique situations as the rabid fan bases.
  • Speaking of scheduling … here is an interesting behind-the-scenes take on Richmond’s scheduling process. It just shows the struggles schools outside of the Big 6 deal with when trying to schedule basketball games, especially at home.
  • Make sure to check out the new Don Cheadle-produced drama on FX this fall called “March to Madness” about a corrupt college basketball program that manages to reach the March Madness NCAA basketball tournament through some duplicitous means. I wonder what the NCAA has to say about that even though it is fictitious? Remember the heat “Playmakers” took before it was pulled off the airwaves in part because of pressure from the NFL?
  • If you haven’t tweeted lately, or if you think Twitter is something you get from too much caffeine, you might be missing out on the entertaining world of some of the best men’s basketball coaches in the country currently using Twitter. Tweet away.
  • Speaking of which … it is sad to see George Mason head coach Jim Larranaga hanging up his tweeting skills as the season gets underway. He provided some unique insights and shared some great information, in less than 140 characters. But his bagel comment seems to be the impetus for shutting down his tweeting lifestyle. C’mon, NCAA brass. Let the guy make a joke!
  • Speaking of NCAA officials … some showed up in Wichita a few weeks ago to see if the city’s new downtown arena will be good enough to host first and second round NCAA Tournament games in 2011, 2012, or 2013. Not-Koch Arena faces some stiff competition in the Midwest, where Omaha’s QCO is competing for the same years.

How about some Creighton information, then?

  • Josh Jones is one of the “Faces of Creighton.
  • I wonder if the Bluejay Banter guys can get one of their sponsors, Culvers, to create a Creighton flavor of frozen custard like Missouri State has. Blueberry, perhaps? Too easy? What would you recommend? Tell us in the comments section below.
  • The Bluejays and their fans knew a few weeks ago they would face a tough matchup in the first round of the Old Spice Classic. But that perception might take hold a bit more now that two Michigan players make an appearance on the Wooden Watch list.

TV Updates

  • Leading into football season, Omaha’s Cox Communications added the Big 10 Network to its lineup (including all of the multiple feeds for games going on at the same time). As we posted last month, now is the time to voice your request if you want to see The Mtn. Channel added to the lineup before basketball season so you can watch the Creighton-New Mexico game in the comfort of your own (Omaha Metro Area) home.
  • Don’t expect KMTV or another local outlet to carry this game, as the MWC and The Mtn. Channel own all television rights for the MVC-MWC Challenge games originating at the MWC schools. They would have to release the TV rights, and that probably won’t happen. In this scenario, your only option will be to watch the games on The Mtn., and as of today no MVC school is planning to carry one of the games back to a Valley market (read: the Illinois State and Bradley games).
  • Oh, those of you with DirecTV could have skipped those two paragraphs. Sorry.
  • On the other hand, DirecTV has shutdown the Versus channel on their system. This might be of interest to MVC fans since the MWC does have some of its games on that channel during the season, as well as some A-10 and Conference USA games. Since the Creighton-Dayton game starts at 12 p.m. on Saturday, November 14, I’m led to believe television is involved in some way; maybe it is on Versus or something. But you probably won’t see Dayton’s point guard.
  • Speaking of Creighton games on TV … there will be several more games announced down the line. As of right now, the Old Spice games will be on the ESPN family of networks and the January 19th home game against Wichita State will be on ESPN2. Fox Sports Net, KMTV, and NET will divvy up the remaining CU games in the next couple of weeks. Be sure to check our resource library often, as we’ll keep tabs on all of the TV broadcasts for Valley games as they are announced.

Recruiting News

  • In case everyone wondered where Greg Allen went after not enrolling at Creighton this fall, the California prep star joined the team at Navarro Junior College in Texas. The NJCAA has him listed as one of their Letter of Intent signees. With Doc Sadler’s inability to count scholarships, I wonder if Greg could have made it here if there was actually a scholarship available had Creighton done the same thing Nebraska did?
  • Former Northern Iowa head coach and current Iowa State top dog Greg McDermott has Dana Altman on speed dial now that his son is considering an offer to play for the Bluejays. McDermott tweeted this weekend that they are in Florida going through their official visit at Central Florida, with the Jays and Panthers getting visits in the next couple of weeks.
  • What happens when you are signed and ready to play for a school because of a coach, and then the coach bolts for another school? Here is another one of those stories. Interesting to see that Creighton popped up in the mix. Players seem tied to coaches these days and not to schools. It makes me wonder whether players will care about their alma mater, or just remember they played at a school where Coach X worked.
  • And finally, here’s an interesting article from the Washington Post about fan sites and recruiting sites being involved in the recruitment of players to certain schools. I have always wondered how recruiting sites and services like Rivals and Scout skirted the NCAA rules on basketball recruiting, and this Post piece sheds a whole different light on things. A very interesting and in-depth read.

Alumni News

  • Kyle Korver is continuing to prepare for his and Deron Williams’ dodge ball tournament next week. Watch the video along with this report, or catch the Youtube videos. Brother Kaleb gets in on the action, too.
  • Congrats to Joe Dabbert, though I hope he likes the cold. Dabbert was drafted in the NBA D-League Supplemental draft by the Maine Red Claws. Joe spent last season with the Colorado 14ers of the D-League. He started 44 of the 50 games he was in and scored about 11 points and grabbed 6 boards per contest. Maine now owns his rights, but he is free to sign with a European team, an actual NBA team, or a team in another league. The Red Claws are affiliated with the Boston Celtics and the Charlotte Bobcats, meaning Dabbert could be called up by either of those teams to the NBA at any time.
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