Game 1: November 11, 8 pm.
Opponent: UMKC Kangaroos
Location: Omaha, NE
Site: CenturyLink Center
The much awaited 2016-17 Creighton basketball season is here. After a dress rehearsal last Friday, which resulted in a 93-46 win over Wayne State, the Jays take the floor for the first game against University of Missouri-Kansas City.
In the exhibition game the Bluejays had a balanced attack paced by transfer Marcus Foster. Playing in his first game as a Bluejay, the 6-3 guard scored in a variety of ways even though only taking eight shots. But the real star of the night was Ronnie Harrell. The 6-8 sophomore had ten points and eight rebounds and played with a great deal of energy and control, something he did not do in his freshman year. Despite some sluggish play in the half court, the Jays were still able to put up 93 points and controlled the pace of the game.
What you need to know: UMKC’s top performer from last year, Martez Harrison, is back to pace the Kangaroos. What could cause them a problem is their lack of size. UMKC has only three players taller than 6-5. Look for the Jays to make some hay down low, especially getting Justin Patton more comfortable in his role at the post. Another item to watch for: Can the Jays be more efficient in the half court?
What you don’t need to know: A couple of points about the match up against UMKC. First, raise your hand if you know what conference UMKC is in. For those who said Summit you are absolutely wrong. If you said the WAC, well congrats. Yes UMKC is in the WAC, the conference most associate with the schools who are now in the Mountain West conference. In the last decade the WAC has dropped considerably in prestige, with members of the likes of Chicago State, Grand Valley and Seattle now in place.
The second point is about their nickname, the Kangaroos. A very unique name that I rather like. But how in the world did a school in Kansas City become the Kangaroos? Well their name was born in the 1930’s for their debate team. Apparently two kangaroos were born at the Kansas City zoo and the school took its name from that event.