Head Coach Dana Altman tonight won his 250th game as the Bluejays' general. It's a really impressive number and I have all the respect in the world for him for doing at a school that he could have left behind a long time ago. Yet, I wonder how many times in the other 249 wins, the Jays turned the ball over 21 times and looked like rejects from an Old School 2 casting call during certain moments of the game?
The word of the night - Fortunate. Fortunate that Bradley missed many open 3's (5 for 23!). Fortunate the Will Franklin was off all night (4 for 16 FGs, 2 for 10 from 3). Fortunate that Bradley only scored 18 points off 21 Jays turnovers. Fortunate to have Nate Funk and Anthony Tolliver combine to shoot 13 for 22 from the field AND play amazing defense all night. Fortunate that Bradley can't rebound and allowed 21 second chance points to Creighton.
A win is a win is a win but this was UGLY again. Last time out, the Jays played sloppy basketball and lost by 3 to Wichita on the road. This time, at home, they won 65-54 but looked just as bad at times. Sure, they had Nate Funk hit some huge shots tonight and the A-Train had some killer rebounds and block shots. Highlights for sure. Yet, if this team is going to win the Valley - they can't allow a team that they dominated in the key areas to hang around because they don't take care of the basketball. Check this out:
FG % CU - 48 BU - 37
Reb CU - 42 BU - 27
3pt % CU - 37 BU - 21
2nd chance pt CU - 21 BU 12
If those things happen - you think, DAMN easy win right? That's my point! They should have killed Bradley tonight! Instead they are weak with the ball (Nick Porter = 4 turnovers) and allow teams to hang around because of it. SIU will eat the Jays for dinner Saturday playing that way. 18 points off turnovers - way too many and getting out scored 32-22 in the paint gave Bradley a chance to steal this one.
I love Josh Dotzler for trying to play but he's killing the Jays when he's in there right now. 3 turnovers in 13 minutes. The reason is because he's playing with one hand and can really only dribble to his right. It's too easy to play defense with him in there because it's 4 on 5. He doesn't scare anyone because they know he can't shoot. Again, I know he needs to play to get his legs back but his hand isn't 100% and until it is, I don't think he should play in key situations.
The Dogs come in Saturday....Jays have never beat them at the Qwest. It's going to be a wild night with hopefully a sell out crowd. CU better not play around with the basketball like they have the last 2 games if they want to win. They got some breaks tonight with Missouri St and Wichita losing. 6-2 - alone in first - for now.
PS - I talked to a scout from the Indiana Pacers tonight who said about Nate when asked if he can play in the NBA: "He's quicker than you think. He gets the ball and really does a great job finding his own shot. I'm really surprised that they don't run more plays for him - delayed screens, isolation plays etc. His shooting is going to really separate him on the next level. He's a bit undersized but his shooting will get him a lot attention. Yes, I do believe he can play on the next level."