The Bluejays ended their 2007-2008 season with a thud. CU got a taste of what the rest of the country is going to experience in the near future with the Gators - tough, fast, very good basketball players who want to take Florida back to the top. UF was 5-1 all time against NIT foes at home and showed why their only loss was a 2 point defeat to Georgetown last night.
Creighton played horribly and Florida was just on. The result was a 28 point beat down. Not the effort Dana Altman wanted but I didn't think they would win anyways...Florida is still Florida. Nick Calathes is a PLAYER and had the school's 2nd EVER triple-double. Their post players can really run the floor and they have shooters all over the floor.
The real disappointing number was turnovers - 21 of them. The Jays had only 5 assists! Nick Bahe ended his Jays career with a career high 5 turnovers. Booker Woodfox was 2 for 14 from the floor ending his great run of performances to end the year. Kenny Lawson, Dane Watts, and Kenton Walker couldn't do anything on the inside as well.
It's very hard to win on the road in college basketball, but the atmosphere in Gainsville was a great learning experience for the baby Jays. Now, it's time to get to work for Cavel, P, Book, Kenny, and Kenton. It's their team now. Add some good new recruits and the future is bright.
The Jays end the year with 22 wins, all important streaks continued, and a thrilling post season win. Nobody can say that this year wasn't a success given the expectation level that many had for this team. Rarely does a team meet expectation. Normally they go above or below. But the Jays were picked 4th in the Valley - they finished 4th. They were picked for the NIT - they made it to the NIT. They were expected to beat Nebraska - and did. They were expected to extend the streaks - and did.
Now the Jays look towards a 2008-2009 season in which they mostly likely will be picked to win the Valley. The NCAA tournament will be expected out of this bunch. You can only hope that the development continues under Dana Altman and the team learns from their mistakes this season. Consistency will be the No. 1 thing CU must improve. The roller coaster ride will not be accepted as easily next year.
All in all....a VERY fun year. Only 3 teams this year will end their seasons with a win. When you lose in all honesty, doesn't matter. However, you hope that the performance in Gainsville is the motivational fuel the Jays use to get better for next year.....when does the Council Bluffs Summer League start?