Saturday, January 24, 2009

Is the Pressure Getting To Creighton?

Choking?  Wilting under the pressure of high expectation? Maybe.

The Qwest Center is one of the most beautiful buildings in the country for college basketball.  The city of Omaha has flocked to the arena for Bluejay basketball games like nowhere else in the Missouri Valley Conference or most places in the country for that matter.  You have to ask though - after the past 3 home games - are the large crowds becoming a pressure cooker for these young Jays?  You could see in their eyes today....they looked scared as things slipped away.  You could almost feel their disappointment as they knew they were letting everyone down.  

17,100+ people were at the game today - that's a lot of eyes on a struggling team.  It leads to a lot of cheering and loving on when you win...and a lot of attention around town.  But the stage is large and the expectations are growing with the crowds.....when you pay hard earned money to watch basketball - people want to watch a winner.  Omaha doesn't like to watch losing....and they hate to watch a team that doesn't appear to understand how to do the little things.  

Now, the Jays are still a good team and Coach Altman didn't forget how to run his program but these young players are beginning to fall apart at home when pressed.  The players want it too much.  They are trying too hard to be the hero going 1 on 5.  The fans are awesome but these players might not have the make-up to mentally handle all the attention that comes with 17,000+ a night.  Those are NBA type attendance numbers for players that play in an NBA type-arena.  Unfortunately for CU - they don't have any NBA type players on their roster.  

The Drake game today was just another example of this team not being tough enough.  Killed on the boards, killed on 50-50 balls and forced to play Drake's style of game in 2nd half.  The Jays were pushed around at home again and if it wasn't for a miracle win against SIU in overtime - Creighton would be in the middle of their first ever 3 game losing streak at Qwest Center Omaha.  Let's see what happens on Tuesday night but the fans are restless after this loss.  They want to watch a winner and right now, they don't know what they are going to see night to night.  Scarely, I don't think Coach Altman does either.

Jays are 2-2 at home in Valley play.  3-2 on the road.  It's been that kind of year.  Makes no sense.

Big 12 Counter - 2-3.  Doc Sadler had his first Dana Altman-NIT-Chase the refs off the court moment today in Lincoln.  2 point overtime loss to Okie St but what made him flip was a non-call on a intentionally missed FT by Ryan Anderson.  Doc thought there should have been a foul called....but there was a lot contact on both sides.  It was a good non-call.  Cowboys win.  Kansas up next.  I said the next 3 will tell you a lot - 0-2 and here comes KU.

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