Marquette isn't the only Big East men's basketball team traipsing around Europe this month. Georgetown will be going on a trip as well, in fact, they'll be playing the same opponents as MU, just a few days behind. DePaul will be scooting around France later on in August. Creighton is the final team on a trip, and they're already over in Italy and played a game on Saturday.
Six players scored in double-figures as the Creighton men's basketball team opened its three-game tour of Italy with a 119-47 victory at Oleggio on Friday night in a humid Palazzetto Dello Sport Gymnasium.
THEY WON BY SEVENTY-TWO??
It took til the 2:22 mark of that video to find a basket that Creighton scored a basket that was obviously not in transition. The Jays were up 35-9 after the first 10 minute period. They shot an eFG% of 59% and held Ollegio to 28%. CU forced Ollegio to turn the ball over on 35% of their possessions. Creighton grabbed 48% of their missed shots for a second chance, and only allowed Ollegio to get to 14% of their misses.
Points per possession in this NINETY-NINE possession game went like this: Creighton, 1.20 ppp; Oleggio, 0.47 ppp.
All of that happened without being able to shoot corner threes because of the dimensions of the court. In fact, Creighton flat out sucked from behind the arc, shooting just 26%.
And thus, Creighton uncovered my one fear about Marquette's trip to Europe: What if the teams they're playing are absolute crap and don't actually help the Golden Eagles get better at basketball?
I realize that's not really the point of the trip. I know that it's largely a team bonding exercise. I know that it's largely a chance to get these guys an interesting life experience, maybe a once in a lifetime kind of experience.
But there's a TEENSY bit of "hey, let's gel together as a basketball team on the court" involved in this trip. This is accentuated even more by head coach Steve Wojciechowski having to integrate five freshmen and Wally Ellenson into his regular reliable rotation. I don't possibly see how playing games that could ultimately turn into nothing more than a glorified open gym session truly helping Marquette get better as a basketball team.
Of course, this could just turn out to be an unfounded fear. Oleggio isn't one of the teams on Marquette's schedule, and maybe the teams that Basketball Travelers has lined up for the Golden Eagles are of a much better quality. We'll have to wait til Wednesday to see what awaits.