There was a bit of a surprise when Creighton released their schedule late last week: the Bluejays will be hosting North Texas.
Creighton and North Texas may not sound like must-see TV, but trust me when I tell you that it is. Creighton is going to spend all year in and around the top 15. They return the majority of their roster from a team that went 29-6 last season, including all-american forward Doug McDermott, who averaged 23.2 points and 8.2 rebounds. The Bluejays advanced to the NCAA tournament and even won a game, knocking off Alabama in the opening round.
North Texas has a chance to be pretty good in their own right. The star of the Mean Green’s roster is Tony Mitchell. Mitchell is a former top 20 recruit and a potential lottery pick in the 2013 NCAA Draft. Mitchell didn’t become eligible at UNT until December last season — after sitting out a year and a half — but he still managed to average 14.7 points, 10.0 boards and 3.0 blocks in his first season playing college basketball. He’s the real deal.
And he’s not the only player that North Texas has. Rising junior Alzee Williams returns, as does Oklahoma State transfer Roger Franklin. Grambling transfer Justin Patton will finally be able to play as well. The x-factor — beyond Mitchell’s decision to return — will be if Jordan Williams and Chris Jones are able to stay in the lineup. They both missed the last 13 games last season after being declared academically ineligible.
Seeing McDermott go up against Mitchell will be one of the highlights of the early November schedule.
According to the White & Blue Review, Creighton was holding this date open in an effort to land a game against another high-major opponent.