Creighton coach Jim Flanery might be concerned if his women's basketball team shoots 25 percent, turns the ball over 30 times and gets outrebounded by a dozen in Wednesday's exhibition game against Southwest Minnesota.
Then again, he might not.
“I'm probably more concerned about our kids getting a chance to play with each other and finding substitution patterns that work,” Flanery said. “I want to see what kind of offensive continuity we have with Carli and McKenzie in there.”
Carli Tritz and McKenzie Fujan — two of Creighton's four returning starters — have missed considerable preseason practice time because of back injuries. Tritz, the Missouri Valley's preseason player of the year, returned to practice for the first time Monday after sitting out most of the previous two weeks.
Fujan got a chance to play in Saturday's scrimmage at Iowa but had practiced just once in the previous two weeks.
“She was a bit rusty,” Flanery said.
Flanery said he would like to have both players see action against Southwest Minnesota. The 5 p.m. game at D.J. Sokol Arena will be Creighton's lone exhibition before the Nov. 10 opener against Oklahoma.
“I'd like to play Carli about 10 minutes on Wednesday, but a lot will depend how she feels,” Flanery said. “There's no reason to play her more, but it would be good to get her two or three sequences in the first half and then sit her after halftime.”
Tritz has a stress fracture in her back and also is bothered by pain in her right knee that was surgically repaired before the start of last season. Fujan has been slowed by a disk problem in her back, Flanery said.
The availability of Tritz and Fujan will determine who Creighton starts against the Division II opponent. Flanery said senior guard Ally Jensen, junior forward Sarah Nelson and junior center Alyssa Kamphaus definitely will be in the lineup.
The 6-foot-3 Kamphaus, who has played an average of eight minutes a game in her first two seasons, has made solid improvement during the offseason, Flanery said. Her game is more of that of a back-to-the-basket post player, which requires some adjustments for a team that featured more of an open offense last season when the 6-foot Nelson was the Bluejays' primary inside player.
“The floor spacing is a little different with Kamp out there, so a player like Sarah has to adjust to playing more away from the basket than she did last year,” Flanery said. “The exhibition game is just another chance for them to play together.”
It also gives the Bluejays a chance to work on some issues that cropped up during the scrimmage against Iowa. NCAA rules prohibit Flanery and his players from divulging details about the scrimmage that was closed to fans and the news media.
“There are things we struggled with in the Iowa scrimmage, so this game will allow a chance to work on them,” Jensen said. “Plus it's a chance for our freshmen and the players that didn't get a ton of minutes last year to get a little more experience.
“It will be a chance to put on a jersey and play in front of our fans. That's always fun.”
Contact the writer:
402-679-2298, firstname.lastname@example.org; twitter.com/PivOWH