By now, senior Sarah Nelson knows that her coach can be a demon in trying to put together difficult nonconference schedules for the Creighton women’s basketball team.
“Flan always schedules like this,” Nelson said, “and I think it just shows he believes in us.”
Jim Flanery has plenty of faith in this season’s team, but not even he would schedule a home game and a road game against power conference teams 27 hours apart.
So why then are the Bluejays playing Minnesota (Big Ten) at 1:05 p.m. Saturday at Sokol Arena and at Kansas (Big 12) at 4 p.m. Sunday? Flanery sheepishly said it’s not by design.
In putting together this season’s schedule, Flanery thought he had scheduled the home game against the Gophers on Sunday and a road game at Kansas on Wednesday. When he received the contracts back from each school, Flanery filed them away without reading the fine print.
Creighton assistant Chevelle Herring was setting up film exchanges with schools in mid-September when she noticed a small problem that she brought to Flanery’s attention.
“She said, ‘Minnesota and Kansas both have us on their schedules playing on November 17th,’ ” Flanery said. “I was like, ‘That can’t be right.’ ”
Flanery pulled out the contracts and discovered, yes, both games were scheduled for Nov. 17.
“I was like, ‘Oh, man, what an idiot,’ ” Flanery said. “I scheduled all 10 years that I was an assistant and I’ve done the scheduling since I’ve been the head coach. There’s no one to blame but myself.
“Ironically, Minnesota and Kansas are playing on the 20th, the day I thought we were playing Kansas. Fortunately, I called both schools and they were kind enough to work things out.”
In trying to find some positives in his faux pas, Flanery remembered that Creighton’s best game last season might have been the 91-74 win against South Florida that came in the second game of the Cancun Classic. The Bluejays posted a nine-point win over Miami (Ohio) the night before.
Nelson also sees value in the experience.
“It’s going to be interesting,” she said. “I think it will almost be a good thing with us going into the Big East, and it will be good prep for the Big East tournament where you win a game and you have to go play another. They’re two really good teams, and I know we’re looking forward to playing them.”