Thought Train Thursday (Rapid Reaction): Martin Krampelj Tears ACL3 min read
Martin Krampelj – who was making a solid case for the Big East’s Most Improved Player – tore his ACL last night in Creighton’s 80-63 victory over B-Frank’s Seton Hall Pirates. Krampelj will miss the remainder of the season. I got the news right as I was boarding a plane in Omaha. I’m now sitting in the Phoenix Sky Harbor (awesome name for an airport) racing against the 45-minute free WiFi clock.
This flat out sucks. This is the second season in a row that Creighton has lost an impact player to an ACL tear during Big East play. Last year it was point-guard extraordinaire Maurice Watson against Xavier. Now, a year and a day later, Martin Krampelj will suffer the same fate.
— Creighton Basketball (@BluejayMBB) January 18, 2018
A young Creighton team has already exceeded early-season expectations much thanks to players like Krampelj making unexpectedly large strides this year. It will now be up to Ronnie Harrell – most likely – to step into Martin’s starting spot and perform. Harrell has quietly been an x-factor for the Bluejays this season. Just yesterday he poured in 18 points. He’s done just about everything you could want out of a bench player: playing meaningful minutes, taking smart shots, and pulling down plenty of rebounds.
Creighton managed to utterly dominate Seton Hall yesterday, even after Krampelj landed awkwardly along the baseline closest to the home bench. This level of play would be wonderful, but shouldn’t be expected – at least for a time – going forward. It helps that Marcus Foster seemingly couldn’t miss last night, sinking off-balance three-pointers that haven’t found the net recently.
Seton Hall came into yesterday’s contest ranked 19th in the country, but just didn’t have it. Creighton jumped out to an early 20-4 lead. The Pirates fought back, cutting the halftime lead to 7 points, but the Bluejays surged in the second half behind great shooting and pleasantly stifling defense. Seton Hall’s big 3 of Angel Delgado, Desi Rodriguez, and Khadeen Carrington combined for only 12 points. If not for Myles Powell’s sharpshooting, Creighton would have won by 30.
Delgado got in foul trouble that plagued his performance for the entirety of the game. Carrington was careless with the ball and never got into an offensive rhythm. Most puzzling was Kevin Willard’s benching of Desi Rodriguez for virtually the entire last 30 minutes of the game. Per B-Frank, Desi and Willard have butted heads in years past, and lucky for Creighton – this was the game that happened. Willard claimed that Rodriguez seemed disinterested, but Desi refuted that claim in a tweet shortly after the game ended.
Haha really funny , why wouldn’t I want to be out there battling with my guys I love these dudes they are my brothers , we will be just fine trust me ✊🏽
— Desi Rodriguez (@desirodriguez6) January 18, 2018
The tweet still hasn’t been deleted some 19 hours later. In case it does, it reads “Haha really funny, why wouldn’t I want to be out there battling with my guys I love these dudes they are my brothers, we will be just fine trust me”.
It’s a shame that Creighton couldn’t celebrate what might’ve been their best win to date for very long, and the team and its fans will sure miss Martin Krampelj. He has injured the same knee previously, and I hope him a swift and successful recovery.