ESPN College GameDay – Jan 6, 2008

Saturday, February 13, 2021 –  College GameDay is going to feature Sister Jean to preview the Drake – Loyola series. A series that will likely determine the fate of the MVC Regular Season Championship. 

Although College GameDay has discussed Valley teams over the years only one school had hosted College GameDay.

The Southern Illinois Salukis

On January 26, 2008 – The College GameDay crew including; Reece Davis, Hubert Davis, Jay Bilas and Digger Phelps came to Carbondale before the Creighton Bluejays battled the SIU Salukis.

I’ve mentioned it on the podcast in the past but the experience was unbelievable. At the time I was a manager for the Salukis so I was able to get a ground level view of the production.

As you can notice most of my pictures were taken on a digital camera without a stabilization feature. That same camera is likely somewhere in the bowels of Gatsbys II on the Carbondale Strip.

A few of my favorite highlights from the day:

  • My #1 memory was Hubert Davis. I’ll never forget when he walked into SIU Arena (pre-renovation) for the first time. I happened to be down on the court and remember him just looking around the arena, which included the wooden bleachers in the upper bowl and the Reece’s Pieces color scheme lower bowl. His first comment out of his mouth was “Wow, now this is cool and a true college basketball environment.”
  • The hosts really interacted with he fans. As they counted down before going on air either at the opening or from commercial breathy always talked to the fans to get them pumped up.

  • Digger Phelps signed his autograph with “Go Irish!”

  • During the broadcast they highlighted defensive drills with Coach Lowery. The non-scholarship, freshmen and redshirts were the ones that participated so that the others could rest for the game.
  • Coach Lowery used College GameDay as a motivator. That season the SIU/Creighton rivalry was on the down swing. After a bad stretch of games a common remark would be that “ESPN could always change their mind.”
 

As you can see in the video below, I was very excited for GameDay to be in Carbondale (9:27). 

Before getting to the game just take a look at these Valley standings as of 1/26/08. 

  1. Drake
  2. Illinois State
  3. Indiana State
  4. Creighton
  5. SIU
  6. Southwest Missouri State
  7. Northern Iowa
  8. Bradley
  9. Wichita State
  10. Evansville

The 2007-08 season would have been Gregg Marshall’s first year with the Shockers. The Drake Bulldogs (like this year) was a household name with their national ranking and 5 seed in the NCAA tournament later that year, after winning MVC regular season and Arch Madness. 

As for the game, it was televised on ESPN2 and Jay Bilas, Dan Shulman and Erin Andrews were on the call.

After completing zero research, I’m confident that the Creighton – SIU game was the lowest scoring game of a College GameDay host.

The 48-44 SIU victory highlighted a return to “Floorburn U” for the Salukis. In the second half the Bluejays went almost 13 minutes without a field goal, missing seven shot and committing eight turnovers. This allowed the Salukis to erase a 10-point deficit led by Saluki Seniors Matt Shaw (16), Bryan Mullins (13) and Randal Falker (7).

Creighton was lead by Booker Woodfox (11) and Kenny Lawson Jr. (9).

This was the 9th win over the Bluejays for the Salukis in their last 10 meetings.

Box Score

Ep20 Feb6-10 Valley Hoops Action
Ep21 Feb13-Feb17 Valley Games

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