Creighton Bluejay Info
Head Coach: Doug McDermott
Location: Omaha, NE
Conference: Big East
Mascots: Billy the Bluejay, Doug McDermott
Last time out: Beat Long Beach State
Typical Rotation Depth: 10-11 players
Line: Creighton by 13
Fun Fact: Grant Gibbs received a 6th year of eligibility from the NCAA and will be the only player born in the 80s on the court.
Fun Fact: Doug McDermott is taking 35.6% his team's shots, good for 14th best in the nation.
0 Tai Webster 6-4 194 Fr
5 Terran Petteway 6-6 209 Jr
31 Shavon Shields 6-7 219 So
15 Ray Gallegos 6-2 182 Sr
35 Walter Pitchford 6-10 234 So
1 Austin Chatman 6-0 180 Jr
12 Jahenns Manigat 6-1 180 Sr
10 Grant Gibbs 6-5 210 Sr
34 Ethan Wragge 6-7 225 Sr
3 Doug McDermott 6-8 225 Sr
Player to Watch: Doug McDermott
McDermott can score from the outside, score on the inside, rebound, doesn't really pass or play D. He's also one of the best college players in the country and fairly unstoppable by one guy unless you have an elite defender.
Players to Watch: Ethan Wragge and Devin Brooks
It's all about the guys who are going to hurt you when you focus too much on McDermott. Wragge is the 6'7" player guy who does nothing but hit 3pt shots at over a 50% clip. Brooks is a JUCO transfer who brings a scoring punch off the bench ala Deverell Biggs.
Tim Miles builds basketball programs so it's not surprising that he's embracing this rivalry...the entire point is win or lose to make basketball more than just a way to kill time between football seasons. Creighton's move from the MVC to the Big East perceptually turns them from Wichita St to Marquette....not a better team but a team who plays in a better conference. In the future expect this game to have a more prime time slot than the Sunday afternoon.
Last game Creighton just sort of gave up starting any of their centers and rolled out Ethan Wragge at the 5...which is essentially the same sort of size issue the Huskers have. The Bluejays do have some size that they try and roll out for limited time but more than likely the Bluejays will use that size to negate Leslee Smith and to gain a rebounding advantage than score.
The Bluejay offense revolves around Doug McDermott. He's going to be running off screens and picks against a Husker man offense and will shoot anytime he has single coverage. If you're able to double him enough, just make sure it's not with Wragge's defender as his job is to take a 3 when you cheat on defense. Same sort of deal goes for Devin Brooks as he's the most aggressive offensive player after McDermott. Basically you dare the other players to beat you and hope they're not up to the task.
The Husker's bench should play a major role in this game. David Rivers didn't play a single minute against Miami but expect him to play a critical role in guarding McDermott as Doug draws a lot of fouls and we need Terran and Shavon to stay in the game. Miles is trying to limit Leslie Smith's minutes this year...that limit might not apply to this game given we don't play again until Saturday. Deverell Biggs is 30 points waiting to happen and is heading home to play in Omaha....it wouldn't be shocking to see him start against Creighton's smaller lineup.
For Nebraska, this is the equivalent of a road game vs Iowa or Minnesota...their performance here sets the expectations for how the Huskers will fare on the road in the B1G against middle tier teams. Nebraska can win this one but the home field shooting advantage is probably too much for this team to overcome. If it doesn't happen, don't fret too much Husker fans...Greg McDermott doesn't have any more kids with college eligibility.
Prediction: Creighton 78 - Nebraska 70