Head Coach: Greg McDermott
Location: Omaha, NE
Conference: Big East
Mascot: Billy Bluejay
Last time out: Lost to Gonzaga
Typical Rotation Depth: 10
Line: Nebraska by 6
Combined number of minutes played at the PBA by the Creighton Roster: Less than 1, all by Davion Mintz
Player to watch: Ty-Shon Alexander
The Jays spread out their scoring but the 6'4" sophomore shooting guard has become Creighton's go to with his team high 27.3% shot share on the floor. Not only is Alexander taking the most shots but he's extremely efficient in doing so. He has a 65.7 eFG% fueled by 45.5% 3pt shooting. Is Glynn Watson the guy tasked with making Alexander's life difficult?
KenPom Helps explain the Roster
- The Jays are missing a stretch 4 so while they have 3 post players they typically play only 1 at a time. That puts a 6' 5" guy on either Copeland or Roby
- All the Jays guards are hitting 3s at a high percentage. The bigs will occasionally take a shot from long range if open.
- Davion Mintz is the starting PG but is more of a scorer than a distributor
- Mitch Ballock did a job on Glynn Watson last year with Khyri Thomas in foul trouble
- New Mexico transfer Damien Jefferson has established himself as the 5th starter and is the ball handler most likely to draw contact
- Martin Krampelj is still effective but he's not quite the player he was before he tore his ACL last year
- PG of the future Marcus Zegarowski will eventually turn Mintz into a backup as he the more gifted distributor. He's see plenty of playing time.
- Soph Jacob Epperson and Fr. Samson Froling back up Krampelj. Froling is probably more of a dynamic driver but more error prone. Epperson is automatic if he receives the ball in the paint
- 4 star Syracuse trarnsfer Kaleb Joseph never really panned out but chips in about 10 minutes for this team
- Rice grad transfer Connor Cashaw also is a 10 minute a game breather for the starters
The first 4 minutes of this are Miles taking the blame for the Minnesota loss and then the next 6 minutes were spent getting out in front of the usual questions about not beating Creighton nor McDermott. Your point of view is what might lead you to surmise that the operation rents space in Miles' head and/or he's more focused on beating this team than they are. If you want to a preview for how we might prep for a NCAA tournament game where the stakes are your pride instead of the season, here you go.
The Skinny: This a young Jays team where you didn't know what to expect at the beginning of the season. After struggling a bit to start the season it seems like they found their identity in the Cayman Island as a team that is going to try and overwhelm or outscore you by always running the ball and hunting for 3s with Ty-Shon Alexander emerging as the go to player on offense. Defensively they're just trying to slow you down without putting you on the free throw line.
Approximately two seasons ago the Huskers decided that they wanted to take away the 3 from opposing teams. It might have been the conference or the Jays but whatever the reason after years of running a pack which the Jays would shred the Huskers now run the type of defense you would build specifically to stop them. Defensively for Nebraska this game will probably come down to how much the Jays are willing to change their game plan to attack the rim and how well Nebraska can slow them down with their post players. If Nebraska finds themselves helping off of shooters inside this is going to be a long day. Offensively you can score on this Creighton team but you really need to be mindful about how you do it. Bad shots will be turned into transition points. Running and gunning will put the game into a rhythm that tends to benefit the Jays and their advantage in depth. The Jays will try and wear down this team in general for the offensive advantage. Home court is always an advantage in these games. How does this young Creighton team respond in their first true road game of the season? Is the crowd able to will the Huskers when legs are tired?
Nebraska, Miles, etc. really care about this game but is this the first time in a while that Nebraska has cared more about it collectively than Creighton? The Jays finally lost long time Nebraska-focused assistant Darren Devries. Their roster from two years ago is almost completely different. You might have just watch a coach in Miles up above seeming to act like his very job would boil down to winning this game. Failure is a powerful motivator so between these last several years and our trip to Minnesota we are very motivated. Very motivated.
Prediction: Nebraska 82 - Creighton 72