2011-12 Creighton Men’s Basketball
Game #35 vs. Alabama at NCAA Tournament • Friday, March 16, 2012 • 12:40 p.m. CST
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. #19 Creighton Bluejays
Greensboro Coliseum (22,400) • Greensboro, N.C.
Radio: KXSP 590 AM, Westwood One
Series History: First Meeting
Last Meeting: First Meeting
Eighth-seeded and 19th-ranked Creighton (28-5, 14-4 MVC) returns to the NCAA Tournament for the 17th time when it takes on ninth-seeded Alabama (21-11, 9-7 SEC) in second round action of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Friday’s game will start at 12:40 pm Central and be contested at Greensboro Coliseum (capacity 22,400) in Greensboro, N.C.
The winner will advance to a third-round game on Sunday against either North Carolina, Vermont or Lamar.
Radio Broadcast Information
KXSP (“AM 590 - Omaha’s ESPN Radio”) will broadcast all Creighton men’s basketball games during the 2011-12 season. T. Scott Marr and Nick Bahe will call the action.
The game will also be broadcast nationwide and on Sirius/XM satellite radio on Westwood One, by Gary Cohen and Reid Gettys.
By contract, only the Westwood One broadcast can be audio webcast. All Westwood One audio will also be streaming in the March Madness Live product and will appear on the free side of the application.
Visit dialglobalsports.com or ncaa.com/march-madness for more details.
Television Broadcast Information
Creighton’s game will air nationally in its entirety on TBS, with Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg on the call. Tracy Wolfson will serve as sideline reporter.
Watch On The Web
Turner Sports, CBS Sports and the NCAA announced that NCAA® March Madness® Live, formerly March Madness on Demand, will now provide college basketball fans with more opportunities to watch every minute of every game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
Produced by Turner Sports Interactive, NCAA® March Madness® Live is a suite of live products presented across multiple screens, including online and as an iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch app and, for the first time, on Android phones.
NCAA® March Madness® Live will be available to users across all video screens - online, mobile and tablet- and over Wi-fi and 3G for $3.99 beginning on March 7.
Fans will be able to enjoy live streaming video of every broadcast for the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship as they are televised by TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV, continuing through the Men's Final Four® and National Championship Game from New Orleans on March 31 and April 2.
NCAA® March Madness® Live will continue to be launched from NCAA.com, CBSSports.com and SI.com.
Coordinates and uplink windows for all NCAA Tournament press conferences are available at http://www.ncaa.com/media.
Coordinates for all press conferences from Greensboro are as follows:
AMC1, Transponder 18, Slot C&D, Downlink Freq 12069 (V) 18 MHz
Live Stats Information
All NCAA Tournament games will have live stats. Fans can go to http://ncaasports.com. Links to Creighton games will also be posted on www.gocreighton.com.
Updates are also provided on the athletic department’s Twitter page (@gocreighton).
Ranked 19th nationally in the AP poll and 20th in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, Creighton is 28-5 on the season and finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 14-4 mark.
Creighton earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after winning the State Farm MVC Tournament championship on March 4th.
The Bluejays, who have been nationally ranked in at least one poll in 15 of the past 17 weeks, have won seven straight since a season-high three-game losing streak.
First Team All-America forward Doug McDermott leads the MVC and ranks third nationally in scoring (23.2). Also named MVC Player of the Year, McDermott is also second in the MVC in rebounding (8.2) and three-point percentage (.495). His 765 points are a single-season record at Creighton.
Also scoring in double-figures is the team’s lone scholarship senior, Antoine Young (12.5 ppg., 4.4 apg.). Young was named second-team all-MVC, while center Gregory Echenique (9.8 ppg., 7.4 rpg., 1.6 bpg.) took home MVC Defensive Player of the Year honors.
On the wings, Gonzaga transfer Grant Gibbs (7.1 ppg., 5.1 apg., 4.3 rpg.) ranks second in the MVC in assists, while Jahenns Manigat (6.8 ppg.) led the MVC in three-point percentage at 49.2 percent during league games.
The Jays finished 14-2 at home, but have done their most impressive work on the road. Included in CU’s 10-3 true road record are wins at the defending league champs from the Mountain West (San Diego State), Missouri Valley (Missouri State) and Conference USA (UAB), in addition to league runner-ups from the MVC (Wichita State) and Conference USA (Tulsa) and the defending MVC Tournament champs (Indiana State). The Jays are a perfect 4-0 in neutral site games as well.
Through games of March 11th, Creighton ranked among the national leaders in most offensive categories, including first in field goal percentage (.509), third in three-point percentage (.425) and second in assists per game (17.9), seventh in scoring offense (80.0), seventh average home attendance (16,664), and seventh in assist/turnover ratio (1.46).
Scouting The Opponent
Alabama is 21-11 on the season and finished 9-7 in Southeastern Conference play. The Crimson Tide were 8-8 away from home this season, including neutral site wins over Maryland, Wichita State, Purdue and South Carolina.
JaMychal Green averaged 14.0 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while also topping the squad with 36 blocked shots.
Also in double-figures is Trevor Releford, who averages 11.9 points per game and owns a team-best 63 steals.
Five other men average between 5.3 and 7.1 points per game for Alabama.
Offensively, Alabama averages 64.9 points per game and shoots 45.2 percent from the floor, 28.5 percent from three-point range and 71.5 percent at the line.
The Crimson Tide have some of the best defensive numbers in the country, holding foes to 38.8 percent shooting and 58.1 points per game.
The Coaches Greg McDermott (Northern Iowa, 1988) is in his second season as head coach at Creighton, where he owns a 51-21 mark. McDermott has previously been a head coach at Iowa State (2006-10), Northern Iowa (2001-06), North Dakota State (2000-01) and Wayne State (1994-2000). He owns a career mark of 331-216 in 18 seasons and is 200-152 in 11 Division I campaigns. McDermott is assisted by Darian DeVries, Steve Lutz and Steve Merfeld.
McDermott is 0-3 as a Division I head coach in the NCAA Tournament, having lost five-point games as Northern Iowa’s head coach in 2004 (vs. Georgia Tech), 2005 (vs. Wisconsin) and 2006 (vs. Georgetown).
He also made two NCAA Tournament appearances as a Division II head coach at Wayne (Neb.) State in 1999 and 2000. His 2000 team reached the Sweet 16.
Alabama head coach Anthony Grant (Dayton, 1987) is 63-38 in his third season at Alabama, which boosts his career mark to 139-63 in six seasons overall if you include his three-year reign at VCU. He is 1-2 in two prior NCAA Tournament appearances. Grant was also an assistant coach at Florida from 1996-2006. He is assisted by Dan Hipsher, John Brannen and Tony Pujol.
Creighton and Alabama have never met. Greg McDermott is 0-1 in his career against Alabama, losing 83-68 on Dec. 27, 2007 in Las Vegas.
He is 1-1 in his career against SEC foes, having also beaten a Final Four-bound LSU team in the 2005-06 season.
Anthony Grant has never faced Creighton as a head coach.
All About Creighton
Creighton is a private university operated by the Jesuits and located in Omaha, Neb. It was founded in 1878 at the bequest of Mary Lucretia Creighton, the widow of telegraph pioneer Edward Creighton, who included money in her will for the establishment of a school in her husband's name.
Creighton has an enrollment of 7,730 students, with more than 3,000 of those in graduate school in CU's renowned Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Law and Pharmacy and other health professions.
Of Creighton's 7,730 students in nine schools and colleges, 58 percent are female and 42 percent are male. Geographically, all 50 states and 68 different countries are represented by the student body. Omaha has a population of 373,000 and is annual home to the College World Series, which will celebrate its 63rd consecutive year in Omaha in June.
Creighton offers NCAA Division I athletics in 14 varsity sports (six varsity sports for men: baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and tennis, eight varsity sports for women: basketball, crew, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball).
All men's and women's teams, except crew, compete in the 105-year-old Missouri Valley Conference, the oldest college conference west of the Mississippi River.
Among the Creighton's famous former student-athletes are Charlotte Hornets coach Paul Silas, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson and Chicago Bulls guard Kyle Korver.
The Bluejay Mascot
“Billy Bluejay" is the official mascot of the Creighton University athletics department. The Bluejays were originally depicted by a "birdwatcher's bluejay," but that was changed in 1941 when Joseph P. Murphy, a Creighton alumnus, designed the current version of Billy, one with a more human stance and expression.
Prior to 1924, Creighton teams were referred to as the "Hilltoppers," but that name lost favor because at least six other teams in the country also used the same nickname.
The Omaha Bee assisted the University's Athletic Board and Alumni Association in finding a new nickname by asking readers to submit possibilities.
After reviewing 200 entries, the Athletic Board decided upon "Bluejays" because of the school's colors, blue and white. Today, Creighton remains the only NCAA Division I athletics program known officially as the Bluejays.
Please note that Creighton’s nickname (Bluejays) is one word, which is different than the Toronto baseball team that is two words (Blue Jays).
Postseason x 15
Including this year, Creighton has made the postseason in 15 consecutive seasons, extending the longest streak of postseason bids in MVC history.
The only eight schools to make the postseason in each of the last 15 years are Creighton, Duke, Florida, Gonzaga, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State and Syracuse.
NCAA Tournament History
Creighton is making its 17th NCAA Tournament appearance, and eighth in the last 14 years. The Bluejays are 9-17 all-time in NCAA action, including a 6-10 record in its first game.
Creighton’s last NCAA Tournament game was on March 16, 2007, where seventh-seeded Nevada beat Creighton, 77-71 in overtime, in New Orleans, La.
Creighton’s last NCAA Tournament win came on March 15, 2002, when Terrell Taylor drained a three-pointer with 0.2 seconds left in double-overtime to beat fifth-seeded Florida, 83-82, in Chicago, Ill.
In 24 previous NCAA or NIT appearances, Creighton has never won consecutive games in the same event.
MVC vs. SEC
Since 1994, the Missouri Valley and Southeastern Conferences have met up eight times, with the MVC holding a 5-3 edge.
MVC vs. SEC, Since 1994, in NCAA’s
Year MVC (Seed) SEC (seed) Rd.
1994 #12 Tulsa #1 Arkansas 3rd
1998 #9 Illinois State #8 Tennessee 1st
1999 #12 Missouri State #4 Tennessee 2nd
2000 #10 Creighton #7 Auburn 1st
2002 #12 Creighton #5 Florida 1st
2002 #11 So. Illinois #3 Georgia 2nd
2004 #9 So. Illinois #8 Alabama 1st
2006 #7 Wichita State #2 Tennessee 2nd
Winners in bold
Act Like You’ve Been There
Creighton has just one player with experience in the NCAA Tournament. Grant Gibbs spent two seasons at Gonzaga, where the Bulldogs made the Big Dance in both 2009 and 2010. Gibbs redshirted during the 2009 appearance, but did play one minute off the bench in a loss to Syracuse.
Only two schools won their league tournament in both men's & women's basketball this season: Creighton & South Dakota State.
This is the fifth time in MVC history that the same school has won the men’s and women’s tournament titles in the same season. Creighton, however, is the first program to do it twice (UNI 2010, Creighton 2002 and 2012, Missouri State 1992, Illinois State 1983).
Tournament Titles Help
Only five teams in the March 4 edition of the Associated Press top-25 poll went on to win their conference tournament title, an elite group that includes Missouri, Michigan State, Murray State, Florida State and Creighton.
Since 2004, six of the eight teams that won a national title, first won their league tournament title. The only exceptions came in 2005 and 2009, both years that North Carolina won the national title.
One Shining Moment
Currently an assistant coach at Creighton, Steve Merfeld coached one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history when his 15th-seeded Hampton team defeated second-seeded Iowa State, 58-57, in Boise, Idaho, in 2001.
Merfeld’s team closed the game on a 14-2 run, capped by a Tarvis Williams basket with 6.9 seconds left. ISU All-American Jamaal Tinsley’s coast-to-coast lay-up attempt rolled out as time expired.
As the final horn sounded, Merfeld across the court from his bench area to the other side, where he was picked up by forward David Johnson in an enduring image as Merfeld kicked his feet in jubilation.
Friday marks the 11-year anniversary of that game.
Coaching Experience In The Dance
Creighton’s coaching staff boasts a combined 15 Division I NCAA Tournament games under their collective belts as either a player, graduate manager, assistant coach or head coach. Greg McDermott is 0-3 in NCAA Tournament action, all of it as head coach at Northern Iowa (0-1 in 2004, 2005 and 2006). Steve Merfeld is 1-2 in NCAA Tournament action, all of it as head coach at Hampton (1-1 in 2001, 0-1 in 2002). Darian DeVries is 2-7 in NCAA Tournament action, all of it as an assistant or graduate manager with Creighton (1-1 in 1999 and 2002; 0-1 in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007).
Alabama coach Anthony Grant was an associate head coach at Florida in 2002 when Creighton upset the Gators in double-overtime.
Creighton By Region
Creighton owns a 6-9 record all-time in the Midwest Region. That includes two wins each in 1962 and 1974, and one win in both 1964 and 2002.
History As An Eighth Seed
Creighton is a eighth seed for the second time in history The Jays were also seeded eighth in 1981, where it lost to Saint Joseph’s by one point.
Since the NCAA began seeding all the teams in 1979, MVC teams are 1-3 as the eighth seed, with the lone win coming in 1984 by Illinois State.
Since 1985, No. 8 seed is 51-57 against No. 9 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. However, the No. 8 seeds are 22-18 in the past 10 tournaments vs. the No. 9 seed.
Ten different teams seeded No. 8 have made the Sweet 16 since 1985, most recently Butler last season.
Nationally, teams seeded No. 8 have combined for two or more wins in each of the last four years.
Combined with Wichita State’s No. 5 seed, this is the first time since 1984 that the MVC owned two top-eight seeds in the same tournament.
Creighton’s NCAA Tourney Seeds
(since seeding began in 1979)
Year Seed Record
2012 8th ? ? ?
2007 10th 0-1
2005 10th 0-1
2003 6th 0-1
2002 12th 1-1
2001 10th 0-1
2000 10th 0-1
1999 10th 1-1
1991 11th 1-1
1989 14th 0-1
1981 8th 0-1
Creighton and Alabama have played just one common opponent this season, Wichita State. The Bluejays were 1-1 in those games, while the the Crimson Tide went 1-0 against the Shockers.
Opponent Creighton Alabama
Wichita State CU 68-61 Alabama 70-60
Against NCAA Opponents
Creighton went 3-1 against teams that made the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Jays were 1-0 against San Diego State and Long Beach State, and 1-1 against Wichita State.
Alabama went 4-6 against NCAA Tournament teams, having beaten Wichita State, Purdue, VCU and Detroit, but losing to Georgetown, Kansas State, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Florida (twice).
Connections With Alabama
Creighton and Alabama don’t have a lot in common, but a few things come to mind.
Former Creighton softball student-athlete and assistant coach Kate Petullo is now the director of softball operations for the nationally-ranked Alabama softball program.
The first of Creighton’s school-record 10 road wins this year took place in Alabama, when the Jays defeated UAB, 70-60 on Nov. 16th. That was just the second game Creighton had ever played in the Yellowhammer state (both wins).
Creighton is 5-1 all-time against teams from Alabama. CU is 1-0 against Alabama State, UAB, Samford and South Alabama, and 1-1 versus Auburn.
Since 1970, Creighton has had just two players from the state of Alabama. Brandon Sims (Birmingham) played for CU in 2002-03, while Marcus Lockett (Tuscaloosa) played at CU from 1994-96.
Charlotte Bobcats head coach Paul Silas is a Creighton graduate. Silas, who was inducted into the MVC Hall of Fame on March 2nd, is one of five men in NCAA history to average at least 20 points (20.5) and 20 rebounds (21.6) in a career (joining Bill Russell, Julius Erving, Kermit Washington and Artis Gilmore).
In 2005, Creighton was sent to Cleveland for the NCAA Tournament. Silas, then the Cavaliers head coach, was fired four days after Creighton was eliminated by West Virginia. He’s certainly hoping for better results this time around, despite running a Bobcats team that is currently 5-34.
Sweet Valley Success
Since 1994, the MVC is 21-34 in the NCAA Tournament with eight Sweet 16 trips to its credit. The last Valley team to reach the second weekend was UNI in 2010, which came thanks to a stunning win over top-seeded Kansas.
MVC in the NCAA’s, Since 1994
(Sweet 16 trips in bold)
Year Teams NCAA Record
1994 Southern Illinois, Tulsa 2-2
1995 Southern Illinois, Tulsa 2-2
1996 Bradley, Tulsa 0-2
1997 Illinois State 0-1
1998 Illinois State 1-1
1999 Creighton, Evansville, Missouri State 3-3
2000 Creighton, Indiana State 0-2
2001 Creighton, Indiana State 1-2
2002 Creighton, Southern Illinois 3-2
2003 Creighton, Southern Illinois 0-2
2004 Southern Illinois, UNI 0-2
2005 Creighton, UNI, Southern Illinois 1-3
2006 Bradley, UNI, So. Illinois, Wichita State 4-4
2007 Creighton, Southern Illinois 2-2
2008 Drake 0-1
2009 UNI 0-1
2010 UNI 2-1
2011 Indiana State 0-1
Totals (since 1994) 21-34
Creighton has won eight postseason games since 2008, including two in the NIT (2008 and 2009), two in the 2010 CIT and four in the 2011 CBI. On a national basis, Creighton’s eight postseason wins since 2008 rank tied for 10th nationally.
Most Postseason Wins, Last 4 Years
17 North Carolina
11 Michigan State
9 Ohio State
8 Oregon State
7 West Virginia
More Postseason Nuggets
Creighton’s postseason success in recent years has spawned these nuggets:
- Creighton is one of 10 schools with a postseason win each of the last four years. That list consists of Creighton, Duke, Kansas, Kansas State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin.
- Creighton is one of seven schools with multiple postseason wins each of the last two years. That list consists of Butler, Creighton, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State and VCU.
Postseason Features Last-Second Endings
Nine of Creighton’s previous 10 postseason runs have included a game that was decided in the final seconds.
In fact, Creighton’s postseason openers in the past 10 years have had three games decided by one point (including a double-OT finish), two by two points, two by six points (including an OT finish) and three games by 11 points.
Last year Creighton’s season ended in heartbreaking fashion in the CBI title game at Oregon. Creighton had the ball in a tie game with the shot clock off, but committed a backcourt violation on Oregon’s unique floor. The Ducks’ E.J. Singler then banked in a game-winning shot with 2.0 seconds left. A desperation three-pointer by Creighton was off the mark.
In 2009, Creighton rallied from a 14-point deficit and would hang on to beat Bowling Green, 73-71 in the first round of the NIT. The Jays needed a last-second defensive stand, as BGSU’s Darryl Clements’ game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.
The following game, Creighton led Kentucky by one with 36 seconds left, only to miss two free throws and see UK All-American Jodie Meeks convert a three-point play. CU’s Booker Woodfox, the nation’s No. 2 three-point shooter, missed an open trey as time expired, and Creighton lost 65-63.
In 2008, Creighton rallied from a 12-point deficit in the final 3:07 to top Rhode Island, 73-72, in the first round of the NIT. Cavel Witter hit the game-winner with 3.2 seconds left to give CU its first lead of the game since 3-0.
In 2007, Creighton had the ball for a final shot in a tie game against Nevada in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Nate Funk’s shot attempt missed, and a tip-in try was also not converted. The Jays would eventually lose 77-71 in overtime.
In second round of the 2006 NIT, Miami (Fla.) guard Guilermo Diaz drained a free throw with 2.6 seconds left to beat Creighton 53-52. A last-second shot attempt by Bluejay senior Johnny Mathies was knocked out of his hands.
In the 2005 NCAA Tourney, Nate Funk had his three-point try with seven seconds left blocked by Tyrone Sally, and Sally raced downcourt for a breakaway dunk with 2.4 seconds left to give West Virginia a 63-61 win. Funk’s three-point try from the corner missed at the buzzer.
In 2004, Creighton fell 71-70 to Nebraska in the NIT. The Jays led nearly the entire second half before NU’s go-ahead basket with 12 seconds left. Nate Funk’s game-winning jumper from 18-feet away was blocked by Husker guard Jake Muhleisen.
In 2003 Creighton lost 79-73 to Central Michigan in the NCAA’s. The Jays trailed 50-24 with 16:24 left but a furious rally got them within two points (72-70) with 1:20 left, only to turn it over the next three possessions.
In the 2002 NCAA’s, Creighton beat #15 Florida, 83-82, in Chicago. Terrell Taylor hit a game-winning trey with 0.2 seconds left in double-overtime, his final three of 28 points after a scoreless first half.
With A Win
With a win on Friday, Creighton would improve to 29-5 on the season, and win its eighth straight game.
-Creighton would tie a school-record with 29 wins in a season. The 2002-03 team finished 29--5.
-Creighton would improve to 10-17 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with its first win since a 2002 upset of Florida.
-Creighton head coach Greg McDermott would improve to 1-3 in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Tidbits On Creighton
-Creighton and Murray State are the nation’s only teams with three top-50 RPI wins and 10 true road wins.
-Creighton went 10-3 in true road games this season, setting a school-record for road wins in a season.
-Creighton has been nationally-ranked by either the USA Today/ESPN or Associated Press poll 15 different weeks this season.
-Creighton won road games at San Diego State and Wichita State, making it one of six schools with multiple road wins at top-28 RPI opponents.
-Creighton leads the nation in field goal percentage and is third in three-point percentage.
-Creighton was the nation’s only team to claim three non-conference wins over the Big Ten.
On A Roll
Creighton’s seven-game winning streak is the third-longest win streak they’ve ever taken into the NCAA Tournament. Notably, three of the previous four times Creighton has entered NCAA action with a streak of six or more wins, it has won its first game.
Creighton Streaks Entering NCAA’s
Streak Entering NCAA’s Year NCAA Record
Won 9 1961-62 2-1
Won 8 2004-05 0-1
Won 7 1990-91 1-1
Won 7 2011-12 ? ? ?
Won 6 1998-99 1-1
Won 5 1999-00 0-1
Won 5 1980-81 0-1
Won 5 1963-64 1-2
Won 4 1940-41 1-1
Won 4 1988-89 0-1
Won 4 2002-03 0-1
Won 4 2006-07 0-1
Won 3 2001-02 1-1
Won 2 1977-78 0-1
Lost 1 2000-01 0-1
Lost 2 1974-75 0-1
Lost 2 1973-74 2-1
Creighton enters the NCAA Tournament with a seven-game win streak, which is tied for the nation’s fifth-longest active win streak.
Longest Active Win Streaks (through 3/11)
Rk. Wins School
1. 14 Belmont
3. 8 Lehigh
8 South Dakota State
5. 7 Creighton
7 Murray State
7 Norfolk State
Creighton ranks seventh nationally in scoring offense, scoring 80.0 points per game. Alabama, on the other hand, ranks ninth nationally by allowing just 58.1 points per game.
Creighton’s season-low point total is 57 vs. Evansville on Feb. 7th, while the most allowed by Alabama all season is 77 by Kentucky on Jan. 21st.
Creighton leads the nation with 50.9 percent shooting from the field, while Alabama holds teams to 38.8 percent shooting (17th nationally). Only one foe (Dayton) has shot better than 49 percent versus the Crimson Tide this year.
Creighton ranks third nationally in three-point percentage (.425), while Alabama is sixth nationally in three-point percentage defense (.280).
MVC Tournament Recap
Creighton won its record 11th MVC Tournament title with victories over Drake, Evansville and Illinois State on March 2-4 in St. Louis. Doug McDermott was named Most Outstanding Player after scoring 73 points in the three wins, including 33 in the final. Antoine Young and Gregory Echenique also earned all-Tourney accolades.
According to the website CollegeHoopedia.com, Doug McDermott is just the sixth man in NCAA history to be named conference player of the year while playing for his father.
Joining them on that elite list are Dick/Mark Acres (Oral Roberts), Dick/Tony Bennett (UW Green Bay), Homer/Bryce Drew (Valparaiso), Press/Pete Maravich (LSU) and Clifford/C.J. Reed (Bethune-Cookman).
Nothing Neutral About It
Creighton is a perfect 4-0 on neutral floors this season, picking up wins in St. Louis over Drake, Evansville and Illinois State to go with a victory in Des Moines vs. Iowa.
In those four games, Creighton is averaging 83.0 points per game, outscoring foes by 15.5 per contest and outrebounding teams by 13.0 boards per game.
Creighton shoots 52.4 percent on neutral courts, including 41.3 percent from downtown.
Creighton is 14-1 this year in 15 games outside of league play, including a 7-1 record away from home.
The Bluejays have outscored opponents by an average of 15.2 points per game and outrebounded foes by 7.1 boards per contest.
Individually, Doug McDermott has averaged 25.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, making 64.1 percent from the field and 56.9 percent of his three-point attempts.
Creighton’s 83-79 win over Illinois State on March 5th improved Creighton’s all-time record in single-overtime games to 40-38, and improved the Bluejays to 53-44 all-time in overtime contests of any length.
Creighton has now won each of its last four overtime games, and Greg McDermott is 3-0 in OT on the Bluejay sideline.
Creighton has played back-to-back overtime games just four times in program history, and not since Feb. 9 & 12, 1994.
Last 30/30 Man?
If Doug McDermott can notch 30 or more points on Friday vs. Alabama, he’d join some rare company. No Bluejay has had back-to-back games of 30 or more points since Bob Harstad on Feb. 10 & 12, 1990.
Did The CBI Help?
Has playing in the 2011 College Basketball Invitational served as a springboard for Creighton?
Last year Creighton reached the championship series of the CBI, gaining 17 extra practices and six extra games to extend their season until April 1st.
In 2010, VCU won the CBI and would benefit from that experience with an unlikely run to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.
McDermott In The Postseason
Creighton coach Greg McDermott is making his second postseason appearance at Creighton, and fourth overall as a Division I head coach if you include his time at Northern Iowa.
McDermott’s Division I teams own a 4-5 record in four previous postseason appearances, including a 4-2 mark at Creighton.
McDermott’s Division I Postseason Appearances
Year Tourney Postseason W-L
2003-04 (UNI) NCAA 0-1
2004-05 (UNI) NCAA 0-1
2005-06 (UNI) NCAA 0-1
2010-11 (CU) CBI 4-2
2011-12 (CU) NCAA ? ? ?
Everybody’s All-American Doug McDermott continues to haul in All-America honors on a regular basis.
On Monday, he was named first-team All-American by the United States Basketball Writers Association. Prior to McDermott, the only other player honored by the USBWA with All-America status had been second-team selection Kyle Korver in 2003.
McDermott was also named a first-team All-American by ESPN.com’s Jason King, and a second-team All-American by Sporting News.
More Than The Rest Doug McDermott enters the NCAA Tournament with 765 points and 23.2 points per game, more than any other player in the “Big Dance”.
Second on that list of NCAA Tourney players is Lehigh’s CJ McCollum, who scored 722 points and 21.9 points per game.
Jays Remain In AP & Coaches Polls
After a two-week absence, Creighton returned to both top-25 polls on February 27th. The Jays are currently 19th in the Associated Press poll and 20th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll.
Creighton has now been in the Associated Press poll 12 of the last 15 weeks. Its’ No. 13 ranking on Jan. 30th was Creighton’s highest ranking since being 12th on Feb. 10, 2003.
Creighton has now been in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll in 15 of the past 17 weeks. The Jays’ No. 12 rank on Jan. 30th was the highest ranking since being 12th on Feb. 10, 2003.
Creighton’s highest rankings in school history are ninth in the coaches poll and 10th in the AP poll. Both came on Jan. 20, 2003.
For the sake of Creighton’s records and consistency, the school recognizes the Associated Press poll, which can be found on page 165 of the Creighton men’s basketball media guide.
Against Ranked Teams?
Should the Jays play North Carolina on Sunday, it will be the first time a ranked CU team has played a ranked opponent since taking on No. 19 Xavier on Dec. 19, 2003.
Creighton owns an 18-117 record all-time against teams ranked in the Associated Press poll, including an 0-1 mark under Greg McDermott.
Creighton has lost nine straight games against ranked competition since its last win, a 67-61 win over No. 11 Southern Illinois in the finals of the 2007 MVC Tournament.
Creighton is 5-22 at neutral sites all-time vs. ranked foes.
For the third-straight week, two Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball teams are ranked in the Top 25. Wichita State is No. 19 in the coaches poll and No. 18 in the AP poll, while Creighton is No. 19 in the Associated Press poll and No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches rankings. It marks the first time since Jan. 5-12, 1982, that two league teams were ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 in three straight weeks (Tulsa and Wichita State both represented the MVC in the AP top-25 in eight successive weeks that season.)
This season marked the first time since 2007 that two league teams entered NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday as ranked teams. That year, Southern Illinois (No. 14 writers, No. 15 coaches) and Creighton (NR, No. 24 coaches) both earned spots in the NCAA Tournament field as ranked teams. SIU reached the Sweet 16.
The last time two MVC teams were ranked in the Associated Press Top-25 on Selection Sunday was in 1972, when No. 4 Louisville and No. 11 Memphis State were both ranked in the AP. Louisville played in the NCAA Tournament and reached the Final Four; Memphis State participated in the NIT.
Offense Wins Championships?
Creighton once again ignored the saying that “Defense wins championships” this season. The Bluejays lead the MVC in scoring offense this season, averaging 80.0 points per game, and won the MVC Tournament.
Since 1997-98, seven of the 15 teams to lead the league in scoring offense went on to win the MVC Tournament (Drake in 2008, ILS in 1998, CU in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2011).
By comparison, only two teams that led the league in scoring defense won the MVC Tournament (SIU in 2006, UNI in 2010).
Going On The Offensive
Speaking of offense, Creighton leads the nation in field goal percentage at 50.9 percent.
Since 2005-06 there have been seven teams that finished a year shooting 50.8 percent or better from the field. Six of those seven teams made the NCAA’s, going 17-4 in the “Big Dance”, and two (Kansas in 2008 and Florida in 2007) won the national title.
By comparison, nine teams held foes to 56.0 points per game or less in the same six-year span. Those teams combined for just four NCAA bids and went a combined 5-4 in the Big Dance.
McDermott Named MVC Player of the Year Doug McDermott is the first sophomore in league history to be named Larry Bird MVC Player of the Year.
McDermott leads The Valley and ranks third nationally with 23.2 points per game and is also ranked second in the conference in both rebounding (8.2 rpg.) and three-point percentage (.495).
McDermott’s five MVC Player of the Week accolades were the most by any individual in a season in 25 years (since National Player of the Year Hersey Hawkins in 1988), and the only sophomores in league history with more points in a season are Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird.
McDermott is the first Creighton player named MVC Player of the Year since Booker Woodfox in 2009, and fifth different Bluejay overall, a group that also includes Bob Harstad (1989), Chad Gallagher (1991), Kyle Korver (2002 and 2003), and Woodfox (2009).
McDermott’s honor gives Creighton six MVC Player of the Year awards, tying Bradley and Southern Illinois for most all-time.
He is the first player to be named MVC Player of the Year from a non-championship team since Kyle Korver in 2002-03.
He is just the second player in MVC history to be named both MVC Freshman of the Year (2011) and MVC Player of the Year (2012), joining Southern Illinois’ great Ashraf Amaya (1990 FOY and 1992 POY).
Echenique Named MVC’s Top Defender
Junior center Gregory Echenique is the first player in Creighton history to be named MVC Defensive Player of the Year.
Echenique leads the MVC with 54 blocked shots this season and is second with 1.6 blocks per game. He’s also fifth in the MVC with 7.4 rebounds per contest, and second with 61.4 percent shooting from the field.
In league play, Echenique led the MVC with 1.7 blocks per game and 2.8 offensive rebounds per game, while also ranking second in rebounds per game (8.2) and field goal percentage (.630), fifth in defensive rebounds per contest (5.3) and 10th in free throw percentage (.811).
Oscar, Bird, Doug
Last year Doug McDermott set a Creighton (and MVC) record for points by a freshman with 581. This season, McDermott has 765 points, the most single-season points in school history by any player.
McDermott’s 1,346 points to date are most in school history by a player in their first two seasons, passing Bob Portman (1,195).
He's also just the third sophomore in MVC history to reach 700 points in a season, and trails only Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird on that list.
Below is a list of the most prolific sophomore scorers in MVC history, as well as the top single-season scorers in Creighton history (all classes):
Top Sophomore Scorers, MVC History
Pts. Name, School Years
984 Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati 1957-58
918 Larry Bird, Indiana State 1976-77
765 Doug McDermott, Creighton 2011-12
680 Mitchell Anderson, Bradley 1979-80
656 Hersey Hawkins, Bradley 1985-86
Top Scorers, MVC History (All Years)
Pts. Name, School Years
1125 Hersey Hawkins, Bradley 1987-88
1011 Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati 1959-60
984 Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati 1957-58
978 Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati 1958-59
973 Larry Bird, Indiana State 1978-79
959 Larry Bird, Indiana State 1977-78
918 Larry Bird, Indiana State 1976-77
844 Xavier McDaniel, Wichita State 1984-85
815 Lewis Lloyd, Drake 1979-80
788 Hersey Hawkins, Bradley 1986-87
788 Willie Biles, Tulsa 1972-73
773 Bob Patterson, Tulsa 1954-55
769 Dave Stallworth, Wichita State 1963-64
765 Doug McDermott, Creighton 2011-12
762 Lewis Lloyd, Drake 1980-81
Top Scorers, Creighton Single-Season History
Pts. Name (Class) Year
765 Doug McDermott (So.) 2011-12
738 Bob Portman (Jr.) 1967-68
734 Bob Harstad (Jr.) 1989-90
688 Benoit Benjamin (Jr.) 1984-85
681 Bob Portman (Sr.) 1968-69
Sneaking Up On Two Milestones
Because he’s split his college career between Rutgers and Creighton, you might not realize the rather impressive college stats being generated by Gregory Echenique.
Just a junior, Echenique owns 997 points, 740 rebounds and 203 blocked shots in his first 102 games as a collegian.
Had all those stats been generated at Creighton, Echenique would rank 37th in career points, seventh in career rebounds and second in career blocked shots at CU.
Here’s To History
With last week’s MVC Tournament title, Creighton head coach Greg McDermott became the first head coach in league history to win a Valley Tournament title at more than one school.
McDermott previously won a title in 2004 at Northern Iowa. The 1990 Northern Iowa grad McDermott also holds the honor of being the first coach in league history to win an MVC Tournament title at his alma mater.
Seven Out Of 14 Tourney Titles
Creighton owns seven league tournament titles in the last 14 years. On a national basis, the only schools that can claim this are Duke (10), Gonzaga (10), Winthrop (9) and Creighton (7).
Creighton’s 11 Valley Tournament titles are more than twice as many as the next closest school, Southern Illinois (5).
Won By One
Creighton won its Feb. 21 game vs. Evansville by a single point, 93-92, then topped Indiana State 61-60 on Feb. 25th. The Bluejays are now 3-0 in one-point games this winter after going 0-1 a year ago.
Creighton had not played two straight games decided by one point since the 2003 MVC Tournament, when it beat Indiana State and Wichita State by one point each before throttling Southern Illinois, 80-56, in the championship game.
Creighton has trailed with three minutes left in four of its last six games, only to rally and win each time.
In those four wins (Long Beach State, Evansville, Indiana State and Illinois State), Creighton outscored foes 33-16 in the final three minutes of regulation (51-30 if you include the Evansville & Illinois State overtimes).
Creighton shot 11-of-18 from the field in the last three minutes of regulation in those games, while also holding foes to 5-of-13 shooting from the floor. Creighton has also outrebounded foes 13-4 in the last three minutes of regulation in those contests, and had just two turnovers while forcing four.
After going 1-6 in games decided by three points or less this year, the Bluejays are 6-1 in games decided by three points or less this year.
Good To The Last Shot
Creighton took the lead on its final shot of the game to win back-to-back contests vs. both Long Beach State (Feb. 18) and Evansville (Feb. 21). Incredibly, Creighton won both times despite leading for a combined 0.3 seconds in the second half of those games.
The last time Creighton had won consecutive games on its final shot came on Nov. 24 and 30 of 2004, when Tyler McKinney hit game-winners to beat Ohio State and Xavier.
Records Fall in St. Louis
Creighton set numerous records in St. Louis during the MVC Tournament. Doug McDermott’s 33 points in the final tied the most in CU history in the event, and were also the most of any player in a title game since it moved to St. Louis.
McDermott’s 73 points in the event were a school-record, and his 24 field goals made matched a program record as well.
McDermott also set Creighton’s career-mark for three-point accuracy at the event (min. 4 att.). He’s 9-for-16 in his career from downtown in St. Louis, good for 56.3 percent.
In addition, Josh Jones shot 4-of-5 from the field vs. Evansville from three-point range, matching a single-game record.
Creighton’s Doug McDermott joined some elite company at the 2012 MVC Tournament after taking home Most Outstanding Player honors.
He is just the fifth player in league history to be named MVC Player of the Year and MOP of the league tournament, joining Drake’s Adam Emmenecker (2008), Creighton’s Kyle Korver (2002 and 2003), Southern Illinois’ Chris Carr (1995) and Bradley’s Hersey Hawkins (1988).
Running Down A Record
Creighton has scored 2,641 points this season, third-most in program history. Creighton’s 2002-03 team scored 2,688 points in 34 games, while last season’s squad needed 39 games to score 2,684 points.
Creighton has 10 road wins and four victories on a neutral site this year.
Including this season, each of Creighton's last nine NCAA Tournament teams have won 10 or more games away from home.
Creighton and Murray State are the only school in the country with three top-50 wins as well as 10 true road wins.
Creighton’s 10 true road wins are a school-record, breaking the mark of nine originally set in 1999-91.
Rare Bird Doug McDermott’s averages of 23.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, combined with his shooting percentages of 61.0 percent overall, 49.5 percent from three-point range and 79.9 percent from the line are something you usually only see in a video game.
McDermott is the nation’s only player averaging better than 19 points per game who shoots better than 53 percent from the field.
Since 2008-09, no player nationally has averaged more than 20 points per game while shooting 48.0 percent from three-point range, regardless of the number of attempts.
Also, since 2004-05 McDermott is one of two sophomores nationally to average 22.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game or more. The other player to do that came in 2008-09 and was former Oklahoma and current Los Angeles Clippers standout Blake Griffin. Griffin had 90 dunks in his sophomore season, while McDermott owns one dunk this year (at Bradley).
Upping The Antoine
Senior point guard Antoine Young continues to ascend up a few Creighton charts. He is the only Bluejay in history with at least 1,325 points and 425 career assists.
He’s up to 17th on Creighton’s all-time scoring chart, and his 496 assists rank third-most in Bluejay annals.
Most Career Points
Rank Pts. Name Years
1. 2,116 Rodney Buford 1995-99
2. 2,110 Bob Harstad 1987-91
3. 1,983 Chad Gallagher 1987-91
4. 1,876 Bob Portman 1966-69
5. 1,801 Kyle Korver 1999-03
6. 1,754 Nate Funk 2002-07
7. 1,682 Rick Apke 1974-78
8. 1,661 Paul Silas 1961-64
9. 1,654 Vernon Moore 1981-85
10. 1,575 Benoit Benjamin 1982-85
11. 1,526 John C. Johnson 1975-79
12. 1,500 Kevin McKenna 1977-81
13. 1,437 Eddie Cole 1951-55
14. 1,369 Gene Harmon 1971-74
15. 1,361 Duan Cole 1987-92
16. 1,346 Doug McDermott 2010-Present
17. 1,330 Antoine Young 2008-Present
18. 1,313 Kenny Lawson Jr. 2006-11
19. 1,309 Ryan Sears 1997-01
20. 1,303 Elton Tuttle 1951-54
21. 1,272 Bob Gibson 1954-57
22. 1,267 Wally Anderzunas 1965-67, 1968-69
23. 1,254 Gary Swain 1983-87
24. 1,238 Ben Walker 1997-01
25. 1,196 Ray Yost 1951-54
26. 1,172 Dick Harvey 1956-59
27. 1,152 Dane Watts 2004-08
28. 1,116 Kenny Evans 1982-87
29. 1,115 Doug Brookins 1972-75
1,115 Daryl Stovall 1978-82
31. 1,093 Tim Powers 1964-67
32. 1,050 Reggie Morris 1982-86
33. 1,031 Johnny Mathies 2003-06
34. 1,024 P’Allen Stinnett 2007-10
35. 1,023 Rod Mason 1986-88
36. 1,004 Anthony Tolliver 2003-07
Most Career Assists (Since 1970-71)
Ast. Name Years
570 Ryan Sears 1997-01
549 Ralph Bobik 1971-74
497 Antoine Young 2008-Pres.
458 Randy Eccker 1974-78
430 Tyler McKinney 2001-05
Nebraska’s Finest Antoine Young hails from south Omaha suburb of Bellevue, and statistically is one of the top homegrown products in Nebraska history to play at Creighton.
Young’s 496 assists are most in program history by a Nebraska product, 108 more than the 388 by predecessor Josh Dotzler (another Bellevue product and Young’s former high school teammate).
From a scoring prospective, Young’s 1,330 points ranks third-most in school history by a Nebraska product. John C. Johnson (Omaha) leads that list with 1,526 points, while Schuyler product Gene Harmon (1,369) is second on the list.
Creighton has earned its 24th 20-win season in program history, and its 28 wins are one shy of the school record. Here’s a look at Creighton’s teams with 20 or more wins.
Previous 20-Win Seasons, Sorted By Wins
W-L Season Postseason?
29-5 2002-03 NCAA (0-1)
28-5 2011-12 TBA
27-8 2008-09 NIT (1-1)
24-8 2000-01 NCAA (0-1)
24-8 1990-91 NCAA (1-1)
23-5 1921-22 --
23-7 1973-74 NCAA (2-1)
23-9 2001-02 NCAA (1-1)
23-10 1999-00 NCAA (0-1)
23-11 2004-05 NCAA (0-1)
23-16 2010-11 CBI (4-2)
22-7 1963-64 NCAA (1-2)
22-9 1998-99 NCAA (1-1)
22-11 2007-08 NIT (1-1)
22-11 2006-07 NCAA (0-1)
21-5 1961-62 NCAA (2-1)
21-7 1976-77 NIT (0-1)
21-9 1980-81 NCAA (0-1)
21-12 1989-90 NIT (0-1)
20-7 1974-75 NCAA (0-1)
20-9 2003-04 NIT (0-1)
20-10 2005-06 NIT (1-1)
20-11 1988-89 NCAA (0-1)
20-12 1984-85 --
Celsius or Fahrenheit ?
Sophomore Jahenns Manigat led in the MVC in league play with his 49.2 percent marksmanship from three-point range. When it came to CU’s nine MVC road games, he was the barometer.
In Creighton’s seven Valley road wins, Manigat shot a robust 19-of-27 (70.4 percent) from downtown. In CU’s two Valley road losses, Manigat was 2-of-9 (22.2 percent) from deep.
Wish Granted Grant Gibbs poured in a career-high 20 points in Creighton’s MVC Tournament finals victory vs. Illinois State. Though he had scored in double-figures on nine previous occasions, he had never scored more than 12 points before March 4th.
Gibbs finished the title game with 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and no turnovers. He is Creighton’s only player in the past 25 years with at least 20-7-5 and no turnovers in a game.
Down The Stretch Star
Senior Antoine Young is playing inspired basketball, as if he doesn’t want his career to end. In the last 10 games, Young has averaged 15.9 points and 4.4 assists per game.
Young is shooting 51.0 percent from the floor and 75.0 percent from the line in those games.
Seven of the 10 games were decided by eight points or less.
McDermott Claims Fifth MVC Honor Doug McDermott won his fifth MVC Player of the Week award on Feb. 20th after he averaged 27.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in wins over Southern Illinois and Long Beach State.
His five awards are the second-most in MVC history for a single-season, trailing only the six won by Bradley’s Hersey Hawkins in 1987-88 when Hawkins went on to earn National Player of the Year acclaim.
McDermott was also named Dick Vitale’s National Player of the Week on Feb. 20th, the second time this season he’s been honored by Vitale.
Speaking Of Honors Doug McDermott is also a finalist for the Lou Henson National Player of the Year, an award that collegeinsider.com hands out to the nation’s top mid-major player.
Creighton honored four men who suited up in their final home game on Feb. 21st; Antoine Young, Matthew Dorwart, Derek Sebastian and Ross Ferrarini, as part of Senior Night festivities.
During the past four years, the Jays have gone 96-45 while appearing in the postseason every season and claiming a share of the 2008-09 MVC regular-season title.
Of the quartet, Young owns the most accomplishments on court. The Bellevue, Neb., native is the only player in school history with 1,325 points and 450 assists. He led the MVC in assist/turnover ratio as both a sophomore and junior, and last season also paced The Valley in assists per game en route to earning second-team all-MVC honors.
A native of Sidney, Neb., Dorwart is finishing up his fourth year with the program. He’s played in 27 games as a Bluejay, amassing 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Off the court he was part of a film crew that produced the award winning documentary “Mato Oput”, which focused on the civil war in Uganda during the past 20 years.
Sebastian hails from Loveland, Colo., and plays on the wing. He’s played in 25 games during his four years in the program, producing 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists. When he’s not on the court, Sebastian has spent this semester student-teaching at Omaha North High School.
Ferrarini is a guard from Omaha in his third year in the program after transferring in from Nebraska in 2009. One of the team’s top threats from long-range, Ferrarini owns 17 points and six rebounds in 44 career minutes played over the course of 23 games. Nicknamed “The Godfather”, he’s twice had the hoop that gave the Jays 75 points and earned the home crowd free Godfather’s Pizza.
Losses Can Teach Lessons Too
Though Creighton was upset in its Feb. 7 game at Evansville, it doesn’t necessarily mean horrible things are ahead. Including this year, six of the last seven seasons that Evansville has beaten Creighton, the Jays have recovered to win either the MVC Tournament or regular-season title, as seen below:
Date UE Score MVC Title?
02/07/12 L 57-65 Tournament
02/13/08 L 56-60 --
12/22/04 L 61-63 Tournament
01/22/03 L 66-74 Tournament
01/24/01 L 52-61 Reg.-Season
01/23/00 L 83-88 Tournament
01/04/99 L 79-84 Tournament
Heading Towards The Top 10
The MVC hasn’t had a player rank in the top-10 nationally in scoring since Illinois State’s Tarise Bryson finished fourth in 2000-01 at 22.8 points per contest.
The MVC hasn’t had two players finish in the top-10 in scoring since Bradley’s Hersey Hawkins and Southern Illinois’s Steve Middleton in 1987-88.
Currently, Creighton’s Doug McDermott (23.2) is third and Evansville’s Colt Ryan (20.2) is 13th.
Ryan’s head coach, Marty Simmons, ranked sixth nationally by averaging 25.9 points per game as a senior at Evansville in 1987-88. The Purple Aces were not part of the MVC at that time.
CenturyLink Center Omaha Dramatics Antoine Young’s bucket with 0.3 seconds left vs. Long Beach State on Feb. 18th made him the first player in CenturyLink Center Omaha history with two game-winning scores.
Creighton is now 6-2 in games with a go-ahead score in the final 10 seconds in the nine-year old facility.
Creighton’s Go-Ahead Scores in Wins, Last 10 Seconds
Date Opponent Score Player/Score Time
11/26/05 Dayton W 91-90* Funk FG :5.7
01/28/06 Wichita St. W 57-55 Tolliver FG :0.0
11/25/06 George Mason W 58-56 Watts FT :7.5
03/18/08 Rhode Island W 74-73 Witter 3FG :3.2
01/13/10 Southern Illinois W 71-69 Young FG :1.3
02/18/12 Long Beach St. W 81-79 Young FG :0.3
Opponent Go-Ahead Scores in CU Losses, Last 10 Seconds
Date Opponent Score Player/Score Time
03/20/06 Miami (Fla.) 53-52 G. Diaz FT :2.6
01/20/07 Southern Illinois 58-57 B. Mullins FG :4.1
Little Mac Attack Doug McDermott scored 36 points on 14-of-20 shooting in a Feb. 18th win over Long Beach State. His 36 points were the most in CenturyLink Center Omaha history for any game that didn’t reach overtime.
The two highest-scoring games in Creighton history in the building came when Cavel Witter scored 42 points in a double-OT win over Bradley on March 1, 2008, while Nate Funk had 38 points in a Nov. 26, 2005 double-OT triumph over Dayton.
In a Feb. 21 overtime game vs. Evansville, Purple Aces guard Colt Ryan had a building record 43 points. The previous high by a Bluejay opponent had been 34, done twice previously (Dayton’s Brian Roberts & Northwestern’s Drew Crawford).
Home Sweet Home
Creighton 65-16 all-time in MVC games at CenturyLink Center Omaha, including a 9-0 mark vs. Evansville.
An overtime win on Feb. 21st vs. Evansville guaranteed the fifth straight season Creighton has finished exactly 7-2 in league play at home, and eighth time in those nine years it’s been 7-2 or better in Valley play at home.
Lights Out Shooting
In its Feb. 14 road game in Carbondale, Creighton missed its first shot and its last shot, but just seven others in between to set an MVC record by making 77.5 percent from the field (31-40).
The mark easily eclipsed the previous school-record of 70.4 percent (Nov. 25, 2011 vs. Campbell) and also outdid the previous MVC record of 74.5 percent by Bradley vs. West Texas State (Jan. 28, 1984).
Creighton’s marksmanship was the best by any college team since 2005, and tied for the 20th-best mark in NCAA history for one game.
Lights Out Shooting, Part II
Creighton shot a season-best 75 percent (15-20) in the first half on Feb. 14th at Southern Illinois, its best half since shooting 18-of-23 in the second half at Drake on Jan. 9, 2007.
The stellar performance lasted about an hour before CU made 16-of-20 shots in the second half (80 percent).
The 80 percent effort in the second half is tied for the eighth-best figure in MVC history for one half.
The Valentine’s Day win marked the first time in program history that Creighton shot 70 percent or better in both halves of the same game.
Lights Out Shooting Part III
Creighton owns two of the top-three single-game shooting marks nationally in 2011-12.
In addition to its 77.5 percent shooting on Feb. 14th, third on that list is Creighton’s 70.4 percent accuracy vs. Campbell on Nov. 25th, which is just behind the 71.4 percent shot by Middle Tennessee in its win at UCLA on Nov. 15th.
In the last 15 years (since 1997-98), the only three teams to shoot 70 percent or better twice in the same season have been Creighton (2011-12), Rice (2006-07) and Utah State (2004-05).
Lights Out Shooting, Part IV
One reason Creighton shot at a record rate on Feb. 14th was its proficiency from three-point range.
Creighton’s 12-of-14 shooting (85.7 percent) from three-point range was a school record and ranks tied for ninth-best in NCAA history for a team with at least 10 makes from deep.
Creighton is also the only team nationally in the last 15 years to make 10 or more three-pointers in a game in which it shot 76 percent or better from the floor as a team.
Last year Creighton averaged 13,507 fans per home game, which ranked 22nd nationally. The program ranked 14th at the end of the regular-season with an average of 15,026 before four CBI home games brought down the average.
Creighton surpassed 200,000 home fans in a season for the sixth time. No other school in the history of the MVC has ever done so even once.
Creighton has finished in the top-25 of the national attendance leaders in each of the previous five seasons, and averaged 16,664 fans at home so far this season, good for seventh place, and a MVC single-season record.
2011-12 Attendance Leaders (thru 3/11)
Rk. School Average Next Home
1. Kentucky 23,721 --
2. Syracuse 23,618 --
3. Louisville 21,503 --
4. North Carolina 20,159 --
5. Tennessee 17,411 3/13
6. Wisconsin 17,181 --
7. Creighton 16,664 --
8. Ohio State 16,510 --
9. Indiana 16,462 --
10. Kansas 16,300 --
11. Memphis 16,234 --
12. BYU 15,424 --
13. Marquette 15,138 --
14. Illinois 14,976 --
15. Michigan State 14,797 --
16. New Mexico 14,454 --
17. UNLV 14,022 --
18. Arizona 13,906 --
19. Vanderbilt 13,698 --
20. Purdue 13,324 --
21. Iowa State 13,015 --
22. Kansas State 12,783 --
23. Connecticut 12,640 --
24. Dayton 12,513 TBA
Highest Season Home Attendance, MVC History
Home Att. School Year
302,676 Creighton 2008-09
297,161 Creighton 2010-11
276,000 Creighton 2007-08
266,632 Creighton 2011-12
246,419 Creighton 2009-10
236,313 Creighton 2005-06
222,728 Creighton 2006-07
192,258 Creighton 2003-04
191,440 Louisville 1974-75
Highest Average Attendance, MVC History
Avg. Att. School Year
16,664 Creighton 2011-12
15,930 Creighton 2008-09
15,909 Creighton 2006-07
15,333 Creighton 2007-08
14,495 Creighton 2009-10
13,901 Creighton 2005-06
13,674 Louisville 1974-75
13,507 Creighton 2010-11
Creighton attracted six of its 11 largest crowds in program history this season. The Jays drew a state-record 18,735 fans on Feb. 11 vs. Wichita State, 18,436 fans on Jan. 28 vs. Bradley, 17,676 fans on Dec. 22 for Northwestern, and brought in 17,665 fans on Dec. 28 for Missouri State.
Here’s a look at Creighton’s top-15 home crowds all-time.
Rank Att. Opponent Date
1. 18,735 Wichita State 02/11/12
2. 18,436 Bradley 01/28/12
3. 17,954 Wichita State 12/28/08
4. 17,676 Northwestern 12/22/11
5. 17,665 Missouri State 12/28/11
6. 17,607 Drexel 02/17/07
7. 17,459 Southern Illinois 01/20/07
8. 17,411 George Mason 02/21/09
17,411 Indiana State 01/21/12
10. 17,371 Indiana State 01/19/08
11. 17,311 Illinois State 02/01/12
12. 17,283 Indiana State 01/27/07
13. 17,193 Drake 01/24/09
14. 17,152 Northern Iowa 12/29/09
15. 17,116 Illinois State 02/28/09
Valley Record Falls Too
Creighton averaged 17,062 fans per MVC home tilt this year, easily an MVC record. The previous mark, also set by Creighton, was an average of 16,422 from the 2008-09 campaign.
Creighton has utilized the same starting line-up all season long, as Gregory Echenique, Doug McDermott, Grant Gibbs, Jahenns Manigat and Antoine Young have started all 33 games.
According to STATS Inc., the only schools with the same starting five every game (through March 11th) were Creighton, Missouri, Nevada, Wisconsin and Youngstown State.
Young owns 105 consecutive starts, which dates back to the second game of his sophomore season.
Linking Towards A Record
Numerous CenturyLink Center Omaha records have been set this season:
Season Records Set
Stat Name, Stat Old Record
Points/Game D. McDermott, 22.1 19.1
Rebounds/Game D. McDermott, 8.1 7.2
Career Records Set
Stat Name, Stat Old Record
Minutes Played A. Young, 1878 1520
Points/Game D. McDermott, 18.8 15.6
FG Made D. McDermott, 272 266
FG Percentage G. Echenique, .627 .600
FT Made A. Young, 180 166
FT Attempted A. Young, 245 221
Rebounds/Game D. McDermott, 7.6 5.8
Assists A. Young, 268 213
Turnovers A. Young, 106 100
For the first time in 29 attempts Creighton has won a road game at all three of MVC schools in Illinois (Bradley, Illinois State, Southern Illinois) in the same season.
Including this season, all 11 Creighton teams to win two Valley road games in Illinois reached the postseason, including seven NCAA Tournament squads.
Making Them Ill(inois)
Creighton is 9-0 this season against teams from the state of Illinois, having gone 3-0 against Illinois State, 2-0 against Bradley and Southern Illinois, and 1-0 versus Northwestern and Chicago State.
The last time Creighton played a season without a loss to a team from Illinois was 1973-74.
Team of the Millennium?
Below is the records for each MVC school since the start of the 2000-01 season, ranked by overall winning percentage. Creighton leads the MVC overall with 279 wins in the millennium, as well as 12 postseason appearances:
MVC Standings (start 2000-01 to 3/12/11)
MVC only All Games
Team W L Pct. W L Pct.
Creighton 149 67 .690 279 119 .701
Wichita State 125 91 .579 238 150 .613
Southern Illinois 134 82 .620 238 151 .612
Northern Iowa 118 98 .546 225 157 .589
Missouri State 117 99 .542 223 163 .578
Illinois State 99 117 .458 200 174 .535
Bradley 93 123 .431 189 197 .490
Drake 92 124 .426 179 190 .485
Indiana State 79 137 .366 162 211 .434
Evansville 74 142 .343 142 215 .398
Postseason Appearances by MVC Teams
Team NCAA NIT CBI CIT Total
Creighton 6 4 1 1 12
Southern Illinois 6 1 0 0 7
Wichita State 2 5 1 0 8
Northern Iowa 5 1 0 1 7
Bradley 1 2 1 1 5
Missouri State 0 4 0 1 5
Illinois State 0 5 0 0 5
Indiana State 2 0 1 1 4
Drake 1 0 0 2 3
Evansville 0 0 2 1 3
King of Efficiency
One of the most incredible things about Doug McDermott’s lofty 23.2 points per game scoring average is how little he actually handles the ball.
Creighton video coordinator Nathan Wieseler broke down three different games this season where some of college basketball’s top players each took 14 shots.
When McDermott faced Drake on Jan. 25, he made 10-of-14 field goals and finished with 30 points, nine rebounds and one assist. He handled the ball for a total of 1:23 of actual game time.
When Kansas standout forward Thomas Robinson played North Dakota on Dec. 31st, he had 30 points, 21 rebounds and four assists. Robinson had the ball in his hand for a total of 2:50.
When Weber State point guard and national scoring leader Damian Lillard faced Northern Arizona on Jan. 10th, Lillard had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists. He had the ball in his hand for a whopping 7:13 of game time.
Sports Illustrated Profiles McDermott
Kelli Anderson of Sports Illustrated spent four days with the Bluejays in late January/early February for a feature on Bluejay sophomore Doug McDermott.
Her four-page article, which includes four photos, can be found on pages 54-57 of the Feb. 13, 2012 edition that features Eli Manning on the cover.
It’s Up, And It’s Good Doug McDermott leads the nation with 293 field goals made this season. That ranks second-most in a season in Bluejay history, trailing only Bob Portman’s 303 buckets in 1967-68.
By comparison, no other player in the MVC has more than 188 buckets (Colt Ryan), and next closest nationally was West Virginia’s Kevin Jones with 255.
Sophomore’s Streak Reaches 34 Doug McDermott has scored in double-figures in 34 straight games, CU’s longest stretch since Vernon Moore’s streak of 46 straight games from Jan. 30, 1984 to March 5, 1985.
CU's Top 10+ Point Streaks, Since 1981-82
No. Name Dates
46 Vernon Moore Jan. 30, 1984 - Mar. 5, 1985
34 Doug McDermott April 1, 2011-Present
32 Bob Harstad Feb. 24, 1990-Feb. 25, 1991
31 Benoit Benjamin Mar. 8, 1984 - Feb. 20, 1985
Multiple Weapons From Downtown
Both Ethan Wragge and Jahenns Manigat drained five three-pointers in its Feb. 14 win over Southern Illinois. In school history, it marked just the fourth time that multiple men had five or more triples in the same game.
It first happened on Feb. 21, 1989 when Matt Roggenburk and Todd Eisner did it vs. Montana State. It’s also happened on Feb. 26, 2000 vs. Wichita State (Ryan Sears, Kyle Korver), and Feb. 19, 2005 vs. Chattanooga (Kellen Miliner, Nate Funk) in a BracketBusters contest.
Blocking Behemoth Gregory Echenique owns 109 career blocked shots in a Creighton uniform, tied for sixth in school history.
Echenique also owned 94 blocked shots in 39 games at Rutgers, giving him 203 rejections overall as a collegian.
Career Blocked Shots, Since 1979-80
Blk. Name Years
411 Benoit Benjamin 1982-85
183 Chad Gallagher 1987-91
153 Kenny Lawson Jr. 2006-11
138 Brody Deren 2001-04
136 Anthony Tolliver 2003-07
109 Doug Swenson 1997-99
109 Gregory Echenique 2010-Pres.
104 Joe Dabbert 2000-04
79 Adam Reid 1994-97
Doubling Up From The Start Doug McDermott has scored 12 or more points in all 33 games this season. It is CU’s longest streak of double-figure games to start a season in school history.
McDermott is the only player in the MVC to score in double-figures in every game this season, and one of three players nationally with 12 or more points in every team game this winter.
Below is a list of Creighton’s longest double-figure scoring streaks to start a season since 1979-80.
Consecutive Double-Figure Scoring Games
To Start Year, Since 1979-80
Consec. Name, Class Year
all 33* Doug McDermott, So. 2011-12
all 32 Vernon Moore, Sr. 1984-85
28 Benoit Benjamin, Jr. 1984-85
12+ Points, Every Team Game This Year
Streak Name, School Next Game
33 Doug McDermott, Creighton 3/16
32 Kevin Jones, West Virginia 3/15
30 Damian Lillard, Weber State 3/13
National Scoring Leaders Doug McDermott ranked third nationally in scoring at 23.2 points per game through games of March 11th. Here’s that list.
Rk. Name, School Yr. PPG
1. Reggie Hamilton, Oakland Sr. 25.7
2. Damian Lillard, Weber State Jr. 24.5
3. Doug McDermott, Creighton So. 23.2
4. Shane Gibson, Sacred Heart Jr. 22.0
5. C.J. McCollum, Lehigh Jr. 21.9
6. Gerardo Suero, Albany Jr. 21.6
7. Terrell Stoglin, Maryland So. 21.6
8. Nate Wolters, South Dakota St. Sr. 21.3
Frank Gaines, IPFW Jr. 21.2
10. Kevin Murphy, Tenn. Tech Sr. 21.1
Long-Distance Streak Alive
Creighton has made at least one three-pointer in a league-best 607 straight games since a 59-53 loss at Illinois State on Feb. 20, 1993. That’s the longest active streak in the MVC, and longest streak in Valley history.
Gibbs > Receiving
Though he’s not even his own team’s point guard, Grant Gibbs is second in the MVC with 5.1 assists per game. He’s had six or more assists in 15 different games this season.
No game has shown his importance more than a Dec. 31 win at Wichita State. With Gibbs in the game, Creighton outscored the Shockers 50-25, compared to being outscored 36-18 without him.
Creighton is 26-2 in its last 28 games when one of its players has six or more assists in a game, including a 21-1 mark this winter.
Senior Antoine Young has played in 140 games as a Bluejay, second-most in school history. Below is a list of the all-time Creighton leaders in games played:
GP Name Years
143 Kenny Lawson Jr. 2006-11
140 Antoine Young 2008-Pres.
135 Nate Funk 2002-07
130 Dane Watts 2004-08
128 Bob Harstad 1987-91
128 Kyle Korver 1999-03
This Is, 20/20 Greg McDermott is the only coach in Creighton history to post 20 or more wins in each of his first two seasons. McDermott, who won 23 games last season, claimed his 20th win on Jan. 28 vs. Bradley.
If you include his last three years at UNI (2003-06), he’s won 20 or more games each of his last five years in the MVC.
The only other coaches to win 20 or more games in five straight seasons while in the MVC was Creighton’s Dana Altman (11 from 1998-99 to 2008-09), Bradley’s Chuck Orsborn (6 from 1956-57 to 1961-62) and Oklahoma State’s Henry Iba (6 from 1943-44 to 1948-49).
McDermott is one of three active MVC coaches to start his Valley career with two straight 20-win seasons, and first since Illinois State’s Tim Jankovich did it his first three years (2007-10).
Southern Illinois’ Chris Lowery also began his career with three-straight 20-win campaigns from 2004-07.
McDermott’s 28 wins this season are his most in 11 years as a Division I head coach.
Mind-Boggling Road Stats
Credit MVC PR guru Mike Kern with this doozy of a road stat. Entering the postseason, two MVC teams Creighton and Wichita State each owned 10 true road wins. By comparison, the only BCS-member school with more than eight true road wins is Syracuse (9).
It Went Up To 11
Creighton’s 11-game win streak earlier this season is tied for eighth-longest in school history. Below is a list of CU’s longest win streaks:.
Longest Win Streaks
W’s Dates Postseason?
38 Feb. 22, 1917 - Feb. 11, 1920 --
17 March 25, 1942 - March 4, 1943 NIT/NIT
16 Jan. 31, 1928 - Jan. 23, 1929 --
14 Jan. 3-Feb. 21, 1925 --
14 Jan. 2 - Feb. 22, 1975 NCAA
12 Jan. 21 - March 1, 1922 --
12 Nov. 22, 2003 - Jan. 11, 2004 NIT
11 Jan. 27 - March 3, 2001 NCAA
11 Jan. 27 - March 6, 2009 NIT
11 Dec. 31, 2011 - Feb. 1, 2012 ? ? ?
10 Jan. 18-Feb. 19, 1927 --
10 Jan. 27 - March 12, 1962 NCAA
10 March 9 - Dec. 20, 1963 NCIT/NCAA
10 Jan. 22 - Feb. 22, 1974 NCAA
10 Nov. 17 - Dec. 29, 2002 NCAA
McDermott Up For An Oscar, Sort Of
Creighton forward Doug McDermott is among 20 players selected by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association for its 2012 Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List.
Members of the association's board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, to be presented to the national player of the year by its namesake in New Orleans at the USBWA's College Basketball Awards Breakfast on March 30.
McDermott ranks in the top-10 nationally in scoring (23.2) and field goal percentage (.610) for Creighton, which is 28-5. He's also a finalist for the Naismith and Wooden Awards.
Kind of a Big Deal
Creighton played in 13 road games this season. Ten of the 13 schools to host the Bluejays set a season-high in that venue for home attendance, all but Tulsa, Evansville and Southern Illinois.
Date Opponent CU Crowd Previous High
11/16/11 UAB 4,417 --
11/30/11 San Diego State 12,414* 12,414
12/10/11 Saint Joseph’s 4,200* 4,200
12/19/11 Tulsa 4,228 4,360
12/31/11 Wichita State 10,506* 10,466
1/7/12 Bradley 8,610 7,777
1/13/12 Illinois State 8,771 5,333
1/18/12 Missouri State 9,124 8,601
1/25/12 Drake 6,110 5,876
2/4/12 Northern Iowa 6,910 6,834
2/7/12 Evansville 5,128 9,640
2/14/12 Southern Illinois 3,408 4,272
2/25/12 Indiana State 6,790 7,911
More Road Streaks
Before losing on Feb. 4 at UNI, Creighton had won six straight road games for the first time since 1975. Below is a list of Creighton’s road win streaks of six or longer:
Longest Road Win Streaks
14 Feb. 14, 1942 - Dec. 20, 1945
11 Feb. 26, 1917 - Feb. 27, 1919
8 Jan. 10, 1925 - Jan. 16, 1926
7 Jan. 27 - Dec. 1, 1962
7 Jan. 31, 1928 - Jan. 19, 1929
6 Jan. 2 - Feb. 15, 1975
6 Dec. 19, 2011 - Jan. 25, 2012
The Road Less Traveled
After going 6-21 in true road games the previous two seasons, Creighton went 10-3 in true road games this year. This year the Bluejays started 5-0 in league road games for the first time since 1942-43, when the program finished 5-0.
In 13 road games this season, Creighton is shooting an impressive 49.8 percent from the floor. Doug McDermott averaged 24.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in those 13 tilts, making 24-of-43 shots from three-point range (55.8 percent).
Creighton went 10-3 in true road games this season, with road wins at last year's Mountain West champ (San Diego State), Conference USA champ (UAB), MVC champ (Missouri State), Conference-USA runner-up (Tulsa) and MVC runner-up (Wichita State). CU has also won at Bradley, Illinois State, Drake and defending MVC Tournament champ Indiana State.
This year marked the first time in program history the Bluejays had been 8-1 or better on the road.
Creighton's 10 true road wins this season far surpasses its total of six combined true road wins over the previous two seasons.
Including this year, each of Creighton’s last nine NCAA Tournament teams have won 10 or more games away from home, and eight of those teams had a winning record in true road contests.
Entering the postseason, only six teams nationally owned two true road wins vs teams ranked in top-28 of the RPI; Creighton, New Mexico, Ohio State, Michigan State, Duke and Kansas.
Jays Reach 20 Wins, Again
Creighton reached the 20-win milestone for the 13th time in 14 years with a win vs. Bradley on Jan. 28.
The win, which came on Jan. 28th, was the earliest (by calendar) the team has ever won 20 games, just ahead of the 2002-03 squad (Feb. 4).
Below is a list of the nation’s most 20-win seasons since 1998-99 (does not include this year).
Most 20+ Win Seasons, Last 13 Years
Seasons* School 2011-12 W-L Next Game
13 Syracuse 31-2 NCAA
13 Duke 27-6 NCAA
13 Kansas 27-6 NCAA
13 Gonzaga 25-6 NCAA
13 Florida 23-10 NCAA
12 Kentucky 32-2 NCAA
12 Creighton 28-5 NCAA
12 Kent State 21-11 CIT
12 Texas 20-13 NCAA
12 Xavier 21-12 NCAA
12 Utah State 17-15 CIT
*doesn’t include 20-win campaigns done this season
10 Conference Wins x 16
This season’s Creighton team has extended its MVC record by winning 10 or more league games for a 16th consecutive season.
On a national basis, the only other current school with at least 16 straight years of 10 or more league wins is Kansas (18), including this season.
Cancer Awareness Raises $$$
Creighton raised more than $29,600 in an auction in conjunction with its Jan. 28 Creighton vs. Cancer game vs. Bradley.
The Bluejays wore special-edition pink Nike jerseys for the game, in addition to special shooting shirts in warm-ups that honor those affected by cancer.
Fans had the chance to bid on a jersey/shooting shirt for each player, with the highest bid going for the #00 combination ($3,275). Six of the jerseys went for $1,000 or more.
Droppin’ 30 Doug McDermott scored 33 points on March 4th vs. Illinois State, his sixth outburst of 30 points or more this season. That’s the most by a Bluejay in one season since Bob Harstad had eight such games in 1989-90.
In the last 25 years, the following men have scored 30 or more points in a game for Creighton.
Career 30+ Point Games, Since 1987-88
No. Name Years
12 Bob Harstad 1987-91
7 Doug McDermott 2010-Present
5 Rodney Buford 1995-99
4 Rod Mason 1987-88
3 Nate Funk 2002-07
3 Chad Gallagher 1987-91
2 Kyle Korver 1999-03
2 Duan Cole 1987-92
1 Matt Petty 1992-93
1 Johnny Mathies 2003-06
1 Kenny Lawson Jr. 2006-11
1 Cavel Witter 2007-10
1 P’Allen Stinnett 2007-10
Creighton leads the nation in field goal percentage, and has had a better shooting percentage in all 28 of its wins this year. The four times the opposition has had a better field goal percentage, the Jays lost.
Overall, the team with a better field goal percentage has won 38 of CU’s last 39 games.
The only MVC team in history to lead the nation in field goal percentage was Bradley in 1967-68 (.524), and the only MVC team in history to lead the nation in three-point percentage was Illinois State in 2002-03 (.440).
Creighton is 18-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor.
McDermott Scored 44
Sophomore Doug McDermott scored a career-best 44 points in Creighton’s win at Bradley on Jan. 7th. It was nine more than his previous best, and included 31 points after halftime.
McDermott made his first 10 shots after halftime and was 18-of-23 for the game to tie the record for field goals made by a Bradley opponent. His 18 field goals are one shy of the Creighton record for field goals in a game, and the most by a Bluejay since Benoit Benjamin in 1985.
McDermott’s 44 points were the most nationally by any sophomore since Akron’s Derrick Tarver had 44 points vs. Wright State on Dec. 30, 2003.
Only four sophomores in MVC history have ever scored more points in a league contest than McDermott’s 44 points. Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati) had two 50-point games, while other players to do it once each were Indiana State’s John S. Williams (47), Wichita State’s Dave Stallworth (46) and Indiana State’s Larry Bird (45).
Rebounding Ruler Doug McDermott enters the NCAA Tournament ranked second in the MVC with 8.2 rebounds per game, just 1.4 behind Illinois State’s Jackie Carmichael. The only Creighton player to ever lead the MVC in rebounds per game was Bob Harstad (9.4) in 1988-89.
No Bluejay has averaged more than 7.4 rebounds per game since 1993-94, when Nate King averaged 9.0 rebounds per game. This year, both McDermott and Gregory Echenique (7.4) are within reach of that mark.
This year’s Creighton team is outrebounding foes by 6.1 caroms per contest, the first time since 1998-99 (+5.8) it’s had a rebound margin of better than 4.0 per game.
Twelve different programs combined to hand Creighton its 16 losses last season. While the Jays are not scheduled to face Iowa State, BYU, Oregon or Akron this year, they’ve done rather well against the other eight teams to beat them a year ago.
Against those eight teams (Northwestern, Nebraska, Missouri State, Wichita State, Indiana State, Northern Iowa, Bradley, Drake), Creighton is 13-2 so far this season after going a combined 5-11 last year vs. those same foes.
After Another Record
Last year Doug McDermott set an MVC freshman record with 581 points, and this season he’s got 765.
McDermott is just the third player in MVC history with 500 or more points as both a freshman and sophomore, joining Mitchell Anderson (Bradley) and John S. Williams (Indiana State). McDermott is the first player in Valley history with 550 points or more as both as freshman and sophomore.
In Creighton history, the only other players with multiple seasons of 500 or more points are Paul Silas (3), Bob Harstad (3), Rodney Buford (3), Rick Apke (2), Bob Portman (2), Chad Gallagher (2) and Nate Funk (2).
Winning The Close Ones
Creighton’s 66-65 win on Jan. 18th helps show the difference between this year’s team and last year’s squad.
Last year in Springfield, Creighton led nearly the entire game before giving up a lay-up in the final 15 seconds to lose, 67-66.
This year in Springfield, Creighton got a pair of defensive stops in the final 10 seconds to earn a 66-65 victory.
This year’s club is 6-1 in games decided by three points or less, while last year’s team was just 1-6 in such situations.
Near The Top Of His Class
Sophomore Doug McDermott owns 1,346 career points in his young career. According to research by Creighton Sports Information’s office and STATS Inc., that leads all active sophomores through games of March 11th.
Most Career Points, Sophomores (through 3/11)
Source: Creighton Sports Information/STATS Inc.
Rk. Pts. Name, School Next
1. 1,346 Doug McDermott, Creighton NCAA
2. 1,197 Jared Sullinger, Ohio State NCAA
3. 1,172 Harrison Barnes, North Carolina NCAA
4. 1,066 Terrell Stoglin, Maryland --
9. 1,060 DeAndre Kane, Marshall NIT
5. 1,046 Will Barton, Memphis NCAA
6. 1,041 Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut NCAA
7. 1,011 Trey Ziegler, Central Michigan --
8. 1,004 Devon Saddler, Delaware CBI
10. 995 Terrence Jones, Kentucky NCAA
Really Dynamic Duo
It’s hard to fathom, but two of the best sophomores nationally were high school teammates at Ames (Iowa) High School two years ago.
Creighton’s Doug McDermott and North Carolina phenom Harrison Barnes won a pair of state titles for a Ames High School team that posted undefeated campaigns in both 2008-09 (26-0) and 2009-10 (27-0) to become Iowa’s first 4A team to repeat as undefeated state champs.
Both McDermott and Barnes are expected to receive consideration for first-team All-America status from the Associated Press. In the history of the AP All-America teams (which began in 1947-48), the only high school teammates to be named first-team All-America in the same season are former Columbus (Ohio) East High School products Dwight “Bo” Lamar (Louisiana-Lafayette) and Ed Ratleff (Long Beach State) in 1971-72.
Here’s a look at the two sophomores and how they’ve performed in college (through 3/13):
Name McDermott Barnes
Games Played 72 71
Points 1,346 1,172
PPG 18.7 16.5
Rebounds 549 392
RPG 7.6 5.5
FG-FGA 513-899 419-957
FG% .571 .438
3FG-3FGA 99-221 110-309
3FG% .448 .356
FT-FTA 221-285 224-305
FT% .775 .734
Shades of 2003?
Creighton’s 28-5 start is reminding some fans of the program’s 2002-03 squad that finished 29-5 and spent most of the season in the national rankings.
Here’s how the 2011-12 club compares to the 2002-03 team, as well as how standout forwards Doug McDermott and Kyle Korver compare:
Stat 2011-12 2002-03
W-L Record 28-5 29-5
Home W-L 14-2 17-0
Road W-L 10-3 7-4
FG 925-1817 974-1956
FG Pct. .509 .498
3FG 270-636 270-693
3FG Pct. .425 .390
FT 521-712 470-678
FT Pct. .732 .693
Reb. Margin +6.1 +1.6
Assists 591 575
Turnovers 405 462
Points 2641 2688
Points/Game 80.0 79.1
Chasing History Doug McDermott leads the MVC in scoring (23.2 ppg.), is second in three-point percentage (.495) and rebounding (8.2 rpg.) and third in field goal percentage (.610).
The last player to lead the MVC in scoring and rebounding in the same season is Southern Illinois legend Ashraf Amaya in 1991-92.
No player has ever led the MVC in field goal percentage and three-point percentage in the same season.
Milestone Game Went Well
The Feb. 1 win vs. Illinois State was Creighton’s 150th game at CenturyLink Center Omaha. The Jays are now 130-23 at the nine-year old facility, which includes a 65-16 mark in MVC games and a 30-9 record in games decided by five points or less.
Creighton has averaged 14,453 fans in the 153 games, including 18 crowds of 17,000 or more.
Taking Advantage of Charity Gregory Echenique began the season 7-of-25 at the free-throw line, a dreadful 36 percent. Since then, however, he’s 72-for-92 from the line, good for 78.3 percent. In league play, he shot 60-for-74, 81.1 percent.
Since December 1st, Echenique is 32-of-37 on the road from the charity stripe, 86.5 percent.
What’s Your Twenty?
Creighton has been .500 or better after 20 games in each of the last 17 seasons, including this season.
Even more impressive, Creighton has won 13 of its first 20 games in 14 of the last 15 seasons.
Creighton -- First 20 Games, Last 17 Years
Year First 20 W-L Final W-L Postseason
2011-12 18-2 ? ? ? NCAA
2010-11 13-7 23-16 CBI
2009-10 10-10 18-16 CIT
2008-09 15-5 27-8 NIT
2007-08 14-6 22-11 NIT
2006-07 13-7 22-11 NCAA
2005-06 15-5 20-10 NIT
2004-05 13-7 23-11 NCAA
2003-04 17-3 20-9 NIT
2002-03 18-2 29-5 NCAA
2001-02 14-6 23-9 NCAA
2000-01 14-6 24-8 NCAA
1999-00 14-6 23-10 NCAA
1998-99 14-6 22-9 NCAA
1997-98 14-6 18-10 NIT
1996-97 10-10 15-15 ---
1995-96 11-9 14-15 ---
Over .500, Again
Creighton has been better than .500 in either the first or second-half of the league season in 33 straight trips through the league, including both halves this year.
Creighton’s 32 consecutive halves above .500 in league play is easily the Valley’s longest active streak, with Wichita State next closest at eight.
Here’s how Creighton’s teams have fared in the various halves of the MVC season since 1995-96. Notably, Creighton was 8-1 at the midway mark for the first time since 2002-03.
Year 1st Half 2nd Half
2011-12 8-1 6-3
2010-11 5-4 5-4
2009-10 5-4 5-4
2008-09 5-4 9-0
2007-08 5-4 5-4
2006-07 6-3 7-2
2005-06 7-2 5-4
2004-05 5-4 6-3
2003-04 7-2 5-4
2002-03 8-1 7-2
2001-02 8-1 6-3
2000-01 5-4 9-0
1999-00 5-4 6-3
1998-99 6-3 5-4
1997-98 5-4 7-2
1996-97 5-4 5-4
1995-96 4-5 5-4
Total 99-54 (.647) 103-49 (.678)
Jays Win 10 Home Games, Again
With a Jan. 21 win vs. Indiana State, Creighton has now won 10 or more home games in 16 straight seasons.
The current streak extends a school-record, four more than the previous standard of 12 straight seasons from the 1969-70 season to the 1980-81 campaign with 10 or more home wins.
Historically After 12 MVC Games
Creighton was 11-1 in the MVC after the 12th game of the league slate.
This is the 17th straight season that Creighton has had a league record of .500 or better after 12 games, and each of those campaigns the Jays would also go .500 or better in its final six contests as well.
Year W-L After 12 W-L Final 6
2011-12 11-1 3-3
2010-11 6-6 4-2
2009-10 7-5 3-3
2008-09 8-4 6-0
2007-08 7-5 3-3
2006-07 9-3 4-2
2005-06 9-3 3-3
2004-05 6-6 5-1
2003-04 9-3 3-3
2002-03 11-1 4-2
2001-02 10-2 4-2
2000-01 8-4 6-0
1999-00 7-5 4-2
1998-99 7-5 4-2
1997-98 8-4 4-2
1996-97 7-5 3-3
1995-96 6-6 3-3
Total 136-68 (.667) 66-36 (.647)
Creighton continues to lead the country in field goal percentage, making an incredible 50.9 percent from the field.
The Bluejays have shot 55 percent or better 13 times overall this season.
In Creighton’s last 39 games dating to late last season, it has shot 40 percent or better in all but two games.
Creighton, which is also third in the country in three-point percentage, is seeking to join Northern Arizona (in 1998-99) as the only teams in NCAA history to lead the nation in three-point percentage and field goal percentage in the same season.
McManus To The Hall
Former Creighton men’s basketball coach John J. “Red” McManus will be inducted into the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame on April 19th.
McManus went 138-118 as head coach of Creighton from 1959-69, and mentored All-Americans Paul Silas and Bob Portman, among others. He remains close to the program to this day and regularly attends home games and the State Farm MVC Tournament.
Also joining the Hall of Fame will be Lyell Bremser, Al Caniglia, Tom Jaworski, Kelly Lindsay, Erick Strickland and the 1982 Omaha Westside football team.
Midseason Honors Doug McDermott was named Midseason National Player of the Year by four of the most prominent college basketball experts nationwide. He earned the nod from Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News, as well as from ESPN experts Jay Bilas, Len Elmore and Doug Gottlieb.
Chairman of the Board
Creighton center Gregory Echenique has 10 or more rebounds in six of Creighton’s last 19 games, and averaged 8.5 boards in that span.
Creighton is 10-1 all-time when Echenique collects 10 or more rebounds and 12-1 when he scores 15 or more points.
Creighton is also 17-3 this season and 27-9 in his career when he blocks two shots or more.
Double-Digit Deficits, No Problem
Creighton overcame an early 12-2 deficit to beat Drake on March 2nd, the fifth time this year it’s won a game after previously trailing by double-digits.
Creighton also won after trailing by 17 at San Diego State and by 12 at Wichita State, a home game vs. UNI when down by 11, a home game after being down 14 to Evansville, and a neutral game after trailing by 10 to Drake.
Creighton has fallen behind by 10 points or more 35 times in CenturyLink Center Omaha history. Incredibly, Creighton has rallied to win 21 of those contests.
Overcoming Double-Digit Deficits at CLCO
Date Opponent Deficit Score
01/28/06 Wichita State 19 W 57-55
11/09/07 DePaul 17 W 74-62
03/18/08 Rhode Island 17 W 74-73
11/16/08 New Mexico 16 W 82-75
02/02/08 Wichita State 15 W 65-63
02/22/06 Indiana State 14 W 67-62
02/07/07 Evansville 14 W 79-74
03/18/09 Bowling Green 14 W 73-71
02/21/12 Evansville 14 W 93-92 ot
12/04/04 High Point 13 W 79-60
01/18/06 Bradley 12 W 80-76
03/01/08 Bradley 12 W 111-110 2ot
12/11/10 Saint Joseph’s 12 W 82-75
12/30/06 Missouri State 11 W 77-74
11/26/05 Dayton 11 W 91-90 2ot
01/10/12 Northern Iowa 11 W 63-60
12/18/05 Xavier 10 W 61-59
02/01/05 Wichita State 10 W 73-69
12/30/03 Missouri State 10 W 59-54
02/01/09 Missouri State 10 W 75-51
02/03/10 Evansville 10 W 84-71
A Sprint to 1,000 Points Doug McDermott needed just 57 career games to surpass 1,000 career points, doing so in a Jan. 15th win vs. Southern Illinois. He’s the second Creighton player this season to surpass the milestone, as Antoine Young reached that feat on Dec. 10 at Saint Joseph’s.
Young & McDermott are the first Bluejay teammates to go over 1,000 in the same season since Ryan Sears & Ben Walker in the Jays’ 2000-01 campaign.
While it’s unknown how many games it’s taken every player in school history to get to 1,000 points, it is known that Paul Silas needed 47 games to reach 1,000.
Before McDermott, the only previous players in Creighton history to score 1,000 points or more in their first two seasons were Bob Portman (1,195), Paul Silas (1,124), Rod Mason (1,023) and Rodney Buford (1,010).
Here’s a look at how many games it took Creighton’s last 12 players to reach 1,000 career points.
Games To 1,000 Points, Last 12 Bluejays
Name Games to 1,000 pts. Date Doug McDermott 57 01/15/12 Antoine Young 115 12/10/11 Kenny Lawson Jr. 108 11/21/10
P’Allen Stinnett 86 01/16/10
Dane Watts 115 01/22/08
Anthony Tolliver 124 03/16/07
Johnny Mathies 91 03/03/06
Nate Funk 92 02/28/05
Kyle Korver 81 01/30/02
Ben Walker 105 01/06/01
Ryan Sears 97 12/01/00
Rodney Buford 59 03/01/97
Gibbs Earns Newcomer Honor, Again Grant Gibbs was named the MVC Newcomer of the Week for the third time this season on Jan. 15, and second straight week.
Gibbs helped Creighton to an unbeaten week, scoring in double-figures in all three games. He averaged 10.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.
His week was highlighted by his first career double-double, as he had 10 assists and tied a career-best with 12 points in a win at Illinois State on Jan. 13th.
Jays Duo Earn MVC Weekly Awards Doug McDermott was named MVC Player of the Week for the fourth time this season on Jan. 9th after a week that saw him average 34.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in two wins.
McDermott had 24 points on his 20th birthday on Jan. 3 in a win vs. Drake. He then had a career-high 44 points in a victory at Bradley, making 18-of-23 shots from the floor in a nine-point win. His 44 points are sixth-most in CU history, the most in the nation this year, and the most nationwide by any sophomore since 2003.
McDermott also earned the National Jesuit Basketball Spotlight Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks.
In addition, Grant Gibbs was also named MVC Newcomer of the Week. Gibbs averaged 8.5 points, 5.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds a week ago. He began his week with eight points, seven rebounds and five assists in a 17-point win over Drake. He then had nine points, six assists and two rebounds at Bradley on Jan. 7th.
As a team, Creighton made its first 11 field goals to start the second half at Bradley on Jan. 9th, not missing until a Grant Gibbs three-point try went awry at the 10:44 mark.
For the game, Creighton shot 61.1 percent, its best mark on the road since shooting 61.9 percent at Wichita State on Feb. 16, 2005.
Earlier this season Creighton made its first 13 field goal attempts of the game in a win vs. Campbell.
Another Arena Record Falls
On Dec. 19, Doug McDermott’s 35 points at Tulsa tied a Reynolds Center record for an opponent at the 13-year old facility. On Jan. 7th McDermott claimed another house record, as his 44 points were a Carver Arena mark for an opponent in the 30-year old building.
In fact only two players have ever scored more against Bradley than McDermott’s 44…Detroit’s Archie Tullos (49) in 1988 and Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson (46) in 1960. McDermott’s 44 points were the most in Peoria by a Bradley opponent since The Big O, and the most ever in a win over Bradley.
Speaking of arena records, Creighton’s 28 assists (on 33 baskets) were the most by a Bradley opponent at Carver Arena. An incredible 17 of McDermott’s 18 field goals were assisted, as four different players (Grant Gibbs, Jahenns Manigat, Antoine Young, Josh Jones) had three or more assists to McDermott alone.
Of McDermott’s 18 baskets, he used the backboard in 11 of them and used his left hand for five hoops.
Pick Your Poison
Creighton is third in the nation from beyond the arc, hitting 42.5 percent of its shots from three-point range.
The Bluejays have been remarkably consistent, making 40 percent or better from three-point range in 23-of-33 games to date. By comparison, CU made 40 percent or better from deep in just 15-of-39 contests a year ago.
Not Half Bad
Creighton trailed by 39-31 at halftime on Dec. 31 before outscoring Wichita State 37-22 in the second half and pull out a seven-point road win.
Under second-year head coach Greg McDermott, the Bluejays are 42-1 when outscoring their foe after halftime.
Young Follows His Elders
Senior point guard Antoine Young is one of three players in Creighton history with more than 1,000 points and 400 career assists. Here’s a look at how he compares in his career to some of his point guard predecessors:
Name Young Dotzler McKinney Sears
Games 140 117 110 124
Starts 105 96 97 124
Points 1,330 422 570 1,311
PPG 9.5 3.6 5.2 10.6
Assists 496 388 430 570
APG 3.5 3.3 3.9 4.6
Turnovers 225 200 188 252
A/TO Ratio 2.20 1.94 2.29 2.03
Steals 99 196 119 283
SPG 0.71 1.68 1.08 2.29
Min./Game 26.8 23.0 26.5 33.7
Passing Fancy Grant Gibbs had 10 assists at Tulsa on Dec. 19, then added 12 helpers vs. Northwestern three days later. In the win over Northwestern, Gibbs’ 12 assists led to 32 points by his Creighton teammates.
His 12 assists were a CenturyLink Center Omaha single-game record, rank tied for sixth-most in a game in Creighton history for all venues, and most since Tyler McKinney also had 12 on Dec. 21, 2002.
Gibbs became the first Bluejay with consecutive games of 10 or more assists since Duan Cole did it on Jan. 27 & 30, 1990.
Three sophomores on the 2011-12 Creighton basketball team rank among the most nine most accurate shooters in school history in three-point field goal percentage. Doug McDermott is third on that list at 44.8 percent for his career, just behind MVC Players of the Year Booker Woodfox (45.5%) and Kyle Korver (45.3%) and fifth on Creighton’s all-time chart. Ethan Wragge is ninth on the list at 41.4 percent, while Jahenns Manigat (43.2 percent) is in sixth place.
Three-Point Field Goal Percentage, Career
(min. 100 attempts)
Rk. 3% Name 3FG-3FGA Years
1. .455 Booker Woodfox 147-323 2007-09
2. .453 Kyle Korver 371-819 1999-03
3. .448 Doug McDermott 99-221 2010-Pres.
4. .441 Rod Mason 132-299 1986-88
5. .4403 Nerijus Karlikanovas 48-109 1998-00
6. .432 Jahenns Manigat 96-222 2010-Pres.
7. .431 Michael Lindeman 62-144 2000-04
8. .430 Duan Cole 176-410 1987-92
9. .414 Ethan Wragge 140-338 2009-Pres.
10. .407 Nate Funk 200-492 2002-07
Jones’ing For MVC Play Josh Jones opened MVC play with 11 points off the bench on Dec. 28 vs. Missouri State, making 3-of-4 three-point shots. Jones then pumped in eight points in the second half of Creighton’s win at Wichita State.
Picking up his production for Valley games is nothing new for the junior from Omaha Central. In his career, he’s shot 12-of-55 (21.8 percent) from three-point range prior to MVC play, a figure that improves drastically to 53-of-127 (41.7 percent) in league action.
Weekly Honors Roll In Grant Gibbs and Doug McDermott were both honored on Dec. 26th by the MVC for their work in wins vs. Tulsa and Northwestern.
Gibbs was named MVC Newcomer of the Week after averaging 11.0 assists, 7.5 rebounds and 6.0 points per game. With 10 assists at Tulsa and 12 assists vs. Northwestern, he became the first Bluejay since 1990 with consecutive games of 10 or more assists.
McDermott was named MVC Player of the Week after averaging 31.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He scored a career-high 35 points in the win at Tulsa and scored 27 points in 28 minutes vs. Northwestern.
McDermott also earned National Player of the Week accolades from the USBWA, Dick Vitale, and Andy Katz of ESPN.com for his performance.
Scoring In Numbers Doug McDermott owns 765 points through 33 games, an average of 23.2 per contest that ranks him third nationally in scoring.
McDermott’s 23.2 points per game would rank fourth-most in CU single-season history and would be the most since Bob Portman averaged 26.2 points per game in 1968-69.
Portman, who finished fifth nationally in scoring in 1967-68 (29.5 ppg.), is the only Bluejay to ever rank in the top-10 of the year-end scoring leaders.
McDermott’s 23.2 points per game would make him the first MVC player over 20 points per game since Illinois State’s Tarise Bryson (2000-01) and the most by a MVC player since Bradley’s Curtis Stuckey (25.1 ppg.) in 1990-91. Bryson is the only MVC player since 1989 to rank in the top-five nationally in scoring.
No Bluejay has averaged more than 20 points per game since Bob Harstad’s 22.2 average in 1989-90.
Creighton is the only team in the nation with three non-conference wins vs. the Big Ten this season.
This is the first time that Creighton has defeated three Big Ten teams in the same season in program history.
In three games against Big Ten competition this year, Doug McDermott averaged 25.3 points, 8.7 rebounds while shooting 29-44 from the floor (65.9 percent) and 7-of-11 from downtown (63.6 percent).
B1G Ten, Big Time
Creighton went 3-0 against the Big Ten this winter, including home wins vs. both Northwestern and Nebraska. This is the first year Creighton has hosted two games against Big Ten competition in the same season since 1936-37.
Unbelievably, Creighton had hosted just one Big Ten team since 1973 (Iowa in 1999) before this year’s slate.
Doug vs. Others After 72 Games Doug McDermott has started all 72 games of his career and enters Arch Madness with 1,346 career points (18.7 ppg.) and 549 career rebounds (7.6 rpg.).
By comparison, Creighton’s all-time leading scorer, Rodney Buford, had 1,256 career points after 72 games. However, Buford had “just” 1,010 points at the end of his sophomore season (59 games, 17.1 ppg.).
McDermott also compares favorably to legendary big men Bob Harstad and Chad Gallagher at this point. Harstad finished his career ranked second in CU history with 2,110 career points and 1,126 rebounds, while Gallagher is third with 1,983 points and fifth with 891 rebounds.
Through 72 Career Games
Name Points Rebounds Doug McDermott 1,346 549
Rodney Buford 1,256 384
Chad Gallagher 995 437
Bob Harstad 994 652
Kyle Korver 857 331
Creighton has never had a player with a traditional point-rebound-assist triple-double, but Grant Gibbs is getting closer.
The junior guard had nine points, seven rebounds and 10 assists on Dec. 19 at Tulsa. He also had 12 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds on Jan. 13 at Illinois State.
Gibbs is the first player since James Farr in 1988-89 to have single-game highs of 10 or more points, 10 or more assists and nine or more rebounds in the same season.
Creighton owns three triple-doubles in school history, all by Benoit Benjamin in 1985. All three were of the point-rebound-blocked shot variety.
All I Wanted For Christmas Is 10 Wins
Creighton got to the Christmas break with a 10-1 record. In 94 seasons of basketball, this was just the third campaign that the Jays reached 10 wins before Christmas.
The Jays were 10-1 in 1963-64 and 10-2 in 2008-09 heading into Christmas.
Fountains of Doug Doug McDermott owns 20 or more points 23 times this season and 26 of his last 39 games overall dating to late last season.
McDermott owns two different stretches where he’s scored 25 points or more in four straight games this year. He did it from Nov. 16-30 earlier this year, as well as Dec. 10-22. The last Bluejay with five consecutive games of 25 or more was Benoit Benjamin, who did it in five straight games (Jan. 17-Feb. 2, 1985), a span in which he had 43, 45, 31, 26 and 29 points.
McDermott, who owns 15 different games of 25 points or more this season, is the first Bluejay with 10 different games of 25 or more points in the same year since Bob Harstad had 15 games like that in 1989-90.
How To Stop Him?
Leave it to Doug McDermott’s father/coach and his roommate to explain the task of trying to slow him down.
"He's difficult to stop in that he scores a lot of different ways," his coach and father Greg McDermott said. "It's not just on the block, it's not just from the 3-point line, he can slash and score as well. In a lot of his post-up opportunities, the ball is gone before you can even think about double-teaming him. He's difficult to guard because of his versatility, and he has a lot of people scratching their heads trying to stop him. And the good news for us is that he's doing it within the framework of our offense and he's not taken bad shots."
"Doug's ability to score from just about anywhere on the floor is what amazes me," guard Jahenns Manigat said. "He has amazing hands and he finishes well. And when he steps back and knocks down a 3, that's when you can see the full extent of his game.”
Don’t Take Our Word For It
Tulsa coach Doug Wojcik was similarly impressed after Doug McDermott scored a career-high 35 on Dec. 19. Here’s an excerpt of Wojcik’s post-game opening statement:
“I tell you what, that was one impressive performance by Doug McDermott. I thought the guy single-handedly broke the spirit of my team. In particular, my three seniors and sophomore post players. He was terrific...My goodness, it really surprised us how good McDermott was, particularly in the post against size, how good his strength is, how good his stamina is, how good his feet are, and how good of hands he has. He was very impressive to me, tonight.”
Dish Network Grant Gibbs turned in an unusual stat line in a Dec. 19 victory over Houston Baptist. The junior guard had career-highs with eight assists and four steals, but did not attempt a shot from the field in 19 minutes of play.
He’s the only Bluejay in more than 25 years to have eight or more assists in a game in which he did not attempt a field goal.
Gibbs continued to play the role of distributor on Dec. 19 at Tulsa, dishing a career-high 10 assists.
One game later vs. Northwestern on Dec. 22, Gibbs had 12 assists and eight rebounds, but was 0-for-2 from the field.
Piling Up The Points, and Wins
Creighton has won 54 straight games when scoring 90 points or more, dating to Jan. 11, 1988.
Creighton has won 18 straight (at all sites) when scoring 100 points or more, dating to Feb. 26, 1977.
In home games only, Creighton has won 89 straight games when scoring 70 or more points since a Feb. 5, 2005 loss to Missouri State.
Ball Control Offense
Creighton ranked eighth nationally with a 1.46 assist/turnover ratio, and a big portion of that is due to its starting backcourt.
Creighton’s starting guard trio of Antoine Young (147 A, 61 TO), Jahenns Manigat (51/29) and Grant Gibbs (168/71) have combined for 366 assists and 161 turnovers, good for a collective 2.27 assist/turnover ratio.
Reserve guards Avery Dingman (6/8), Josh Jones (61/31), Austin Chatman (64/40) and Taylor Stormberg (4/0) have combined for 135 assists against just 79 turnovers.
McDermott’s 20/10 Vision
Earlier this season Doug McDermott became the first Bluejay with four straight double-doubles since Nate King had four in a row during the 1993-94 campaign.
No Bluejay has owned five straight double-doubles since Benoit Benjamin had 28 in a row in the 1984-85 campaign.
2,000,000 Fan March
Creighton has attracted 2,21,350 fans all-time in 153 games held at CenturyLink Center Omaha, good for an average of 14,453.
Creighton’s 1,000,000th fan at CenturyLink Center Omaha was honored on Jan. 19, 2008, in CU’s 74th game at the facility. That fan, Jared Stickrod, was then a 10-year old from Omaha who received numerous prizes, including an autographed basketball and season tickets for the 2008-09 campaign.
In Creighton’s home game on Dec. 4 vs. Nebraska, Creighton honored Omaha native Sam King as the 2,000,000th fan at CenturyLink Center Omaha. Among his prize package is four season tickets for 2012-13.
Call It A Comeback
Creighton trailed 31-14 early on at San Diego State on Nov. 30 before pulling off a comeback for the ages.
Below is a list of Creighton’s 10 comebacks from down 15 points or more since 2000. Notably, Creighton’s comeback at SDSU was CU’s largest away from home in that time.
Overcoming Large Deficits, Last 10 Years
Date Opponent Deficit Final Score
01/28/06 Wichita State 19 W 57-55
11/27/01 Western Kentucky 18 W 95-91 2ot
02/12/03 Missouri State 17 W 70-67 ot
11/09/07 DePaul 17 W 74-62
11/30/11 at San Diego State 17 W 85-83
03/18/08 Rhode Island 17 W 74-73
11/16/08 New Mexico 16 W 82-75
02/04/06 at Drake 16 W 72-67 ot
01/26/03 TCU 16 W 89-79
02/02/08 Wichita State 15 W 65-63
Non-Conference Home Success
Creighton has won 38 straight regular-season non-conference home games against unranked teams, a streak it will attempt to extend next season.
Creighton’s last regular-season home loss to a non-conference unranked foe came on Feb. 17, 2007, when Drexel upended the Jays. That game was also part of the BracketBusters series.
Creighton got a head start to the 2011-12 season thanks to a four-game exhibition tour of the Bahamas in mid-August. The trip, which included CU’s four scholarship freshmen, also included 10 valuable practices in the off-season.
Creighton won all four games on its tour by double-digits, outscoring foes by an average of 27.5 points per game. Doug McDermott led the Jays in scoring (24.3 ppg.), Will Artino led the team in rebounding (11.0 rpg.), Geoff Groselle topped the squad with 10 blocked shots, and Austin Chatman had a team-best 30 assists.
Each of Creighton’s last three teams to take a foreign trip have started the season strong. The 2007-08 and 2003-04 teams both went to Vancouver, with CU’s 2007-08 team starting the regular-season 5-0, and the ‘03-04 squad opening 12-0. The Jays also toured Europe in the spring of 1998, with CU opening 6-0 to begin the 1998-99 campaign.
This year’s team, which went to the Bahamas in August, started 7-0.
Red Hot Night
Creighton scorched the CenturyLink Center Omaha nets on Nov. 25th in its 104-81 win vs. Campbell.
The Jays made their first 13 field goal attempts from the floor during a dizzying display that included four three-pointers and two other traditional three-point plays. The scoring frenzy helped CU to a 32-14 lead after nine minutes and well on their way to another double-digit win.
For the evening, Creighton shot a school-record (at the time) 70.4 percent on the night, the ninth-best mark in MVC history. Creighton’s previous best shooting night came on Feb. 3, 2010, when CU made 66.7 percent (28-of-42) to beat Evansville.
Army of Iowans
Every Creighton team since 1988-89 has had at least one Iowa native, and this season is no exception.
Creighton has three players from Iowa on this season’s team, continuing a long trend of relying on some of the Hawkeye State’s top preps. CU’s native Iowans this season includes junior Grant Gibbs (Marion), sophomore Doug McDermott (Ames) and redshirt freshman Will Artino (Waukee).
Other past notable Iowans include Kyle Korver and Pierce Hibma (Pella), Ryan Sears (Ankeny), Brody Deren (Harlan), Tyler McKinney (Urbandale), Nate Funk (Sioux City) and Michael Lindeman (Iowa Falls).
Creighton has played at least one Iowa native in 583 straight games. That streak dates to a Feb. 5, 1994 win against Wichita State.
Nearly A Point A Minute
A year ago at this time, Doug McDermott was still sneaking up on people as a baby-faced freshman. But after a record-setting freshman year and preseason acclaim on the Wooden and Naismith Award lists this fall, he’s become priority number one on the opponent’s scouting reports.
Despite the extra attention paid to him, he’s scored almost a point per minute in 38 games in a Bluejay uniform this season. If you include four exhibition games in the Bahamas (97 points, 84 minutes), an exhibition win over Rockhurst (19 points, 22 minutes) and 33 regular-season contests (765 points, 1045 minutes), he’s scored 881 points in 1,151 minutes.
According to stats through March 11th on bbstate.com, McDermott’s 29.3 points per 40 minutes lead the country, just ahead of Reggie Hamilton’s (Oakland) 28.8 points per 40 minutes.
Productive Night Doug McDermott had 25 points in just 18 minutes of work on Dec. 19 vs. Houston Baptist.
He became just the second Bluejay since 1985 to score 20 or more points in a game in which he played fewer than 20 minutes. Ethan Wragge, McDermott’s sophomore teammate, has done it twice. He did it against Xavier on Nov. 27, 2009 (21 points, 17 minutes) and also against Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 11, 2010 (22 points, 18 minutes).
Before Wragge had done it, no Bluejay had scored 20 or more points in less than 20 minutes since Vernon Moore put up 21 points in 19 minutes against Nebraska-Kearney on Nov. 24, 1984.
McDermott On Preseason Lists
Sophomore forward Doug McDermott is one of 50 players nationwide named to the 2011-12 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list, as well as the Naismith preseason watch list. He was the only MVC player honored on either list.
McDermott is the first player from Creighton named to a Wooden Award list since the spring of 2003, when Kyle Korver was one of 22 finalists for the award. However, Korver never received preseason acclaim in his career from the Wooden Award voters.
McDermott is Creighton’s first player on the preseason Naismith list since Nate Funk prior to the 2006-07 campaign.
All-Around Doug Doug McDermott finished his remarkable freshman season with 581 points, 280 rebounds and 47 three-point baskets last year.
According to research by STATS Inc., the last two freshmen to attain 525 points, 270 rebounds and 40 three-pointers in a season were über-freshmen Kevin Durant (Texas) in 2006-07 and Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse) in 2002-03.
The previous two men before them to do so, Quentin Richardson (1998-99 at DePaul) and Eddie Griffin (2000-01 at Seton Hall), like Durant and Anthony, were also named the National Freshman of the Year.
Below is the list, compiled by STATS Inc., of all 15 Division I players since 1996-97 to have McDermott’s levels of at least 581 points, 280 rebounds and 47 three-pointers in one season:
581+ Pts., 280+ Reb., 47+ 3FG Since 1996-97
Source: STATS Inc. & Creighton Sports Info
Name, School Year 3FG Reb. Pts.
Kevin Durant, Texas 2006-07 82 390 903
Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse 2002-03 56 349 778
Shane Battier, Duke 2000-01 124 285 778
Kyle Singler, Duke 2009-10 85 280 707
Keith Van Horn, Utah 1996-97 58 303 705
Ryan Anderson, Cal 2007-08 64 328 697
Matt Harpring, Ga. Tech 1997-98 52 302 691
Rasual Butler, LaSalle 2001-02 57 283 670
Brian Heinle, CS-Northridge 2000-01 52 293 646
Jamine Peterson, Providence 2009-10 51 315 609
James Posey, Xavier 1998-99 48 322 609
Kyle Singler, Duke 2008-09 69 284 609
Matt Howard, Butler 2010-11 53 285 608
Romain Sato, Xavier 2003-04 75 297 603 Doug McDermott, Creighton 2010-11 47 280 581
Freshmen listed in bold italic
Father/Son Duo Doug McDermott is the only player in Creighton men’s basketball history to play for his father, head coach Greg McDermott. The previous closest relationship between a player/coach had been when Rick Apke (1974-78) played for his older brother, head coach Tom Apke (1974-81).
Other known father/son player/head coach duos this winter include Ray/Ray McCallum Jr. (Detroit), Jim/Tyler Les (UC Davis), Ernie/Trey Ziegler (Central Michigan), Louis/Chauncey Orr (Bowling Green), Dave/Jordan Boots (South Dakota) and Jim/Billy Molinari (Western Illinois).
Creighton went 4-0 to win the Dale Howard Classic, its fourth-ever tournament title in a regular-season event. The Jays also claimed titles in the Guardians Classic in both 2002 and 2004 and the Las Vegas Classic crown in 2008.
Creighton has also won a record 10 MVC Tournament titles.
Preseason MVC Poll
Creighton was picked to win the Missouri Valley Conference in the preseason poll of league coaches, SID’s and media. The Bluejays earned 29-of-40 first-place votes and 389 points overall.
Wichita State was second with 350 points and seven first-place votes, while Indiana State was third with 331 points and got four first-place votes.
Northern Iowa (245) and Evansville (234) rounded out the upper half of the league.
In sixth was defending regular-season champ Missouri State (216), where it was followed by Drake (159), Illinois State (111), Southern Illinois (90) and Bradley (75).
Creighton sophomore Doug McDermott is one of five men on the preseason all-MVC team. He’s joined on the team by Wichita State’s Toure’ Murry, Missouri State’s Kyle Weems, Indiana State’s Jake Odum and Evansville’s Colt Ryan. Weems was also named Preseason MVC Player of the Year.
Including this season, 10 of Creighton’s last 15 teams have finished either first or second in The Valley’s regular-season race. Two of the five that didn’t won the MVC Tournament.
The Bluejays won the MVC in 2000-01 and tied for the title in 2001-02 and 2008-09. CU was second in the MVC in 1997-98, 2006-07 and 2011-12, tied for second in the MVC in 1998-99, 2003-04 and 2005-06, and finished tied for third in 2004-05. The 1999-00 club was fourth in the MVC, but won the MVC Tournament, and last year’s club tied for fourth place.
Creighton’s MVC Finishes, Last 15 Years
1st Place 2000-01
Tied for First 2001-02 *, 2008-09
2nd Place 1997-98, 2002-03*, 2006-07*, 2011-12*
Tied for 2nd 1998-99*, 2003-04, 2005-06
Tied for 3rd Place 2004-05*
4th Place 1999-00*; 2007-08; 2009-10
Tied for 4th Place 2010-11
*(won MVC Tourn.)
I Know What You Did Last Summer
Besides a trip to the Bahamas, two Creighton players stayed busy competing internationally this summer. Doug McDermott played for Team USA at the U19 World Championships, which were held in Riga, Latvia. McDermott started every game for coach Paul Hewitt’s team and was third on the club in both points (11.3) and rebounds (6.1) per game, while topping the squad with 13 three-point baskets. Despite a 7-2 record and wins over the eventual gold and silver medalist teams, his team finished fifth overall after being upset by Russia in the quarterfinal round. Gregory Echenique played for coach Eric Musselman on the Venezuelan National Team, alongside the likes of former Maryland star and current Memphis Grizzlies guard Greivis Vasquez. In head-to-head battles against NBA veterans such as Luis Scola (Argentina), Al Horford (Dominican Republic), Joel Anthony (Canada) and Andres Nocioni (Argentina), Echenique averaged 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in eight games while helping Venezuela to fifth place at the FIBA Americas Tournament in Argentina. Venezuela’s success means it will host a 12-team Olympic qualifier next July, of which the top three teams will make the 2012 Olympics in London.
Creighton’s win vs. Nebraska on Dec. 4th was the Jays seventh straight this season. The Bluejays have now had at least one five-game win streak in 14 of the last 15 seasons.
Since 1988-89, the Bluejays have made the NCAA’s, NIT or CBI all 17 times (including this year) they’ve had a five-game winning streak in a season, but missed the NCAA/NIT/CBI all seven times they haven’t.
CenturyLink Center Omaha Success
Creighton has played 153 regular and postseason contests at CenturyLink Center Omaha all-time in nine seasons at the facility.
The Bluejays own an 130-23 (.850) record all-time at the facility, and have never lost there on a Thursday or Friday.
Creighton has outscored its opponents 11,433-9,715 in games at CenturyLink Center Omaha, an average margin of 11.2 points per game. Creighton has led wire-to-wire 36 different times, including seven times this season.
Quick Starts Key To Playing in Postseason
Creighton has started off 3-0 (or better) in 11 of the previous 13 seasons, something it did again this year. Each of Creighton’s last 13 3-0 starts (including this year) have been culminated in a postseason tournament appearance at the end of the year.
The Godfather Strikes Again Ross Ferrarini earned the CenturyLink Center Omaha crowd free Godfather’s Pizza with a three-pointer in the waning seconds against Indiana State on Jan. 21st.
It’s the second time in his 17 career home games that he’s scored the 75th point. Last year he hit a three-pointer with 12 seconds left to close CU’s scoring in a 75-59 home win over Illinois State win, one reason his teammates have dubbed him “The Godfather”.
Creighton has scored enough points for pizza (75 since 2006-07; 70 from 2003-06) in 84 of 153 all-time games at CenturyLink Center Omaha. Only 10 men have scored the ‘pizza point’ more than Ferrarini’s two occasions, a list led by Johnny Mathies. Mathies did it 10 times.
Most Times Scoring Pizza Point, 2003-Present
Times Name Years
10 Johnny Mathies 2003-06
8 Cavel Witter 2007-10
5 Antoine Young 2008-Pres.
4 Kellen Miliner 2003-05
4 Nate Funk 2003-07
4 Anthony Tolliver 2003-07
4 Kenny Lawson Jr. 2006-11
4 Josh Jones 2009-Pres.
3 Kenton Walker 2007-09
3 P’Allen Stinnett 2007-10
3 Doug McDermott 2010-Pres.
2 Isacc Miles 2004-05
2 Nick Porter 2005-07
2 Dustin Sitzmann 2005-09
2 Josh Dotzler 2005-09
2 Nick Bahe 2006-08
2 Kaleb Korver 2007-11
2 Casey Harriman 2007-11
2 Ethan Wragge 2009-Pres.
2 Ross Ferrarini 2010-Pres.
2 Will Artino 2011-Pres.
2 Gregory Echenique 2010-Pres.
Creighton’s 97-65 win on Nov. 11 vs. North Carolina A&T was its highest point total in a season-opener since the 2002-03 team opened with a 106-50 win over Texas-Arlington. That team went on to be 29-5.
Including this year, eight of Creighton’s 17 all-time NCAA Tournament teams have scored 90 or more points in their season-opener.
Here’s a look at Creighton’s last five teams to score 90 or more in a season-opener.
Score Opponent Date W-L Season
97-65 N. Carolina A&T 11/11/11 ? NCAA
106-50 Texas-Arlington 11/17/02 29-5 NCAA
96-50 Western Illinois 11/20/00 24-8 NCAA
93-48 Towson State 11/14/98 22-9 NCAA
93-47 UT-San Antonio 11/30/90 24-8 NCAA
Academically Tops In The MVC Too
For the seventh time in the nine-year existence of the award, Creighton University has been recognized with the 2010-11 MVC All-Academic Award. Bluejay student-athletes posted a 3.33 cumulative grade-point average over the 2010-11 academic calendar. Creighton previously shared the award in 2003-04, and were the outright winners in 2004-05, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10.
Creighton had three men’s basketball players earn Dean’s List (3.50 GPA or better) accolades last year; Kaleb Korver, Derek Sebastian and Taylor Stormberg.
Last Season Recap
Creighton finished 23-16 on the season, winning a program-record four postseason games before falling in the best-of-three championship series in the College Basketball Invitational. Creighton’s 10-8 league mark was good for a tie for fourth place, the Jays 14th straight year of a fourth-place finish or better.
Individually, Doug McDermott was a first-team all-MVC pick and led the team in scoring and rebounding during a standout freshman season that also saw him sweep MVC Freshman and Newcomer of the Year accolades. Antoine Young was named second-team all-MVC, while both McDermott and Jahenns Manigat were named to the MVC’s All-Freshman Team. In addition, Manigat was named to the MVC’s All-Bench Team, and Gregory Echenique was selected to the MVC’s All-Newcomer and All-Defensive Team.
Shuttle Service Provided Again
Chief Bus will provide complimentary shuttle service from the Creighton University campus to CenturyLink Center Omaha for all men’s basketball home games this season. The service is available to all fans, not just Creighton students.
The shuttle will start 75 minutes before tip-off and shuttles will continue to operate the route during the game. The three designated stops for pick-up around the CU campus are: 24th & California (nearside/southbound); 20th & Cass (nearside/eastbound) and at Billy Blues Alumni Grill (outside the Mike & Josie Harper Center in the turnaround which is on the east side of the building).
The shuttle will then go eastbound on Capitol Avenue and then go north up 10th Street for drop-off at the CenturyLink Center Omaha convention center entrance. The route is designed for each shuttle driver to make a roundtrip every 15 minutes.
Following the game’s conclusion, the shuttle will start at the CenturyLink Center Omaha convention center entrance on 10th Street and loop the original route with the first of three stops at 24th & California Streets.
Single-game tickets for the 2011-12 season went on sale on October 31st at 10 am.
Fans can purchase single-game tickets at CenturyLink Center Omaha Box Office, Ryan Athletic Center, all Ticketmaster locations (Baker’s, Younkers), Ticketmaster online at http://www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster and charging by phone at (800) 745-3000. Only upper bowl seats will be available for any game and cost is $12 for adults and $8 for youth ages 3-18 (children two and under are free).
For more information, call the Creighton Ticket Office at (402) 280-JAYS.
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