Article Image
Creighton and Wichita State meet yet again on Sunday, this time with an MVC Tournament title on the line.
Courtesy: Eric Francis

Men's Basketball Plays for 12th MVC Tourney Title Sunday on CBS

Updated Creighton Finals Notes

Sunday, March 10, 2013 – 1:05 pm Central

Creighton (26-7) vs. Wichita State (26-7)

St. Louis, Mo. – Scottrade Center

Media Options
Television: CBS Sports with Tim Brando and Bill Raftery
Video Webcast: None
Radio: KXSP 590 AM (Omaha); Dial Global Sports (except Omaha); SiriusXM Radio
Live Stats: http://mvc.statbroadcast.com.

 

The Coaches

Greg McDermott (Northern Iowa, 1988) is in his third season as head coach at Creighton. He led CU to a 29-6 mark last year, and is now 78-29 with the Bluejays. 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 358-224 in 19 seasons and is 227-160 in 12 Division I campaigns. McDermott is assisted by Darian DeVries, Steve Lutz and Steve Merfeld.

 

Mac’s Title Teams

Greg McDermott won the 2004 MVC Tournament title with UNI in a double-overtime victory vs. Missouri State, then claimed the 2012 title with Creighton in an overtime game vs. Illinois State last season. McDermott is the only man in league history to win a Valley Tournament title at multiple schools, and also the only man to win a pair of overtime title tilts. This year’s Creighton team has not played an overtime period.

 

Series History vs. the Shockers

Creighton leads the all-time series with Wichita State by a 54-45 margin. The Jays have won 30-of-41 and 37-of-51 vs. the Shockers in recent seasons.
    Greg McDermott is 9-8 all-time vs. Wichita State (2-4 as Creighton coach), but has never met the Shockers in St. Louis.
    McDermott is 2-4 against Gregg Marshall. Marshall is 6-7 against Creighton, and 0-1 in St. Louis against the Jays.

        Creighton is 5-1 all-time vs. Wichita State at the MVC Tournament, including a win in the championship game in 1981. The last time these teams met in St. Louis, MVC Player of the Year Booker Woodfox drained a buzzer-beating jumper from the right wing to give CU a 63-62 victory in the 2009 quarterfinals.

 

More Finals Tidbits

Creighton is 11-1 all-time in the MVC Tournament finals, including a perfect 8-0 mark in St. Louis. The only team to defeat CU in a final was the 1984 Tulsa team, which was playing a home game.

        Wichita State, on the other hand, is 2-2 all-time when playing for the championship, including an 0-2 mark in St. Louis. WSU’s only tournament titles came in 1985 & 1987, both games contested in Tulsa, Okla.

 

Horseshoes &Hand Grenades
Creighton and Wichita State have played 30 games decided by 12 points or less during the 40 matchups since 1994-95. CU has gone 24-6 in those games.
    Additionally, Creighton is 13-4 since 1994-95 in games vs. Wichita State decided by four points or less.
    In his Wichita State career, Gregg Marshall is 2-4 in games decided by four points or less vs. Creighton and 17-27 overall in such contests.

Keep The Shockers Under 70
Since 1994-95, Creighton owns a 29-11 mark against Wichita State. One common theme for the Bluejays in those contests has been tenacious defense.
    In that time, Creighton is 26-5 in the 31 match-ups when holding the Shockers under 70 points, but just 3-6 when WSU scores 70 or more.

Comeback Kids
Creighton has overcome a double-digit deficit to beat Wichita State six times since 2003, including last season’s meeting at Charles Koch Arena. It also includes a 57-55 Bluejay win over the Shockers on Jan. 28, 2006 in which WSU
had led 25-6 before eventually falling on a buzzer-beater by CU’s Anthony Tolliver. That remains the largest comeback victory in CenturyLink Center Omaha history. Below is a list of those comebacks, listed by by size of the margin overcome:
Overcoming 10+ Point Deficits vs. WSU Since ‘03
Date             Opponent                  Deficit            Final Score
01/28/06      Wichita State            19                   CU 57-55
02/02/08      Wichita State            15                   CU 65-63
03/09/03      vs.
Wichita State      13                   CU 70-69
12/31/11      at Wichita State        11                   CU 68-61
02/16/05      at Wichita State        10                   CU 82-68
02/01/05      Wichita State            10                   CU 73-69

Buzzer Beaters Galore
Nine of the last 17 Creighton/Wichita State games have been decided in the final seconds.
    On Jan. 28, 2006 in Omaha, Creighton’s Anthony
Tolliver hit a 15-foot baseline jumper as time expired to give the Bluejays a 57-55 win, capping a comeback from an early 25-6 deficit.
    In the rematch on
Feb. 14, 2006 in Wichita, Matt Braeuer drained a three-pointer with 0.5 seconds left in overtime to give the Shockers a 62-61 triumph.
    On Jan. 15, 2007 in Wichita, Nate Funk’s game-tying trey in the final seconds was blocked by PJ
Couisnard as WSUwon 62-59.
    On Jan. 12, 2008 in Wichita, Gal Mekel missed a three-pointer as time expired as Creighton won, 68-65.
    In the Feb. 2, 2008 meeting in Omaha, Creighton overcame a 54-39 deficit in the final nine minutes to win a 65-63 contest. Dane Watts scored the go-ahead tip-in with 16.7 seconds left, then took a charge on WSU
guard Gal Mekel with 11.1 seconds remaining.
    The 2009 MVC
Tournament might have been the most dramatic finish of them all. Wichita State overcame a 22-point second-half deficit to go ahead 62-61 on a Toure’ Murry three-pointer with 7.1 seconds left. Creighton would miss a shot as the clock ran to 0.0, only to have 1.9 seconds put back on the clock after a review of courtside monitors. Bluejay star Booker Woodfox would then catch an inbounds pass and drain a shot as time expired, giving Creighton the one-point victory.
    On Jan. 16, 2010, Creighton held a four-point lead before WSU’s Clevin Hannah buried a three-pointer with 13.1 seconds left. Clinging to a tenuous 57-56 lead, Creighton played keep away as an anticipated foul from the Shockers never came.
    On Feb. 23, 2011 in Wichita, Shocker senior Aaron Ellis sank a lay-up with 1.5 seconds left to give Wichita State a 67-65 lead. Doug McDermott missed a 30-footer off the rim as time expired. The game featured 16 ties and 17 lead changes, and neither team led by more than five points.
    On Jan. 19, 2013 in Wichita, Creighton’s Ethan Wragge missed a pair of game-tying three-point attempts in the final 10 seconds as WSU held on for a 67-64 victory.


Recapping This Season’s Meetings

The home team won both meetings this season. Wichita State won a 67-64 decision in Wichita on Jan. 19th before the Jays answered with a 91-79 triumph to win the regular-season title in Omaha last Saturday. Doug McDermott scored 41 points in the most recent meeting on 15-of-18 shooting in a vintage performance that some have called the best in school history.

MVC Tournament History

Creighton owns a 42-20 all-time record in MVC Tournament play. Creighton’s 11 MVC Tournament titles are six more than any other school, while its 42 wins and .677 winning percentage in league tourney action is also tops.

        Creighton is 19-12 in the quarterfinals, 12-7 in the semifinals and 11-1 in championship games all-time.

 

History As A Top Seed

Creighton is 10-1 in games all-time as the top seed, including titles in three of its four appearances in that spot. Creighton went 1-0 for the 1978 title, 3-0 in both 1989 and 1991 to win the crown, and were 1-1 in 2001 (losing to No. 5 Indiana State), prior to two wins this weekend.

    The top seed has won 13 of the 36 tournament titles all-time, which is second-most in event history (the No. 2 seed owns 14 titles). The top seed owns a 43-16 record in the event since the tournament moved to St. Louis in 1991, the second-best winning percentage of any slot (No. 2 seed is 44-14).

    Additionally, the No. 1 seed has won at least one game in all 37 MVC tournaments, reached the final in six of the last seven seasons and won the title in three of the previous five years.

 

No. 1 vs. No. 2 Seed For The Title

Sunday will mark the first time since 2010 that the top two seeds will play for the MVC Tournament trophy. In 2010, top-seeded UNI defeated Wichita State, 67-52. The No. 1 seed is 4-9 all-time in championship game match-ups with the No. 2 seed.

 

The Case For Creighton

Should Creighton not earn the automatic bid at Arch Madness in St. Louis, it’s built up a compelling case for an at-large bid. Consider the following (games through 5 pm on 3/9)...

-Creighton owns a top-40 RPI and ranks tied for fourth nationally with 26 Division I wins.

-Creighton is 3-3 against the top-50 and 9-5 against the top-100.

-Creighton is 11-5 away from home this season. No BCS teams nationwide have more than 11 road/neutral victories this year.

-Creighton’s seven true road wins are more than as BCS teams NC State and Minnesota..COMBINED.

-Creighton won the regular-season title in the nation’s ninth-best league, the MVC.

-Creighton went 11-2 in non-conference action, including double-digit wins away from home over Wisconsin, Arizona State, California and Nebraska.

-Creighton also defeated current MAC leader Akron and preseason league favorites Saint Joseph’s and North Texas, all at home.

-Creighton is fourth in the nation in 3-point percentage, second in field goal percentage, first in 2-point percentage and seventh in points scored.

-Creighton reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago.

-Creighton has won at least one postseason game each of the last five seasons, and has won 20 or more games in 14 of the past 15 years.


Random Valley Tournament Facts

-Creighton is the only Valley school that has not appeared in the play-in round since that format began in 1997.

        -Creighton has won its last 10 games at the MVC Tournament decided by four points or less.

        -Creighton has won the tournament eight of the last 12 times it has won its first game in St. Louis.

        -The last four times Creighton faced Drake in the MVC Tournament, the winner of that game won the tournament.

        -Creighton improved to 7-1 al-time vs. Indiana State at the MVC Tournament with a 64-43 win yesterday. Each of the seven previous meetings, the CU-ISU winner would go on to win the tournament.

    -Creighton is 16-2 in five MVC Tournaments with an MVC Player of the Year on its roster, including titles in four of the last five occurrences.

    -Creighton and Wichita State have met six times previously in the MVC Tournament. The Jays scored exactly 70 points in five of them.


With A Win

With a win on Sunday, Creighton would improve to 27-7 on the season, just the fourth time in program history its reached that victory milestone (also 2002-03, 2008-09, 2011-12).

    -Creighton would improve to 43-20 all-time in MVC Tournament action. Both the 43 wins, 12 titles and the .683 win percentage would be tops in event history.

    -Creighton would improve to 12-7 all-time in the final round of the MVC Tournament, including 10 straight title game victories.

    -Creighton head coach Greg McDermott would improve to 12-5 in the MVC Tournament, including a 3-0 mark in the final round.

    -A third MVC Tournament title by Greg McDermott would tie him with Rich Herrin (SIU) for second-most in tourney history. Only McDermott’s predecessor at Creighton, Dana Altman, has more (6).

    -Creighton would own 79 wins in the past three years, the best three-year stretch in program history.

    -Creighton would improve to 10-1 on neutral courts in the past two years, with only a “neutral” third-round NCAA Tournament game vs. North Carolina in Greensboro as the only loss.

 

Title Sweep Possible?

Creighton defeated Wichita State last Saturday to win the outright MVC regular-season title. With a win on Sunday, the Jays would become the fourth team in program history with an outright title and the tournament title, joining the 1991, 1989 and 1978 squads. The last time Creighton shared a regular-season title and won Arch Madness was in 2002.

 

Repeat After Me

Creighton can join some elite company on Sunday as the seventh team in MVC history to repeat as Arch Madness champions. Creighton also did it in 1999 & 2000 and 2002 & 2003. The last time any league school did it was UNI in 2009 & 10.

 

What A Year!

In addition to winning the men’s basketball regular-season title, Creighton’s men’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams also claimed the MVC regular-season and Tournament titles this academic year. On Saturday, Creighton’s women’s basketball team defeated Southern Illinois to clinch a share of its Valley regular-season women’s basketball title with Wichita State.

 

A Sketch Of Ech

Creighton center Gregory Echenique had a dominant second half in Friday’s victory over Drake. In 14 minutes after intermission, Echenique had 11 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots. He made all four of his attempts from the floor, including three old-fashioned three-point plays, and the 2012 MVC Defensive Player of the Year was a major reason that Drake endured a seven-minute scoreless string.

    Echenique’s final line of 11 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots hadn’t been done by a Creighton player since Kenny Lawson Jr. had 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven swats at Evansville on Jan. 3, 2010. His six rejections were the second-most in Tournament history, trailing only the 10 rejections by Creighton’s Benoit Benjamin in 1984.

    Echenique owns 165 career blocked shots at Creighton, 10th-most in MVC history.

 

Nearing 1,000 Points & 1,000 Rebounds

Gregory Echenique had his second-straight double-figure scoring game on Saturday, and now owns 975 career points at Creighton. He also scored 358 points at Rutgers before transferring to CU in 2009. Echenique also owns 967 career rebounds (645 at Creighton) and has a chance to be a rare 1,000 – 1,000 point/rebound guy.

 

Just Another 20-Point Game

Doug McDermott’s 23-point effort on Friday and 25 more on Saturday give him 54 career games with 20 or more points in 107 career contests. He has averaged 18.3 points per game in six all-time meetings with Indiana State, including a high of 25 and three games of 20 or more.

    McDermott averages 20.13 points per game in 107 career outings. That figure ranks fourth in Bluejay history, just behind Valley Hall of Famers Bob Portman (24.68), Paul Silas (20.51) and Bob Gibson (20.19). Gibson played a year on the Harlem Globetrotters after leaving Creighton before enjoying a standout professional baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals.

 

Wooden Award Finalist

Doug McDermott was named one of 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award on Saturday, which is bestowed to the nation’s best player. McDermott is the only man who was also a finalist last season that is up for this year’s award, as well.

 

Rare Air

Doug McDermott averages 23.4 points per game while also shooting 56.5 percent from the floor. He is the nation’s only player shooting 50 percent or better while scoring at a clip of 19.5 points per game or better. McDermott was the only player last year to shoot 52.0 percent or better and average 19.5 points per game last season, as well.

 

Double-Digit Victors

Creighton won its first MVC Tournament game 65-53 and its second game by a 64-43 margin. Only seven teams have previously won a title with every game by 10 or more points, most recently UNI in 2010. Creighton has done that once, with that coming in 2005.

 

Field Day

Creighton is second in the nation in field goal percentage, and has had a better shooting percentage in all 26 of its wins this year. 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 19-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor.

 

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 all-time Valley Tournament titles are more than twice as many as the next closest school, Southern Illinois (5).

 

Historical Trends

Here’s six historical trends that indicate Creighton is a favorite to win the MVC Tournament.

1.) Creighton went 6-3 in its final nine MVC games this year. Each of the last four times the Jays went exactly 6-3 in its last nine league games, CU won the tournament.

2.) Creighton went 4-2 in its final six MVC games this year. Four of the last five times the Jays went exactly 4-2 in its last six league games, CU won the tournament.

3.) Creighton has won the MVC Tournament three of the previous four times its been the top seed.

4.) Creighton has won the MVC Tournament four of the last five times it’s had a player recognized as MVC Player of the Year.

5.) Creighton opened MVC play 6-0 this season. Each of CU’s previous two teams to start 5-0 or better in league play would go on to win the MVC Tournament.

6.) Each of the last two calendar years in which a Conclave convened to elect a new Pope – 1978 and 2005 – the winner of the MVC Men’s Basketball Tournament was Creighton.

 

Back To Defend A Title

Creighton is attempting to win back-to-back MVC Tournament titles for the third time in program history. CU won the 1999 & 2000 crowns, as well as the 2002 & 2003 titles. The only other schools to repeat were Southern Illinois (1993, 1994 & 1995), Illinois State (1997 & 1998) and Northern Iowa (2009 & 2010).

 

Offense Wins Championships?

Creighton is putting the old saying “Defense wins championships” to the test this season. The Bluejays are leading the MVC in scoring offense this season, averaging 75.6 points per game.

    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, 2012). 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 is second in the nation in field goal percentage at 51.0 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, 13 teams held foes to 56.0 points per game or less in the same seven-year span. Those teams combined for just seven NCAA bids and went a combined 7-7 in the Big Dance.

 

Seeking To Repeat

Doug McDermott could join some elite company if he were able to duplicate his Most Outstanding Player award from last year’s MVC Tournament. In league history, only Creighton’s Kyle Korver (in 2002 & 2003) has won multiple MOP trophies at the MVC Tournament.

    Last season McDermott joined Adam Emmenecker (2008), Kyle Korver (2002 and 2003), Chris Carr (1995) and Hersey Hawkins (1988) as players to be named Most Outstanding Player in the same season they’ve earned MVC Player of the Year accolades.

 

Chasing History

Doug McDermott has scored 21 or more points in 24 of the season’s 33 games, and on Friday moved into the top spot on Creighton’s all-time scoring list with 2,129 career points (he now owns 2,154 points). He also ranks among the top-scoring juniors in Creighton and MVC history with 772 points this season, and can break his single-season scoring record with 29 or more points on Sunday.


All-Time Creighton Scoring Leaders

Rk.   Name, Years                                          Points

   1.   Doug McDermott, 2010-Pres.                        2,154

   2.   Rodney Buford, 1995-99                        2,116

   3.   Bob Harstad, 1987-91                           2,110

Top Junior Scorers, MVC History

Pts.   Name, School                                            Years

978   Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati                 1958-59

959   Larry Bird, Indiana State                       1977-78

815   Lewis Lloyd, Drake                              1979-80

788   Hersey Hawkins, Bradley                     1986-87

788   Willie Biles, Tulsa                                1972-73

772 Doug McDermott, Creighton                           2012-13







Top Scorers, Creighton Single-Season History

  Pts.      Name (Class)                                  Year

   801      Doug McDermott (So.)                  2011-12

   772      Doug McDermott (Jr.)                   2012-13

  738      Bob Portman (Jr.)                    1967-68

  734      Bob Harstad (Jr.)                    1989-90

 

All-Time MVC Scoring Leaders

Rk.   Name, School                                        Points

   1.   Hersey Hawkins, Bradley                      3,008

   5.   Mitchell Anderson, Bradley                     2,341

   6.   Steve Harris, Tulsa                               2,272

   7.   Colt Ryan, Evansville*                          2,181

   8.   Cleo Littleton, Wichita State                   2,164

   9.   Doug McDermott, Creighton*                       2,154

10.   Xavier McDaniel, Wichita State              2,152

11.   Rodney Buford, Creighton                      2,116

12.   Bob Harstad, Creighton                         2,110

        *active



Come A Little Bit Closer

Doug McDermott is shooting a ridiculous 50.7 percent from three-point range this year, which is on pace to break his own Creighton single-season record (.486) done last year. That being said, his two-point accuracy last week was out of this world as well.

    McDermott shot 21-of-23 from two-point range last week, making his last 16 attempts from two-point range since a first-half miss on Feb. 27 at Bradley. He’s been held to 7-for-13 shooting from two-point range at Arch Madness.

    McDermott made 6-of-7 three-point shots in Saturday’s win vs. Indiana State, missing only a wide open shot from the corner in his sixth attempt. McDermott’s six treys were the most by any Valley player in a Tournament contest since Champ Oguchi had six vs. Creighton in 2009.

 

Against The Best

Creighton owns a 4-3 record this season against top-50 RPI teams, including double-figure wins over Wisconsin, Akron and Cal. Doug McDermott has averaged 29.0 points in those contests, scoring 21 or more points in each game, while shooting 61.9 percent from three-point range (26-42).

 

The Distributor

Grant Gibbs is well on his way to leading the MVC in assists for a second-straight season, something that hasn’t been done since Illinois State’s Jamar Smiley topped The Valley in three straight campaigns from 1995-98.

    Gibbs 195 assists are tied for third-most in Creighton single-season history, and he’s the first man in program history with multiple seasons of 170 assists or more. When Antoine Young had 195 helpers in 2010-11, it was the most assists by a Bluejay since Randy Eccker had 205 in 1976-77. The record is held by Ralph Bobik, who dished 252 assists in 1973-74.

    The eight assists by Gibbs on Friday vs. Drake were tied for second-most in MVC Tournament history by a Creighton player, and hadn’t been done since Cavel Witter had eight helpers vs. Bradley on March 7, 2008.

 

The 700 Club

Creighton junior Doug McDermott leads the MVC (and nation) with 772 points this season after owning a league-high 801 a year ago. He is the MVC’s first player with consecutive seasons of 700 points or more since Hersey Hawkins (Bradley, 1986-88). McDermott’s 772 points are second-most in Creighton single-season history, trailing only his 801 last year.

    McDermott has joined Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird and Hersey Hawkins as the fourth player in MVC history with multiple 770-point seasons. With 28 points or more on Sunday, McDermott can join Bird and Robertson as the only players in MVC history with multiple 800-point seasons.

 

Pretty Good Stretch

Creighton owns 55 wins in the last two seasons, 78 wins in the past three seasons and 96 wins during the last four years. All three totals are among the best stretches in school history, as seen below


Most Wins, 2-Year Stretch

       W-L    Years

         55    2011-Present

         52    2010-12

         52    2001-03

 

 

 

 

Most Wins, 3-Year Stretch

       W-L    Years

         78    2010-Present

         76    2000-03

 

 

 

 

Most Wins, 4-Year Stretch

       W-L    Years

         99    1999-03

         97    2008-12

         96    2000-04

         96    2009-Present


His Own Game of H-O-R-S-E

Doug McDermott led the nation last year with 307 field goals made, and his 268 buckets this year are once again leading the country.    Of McDermott’s 307 hoops last year, he made 56 baskets with his left hand and used the glass for 174 of his scores.

    Though he’s playing away from the basket even more this season, his numbers remain impressive, as he’s used this left hand on 24 field goals and banked in a shot 121 times. McDermott’s 268 field goals this season lead the country, even though he’s 14th nationally with 474 field goal attempts.

    No player has led the country in field goals made in back-to-back seasons since at least 1995-96.


 


Supporting Cast

Doug McDermott is Creighton’s only player averaging in double-figures, but he’s had lots of support to help lead the Jays to 26 wins already.

    Creighton is 14-2 when Gregory Echenique (9.6 ppg.) scores in double-figures this year.

    Creighton is 9-0 when Ethan Wragge (7.5 ppg.) scores in double-figures this year and 27-1 under Greg McDermott when he shoots 50 percent or better from three-point range.

    Creighton is 8-1 when Austin Chatman (7.6 ppg.) scores in double-figures this year.

    Creighton is 5-2 when Jahenns Manigat (5.8 ppg.) scores in double-figures this year.

    Creighton is 13-0 all-time when Avery Dingman (4.1 ppg.) makes multiple three-pointers.

 

 

Pick Your Poison

Doug McDermott leads Creighton with 74 three-pointers this season, five more than teammate Ethan Wragge’s 69. This is the first time in program history that multiple Bluejay players have made 69 or more treys in the same season. The only previous men in CU history to make 70 treys in a season have been Kyle Korver (3x), Booker Woodfox, Tad Ackerman and Rod Mason.

 

What A Start!

Now in his third year, Greg McDermott is 78-29 on the Creighton sideline. The 78 wins are easily the most in Creighton history in the first three seasons. Tom Apke is a distant second at 60-21. According to research by MVC Associate Commissioner Mike Kern, McDermott’s 78 wins are tied for third-most by a Valley coach in his first three years at a school. Ed Jucker and Denny Crum both won national titles and are MVC Hall of Famers, while Crum is also in the Naismith and NABC Hall of Fame. A victory on Sunday would give McDermott 79 victories, most by any MVC coach in his first three years at a school in more than 50 years.

Most Wins, 1st Three Years at an MVC School

  W-L      Name, School                                       Years

  91-19    Forddy Anderson, Bradley                1948-51

  84-7     Ed Jucker, Cincinnati                      1959-62

  78-26    Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois         2004-07

  78-29     Greg McDermott, Creighton                2010-Pres.

  71-31    Tim Jankovich, Illinois State            2007-10

  70-19    Denny Crum, Louisville                   1971-74

 

Will Power

Reserve center Will Artino provided a huge boost in Friday’s quarterfinal win vs. Drake, scoring a career-high 14 points and adding six rebounds (five offensive) in 14 minutes of play. Artino has now made 39 of his last 51 shots from the floor, good for an outstanding 76.5 percent.

    Even when Artino misses, it’s not all bad. Creighton has won its last 25 games when Artino has a missed field goal, and is 30-1 all-time when Artino has a miss.

 

Who Will Start?

Creighton has utilized the same starting five in every game this season, and four of their five starters have streaks of 68 or more straight starts. Creighton is one of two teams to start the same starting five in every game this season, joining Stephen F. Austin. CU’s starting five has played together as a group for 371 minutes this season, during which time its outscored the opposition by 148 points.

Consecutive Starts, Creighton (Active)

Doug McDermott           107

Gregory Echenique          92

Jahenns Manigat             83

Grant Gibbs                    68

Austin Chatman              33

 

Strong On the Road

Off to a 26-7 start overall, Creighton is 11-5 away from home this season. Four of those victories have come against two Big Ten teams (Wisconsin, Nebraska) and two Pacific-12 teams (Arizona State, Cal). Impressively, all four BCS wins have been by double-digits. Creighton is 8-1 in the past two years against BCS teams, including six victories by double-digits and another triumph by eight.

 

Winning Away From Home

Creighton won a school-record 15 games away from home last season. The Jays went 10-3 in true road games and were also 5-1 on neutral floors. Creighton’s lone neutral-site loss came to North Carolina in a not-so “neutral” Greensboro, N.C., in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

    This year’s team is 11-5 away from home, with four of those victories against a BCS school (Wisconsin, Arizona State, Nebraska, Cal) by double-digits, a 22-point win at Missouri State, a seven-point win at Illinois State, a 30-point win at Southern Illinois,  a three-point win at Evansville and an 18-point triumph at Bradley, prior to posting two double-digit wins at Arch Madness.

    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.


Nation’s Best Offense?

You can make a case that Creighton has boasted the nation’s best offensive production so far this year.

    Through games of March 9th at 5 pm, Creighton was second in the country in field goal percentage (51.0), tops in two-point field goal percentage (57.0), fourth in the nation in three-point percentage (42.0) and sixth in three-pointers per game (8.7).

    According to data from bbstate.com, no team since at least 2005-06 has shot better than 58.7 from two-point range.

    Last season Creighton ranked third nationally in three-point percentage, making 42.4 percent from downtown.

    The only team to ever lead the nation in both 3-pointers per game and 3-point percentage was Princeton in 1987-88.

    The only team to ever lead the nation in both field goal percentage and three-point percentage was Northern Arizona 1998-99.

 

Efficiency Improves

Because Creighton tends to play at a faster pace and have more possessions than the average school, Bluejay coaches place significant emphasis on stats like average points per possession, with data that can be found on a site such as bbstate.com.

    Creighton’s offense is still clicking as one of the nation’s best, but the team has made huge strides on the defensive end of the floor, jumping from 222nd last year to 94th this season.

    All but eight of Creighton’s opponents have been held under 1.03 points per possession this season.

Points Per Possession

                            2010-11       2011-12         2012-13

Offense                 1.065        1.150           1.152

Offense Rank          46th           2nd              3rd

Defense                 1.006        1.014           0.95

Defense Rank        192nd        222nd           94th

 

Postseason x 15

Creighton has made the postseason in 15 consecutive seasons, 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.

 

Crowd Control

Creighton’s brought some big crowds to Arch Madness in the past, but this year’s numbers are staggering even by their lofty standards. An estimated 5,000-to-6,000 fans make the trek from Omaha to the Gateway City, including about 600-700 students. Don’t take our word for it…here’s what others tweeted during Friday’s quarterfinal win vs. Drake:

Mark Emmert (Des Moines Register) - This sure feels like a Creighton home game, but you know the Wichita fans will be rooting for #Drake if Bulldogs keep it close.

Troy Dannen (UNI Athletic Director) - The Creighton MBB following at #ArchMadness is phenomenal. Very impressive.

Dave Reynolds (Peoria Journal Star) - Pretty amazing to see the Creighton presence at Scottrade Center. Their blue-clad fans encompass at least half of the lower bowl.

Steve Pivovar (Omaha World-Herald) – Drake fans outnumbered about 500 to 1 today.

Tom Shatel (Omaha World-Herald) – Best Creighton crowd in St. Louis. By Far. Surround sound.

Jays Video
Play
(M) Basketball
MBB: Creighton vs. Oklahoma Highlights (11/19/14)
Play
(M) Basketball
MBB Chicago State at Creighton Highlights (11/16/14)
Play
(M) Basketball
MBB: Chicago State at Creighton Press Conference (11/16/14)
Nov 14-19
Men's Basketball Season Tickets