Men's Basketball Ready For Semifinal vs. Sycamores
Updated Creighton Semifinal Notes
Saturday, March 9, 2013 – 1:35 pm Central
Creighton (25-7) vs. Indiana State (18-13)
St. Louis, Mo. – Scottrade Center
Television: Fox Sports Midwest; Fox Sports Midwest Plus (St. Louis only); Comcast SportsNet Chicago; DirecTV 671; Dish Network 418, AT&T U-Verse 748 with John Rooney, Mark Adams, Scott Warmann and Tom Ackerman
Video Webcast: ESPN3.com (Free), except in NE, MO, IA, KS, IN, IL
Radio: KXSP 590 AM (Omaha); 101.1 FM (St. Louis)
Live Stats: http://mvc.statbroadcast.com.
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 77-29 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 357-224 in 19 seasons and is 226-160 in 12 Division I campaigns. McDermott is assisted by Darian DeVries, Steve Lutz and Steve Merfeld.
Series History vs. the Sycamores
Creighton is 53-25 all-time against Indiana State. The home
team dominated both meetings this year, with Creighton winning 79-66 in Omaha
on Jan. 5th, and Indiana State holding serve in Terre Haute 76-57 on
Feb. 6th. Creighton is 6-1 all-time vs. Indiana State all-time in MVC
Tournament action. The winner of all seven tournament meetings would go on to
win the MVC Tournament.
MVC Tournament History
Creighton owns a 41-20 all-time record in MVC Tournament play. Creighton’s 11 MVC Tournament titles are six more than any other school, while its 41 wins and .672 winning percentage in league tourney action is also tops.
Creighton is 19-12
in the quarterfinals, 11-7 in the semifinals and 11-1 in the championship
History As A Top Seed
Creighton is 9-1 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 Friday’s win.
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 was 42-14 prior to Friday night).
Additionally, the No. 1 seed has won at least one game in all 37 MVC tournaments, reached the final in five of the previous six seasons and won the title in three of the previous five years.
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 4 pm on 3/8)...
-Creighton owns a top-40 RPI and ranks tied for eighth nationally with 25 Division I wins.
-Creighton is 4-3 against the top-50 and 10-5 against the top-100.
-Creighton is 10-5 away from home this season. Among BCS teams, only two schools (Duke and Louisville) have more than 10 road/neutral victories this year.
-Creighton’s seven true road wins are as many as BCS teams Marquette 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 second in the nation in 3-point percentage and field goal 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 is 15-2 in five MVC Tournaments with an MVC Player of the Year on its roster, including titles in four of the last five occurrences.
With A Win
With a win on Saturday, Creighton would improve to 26-7 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 42-20 all-time in MVC Tournament action. Both the 42 wins and the .677 win percentage would be tops in event history.
-Creighton would improve to 12-7 all-time in the semifinal round of the MVC Tournament. The Jays are 11-1 all-time in the MVC Tournament finals.
-Creighton head coach Greg McDermott would improve to 11-5 in the MVC Tournament, including a 3-2 mark in the semifinal round.
-Creighton would own 78 wins in the past three years, the best three-year stretch in program history.
-Creighton head coach would win his 170th game as a head coach in the MVC, 12th in league history, and one more than legendary Kansas coach Phog Allen.
-Creighton would improve to 9-1 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.
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 now owns 164 career blocked shots at Creighton, 10th-most in MVC history.
Just Another 20-Point Game
Doug McDermott’s 23-point effort on Friday marked the 53rd time in 106 career contests that he’s scored 20 or more points in a Creighton uniform. 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.
Recent Champs Meet
Saturday’s first semifinal will feature the last two MVC Tournament champions. Creighton won the event last season, while Indiana State claimed the title in 2011. Both Greg McDermott and Greg Lansing are 5-1 at their current schools in MVC Tourney action, with one title apiece.
Creighton is second in the nation in field goal percentage, and has had a better shooting percentage in all 25 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 18-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor.
One Game At A Time
Creighton has won the MVCTournament eight of the last 12 times it has won its first game in St. Louis.
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).
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 76.0 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.
Doug McDermott has scored 21 or more points in 23 of the season’s 32 games, and on Friday moved into the top spot on Creighton’s all-time scoring list with 2,129 career points. He also ranks among the top-scoring juniors in Creighton history with 747 points this season.
All-Time Creighton Scoring Leaders
Top Junior Scorers, MVC History
Top Scorers, Creighton Single-Season History
Doug McDermott is shooting a ridiculous 48.9 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 was “held” to 5-of-10 shooting from inside the arc by Drake on Friday.
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).
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 190 assists are fourth-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 with 724 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 747 points are second-most in Creighton single-season history, trailing only his 801 last year.
McDermott has joined Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Lewis Lloyd and Hersey Hawkins as the fifth player in MVC history with multiple 700-point seasons.
Transfers Doing Well
Two key players in Saturday’s game began their college careers at Gonzaga and were actually teammates in 2009-10.
Creighton’s Grant Gibbs was with the Bulldogs from 2008-10, where he had 52 points, 46 rebounds and 21 assists in 24 career games. Since transferring to Creighton, Gibbs owns 521 points, 366 assists and 289 rebounds in 67 career contests. He was a member of the MVC’s All-Newcomer Team last year and is on pace to lead the MVC in assists for a second straight season.
Indiana State’s Manny Arop was at Gonzaga from 2009-11, where he had 235 points, 201 rebounds and 38 assists in 59 games.
The Zags are doing just fine without Gibbs and Arop, owning a nation-best 29 wins and a No. 1 national ranking.
Board Battle A Must Win
Creighton has posted better rebounding numbers against Indiana State than anyone else in The Valley in recent seasons. The Sycamores have outrebounded Creighton just three times in the last 28 meetings. Not surprisingly, the Jays are 21-7 in those 28 games vs. the Sycamores.
Greg McDermott’s teams are 22-2 this season and 63-14 at Creighton when outrebounding the opposition.
Close Games With The Sycamores
Eighteen of the last 40 games between Creighton and Indiana State have been
decided by six points or less. The teams have played a game decided by eight
points or less in 18 of the previous 19 seasons (not including 2012-13).
Before handing CU a 76-57 loss on February 6th, Indiana State’s five victories over the Jays since 2003 had been by a combined 21 points (2, 2, 3, 6 and 8).
Indiana State coach Greg Lansing is 40-3 as a head coach when his teams hold the opposition to 63 points or less.
Creighton, which ranks 18th nationally with an average of 76.0 points per game, has been held to 63 points or less just three times all season.
Creighton has won its last 11 meetings with Indiana State when scoring 65 points or more, but is 2-5 when scoring 64 or less in that span.
Pick Your Poison
Ethan Wragge leads Creighton with 69 three-pointers this season, one more than teammate Doug McDermott’s 68. This is the first time in program history that multiple Bluejay players have made 68 or more treys in the same season. The only men in CU history to make 70 treys in a season have been Kyle Korver (3x), Booker Woodfox, Tad Ackerman and Rod Mason.
Pretty Good Stretch
Creighton owns 54 wins in the last two seasons, 77 wins in the past three seasons and 95 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
Most Wins, 3-Year Stretch
Most Wins, 4-Year Stretch
His Own Game of H-O-R-S-E
Doug McDermott led the nation last year with 307 field goals made, and his 260 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 120 times. McDermott’s 260 field goals this season lead the country, even though he’s 15th nationally with 464 field goal attempts.
No player has led the country in field goals made in back-to-back seasons since at least 1995-96.
Doug McDermott is Creighton’s only player averaging in double-figures, but he’s had lots of support to help lead the Jays to 25 wins already.
Creighton is 13-2 when Gregory Echenique (9.6 ppg.) scores in double-figures this year.
Creighton is 8-1 when Austin Chatman (7.7 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 (4.2 ppg.) makes multiple three-pointers.
What A Start!
Now in his third year, Greg McDermott is 77-29 on the Creighton sideline. The 77 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 77 wins are fourth-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.
Most Wins, 1st Three Years at an MVC School
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 37 of his last 44 shots from the floor, good for an outstanding 84.1 percent.
Even when Artino misses, it’s not all bad. Creighton has won its last 24 games when Artino has a missed field goal, and is 29-1 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 66 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 355 minutes this season, during which time its outscored the opposition by 128 points.
Consecutive Starts, Creighton (Active)
Strong On the Road
Off to a 25-7 start overall, Creighton is 10-5 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 10-5 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.
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 8th at 5 pm, Creighton was second in the country in field goal percentage (51.0), tops in two-point field goal percentage (57.0), second in the nation in three-point percentage (41.7) 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.
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 98th this season.
All but eight of Creighton’s opponents have been held under 1.03 points per possession this season.
Points Per Possession
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.
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:
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.