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Know Thy Enemy: Creighton

CREI

Mascot: Bluejays
13-14 Record: 27-8 (14-4)
13-14 RPI: 10
13-14 KenPom: 24
14-15 Record:
Best Win: Oklahoma (65-63)
Worst Loss: @North Texas (62-58)
14-15 RPI: 128
14-15 KenPom:
Coach: Greg McDermott (5th Season)

Probable Starters:
PG: Devin Brooks: 6-2 175 SR, 7.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.7 apg, 0.9 spg, 2.2 tpg, .233 3P
SG: Isaiah Zierden: 6-2 180 RSSO, 10.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.7 tpg, .402 3P
SF: James Miliken: 6-2 180 RSJR, 6.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.1 spg, 0.9 tpg, .370 3P
PF: Toby Hegner: 6-9 225 RSFR, 8.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.6 bpg, 0.8 tpg, .366 3P
C: Will Artino: 6-11 230 RSSR, 7.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.5 bpg, 1,0 tpg, .000 3P

Probable Bench:
Ricky Kreklow: 6-6 210 RSSR, 5.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.7 spg, 1.5 tpg, .297 3P
Avery Dingman: 6-6 215 SR, 4.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.3 bpg, 0.9 tpg, .350 3P
Geoffrey Groselle: 7-0 250 RSJR, 3.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.1 apg, 0.4 bpg, 0.6 tpg .000 3P
Tyler Clement: 6-1 170 RSFR, 1.3 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.2 spg, 0.5 tpg, .308 3P

Probable Benchwarmers:
Austin Chatman: 6-0 180 SR (Starter, lead scorer, lead assistman, most likely sitting w/ concussion)
Zach Hanson: 6-9 245 SO (Usually 4th off bench, most likely sitting w/ shoulder injury)
Leon Gilmore III: 6-7 210 FR
Gabriel Connealy: 6-4 205 JR
Mogobuwaga Oginni: 6-8 225 RSJR

The Game Plan: This is a matchup that will need multiple game plans, depending on who is healthy for Creighton. The Jays were missing four contributors by the time the final bell rang in their tilt with the Pirates of Seton Hall. Austin Chatman went down with a concussion, Isaiah Zierden tweaked his previously injured MCL, Zach Hanson injured his shoulder in practice, and Geoffery Grosselle was out with the flu. This foursome combines for 45% of Creighton’s scoring, 30% of its rebounding, 44% of its assists, and 44% of its 3 pointers. Creighton fought admirably and despite calling on walk on PG Tyler Clement to play 26 minutes, they managed to only lose by 1 to Kevin Willard’s red hot Pirate squad. College injury reports are fuzzy at best, but it seems like Groselle is a lock to return, Zierden is more likely to play than not, Chatman is more likely to sit than play, and Hanson is a lock to sit.

Assuming Chatman and Hanson are out, Creighton’s offense is going to struggle. Chatman usually as his hand in about every offensive play for the Jays. McDermott will look to their usual starting wing, Devin Brooks, to run the offense in Chatman’s place. Brooks is an inferior shooter who is turnover prone. Expect a heavy dose of pressured man to man from Marquette to try and force some easy mistakes. With Chatman gone, the role of go to scorer falls to Isaiah Zierden. The 6-2 redshirt sophomore only ever has one thought on his mind when he has the ball…shoot the deep ball. Zierden has hit 41 treys this season (2.4 3PM per game) at a 40% clip. The deep ball accounts for 70% of his points this season so expect Derrick Wilson to live in his pocket the entire night….assuming Zierden isn’t too injured to suit up for the Jays. In the post, Creighton features Toby Hegner, and a poor man’s Ethan Wragge, and Will Artino. Artino usually splits duties at center with Hanson and Groselle, but he showed he had the ability to carry the load against Seton Hall, scoring a double double in 35 minutes played. The X factor for Creighton could be James Milliken, the player most likely to absorb the majority of Chatman’s minutes. The usual bench player has only reached double digits in scoring three times this season. But when he does, he does it with emphasis. In a double OT victory over South Dakota, Milliken scored a career high 23 points, including 5-7 3P shooting. Then in their last game against Seton Hall, Milliken poured in 20 points.

The Jay’s defense lags way behind their offense. KenPom rates them as the 191st best defense in division 1. They rank last in the Big East in both blocks and turnovers forced. The starting lineups matchup really well with each other as both sides start three guards. The biggest mismatch would be Hegner trying to keep up with the speed of Juan Anderson. McDermott will most likely try to counter with a zone defense and dare Marquette to shoot over it. If Car3no can make his shots early, the zone will expand allowing the slashers to get to the hoop. Without a true rim protector, Creighton will have a hard time keeping Marquette’s quick guards from penetrating.

Best Case: Car3no lets the treys fly and make Creighton pay for their zone. Duane Wilson treats the Jays as a slumpbuster and scores 15 on a combination of threes and slashes to the hoop. The zone defense allows Steve Taylor to play the high low game that he loves so much. On defense, Derrick Wilson neutralizes Zierden’s three point threat. McDermott tries Brooks, Zierden, Milliken, and Clement at the point but none of them are able to come close to Chatman’s production. Fischer uses his big body to keep Artino away from the easy putbacks. Marquette rolls with an easy 15+ victory.

Worst Nightmare: Creighton goes unconscious from three. It doesn’t matter if its Zierden, Milliken, Hegner, heck even Brooks is making them fall. The three point attack allows Creighton to build an early lead. Marquette goes into panic mode and rushes their offense. Carlino and Duane launch early shot clock threes, Luke and Steve miss their bunnies, and JjJ thinks he can shoot. Creighton waltzes out of the Bradley Center with a 5 point victory.

Final Predication: Marquette 69 Creighton 62

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Categories: Previews

Author:Ryan Jackson

Texas A&M Professional, Marquette Fantatic

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