Creighton Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Creighton Bluejays

Big East (25-9, 10-8)

When point guard Maurice Watson got injured in mid-January, Creighton was 18-1. Their lone loss was against then top ranked Villanova. After Watson’s injury, the Bluejays were much more vulnerable. At the time of his injury that kept him out the rest of the season, Watson was averaging 12.9 points and an amazing 8.5 assists.
Big Wins: 11/15 Wisconsin (79-67), 1/16 at Xavier (72-67), 1/31 at Butler (76-67)
Bad Losses: 1/21 Marquette (94-102), 1/25 at Georgetown (51-71), 2/22 Providence (66-68)
Coach: Greg McDermott
Why They Can Surprise:
Even without Watson, the high scoring Bluejays share the ball very well. Freshman Davion Mintz took over the starting point guard duties and has done relatively well despite inconsistent play. Khyri Thomas can handle the ball too and has boosted his assist totals when Watson went out. The sophomore is also a very good defender and rebounder for a 6-3 guard. He also joins Marcus Foster and Justin Patton as one of the consistent double digit scorers on the team. Foster is the team’s top scorer. The Kansas State transfer can be extremely difficult to contain when he is being aggressive and attacking the basket instead of just settling for jump shots. Patton has emerged as the main interior scoring threat. The seven-foot freshman is averaging 13.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Creighton will always shoot well from the floor and score plenty of points, but they can give up a lot too. When Patton is not on the floor, it can be relatively easy for the opposition to attack the basket. The frontcourt has some more size available with Cole Huff, Toby Hegner and Zach Hanson, but Huff and Hegner are mostly shooters. Hanson has not seen consistent minutes this year, but when this team needs a presence in the paint on the defensive end when Patton is out, he is the best option. When the Bluejays have to collapse into the paint to prevent the opposition from attacking the basket, they leave open the three-point line. This is a team that is going to give up points to any decent offense, but they do have the firepower to outscore just about anybody too. Expect high scoring games when Creighton is on the court, but losing a leader like Watson will eventually catch up to Coach Greg McDermott and company.
Probable Starters:
Davion Mintz, Freshman, Guard, 3.3 ppg, 1.8 apg
Marcus Foster, Junior, Guard, 18.3 ppg, 2.4 apg
Khyri Thomas, Sophomore, Guard, 12.4 ppg, 3.4 apg, 5.7 rpg, 1.5 spg
Cole Huff, Senior, Forward, 9.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Justin Patton, Freshman, Center, 13.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Key Role Players:
Toby Hegner, Junior, Forward, 4.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Zach Hanson, Senior, Center, 5.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg
Tyler Clement, Junior, Guard, 1.6 ppg, 1.3 apg
Isaiah Zierden, Senior, Guard, 5.1 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 83.5 (16th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.9 (202, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 51.2 (3, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.6 (172, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.8 (56, 2)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.3 (12, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.8 (224, 9)
Rebound Margin: -0.8 (227, 7)
Assists Per Game: 17.7 (5, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.3 (99, 4)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NIT      First Round win over Alabama
2016    NIT      Second Round win over Wagner
2016    NIT      Quarterfinal loss to BYU
2014    NCAA Round of 64 win over Louisiana
2014    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Baylor
2013    NCAA Round of 64 win over Cincinnati
2013    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Duke
2012    NCAA Round of 64 win over Alabama
2012    NCAA Round of 32 loss to North Carolina
2011    CBI      First Round win over San Jose State
2011    CBI      Second Round win over Davidson
2011    CBI      Semifinal win over UCF
2011    CBI      Final win over Oregon
2010    CIT      First Round win over South Dakota
2010    CIT      Second Round win over Fairfield
2010    CIT      Semifinal loss to Missouri State
2009    NIT      First Round win over Bowling Green
2009    NIT      Second Round loss to Kentucky
2008    NIT      First Round win over Rhode Island
2008    NIT      Second Round loss to Florida
2007    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Nevada
*all team stats through 3/5