DePaul Blue Demons (8-7, 0-2) vs. Creighton Bluejays (12-2, 2-0) – Tuesday, January 7th, 8:00 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
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Radio – WSCR AM 670
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The Creighton Bluejays moved up from the Missouri Valley Conference to the new Big East in 2013. As expected, they are off to a good start in their new league.
Creighton and Villanova will be the two toughest teams that DePaul will face in the Big East this season.
Creighton is the 11th ranked team in the nation in Ken Pomeroy's College Basketball Ratings. The Bluejays are ranked 23rd in the ESPN/ USA Today Coaches Poll. Their only two losses came on a neutral court in California to San Diego State and George Washington.
The Bluejays are a skilled offensive team that likes to spread the floor. You can expect this one to be a high-scoring affair. Creighton leads the Big East in offensive output at 81.5 points per game. They also lead the conference in scoring margin at +17.6 ppg.
Creighton is also the most accurate three point shooting team in the league. They are averaging 42.6% from beyond the arc. The Bluejays feature four players averaging better than 44% from three point territory. No other team in the Big East even comes close to that kind of marksmanship.
Not only can the Bluejays shoot the ball, they can pass it too. They average a league leading 18.8 assists per game as a team and an assist to turnover ratio of 1.8.
The Blue Demons will have their hands full with Creighton senior Doug McDermott on Tuesday night. McDermott, who is the son of head coach Greg McDermott, decided to forgo the NBA Draft in 2013, and return for his senior season. Many NBA scouts will be in attendance to see McDermott on Tuesday night. McDermott was selected by the Big East coaches as the preseason player of the year.
So far McDermott is living up to that honor. Doug is averaging a conference best 24.7 points per game. McDermott is also the league's fourth best rebounder at 7.5 rebounds per game. Don't even think about fouling McDermott as he shoots 90% from the free throw line. McDermott now ranks among the top 50 scorers of all-time in the NCAA.
On Monday, McDemott was named the CBS National Player of the Week and the Big East Player of the Week.
Creighton comes in to Tuesday's game having won seven straight. The Bluejays won their first Big East road game on Saturday by defeating Seton Hall 79-66 behind 30 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists from McDermott.
In their Big East opener on New Year's Eve, Creighton defeated visiting Marquette 67-49. McDermott led the way for the Blue Jays with 19 points in the winning effort.
As for DePaul, the Blue Demons are coming off a 66-56 loss at Marquette. Senior guard Brandon Young went into a shooting slump as he went 0 for 9 from the floor in the contest. Foul trouble played a role in the defeat as both Billy Garrett, Jr. and Sandi Marcius fouled out in the contest.
There was also a wide disparity in the number of trips to the free throw line. Marquette made 23 of 31 free throws to just two for four for the Blue Demons.
"I'm a little miffed we didn't go to the line a little more," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "I thought we were driving the ball in there pretty hard and just weren't coming up with anything. But that's the way it is on the road in the Big East."
The Last Time
On December 23, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Blue Demons lost to Creighton 83-75 in the championship game of the Las Vegas Classic.
Tournament MVP Booker Woodfox led the way for the Bluejays with 26 points while going five of nine from beyond the arc.
Sophomore forward Dar Tucker led all scorers with a career-high 32 points. Tucker was 12 of 22 from the field and corralled six rebounds.
Sophomore center Mac Koshwal had a double-double of 13 points and a career-high 22 rebounds.
Will Walker chipped in with 12 points and Jabari Currie added 10 points in the losing effort.
The Blue Demons turned the ball over 18 times in the loss.
The Bluejays went 18 of 19 from the free throw line, while DePaul went 13 of 24.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Prev School)
1 Austin Chatman G 6-0 180 Jr. The Colony, Texas (The Colony)
2 Steven Ferrarini G 6-1 175 So. Omaha, Neb. (Central CC) (Westside)
3 Doug McDermott F 6-8 225 Sr. Ames, Iowa (Ames)
4 Alex Olsen F 6-6 195 So. Council Bluffs, Iowa (Abraham Lincoln)
5 Devin Brooks G 6-2 175 Jr. Harlem, N.Y. (Iowa Western CC) (St. Raymond)
10 Grant Gibbs G 6-5 210 Sr. Marion, Iowa (Gonzaga) (Linn-Mar)
11 Tyler Clement G 6-1 170 Fr. Overland Park, Kan. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
12 Jahenns Manigat G 6-1 180 Sr. Ottawa, Ontario (Regional Elite Development Academy)
15 Darian Harris G 6-6 195 Fr. Springdale, Ark. (Shiloh Christian)
20 John Burns G 6-3 180 Fr. Algona, Iowa (Bishop Garrigan)
21 Isaiah Zierden G 6-2 180 Fr. St. Louis Park, Minn. (Benilde-St. Margaret's)
22 Avery Dingman G 6-6 215 Jr. Branson, Mo. (Branson)
23 James Milliken G 6-2 180 Jr. Siler City, N.C. (Cowley County CC) (Jordan Matthews)
25 Eric Roberts G 6-3 205 Fr. Eagle River, Alaska (Eagle River)
31 Will Artino C 6-11 230 Jr. Waukee, Iowa (Waukee)
32 Toby Hegner F 6-9 225 Fr. Berlin, Wis. (Berlin)
34 Ethan Wragge F 6-7 225 Sr. Eden Prairie, Minn. (Eden Prairie)
40 Zach Hanson F 6-9 245 Fr. Pierre, S.D. (T.F. Riggs)
41 Geoffrey Groselle C 7-0 250 So. Plano, Texas (West)
50 Mogboluwaga Oginni F 6-8 225 So. St. Louis, Mo. (St. Louis University HS)
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