DePaul vs. No. 12 Creighton Game Preview

The Blue Demons travel to Omaha, Nebraska to face the Creighton Bluejays in a Big East Conference battle at 8 p.m. Central on Friday night. We preview the game in this report.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons (10-13, 2-8) vs. No. 12 Creighton Bluejays (18-3, 8-1) – Friday, February 7th, 8 p.m. Central – CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Nebraska

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Game Preview

In a rare Friday night Big East game, the first-place and 12th ranked Creighton Bluejays (18-3,8-1) will take on the last-place DePaul Blue Demons (10-13, 2-8) in a contest featuring two teams going in the opposite direction.

This has mismatch written all over it as the Bluejays are currently enjoying a three-game winning streak (having also won 13 of their last 14 games) while the Demons are on a five-game losing streak.

The Bluejays will have had more than a week off to prepare for DePaul after beating St. Johns' last Tuesday night, 63-60. The Demons are most recently coming off a 71-59 loss to the Georgetown Hoyas on Monday night where nothing could go right for them in the second half after leading at the break.

This will be the second meeting of the two teams, as Creighton won at DePaul on January 7th, 81-62.

Of course, as you probably know, the Bluejays are led by arguably the country's best player in Doug McDermott. McDermott is the reigning Big East player of the week and leads the conference in scoring (25 points per game) and free-throw percentage (.89 percent) while coming in sixth in rebounding (7.1 rebounds per game), fifth in field-goal percentage (.500). Not to mention, he is one of the most feared three-point shooters in all the land.

Simply put, McDermott can do it all. McDermott, at this point has to be considered a lock to win Big East Player of the Year and he'll likely pick up some more hardware (National Player of the Year?) along the way.

However, it's not all about McDermott for the Bluejays as they get contributions from the whole lineup. Creighton leads the Big East in scoring offense (81.3 points a game) and are second in scoring defense (65.6 points a game).

Creighton gets double-digit production from three-point marksman Ethan Wragge (12 points per game) as well. Wragge leads the Big East in three-point percentage (.497) and three pointers made (78). Wragge is one of the most feared shooters in the country and you can't afford him much space or he'll make you pay.

The Bluejays also look to return senior guard Grant Gibbs who suffered a dislocated kneecap in the first meeting with DePaul and has been sidelined ever since. Gibbs returned to practicing at Creighton on Wednesday and is expected to see some playing time on Friday night.

As for the Demons, well, they'll be playing without leading scorer Cleveland Melvin once again. But the good news is that in the Georgetown game, they got back the services of Billy Garrett Jr. and Charles McKinney, who had missed the two previous games with and illness and ankle injury, respectively.

For a team in Creighton that hasn't lost on its home court this year, the chances for DePaul to score the big upset are slim.

The Last Time

On January 7th, 2014, the Creighton Bluejays had more offensive firepower than DePaul could handle in a 81-62 defeat for the Blue Demons at Allstate Arena.

Creighton fired away in the second half to pull away from DePaul. The Bluejays shot 52.4% from beyond the arc.

DePaul's focus was on Doug McDermott, who leads the Big East in scoring. The Blue Demons held McDermott to seven points in the first half by contesting shots and switching defenders on him.

Creighton had balanced scoring. Five players finished in double-figures on the night. McDermott led the way for the Bluejays with 19 points, but only shot six of 16 from the floor. Avery Dingman contributed with 16 points off the bench. Ethan Wragge chipped in with 12 points, while Austin Chatman and Will Artino added 10 points apiece.

Brandon Young led all scorers with 24 points on nine of 16 shooting. Senior forward Cleveland Melvin added 16 points and six rebounds in the losing effort for the Demons.

Freshman guard Billy Garrett, Jr. had a frustrating night going 0 for 10 from the field.

Creighton Roster

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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