DePaul Blue Demons (12-16, 6-9) vs. Creighton Bluejays (12-15, 3-11) – Tuesday February 24th, 8:00 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
Television – FOX Sports 1
Radio – WSCR AM 670
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Doug McDermott isn’t walking through the door for the Creighton Bluejays this season. Neither is Grant Gibbs or Ethan Wragge. They’ve all moved on, due to graduation, after leading the Bluejays to the NCAA tournament last season.
Isaiah Zierden and Leon Gilmore won’t be walking through the door either. Both have suffered season ending injuries in Omaha. Zierden is a tough loss. He was averaging 9.5 points per game.
So it’s safe to say that this is a rebuilding year for the Bluejays. Creighton is where DePaul was last year in that they are in a tie for last place in the Big East.
Yet Creighton is showing some signs of improvement as the season goes on. After losing nine in a row, the Bluejays have won three of their last six, winning over St. John’s, Xavier, and Marquette. Even their loss to Butler on the 16th was a close one where the Bulldogs prevailed 58-56.
Creighton will have had eight days off since then to prepare for the Blue Demons on Tuesday night.
One guy who the Bluejays do have, who missed the first game against DePaul due to illness, is senior guard Ricky Kreklow. The graduate transfer from California is Creighton’s leading scorer since Big East play began. Ricky is second in the Big East in three point accuracy at 46.7% and sixth in the league in three point field goals made (2.2 per game).
If this one turns into a free throw shooting contest at the end, it will be a close one. Creighton and DePaul are the top two teams in free throw shooting percentage in the Big East.
Creigthon however is not a good shooting team overall from the field. The Bluejays are last in the Big East in Field Goal Shooting Percentage at 41.2%.
It may be threes away for the Blue Demons. CU is dead last in three point field goal percent defense in the Big East at 39.5%.
The Blue Demons should also look to force some Bluejay turnovers since Creighton is in last place in Turnover Margin with a minus 1.33.
This will be the first Big East game of the season where the Blue Demons have been favored by the oddsmakers. After playing the role of hunters all season long, this is the first one where they become the hunted.
The Last Time
On January 7th, 2015, the Blue Demons went into Omaha and walked out of the CenturyLink Center with a 70-60 victory over Creighton and ended an 11 game home conference win streak for the Bluejays.
Forrest Robinson led the way for DePaul with a career-high 20 points and a career-high six 3-pointers. Robinson got off to a good start after knocking down five trifectas in the first six minutes of the game.
Myke Henry contributed 11 points in the winning effort.
Toby Hegner led Creighton with 15 points and Avery Dingman chipped in with 10 points for the Bluejays.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Prev School)
0 Leon Gilmore III F 6-7 210 Fr. Manvel, Texas (Manvel)
1 Austin Chatman G 6-0 175 Sr. The Colony, Texas (The Colony)
2 Gabriel Connealy F 6-4 205 Jr. Mullen, Neb. (Mullen)
4 Ronnie Harrell G 6-7 180 Fr. Denver, Colo. (East)
5 Devin Brooks G 6-2 175 Sr. Harlem, N.Y. (Iowa Western CC) (St. Raymond)
10 Mo Watson Jr. G 5-10 170 Jr. Philadelphia, Pa. (Boston Univ.) (Boys' Latin)
11 Tyler Clement G 6-1 185 Fr. Shawnee, Kan. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
13 Cole Huff F 6-8 210 Jr. Altadena, Calif. (Univ. of Nevada) (Campbell Hall)
15 Rick Kreklow G 6-7 195 Sr. Columbia, Mo. (Univ. of California) (Rock Bridge)
21 Isaiah Zierden G 6-2 180 So. Minneapolis, Minn. (Benilde-St. Margaret's)
22 Avery Dingman G 6-6 215 Sr. Branson, Mo. (Branson)
23 James Milliken G 6-2 180 Jr. Siler City, N.C. (Cowley County CC) (Jordan Matthews)
31 Will Artino C 6-11 230 Sr. Waukee, Iowa (Waukee)
32 Toby Hegner F 6-10 225 Fr. Berlin, Wis. (Berlin)
40 Zach Hanson F 6-9 240 So. Pierre, S.D. (T.F. Riggs)
41 Geoffrey Groselle C 7-0 240 Jr. Plano, Texas (West)
50 Mogboluwaga Oginni F 6-8 225 Jr. St. Louis, Mo. (St. Louis University HS)
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