Skip to content

Did the same old No. 11 Creighton make their reappearance?

Nov 28, 2012, 10:41 PM EST

Derrick Marks, Austin Chatman

Creighton was one of the best offensive teams in the country a season ago, finishing fifth nationally in offensive efficiency according to Kenpom.

Their problem was on the defensive end of the floor, ranking as the 178th best team. Namely, the Bluejays were the third-worst team in the country at forcing turnovers and were in the bottom-half nationally in effective field goal percentage, which is essentially a nerdy way of saying teams shot the ball really well against the Bluejays all season long.

This season was supposed to be different, and while no one was going to confuse the Bluejays with Louisville, there did appear to be an improvement through the season’s first six games. Creighton was 67th in defensive efficiency coming in. Small sample size, yes, but anyone watching Creighton play could see an improvement. Penetration was tougher, help side was quicker, shots were challenged. Things just didn’t look as simple for opponents.

That’s a good thing.

But it was a trend that ended on Wednesday night, as Boise State left Omaha with Leon Rice’s first win over a ranked team as head coach. Boise State shot 60.7% from the floor and 10-19 for three in an 83-70 upset of the Bluejays, scoring 1.277 PPP for the game.

That’s … well, it’s not good.

The problem is that Creighton was never able to get back into the game. Boise State opened up a double-digit lead early in the second half and the Bluejays simply couldn’t string together enough stops to make a serious run. The only time they did get three stops in a row, Creighton went on an 8-0 spurt in the span of about a minute, cutting the Bronco’s lead from 75-70.

I don’t need to tell you that Creighton cannot win basketball games this way. Creighton fans certainly know that. The team absolutely does. They wore shirts with their defensive ranking from last season on it throughout the preseason. The Missouri Valley has looked strong early on this season. Wichita State won at VCU. Northern Iowa was impressive in their losses out in the Bahamas. Illinois State and Indiana State both have some quality pieces on their roster.

And most importantly, all of those teams are willing and able to muck-it-up defensively. If Creighton can’t iron out these kinks on the defensive end, they’re going to have a tough time trying to bring home the league title.

The one thing I’m almost certain of here: I don’t think that practice is going to be very enjoyable for the Bluejays on Thursday after this performance.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention the performance of Derrick Marks. 35 points. 13-19 from the floor. A bucket any time he wanted one. Throw in Anthony Drmic and Jeff Elorriaga, and you’ve got a pretty solid perimeter trio. The Broncos won’t compete for the Mountain West title this season — they may not even finish in the top half — but they’ll be a tough win on a nightly basis.

It’s also worth noting the value of this win for the MWC as a whole. Creighton is going to end up being highly ranked with a good RPI. And Boise State just beat them in Omaha. That’ll be a nice bump.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Latest Posts
  1. Late Night Snacks: No. 10 Texas wins the 2K Classic without Isaiah Taylor

    Nov 21, 2014, 11:55 PM EST

    AP AP

    Here is everything you need to know from Friday night hoops.

  2. The ‘Chaminade Crew’ and how Jonathan Holmes has changed the culture of Texas hoops

    Nov 21, 2014, 11:05 PM EST

    AP AP

    Like the rest of the 2011 recruiting class, Jonathan Holmes could have left Texas. Instead he made the decision to stay, and he and the Longhorns are better because of it.

  3. Early struggles of Syracuse, Kaleb Joseph example of the downside of early entry

    Nov 21, 2014, 8:48 PM EST

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Syracuse is in this position because Tyler Ennis turned out to be better than anyone expected.

  4. UPDATE: Texas loses starting point guard to left wrist injury, out 4-6 weeks

    Nov 21, 2014, 8:00 PM EST

    Anthony Clemmons, Isaiah Taylor Anthony Clemmons, Isaiah Taylor

    Isaiah Taylor injured his left wrist on a hard fall with just over two minutes remaining in Texas’ win over Iowa Thursday night.

  5. UConn advances to Puerto Rico Tip-Off championship game with 75-64 win over Dayton

    Nov 21, 2014, 4:45 PM EST

    AP AP

    UConn will play the winner of Boston College-West Virginia.

  6. Burning Questions: If you could change one on-court rule in college basketball, what would it be?

    Nov 21, 2014, 4:30 PM EST

    ncb_g_shot_clock1x_600x600 Getty Images

    Let’s just say that we aren’t too fond of the current shot clock or the rules regarding hanging on the rim.

  7. Four-star power forward becomes Mississippi State’s second 2016 commitment

    Nov 21, 2014, 3:43 PM EST

    Rick Ray Rick Ray

    Mississippi State’s taken steps forward when it comes to improving the depth and talent in their program.

  8. Burning Questions: Who’s poised to surprise (or disappoint) people in the Big Ten?

    Nov 21, 2014, 1:53 PM EST

    Tom Izzo Tom Izzo

    Two of the four writers picked Indiana as a team that can surprise people in the Big Ten.

  9. Texas A&M receives good news regarding transfer guard

    Nov 21, 2014, 1:02 PM EST

    Danuel House Danuel House

    Less than a week after TaShawn Thomas was cleared to play, Danuel House received the good news regarding his waiver request.

  10. New Mexico point guard out indefinitely with left ankle injury

    Nov 21, 2014, 12:13 PM EST

    Cullen Neal Cullen Neal

    Cullen Neal leads the Lobos in scoring and is second in assists, so this is a big loss.

  11. Friday’s Pregame Shootaround: Ten ranked teams, including No. 1 Kentucky, in action

    Nov 21, 2014, 11:10 AM EST

    South Carolina State v Virginia Getty Images

    Also of note is George Washington’s trip to Charlottesville, and Dayton facing UConn in Puerto Rico.

  12. Minnesota, Temple included in next year’s Puerto Rico Tipoff field

    Nov 21, 2014, 9:52 AM EST

    Richard Pitino AP

    Both Miami (2007) and Minnesota (2010) have won the event in the past.

  13. Late Night Snacks: No. 22 SMU, No. 23 Syracuse fall

    Nov 21, 2014, 1:39 AM EST

    Indiana's James Blackmon Jr. (AP Photo) Indiana's James Blackmon Jr. (AP Photo)

    There was also a double-overtime game in Charleston, and a buzzer-beating tip-in in Puerto Rico.

  14. California takes a step forward in comfortable win over No. 23 Syracuse

    Nov 21, 2014, 12:36 AM EST

    Cuonzo Martin, David Kravish Cuonzo Martin, David Kravish

    One impressive stretch of perimeter shooting may stand out, but Cal’s execution against the Syracuse zone was good for most of the night.