Creighton Bluejays Preview
Date: Saturday, December 7th
Time: 1:30pm CST
Location: Omaha, NE
2018-19 Record: 20-15 (9-9 Big East Conference)
2019-20 Record: 6-2
Coach: Greg McDermott
Series Record: 26-26 Split
The Blue Jays had a fairly decent season but not to the heights they’ve had in the past. First off, Nebraska beat them for the first time in seven seasons. They went 9-9 in Big East play and ended up in the middle of the conference at #5. Creighton did make the NIT for a post season birth where they received the second seed. There they beat Loyola-Chicago in the first round and the University of Memphis in the second. The season ended for the Bluejays in a 58-71 lost to TCU.
Right now, Creighton is 6-2. They have wins against Kennesaw State, Louisiana Tech, Cal Poly, North Florida, #12 Texas Tech in overtime, and Oral Roberts. Their two losses have been to #4/5 ranked Michigan and undefeated yet unranked San Diego State.
The Bluejays are lead by guard Marcus Zegarowski. The sophomore is averaging 17.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. He’s fairly effective on offense with 48.6% from the floor and 37.3% from beyond the arch. Marcus is only 6’2” but he is athletic and has no problem getting into it with any player. Expect him to come after Nebraska quickly when the game starts.
Next to Marcus is Ty-Shawn Alexander. This honorable mention all Big East member is currently averaging 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. He racked up 17 points against Nebraska in last years loss and will still be a threat this year. The Huskers will need to up their defense if they want to have a shot in shutting him down this year. Also, he shoots 46.9% from the three point line. The game could easily get out of hand if he is hot early.
Also of note is Mitch Ballock. The junior guard is averaging 12.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. His big game was in Creighton’s win against Louisiana Tech where he had 22 points and 6 rebounds.
These three alone will give Nebraska fits and I would expect them to come out fast early. If Creighton hits their baskets and rebounds on defense well the they could very easily take control of the game and away from the Huskers. Any of these players can take the team in their hands on any given night.
Like Nebraska, Creighton plays a quick game. Unlike Nebraska, they shoot well and play smart basketball. If Nebraska get’s into a rut early and struggles to rebound then it could very well be a rough night for the Huskers. Creighton is not the biggest team Nebraska will face, but the don’t need to be. They are well coached and has talent that plays well together. I expect Nebraska is still dealing with growing pains and the team from Omaha will regain the lead in the series.