Date: Saturday, December 12th (As of 8/4/20)
Location: Lincoln, NE
2019-20 Record: 24-7 (13-5 Big East)
Coach: Greg McDermott
Series Record: Creighton leads 27-26
The Mighty Bluejays of Creighton University. The blue ones are coming off another banner year and one of the best for coach Greg McDermott in 2019-20. They finished in a tie for the the Big East regular season title with Villanova to end the regular season.
They were then poised to make a big run in the Big East Tournament. They were even picked to make a run in the NCAA Tournament. That was until COVIC-19 shut down the remainder of the season. Any possible post season glory was gone. They ended the year ranked #7 in the AP and #9 in the Coaches polls. N
As for this upcoming year, they were looking to be good but not at the level they were playing with last season. Guard Ty-Shon Alexander has decided to forgo his senior season and enter the NBA draft. An understandable decision considering he was one of the best players in the country last season. The first team All Big East player has what it takes to make it in the next level.
At first, it looked like McDermott would also lose Denzel Mahoney and Damien Jefferson along with Alexander to the draft. But, as luck should have it, they will both be returning to Omaha for their senior season. Now, they’re looking like they very well could be one of the teams to beat in the Big East.
Mahoney averaged 12 points and 3.1 rebounds per game last season. He only started one game all season but also only became eligible to play for the Bluejays in December of 2019. His efforts earned him the Big East’s Sixth Man Award. This season should see him in the starting lineup and will contribute greatly to the success of Creighton.
Jefferson averaged 9.4 points per game and 5.5 rebounds while starting all but one game. The Omaha Central grad tied for first in the team with a total of 165 rebounds on the year. Not bad for a 6’5” guard. Expect him to contribute once again to the success of the team.
The big piece of Creighton’s success this season will rely upon Marcus Zegarowski. The 6’2” guard made the 2019 All Big Freshman Team and the 2020 All Big East second team along with second team All American honors by NBC Sports. His season ended against Seaton Hall on March 7th where he injured his knee and had arthroscopic surgery to clean it up. Zegarowski’s rehabilitation has gone well and should be full strength by the time the season starts up.
The returning junior averaged 16.1 points, 5.0 assists, and 3.8 rebounds on the season and is expected to have another big year. Some are even eyeing him for national player of the year awards if all go according to plan.
Creighton as a whole was deadly on the court. They were 9th in the country beyond the three point line shooting 38%. They also ranked 27th in the nation at assists with 16 per game. Unless they for some strange reason take a down turn, I would expect even better stats coming out of them in 20-21.
Lucky for Nebraska, Creighton has to come down to Lincoln this year. Even so, the Huskers will have all they can handle from the boys in blue from Omaha. The returning starters for Creighton are going to give every team they play this year headaches. Depth will be an issue behind the starters but I would not expect that to cause to much trouble unless an injury bug hits the team.
I know you don’t want to hear it but Creighton will be one of the best teams that Nebraska will play this season. In fact, this could be one of the best Creighton teams that has taken the court. The Huskers will have to rely upon healthy players, a well executed game plan, and most likely the bench to pull off this win a home this year.