Welcome to the wild Missouri Valley.
One day after a Southern Illinois team that had previously been 1-10 in conference play beat Wichita State, Indiana State dominated No. 16 Creighton, on its way to a 76-57 victory Wednesday night at Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Ind.
Player of the Year candidate Doug McDermott, the center of the Creighton offense all season, struggled to shoot just 3-of-10 from the floor and had just eight points. It was only the second time all season that he failed to score double figures and was a long way off from his 24 points per game average on the year.
Without McDermott as a major factor, the only Creighton player able to find his rhythm was center Will Artino, who was 5-of-5 from the floor for 13 points.
Indiana State, on the other hand, centered its offense around a scoring trio of Jake Odum, Manny Arop, and R.J. Mahurin. Odum led the way with 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor, while Mahurin had 17 and Arop added 13. That trio, in hand with just four team turnovers, spelled trouble for Creighton.
The win moves Indiana State to 8-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference, tying the Sycamores with a sliding Wichita State team that has won three games in a row. They meet the Shockers on Feb. 19 at home.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_
Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.
Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.
Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.
South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.
They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.