Doug McDermott

NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Getting to know Creighton

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Read through the rest of the Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: Missouri Valley

Coach: Greg McDermott

Record: 27-7, 13-5

Rankings and Ratings:

– Kenpom: 15
– RPI: 32
– AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had Creighton as a No. 9 seed in Friday’s Bracket Projection, but another win over Wichita State and a duel-MVC title might be enough to push them out of that 8-9 game.

Names you need to know: Doug McDermott (23.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg), Greg Echenique (9.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.6 bpg)

Stats you need to know: Creighton is second nationally when it comes to shooting from beyond the arc, hitting 42.0% of their threes.

Tendencies: Everyone knows the story about Creighton at this point: they have Doug McDermott, they spread the floor and shoot a lot of threes, and they can struggle on the defensive end of the floor. When they get stops — Indiana State scored 0.73 PPP and Drake scored 0.84 PPP in the first two MVC tournament games — they win.

Big wins, bad losses: The Bluejays have some good non-conference wins — Wisconsin, Arizona State, Akron, Cal — and picked up a pair of wins over Wichita State in the last two days. They do have a couple poor league losses, however: Indiana State, Drake, Northern Iowa.

How’d they get here?: Creighton capped off a five-game winning streak that netted them two MVC titles over Wichita State in the span of eight days. They won the league’s autobid on Sunday with a 68-65 win over the Shockers.

Outlook: Creighton’s a dangerous team. For starters, they have an all-american on their roster in Doug McDermott, a forward that is a lights-out perimeter shooter that moves as well as anyone in the country without the ball and can score in the post. They have a pair of playmakers in the back court and shooters up and down their lineup. They can score and, as they proved in the regular season finale, they can put on unreal shooting displays — they were 22-26 from two, 11-21 from three and 14-16 from the free throw line in a 91-79 win over Wichita State. The irony? Creighton’s best chance to advance past the opening round may have been losing in the first round of the MVC tournament and getting out of that 8-9 game.

How do I know you? Creighton is the home of Doug McDermott and company. The Bluejays beat Alabama last season before falling to North Carolina in the third round.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.