Creighton v Cincinnati

Creighton advances past Cincinnati, has a shot to take down Duke

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There’s a reason that we call him Dougie McBuckets.

Creighton’s all-american forward was too much for No. 10 seed Cincinnati on Friday afternoon, finishing with 27 points and 11 boards on 7-15 shooting as the No. 7 Bluejays outlasted the Bearcats 67-63.

This game was one of the more intriguing matchups of the tournament, as Cincinnati is a staunch defensive team that cannot score the ball with Creighton is a sharp-shooting, crisp offensive team that seems averse to defense at times. In the end, the scoring one, as Creighton got enough stops to push their lead to 52-44 late in the second half, holding on as the Bearcats made a final push.

Creighton will advance to take on No. 2 seed Duke, and I’ll be honest, I think that the Bluejays actually have a chance to pull off this upset.

The key?

Greg Echenique, Creighton’s burly, 6-foot-9 center.

Echenique is as big and as physical as any center in the country, and he’s perfectly fine playing the role as strictly a rebounder and a defender. Mason Plumlee may be a first round NBA draft pick, but he’s not going to have an easy go of it trying to post up Echenique.

The reason that Ryan Kelly is such a valuable commodity for Duke is that he allows the Blue Devils to make people pay for double-teaming Plumlee. They move the ball so well as a team that a double-team almost always is going to result in an open jump shot for someone, whether that be Kelly or Seth Curry or Quinn Cook or Rasheen Sulaimon.

If Echenique can slow Plumlee down in the post, Creighton won’t have to leave those shooters open. It’s exactly what Maryland did with Alex Len in the two games that they beat the Blue Devils. Now, whether or not McDermott is going to be able to matchup with Kelly or anyone on Creighton’s perimeter is going to be able to keep Sulaimon or Cook from penetrating is a different story entirely. Kelly also happens to be a perfect matchup for McDermott on the defensive end of the floor, so there’s no guaranteeing that stopping Plumlee will earn Creighton a win.

But Echenique’s presence will given them a chance.

And if Creighton has one of these nights, they’ll be on their way through to the second weekend.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Watch Lists for Cousy, West, Erving and Malone Awards

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The Naismith Hall of Fame today released the watch lists for their awards for the best point guard, shooting guard, small forward and power forward. Centers will be released on Friday.

Here they are:

Bob Cousy Award Watch List:

  • Kyle Collinsworth, Brigham Young University
  • Tyrone Wallace, California
  • Maodo Lo, Columbia
  • Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Florida State
  • D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown
  • Juan’ya Green, Hofstra
  • Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
  • Monte Morris, Iowa State
  • Frank Mason, Kansas
  • Tyler Ulis, Kentucky
  • Melo Trimble, Maryland
  • Marcus Paige, North Carolina
  • Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame
  • Gary Payton, Jr., Oregon State
  • Kris Dunn, Providence
  • Carson Puriefoy, Stony Brook
  • Jalen Brunson, Villanova
  • Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova
  • Fred VanVleet, Wichita State
  • Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin

Jerry West Award Watch List:

  • Allonzo Trier, Arizona
  • Anthony Drmic, Boise State
  • Kellen Dunham, Butler
  • Jordan Matthews, California
  • Grayson Allen, Duke
  • Dwayne Bacon, Florida State
  • Marvell Harris, Fresno State
  • James Blackmon, Indiana
  • AJ English, Iona
  • Antonio Blakeney, Louisiana State
  • Rasheed Sulaimon, Maryland
  • Sheldon McClellan, Miami
  • Caris Levert, Michigan
  • Malik Newman, Mississippi State
  • Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
  • E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island
  • Danuel House, Texas A&M
  • Melvin Johnson, Virginia Commonwealth
  • Malcom Brogdon, Virginia
  • Ron Baker, Wichita State

Julius Erving Award Watch List:

  • Jaylen Brown, California
  • Daniel Hamilton, Connecticut
  • Rodney Purvis, Connecticut
  • Brandon Ingram, Duke
  • John Brown, High Point
  • Troy Williams, Indiana
  • Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Kansas
  • Wayne Selden, Jr., Kansas
  • Alex Poythress, Kentucky
  • Damion Lee, Louisville
  • Ben Simmons, Louisiana State
  • Jake Layman, Maryland
  • Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
  • Justin Jackson, North Carolina
  • DeAndre Bembry, Saint Joseph’s
  • Malik Pope, San Diego State
  • Michael Gbinije, Syracuse
  • D.J. Hogg, Texas A&M
  • Brandon Taylor, Utah
  • Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin

Karl Malone Award Watch List:

  • Rico Gathers, Baylor
  • Taurean Prince, Baylor
  • Ivan Rabb, California
  • Tony Parker, UCLA
  • Dorian Finney-Smith, Florida
  • Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga
  • Georges Niang, Iowa State
  • Perry Ellis, Kansas
  • Shawn Long, Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Henry Ellenson, Marquette
  • Shaq Goodwin, Memphis
  • Brice Johnson, North Carolina
  • Beejay Anya, North Carolina State
  • Ryan Spangler, Oklahoma
  • Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
  • Markus Kennedy, SMU
  • Jameel Warney, Stony Brook
  • Jordan Loveridge, Utah
  • Alec Peters, Valporasio
  • Anton Grady, Wichita State

UNLV to host NBA scouting combine

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UNLV is the latest to join in the trend of hosting their own NBA scouting combine, following in the footsteps of Kentucky and LSU.

The Runnin’ Rebels will hold their event on October 23rd and 24th at the Mendenhall Center, UNLV’s practice facility, sources told The expectation is that all 30 NBA teams will be in attendance.

The Runnin’ Rebels once again have a stockpile of pro talent on their roster. Stephen Zimmermann is projected as a lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, while the likes of Goodluck Okonoboh, Patrick McCaw, Dwayne Morgan Jr. and Derrick Jones are talented enough that they will get plenty of attention from NBA scouts during the upcoming season.

Kentucky hosted their scouting combine over the weekend, with as many as 70 NBA scouts reportedly in attendance. LSU is holding their combine this week. was the first to report the news.