At this point in the season the race for national Player of the Year has a clear frontrunner: Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott. One of the questions entering this season was how would McDermott and his teammates adjust to new surroundings, with Creighton making the move from the Missouri Valley Conference to the Big East. With three conference games remaining before the Big East tournament, it’s clear that neither McDermott nor his teammates have had much trouble adjusting.
McDermott and the Bluejays moved to 13-2 in Big East play with a tight 72-71 win over a Seton Hall team playing without starting guard Sterling Gibbs, who was suspended for the game by head coach Kevin Willard. Willard wasn’t thrilled with Gibbs’ attitude in preparation for Sunday’s game, and the decision made the Texas transfer the third Pirate to meet that fate this season with Brandon Oliver and Eugene Teague being the others.
With the loss of Gibbs, Seton Hall entered Sunday’s game shorthanded but they made no excuses, competing throughout and nearly leaving Omaha with the win. But McDermott proved to be too much, scoring 29 points and moving into tenth place on the NCAA’s all-time scoring list. McDermott’s now scored 2,917 points in his Creighton career, with the 3,000-point mark well within his sights.
Grant Gibbs added 16 points in the win, establishing a new season high. As a team Creighton shot 51% from the field and 8-for-15 from beyond the arc, but it was their plus-6 margin in points from the foul line that made the difference. Also of note in regards to the foul line is the fact that the Bluejays attempted 31 (making 20) to Seton Hall’s 15 (making 14).
The Pirates finished the game with four players scoring in double figures (Fuquan Edwin led the way with 21), but they couldn’t make the one play down the stretch to get over the hump. And that’s been the story of the season for Seton Hall, which has lost four conference games by one-point margins. Turn around those results and maybe Kevin Willard’s team is in the bubble conversation.
As for Creighton the win means that they maintain their one-game lead over Villanova atop the Big East standings, and with their sweep of the season series the Bluejays are well on their way to earning the top seed in next month’s Big East tournament. So while watching the younger McDermott’s individual exploits are fun, the fact of the matter is that there’s a lot left for Greg McDermott’s team to accomplish. And it certainly helps to have a player of Doug’s caliber leading the way.
After reviewing video for a second straight day, the Mountain West has determined that Boise State should have beaten Colorado State on Wednesday night, but that due to an NCAA rule the outcome of the game cannot be changed.
Boise State’s James Webb III hit a one-handed, banked-in three at the end of overtime in Colorado State’s Moby Arena, breaking an 84-all tie, but after officials reviewed the play on the video monitor, they waived off the basket. Webb got the shot off in time, but the clock operator did not start the clock on time. After using stopwatch technology embedded in the video monitor, the referees determined that it took 1.3 seconds from the time that Webb caught the pass until the time that he got the shot off.
There were 0.8 seconds left when Boise State took the ball out of bounds.
On Thursday, the league announced that the referees followed the correct protocol to make the call.
They released a video that the referees used to make the decision, but upon further analysis — and amid a push on social media — it was determined that there was a difference between the “rate at which the embedded digital stopwatch advanced and the rate at which the game clock regressed during the instant replay review.”
In other words, the referees made the correct call with the evidence they had available, but the conference provided them with flawed evidence.
Boise State lost 97-93 in double-overtime.
The loss came four days after officials botched a call at the end of San Diego State’s win over New Mexico.
When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.
LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.
Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).
All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.