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No. 22 Creighton makes statement with win at No. 16 Butler

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Maybe it was too soon to write off Creighton.

Many did it after Creighton gave up 102 points to Marquette in Omaha last weekend. I did it after the Bluejays were smoked by Georgetown last Wednesday night. It was hard not to. The Bluejays had lost their engine – Mo Watson Jr., an all-american candidate – to a torn ACL and proceeded to get run out of the gym in two games they otherwise would have no business losing.

Saturday’s win over DePaul didn’t do much to change that sentiment.

Tuesday’s win at No. 16 Butler?

That will.

Justin Patton scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half, adding seven boards and a pair of blocks, as No. 22 Creighton went into Hinkle Fieldhouse and beat the Bulldogs, 76-67. Marcus Foster and Khyri Thomas both added 15 points for the Jays, who shot 13-for-21 from three in the win.

The story of the game, however, were Watson’s replacements. Greg McDermott scrapped the idea of using senior Isaiah Zierdan at the point guard spot and, instead, turned the keys over to freshman Davion Mintz and walk-on Tyler Clement, and they were both good. Mintz had eight points and three assists without committing a turnover, hitting a pair of big threes early in the second half to help push Creighton’s lead out to double-figure.

But it was Clement that really availed himself. He looked overwhelmed at Georgetown, like he wasn’t ready to handle the responsibility that came with running this show. Who could blame him? On Tuesday, however, you never would’ve guessed that he entered the season as the third-string, emergency point guard, the guy whose job was mostly to run the offense at the end of blowout wins.

He handed out six assists, including a pair of beautiful pick-and-roll dimes to Patton, but more importantly, he was able to get the Bluejays into their offense. Sometimes that required leading the break, sometimes all it took was him getting the ball over half court and initiating the set that McDermott called.

If there is anything that McDermott’s teams have developed a reputation for, it’s been their execution in the half court. Creighton is always going to be able to get good looks on the offensive end of the floor because of it. What we saw on Tuesday was less reliance on a point guard to make things happen and more crisply-run offensive sets. Lots of movement, lots of motion, plenty of screens to get Patton touches in the paint.

The fact that Creighton can do that takes some of the pressure off of the point guard spot.

But this group still needed a presence out there, some to take charge, pull the ball out, call a play.

Mintz and Clement were those guys on Tuesday.

And as a result, there’s reason to be hopeful that Creighton’s dream season is not a lost cause.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)

Five-star 2018 point guard Darius Garland cuts list to six schools

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Five-star Class of 2018 point guard Darius Garland revealed the final six schools that he’s considering on Friday.

The N0. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 Garland is one of the top floor generals in the nation as he is still considering Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

A native of Nashville, Garland is a potentially elite perimeter threat at the college level as he’s one of the more deadly three-point marksmen in the nation.

Garland spent this spring and summer playing with Bradley Beal Elite in the Nike EYBL as he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in the league this spring.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Creighton’s Khyri Thomas posterizes defender

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Creighton rising junior wing Khyri Thomas, like several of his teammates, are taking part in the Omaha Summer League this offseason.

On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 205-lb. Thomas eviscerated a defender with a one-handed posterization.

Thomas is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for the Bluejays. He started all 35 games, averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Aside from the increase in offensive production, Thomas served as one of the top defenders in the Big East. He shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges.

Zion Williamson throws down 360 windmill dunk

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Zion Williamson added another jaw-dropping dunk in the layup lines on the first night of the second live evaluation period.

Williamson and his SC Supreme team took on Each 1 Teach 1 at the Hoopseen Best of the South at the LakePoint Sporting Community in greater Atlanta.

The 6-foot-7 power forward threw down a 360 windmill dunk during his pregame routines.

Each 1 Teach 1 would pick up a 70-67 victory over SC Supreme. Williamson would end with a monster stat line of 37 points and seven rebounds.