On “Lumberjack Night” — which honored Creighton senior three-pointer bomber Ethan Wragge — the Bluejays topped DePaul 78-66 in front of 18,323 home fans.
Creighton fans were encouraged to wear flannel and beards to honor Wragge, who made three out of five three-point attempts on his way to nine points and four rebounds in the Big East win for No. 12 Creighton.
But this photo that Creighton assistant coach Brian Tonino tweeted out after the game is fantastic. I’m not sure who came up with the “Wragge Bomb” chainsaw idea or photo concept, but Wragge’s serious demeanor holding the chainsaw is tremendous.
Dan Hanner, who crunches numbers over at RealGM.com, puts out one of my favorite columns of the year when he breaks down the offensive and defensive efficiencies of teams that suffer serious injuries throughout the season.
You can read it here and here. It’s worth your time.
Some of the most interesting numbers that Hanner produced:
Offensively, Kansas State is significantly better with Jevon Thomas in the lineup even though Thomas has been utterly atrocious shooting and scoring the ball. The reason for this is Thomas’ ability to create offense for others. Case in point: he was 1-for-6 from the floor in the win over West Virginia, but he had eight assists and no turnovers and took the pressure to create off of guys like Shane Southwell and Marcus Foster.
On paper, it looks like Creighton is significantly worse defensively and significantly better offensively without Grant Gibbs in the lineup. Those numbers are a bit skewed because of a blowout win over Butler at home and a blowout loss to Providence on the road. There’s an argument to be made that Creighton is better offensively with Devin Brooks getting more minutes, but where the Bluejays miss Gibbs is with his toughness and his leadership. He’s a presence. He’s not going to be intimidated going on the road to play Providence or Villanova or Marquette, and he’s not going to let his teammates be intimidated, either.
“Notre Dame has been playing like the 109th best team in the nation with [Jerian] Grant out,” Hanner wrote. Yikes.
Given some of the outlandish court designs that have been unveiled this offseason, Creighton’s submission isn’t one that will spark widespread panic (or worse).
But what the change does represent is a new era, with the school now a member of the Big East Conference. With veterans like Doug McDermott, Grant Gibbs and Jahenns Manigat leading the way, head coach Greg McDermott’s program has the pieces needed to be a factor in the Big East immediately.
Creighton won 28 games last season, reaching the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season. And with the players mentioned above back for another run, fans expect the Bluejays to earn a third straight trip while playing on the new floor.
No wild swarm of angry bluejays (for Creighton it’s ‘bluejay” as one word as opposed to “blue jay”) plastered all over the floor. Just the secondary logo at mid-court with the Big East logo in both free throw lanes. The new logo catches the eye, but it’s simple. And when compared to some of the other floors we’ve seen unveiled this summer/fall, that’s probably a good thing.