Devin Brooks

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Creighton guard Isaiah Zierden to miss remainder of the season with a knee injury

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A knee injury has ended Isaiah Zierden’s season for the second consecutive year.

The Creighton redshirt sophomore guard suffered partially torn medial collateral ligament and patella injury in his right knee during Wednesday night’s narrow loss to Butler. The team announced the injury on Friday afternoon.

Last March, Zierden suffered an MCL injury in the same knee, which kept him out of the final seven games of the 2013-14 campaign.

The 6-foot-2 Zierden, who has started seven of 20 games, is the team’s second-leading scorer at 9.5 points per contest. He’s also been the Bluejays most reliable 3-point threat with 44 triples on the season, shooting at just under 40 percent.

The Creighton perimeter will finish the season down a guard, relying on more minutes from Devin Brooks and James Milliken, playing alongside Austin Chatman.

Creighton, which began the season with a come-from-behind win over No. 18 Oklahoma in November, has seen a sophomore slump in its second season as a Big East member. The Bluejays have lost their first seven conference games, three of which came on their home floor. Creighton continues the season on Sunday at No. 4 Villanova.

Was Devin Brooks’ off-the-backboard pass actually intentional? (VIDEO)

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Devin Brooks had the world’s best accidental assist in Creighton’s win over DePaul on Thursday night, when he tried to throw an oop to Will Artino and bounced it off the corner of the backboard to Austin Chatman for a wide-open three.

But was it actually an accident?

Brooks wants you to think otherwise.

(h/t Jacob Padilla)

Creighton beats DePaul, McDermott continues to climb in the record books

Doug McDermott
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Creighton didn’t play their crispest game of the season. They shot just 46.4% from the field and 28% from three — two fairly decent percentages for most teams — and got hammered on the offensive and defensive glass all night. That Doug McDermott guy, though? He was in his usual form, leading Creighton to a 78-66 win over DePaul.

McDermott dropped in 32 points, eclipsing the 30 point mark for the eighth time this season. In the process, he surpassed former Duke guard J.J. Redick on the all-time scoring list, moving up to 17th. Next up on the list is former Tennessee sharpshooter Allan Houston.

As for the game itself, Creighton was playing without guard Devin Brooks tonight. It was reported Brooks wasn’t even in the arena due to an illness, and whether he will be ready to play at St. John’s this coming Sunday is unknown at this time.

For about 33 minutes tonight, Creighton looked like they were in a funk. Perhaps it was the extended time off in between their game before DePaul, St. John’s about a week and a half ago on January 28th. Not having Brooks in the lineup definitely hurt, especially from a rebounding perspective. Although a guard who stands at 6-foot-2, Brooks is a solid rebounder and does many things on the floor that don’t always go noticed for Creighton.

Of course, a home game against Big East cellar dweller on a Friday evening prior to flying out to New York to play St. John’s on Sunday, may have been viewed as the classic trap game. The Bluejays already smoked DePaul earlier this season, 81-62.

When the Blue Demons made it 59-58 with 7:36 remaining, McDermott scored 11 of Creighton’s next 14 points — nine of which came from the free throw line — to dispose any chance of a DePaul upset win.

In looking ahead to Sunday’s game at Madison Square Garden, Creighton figures to be greatly challenged by St. John’s. A few weeks ago, the Johnnies looked all but dead. They were 9-8 overall and 0-5 in the Big East, but they have won five of their past six games to vault to the middle of the Big East standings, and now have renewed hope of an NCAA Tournament at-large bid.

The last time these two teams met, Doug McDermott did this.

New Year’s Resolutions: Creighton Bluejays

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Over the course of the holiday week, we at College Basketball Talk will be detailing what we believe will be the New Year’s Resolutions of some of the nation’s most talented, most disappointing, and thoroughly enigmatic teams. What can we say, we’re in a giving mood.

Who else made Resolutions? Click here to find out.

WHAT DOES CREIGHTON PROMISE TO DO MORE OF?: Become a more disruptive defensive team.

  • Why it will happen: Creighton may have the best offensive player and offense in the country, but their defense has holes that may come back to bite them as they embark on their first season in the Big East. With a team that is so high-powered on offense with a bevy of shooters, they will be able to get by — for the most part — with a mediocre defense. Guards Devin Brooks and Jahenns Manigat are both more than adequate perimeter defenders, and they should match-up well with the top guards in the Big East.
  • Why it won’t happen: Their defensive numbers actually don’t look too bad through the non-conference as they give up 65 ppg, but what is of concern is their inability to force turnovers. The Bluejays played a very pedestrian non-conference schedule, and the Big East figures to pose a much greater challenge to their defense. The prior two seasons, Creighton’s defense was actually worse than it is the year, so improvement has been made. However, not having a stopper in the paint like Greg Echenique will make it difficult to defend teams like Marquette and Georgetown who have imposing front-courts.

WHAT DOES CREIGHTON SWEAR THEY WILL DO LESS OF?: Head coach Greg McDermott will not have as short of a leash for guard Devin Brooks.

  • Why it will happen: Devin Brooks is in his first season with Creighton after transferring from Iowa Western CC. The Creighton offense isn’t one that anybody can simply step into and excel, but Brooks has done a solid job thus far coming off the bench as he’s averaging 8.1 points, 4.0 rpg, and 2.9 assists in just over 16 minutes of action — very productive. With the Big East featuring some of the best guards in the country, don’t be surprised if Brooks has his minutes extended and McDermott allows him to play through mistakes.
  • Why it won’t happen: Creighton is averaging nearly 83 ppg and, as previously mentioned, may have the best offense in the country. Why tamper with that? Senior shooting guard Jahenns Manigat, who is in his fourth season with Creighton, boasts a 2.9:1 assist to turnover ratio, while starting point guard Austin Chatman leads the team with assists at 4.3 per game. Until Creighton begins to struggle in the Big East or Brooks plays so well in practices / games that he leaves McDermott no choice but to see more minutes, Brooks will continue his role off the bench playing 15 minutes or so a night.