DePaul Hosts Creighton at the Wintrust

cropped-white-demon

The Blue Demons host Omaha’s Blue Jays

The Setup

DePaul plays the Creighton Blue Jays on Wednesday, 2/7/2018 at 8:00 pm Central at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago’s South Loop, in front of thousands of blue seats.  It will be carried on FSN1 (Channel 237 on Comcast) and on the Score (Radio 670).

The Blue Jays come into the game with 17 wins and 6 losses overall, with a 7-4 record in Big East games after losing at Villanova last Thursday.

The rudderless ship, also known as your DePaul Blue Demons, was embarrassed in Indianapolis on Saturday by Butler, by shooting cold and turning the ball over like it was covered in battery acid.

Gambling Corner

The current line from VegasInsider.com has Creighton favored by 6.5. Kenpom.com favors the Blue Jays by 6.

Recent History

The Blue Jays swept DePaul last season.  Since the forming of the new Big East in 2014, the Omaha steak eaters hold a 9-1 series lead.  The last time DePaul beat the Blue Jays was when Forrest Robinson, with lighting bolts shooting out of his fingers, made 5 three pointers in the first 5 minutes of the game and made 6 three pointers on the night at Omaha on January 7th, 2015.

Last time that DePaul beat Creighton, it was Forrest Robinson’s One Shining Moment

Fun Facts about Creighton

Religious affiliation:  Jesuit

Name after Edward Creighton, who was a successful businessman who cattle ranched, banked, and dealt with freight.  He also helped with the development of the transcontinental telegraph line.

He died before his wife Mary.  When Mary died in her will she requested that $100,000 of the family fortune should go to start up a University.

In 1878, lead by Jesuit priests, the school opened.

Women were first admitted in 1892.

Billy Bluejay - 1941

The were named the Blue Jays after the local newspaper, the Omaha Bee, held a contest in 1924.  There is a scholarship available to whoever serves as the mascot.

The mascot is named Billy Blue Jay.

I have to say, that I like Creighton’s player profile pages.  Easily the most fun of any of the Big East teams that I have read.  It  has some semi-fun factoids about each player.  The player facts below are directly from their Creighton pages.

The Current Flavor of Blue Jays

Kenpom.com has them rated as the 22nd best team in the nation.  Their only losses have been to top 60 programs.  Their worst loss was at Providence, which is not a bad loss by any stretch.

This team shares and shoots real well.  This does not bode well for the Demons.  The Blue Jays have the 7th highest effective field goal percentage, and the 19th best offensive efficiency in the country.

The Omaha boys have the 2nd highest percentage in the country on 2 point shots, shooting a cool 60.2%.  18th best free throw shooting team and 59th best 3 point shooting team.  Across the board, this is an offensive juggernaut.  Not good times.

However, they are not excellent at offensive rebounding or getting fouled while shooting, but most likely this is because they don’t need to be.  These dudes just score.

Defensively, Creighton does not foul and they block out extremely well.  They do not let teams beat them from the 3 point arc.

Who should Scare the Blue out of Us?  Plenty of Candidates, but let’s go with Marcus Foster

Senior point guard out of Wichita Falls, Texas.  His nickname is Swaggy.  Started his career at Kansas State, but tiring of the great metropolis of Manhattan, Kansas, made his way to the excellent city of Omaha.  He shoots 44.1% from 3 point land.  56.1% from 2 point land, and nearly 80% from the free throw line.  He is going to be a handful.  Have fun Eli, Justin, and Brandon.

Image result for marcus foster
Marcus says, “Hey, DePaul, I see quite a few holes in your defense.”

 

Who Else?  Toby Hegner

6’10” Senior, who shoots 45.3% from 3 point land, and 63.6% from 2 point land.  He spots the highest offensive rating on the team with a 129.3.  I don’t think I like him.  Says here that his favorite professional team is the Green Bay Packer.  That clinches it, I really don’t like him.

High Usage Guy

Khyri Thomas

Do not foul him.  Shoots 83.6% from the line.  Also, shoot 39.4% from 3 point land.  His nickname is ‘Tazz’.  Wonder where that came from?  Fan of Frederick Douglass.  That fact clinches it; I like Khyri better than Toby.

Other Dude

Jacob Epperson

6’11” Freshman.  Activated once Martin Krampelj went down with a season ending knee injury.  They are slowly increasing his minutes.  He is definitely becoming a crowd favorite in Omaha.

It will feel like a class reunion for the Australian, Epperson, as he also went to La Lumiere School, where Marin Maric, Brandon Cyrus, Pantelis Xidias, Jalen Coleman-Lands, James Anderson and Coach Shane Heirman all went.  Of course, all of these dudes failed Blue Demon Nation by not getting Tyger Campbell to join the squad.  Epperson’s favorite dessert is a Blizzard.  Wow, hard hitting facts.

Says here that if he could reside anywhere, “he’d reside in Los Angeles.”  Wait a minute, was this guy talking to Tyger Campbell?  Did he talk sense in to him and mention that if given the choice he’d live in LA?  That settles it, I don’t like this guy either.

How does DePaul Matchup?  Not good.

Let’s go to the tail of the tape.

Offense

The Blue Jays are better at the following:

Offensive Efficiency

Effective FG% (2nd Best in the Big East)

Turnover %

3 Point Shooting

2 Point Shooting (2nd best in the Big East)

Free Throw Shooting (Best in the Big East)

Assisted Field Goals

DePaul is better at Offensive Rebounds and getting to the free throw line.

Advantage:  Creighton

Defense

Crazily, these teams are relatively close on the defensive side, but they go about it completely different.

Creighton changes their defense as the situation presents itself.

The key trends with the Blue Jays:

Extremely efficient, the do not allow many offensive rebounds, they do not foul, and their opponents shoot poorly against them from 3 point land.  They do not try to block shots, and they do not try to steal the ball.  They contest shots and rebound misses.  Fundamental basketball.

DePaul tries to force turnovers, stop you from making 2 point shots, and allow your team to shoot wide open 3s.

Advantage:  Since the Blue Jays Offensive strengths are the Blue Demons defensive weaknesses, I am giving this one to Creighton as well.

In Conclusion

This is not a great match up for DePaul.  Creighton shoots way too well and they take care of the ball way to well.  The only offensive strength that the Demons have (offensive rebounding) is also a strength in the Blue Jay defense.

The trends show that the Blue Jays are giving up more rebounds post the Martin Krampelj injury.  The other trends is that Creighton has been giving up more points per possession over the past 4 games on average.

The only way I see a DePaul victory is if one of the Demons turn into Forrest Robinson for one night and gets on fire.

Most likely a Creighton Victory.  Bummer.

One thought on “DePaul Hosts Creighton at the Wintrust

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