Creighton Hits 3 Pointer after 2 Offensive Rebounds on Final Offensive Sequence to Defeat The Demons by One
In a great game that DePaul lead by as many as ten points, the Blue Demon fell apart at the very end. After going up by 2 points on a Marin Maric basket with 1:03 left in regulation, the most excruciating possession of the season occurred. It seemed like it would never end. It turned into 4 separate mini-possessions, that ended in the worst of ways for the Demons.
Now for the Last Defensive Possession in Excruciating Detail
DePaul was super committed on part 1 of the possession. It starts with a missed 3 pointer, that somehow the Demons failed to possess.
How do they not get this rebound?
Strus goes for the steal and misses, Maric grabs his face, Cyrus recovers and plays amazing on ball defense, and Creighton’s Thomas takes 3 solid steps, also known as a travel, and..what’s that call…..Jump Ball? Of course, it is a jump ball, and of course it is Blue Jay basketball.
Possession retained by Creighton. Here comes Possession number 2 of the sequence.
After almost throwing the ball away on the inbound (I really thought Reed was going to steal it), the ball gets to Foster, who tries to drive on Cain. Cain funnels him to Strus who is waiting for the charge…and.. what’s that? Out of bounds on Strus? No charge? No block?
That brings us to the culmination of this awful possession. In two Parts.
Part 1, I was hoping that Reed would’ve learned from the last inbound to jump this pass, but the Blue Jays execute quite better. The ball gets to Foster again, who takes his 2nd shot of this extra long possession. He misses again.
Part 2, Paul Reed has position, but the rebound goes long. The ball is recovered by Toby Hegner of Creighton, and once again, the Blue Jays give it to Foster. With Strus all over him, Foster takes his 3rd shot of the possession with a hand in his face, and of course, he makes a 3 pointer to put Creighton up by 1. Damn it all. It was the only time in the game when the Blue Jays scored on a 2nd chance possession. Of course it was.
In all, the possession of possessions lasted 47 excruciating seconds. It Resulted in a Jump Ball, an out of bounds, 3 missed shots, and a dagger to put Creighton up by 1. We will discuss the awful DePaul losing possession in ‘The Bad’ section.
There were an incredible amount of Blue Seats, along with many Creighton fans, and very few Blue Demon fans.
If you had DePaul and the under, you were a happy human.
The Player of the Game: Marcus Foster
In my preview, I mentioned that Marcus ‘Swaggy’ Foster would be a handful, and that Eli, Justin, and Brandon would have their hands full. Well, guess what, so did Max Strus. Foster hit a 3 pointer in his face to put the Blue Jays up by 1 with 16 seconds left in the game. He ended with 29 points on 11-19 shooting, including 5-8 from 3 point land.
Coming off his worst game of the season, Cain may have had his best game of the season, maybe even better than Georgetown. He got the whole team involved, with 6 excellent assists and only 1 turnover. He made clutch 3 point shots to keep the Demons close in the 2nd half. He ended with 18 points on 5-7 shooting including 4-5 from 3 point land. The only bad spot, and it was really bad since the Demons only lost by 1, was 4 missed free-throws. They are Free! Take advantage of them! I was really impressed how he played tonight.
Maric finished with 23 points on 10-16 shooting. He clearly outplayed whoever the Blue Jays put on him. He made Toby Hegner and Jacob Epperson look like fools. It brings to mind that maybe, just maybe, Maric should’ve been involved in a pick and roll situation with Cain or Strus on the last possession. Maric can pick and pop with the best of them, and today he was dynamite other than 3 turnovers.
Although his shot making streak that went back 4 games came to end, Reed was once again a difference maker. Leitao rewarded him with 19 minutes. In a game in which Tre McCallum played 23 minutes and ended with a zero Offensive Rating, yes, a freaking ZERO, perhaps Reed should have played even more. Paul went 4-6 from the field with 11 rebounds. If he grabbed a twelfth, DePaul would have won the game.
And now a message from the writer of the blog directly to Mr. Paul Reed
Paul, do me a favor and never, ever, ever, ever shoot another 3 pointer. I love you and all, and I know you have flashbacks that you are still a guard, but dude, shoot from 10 feet in. You are awesome and that is your sweet spot. The coaches are looking for any reason to mention that you are young, that you make mistakes, and that this is why you play less than half the game. Don’t fall into the trap of shooting a 3, because it justifies their reticence and keeps you out of the lineup.
Now back to our program.
Creighton had a problem with his quickness. He didn’t have an overwhelmingly awesome offensive game with 8 point on 3-7 shooting, but he did limit himself to only one turnover with two assists.
Team Ball Handling
Only 13 turnovers on the game. HUGE improvement over the 23 soul crushing mistakes against Butler.
The Last ‘Play’
In the moment, at my seat in the Losetrust, I told my buddy that Cain should just go with it. My buddy Mike, pointed out the 2 remaining timeouts for DePaul, and in dread I realized that the Demons were most likely going to have a poor shot.
What happened next can best described as a three-man weave that ends with Strus losing the ball after drawing 2 men outside of the three-point line. As you can tell in my tweet below, I was beyond pissed.
So let’s talk our way through this like logical humans. You are down by ONE point. Not two or three, you are down by one point. You are dying to get a shot from ten feet in or point blank. You are actively looking to draw contact.
You know which players were having great games? Cain and Maric. You know who had been basically shut down on the evening? Strus. Do you know who has a history of getting to the rack (doesn’t always make it, but gets there)? Cain. Do you know who performs best as a catch and shoot guy? Strus.
Ask yourself, is this a catch and shoot situation, or a drive to the rack and maybe dish situation?
Strus was 3-11 coming into this play; Cain was 5-7; Maric was 10-16.
Let’s see the ‘play’ that Leitao drew up. First, let’s notice he brought in Mr. Zero Offensive Rating (McCallum) for the play. 2nd, he has Cyrus in the game, who is not exactly known for his offensive prowess. Maybe Reed and Roberts might be better options when they were both causing match up problems? Oh, I forgot. They are young players and such.
Let’s watch this in all of its glory.
There are 10 seconds left at the throw in. It goes from Cyrus to Cain to Strus. When Strus makes his first move there are 6 seconds left. He is double-teamed, turns back again, and loses control of the ball, and gets swarmed. Every other player is now out of the play and cannot help.
By setting up this type of play, Leitao immediately limited the team’s options. No pick in roll option, no pick and pop, and no chance to dish. DePaul doesn’t need 3 points, it needs 1. Take it to the hole. Maybe you get a foul called, maybe your get Creighton in a help and recover situation, that they do not recover from.
Additionally, there have been rumors that Strus’s left hand is a little banged up (can’t help but notice the the tape wrapped all over it). Knowing this, I would think I would want to involve this game’s ‘hot’ player who has use of both hands.
0.0 (Offensive Rating)
Tre’s worst game of the year. 23 minutes. 0-4 from the field with 2 turnovers and 4 fouls. Zero….point…..zero.
Tweets of the Game
There were a lot of unhappy DePaul fans, so there are plenty of tweets to choose from.
Justin Roberts Was Bothering Creighton, so What Does Leitao do?
Paul Reed dominates 1st Half, so What Does the DL do?
It Hurts Bad
I agree 100% with this
I agree with Patrick’s Reply: Zero…Point… Zero
This should happen. I would give a standing ovation and probably start crying:
Haven’t Won a Conference Since 2004 (Of Course it was Conference USA)
Last But Not Least, You can Contribute to Help Oust DePaul’s Athletic Directory (I have. It’s time.)
DePaul played valiantly tonight. I was proud of the effort against a superior team. If one thing goes different in the final minute, the Blue Demons win. But, alas, we lost. #FireJLP