Creighton 2007 NCAA Tournament Capsule
Creighton Bluejays - Missouri Valley Conference (22-10, 10-6)
Seed: #10 - South Region
Big Wins: 12/9 Xavier (73-67), 1/24 at Missouri State (66-62), 3/4 vs Southern Illinois (67-61)
Bad Losses: 11/18 at Nebraska (61-73), 1/4 at Indiana State (52-55), 2/20 at Illinois State (55-65)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2005, First Round loss to West Virginia
Coach: Dana Altman (2-7 in 7 NCAA appearances)
Probable Creighton Starters:
Nate Funk, Senior, Guard, 17.6 ppg, 3.0 apg, 3.5 rpg
Isacc Miles, Freshman, Guard, 6.0 ppg, 1.7 apg
Nick Porter, Senior, Guard, 10.6 ppg, 2.5 apg, 5.5 rpg
Dane Watts, Senior, Forward, 10.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg
Anthony Tolliver, Senior, Center, 13.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.8 bpg
Key Roleplayers for Creighton:
Nick Bahe, Junior, Guard, 3.1 ppg, 1.0 apg
Josh Dotzler, Sophomore, Guard, 2.2 ppg, 2.1 apg
Brice Nengsu, Junior, Guard, 1.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg
Manny Gakou, Senior, Center, 1.0 ppg, 0.8 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
The Bluejays have a superstar in Nate Funk. The 6-3 senior is a prolific scorer from anywhere on the floor and can handle the ball. After missing last year with an injury, Funk has long ago put to bed any concerns about being in a funk, if you will. He leads the team with 17.6 points per game and will be the leader on the floor throughout March.
While Funk alone would make Creighton a good team, what makes them so dangerous is the presence of Anthony Tolliver and Dane Watts under the basket. When Funk was gone last season, Tolliver took over the leadership role and now Creighton has an experienced, talented inside-outside combination. Watts has developed into a great rebounder and has become more consistent with his scoring down the stretch.
Why Creighton Can Disappoint:
Injuries have hampered the young career of point guard Josh Dotzler. It was the absence of Dotzler that coincided with the struggles of CU at the end of last season. This season they were ready to play without him, but Dotzler is finally becoming healthier and seeing his minutes increase. He is not a major shooting threat, but is a quality point guard that CU could use. It is more injuries and defections that have hampered the Bluejays depth, especially up front. Ty Morrison left the team in late December after averaging over ten minutes per game. That leaves a lot of pressure on Manny Gakou to provide a few quality minutes off the bench, albeit literally just a few minutes per game.
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Who To Watch:
Nick Porter may be the wildcard for Creighton. Porter has put together a great season, averaging 10.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists. However, it tends to be hit or miss with Porter. The senior also needs to look less like a freshman and avoid making silly mistakes and causing turnovers.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.2 (200th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.4 (21, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.6 (156, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.5 (68, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.5 (11, 1)
Rebound Margin: 2.4 (87, 4)
Assists Per Game: 13.4 (170, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (58, 5)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Nevada
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