Creighton 2009 NIT Tournament Preview
Creighton Bluejays -Missouri Valley Conference (26-7, 14-4)
Seed: #1 - Creighton Bracket
Big Wins: 12/10 Dayton (77-59), 2/8 at Northern Iowa (77-71), 2/21 George Mason (76-63)
Bad Losses: 11/25 at Arkansas Little Rock (69-71), 1/17 at Wichita State (61-74), 1/24 Drake (62-74)
Coach: Dana Altman
Probable Creighton Starters:
Josh Dotzler, Senior, Guard, 3.2 ppg, 3.4 apg
Booker Woodfox, Senior, Guard, 15.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg
P’Allen Stinnett, Sophomore, Guard, 12.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Justin Carter, Junior, Guard, 7.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg
Kenny Lawson Jr., Sophomore, Center, 8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.6 bpg
Key Creighton Roleplayers:
Casey Harriman, Sophomore, Forward, 3.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Kaleb Korver, Sophomore, Guard, 3.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Kenton Walker, Sophomore, Forward, 5.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Cavel Witter, Junior, Guard, 8.1 ppg, 2.3 apg
Antoine Young, Freshman, Guard, 4.9 ppg, 1.4 apg
Why The Bluejays Can Surprise:
Creighton is a great three-point shooting team and Booker Woodfox is the main reason. The 6-1 senior hits an amazing 48.9 percent of his attempts from long range. That is the best percentage in the nation. And it is not like he does not take a lot of three-pointers; he knocks down 2.7 per contest. In fact, Woodfox almost shoots better from beyond the arc than he does inside of it. But Woodfox does mix up his game and will get to the basket as well and that part of his game is even more effective since he shoots 87.6 percent from the charity stripe.
Woodfox is not the only shooter and scorer on the perimeter. Starter P’Allen Stinnett and sixth man Cavel Witter are also dangerous outside shooters. Even Kaleb Korver can come in off the bench and knock down a few long balls and spark the offense. When all those guys are hitting their shots, the Bluejays are a tough team to outscore.
Why The Bluejays Can Disappoint:
Creighton has so much talent on the perimeter that it has a negative effect on the frontcourt. Justin Carter starts at the four spot and he is a 6-4 guard. Carter is a decent rebounder, but when the team lacks size like Creighton does, they will get beat on the glass consistently. Kenny Lawson, Jr. is the big man in the paint. He is a solid scorer around the basket and a good shot blocker, but he is not the greatest rebounder and the Bluejays have to get some production in that department from reserve forwards Kenton Walker and Casey Harriman.
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Who To Watch:
Josh Dotzler does not get the publicity of the outside shooters, but he is the guy that makes the offense tick. The 6-1 senior is a pure point guard in every possible way. He rarely scores, or even looks to score, and instead will spend his time setting up his teammates. His assist numbers are not through the roof, but Dotzler has one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios in the nation. Dotzler is also a superb defender who will shut down some great scorers. Freshman Antoine Young is not the experienced ball handler that Dotzler is, but he is emerging as a competent back-up point guard who can add a little more offense than Dotzler.
Creighton By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.6 (79th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.4 (107, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.6 (123, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.1 (111, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.0 (35, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.3 (30, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.1 (18, 3)
Rebound Margin: -3.4 (292, 10)
Assists Per Game: 14.0 (101, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.3 (42, 2)
Joel’s Bracket Says: Second Round loss to UNLV
By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Basketball Writer
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