Creighton 2010 College Insider Tournament Preview
Creighton Bluejays - Missouri Valley Conference (16-15, 10-8)
Big Wins: 1/16 Wichita State (57-56), 1/24 Missouri State (76-72), 2/9 Indiana State (65-52)
Bad Losses: 12/12 at George Mason (72-75), 1/30 at Drake (74-79), 3/5 vs Bradley (62-81)
Coach: Dana Altman
Probable Creighton Starters:
Antoine Young, Sophomore, Guard, 6.6 ppg, 2.9 apg
Josh Jones, Freshman, Guard, 4.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
Justin Carter, Senior, Forward, 9.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Ethan Wragge, Freshman, Forward, 6.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Kenny Lawson, Junior, Center, 13.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Key Creighton Roleplayers:
Darryl Ashford, Junior, Guard, 7.5 ppg, 1.3 apg
Casey Harriman, Junior, Forward, 3.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Kaleb Korver, Junior, Guard, 2.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg
Wayne Runnels, Junior, Forward, 4.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg
Cavel Witter, Senior, Guard, 7.1 ppg, 1.7 apg
Why The Bluejays Can Surprise:
The loss of some key players has kept Creighton down in the Missouri Valley Conference standings, but as long as Kenny Lawson is on the floor, the Blue Jays can make some postseason noise. The 6-9 center has been the clog in the middle and held this team together with his 13.1 points and 6.8 rebounds. When the offense is stuttering, which is often the case, the Bluejays can always get the ball inside to Lawson.
Another big man has made a big splash this season as well. Senior Justin Carter is only 6-4, but he is a tough rebounder and a versatile scorer. Not only will he slash to the basket and use his size around the rim, but he can even step outside and hit the mid-range jumper and occasionally the three-pointer. Ethan Wragge, Wayne Runnels and Casey Harriman are all capable forwards. Wragge only has a handful of starts, but he is playing his best basketball late in the year. Wragge is not a strong rebounder, but he is a dynamic scorer who is shooting 42.1 percent from long range.
Why The Bluejays Can Disappoint:
Wragge is the best shooter on the team and there really is not a great perimeter shooter in the backcourt. Darryl Ashford and Cavel Witter will hoist up some long balls, but they have been terribly inconsistent. Ashford is the best scorer on the perimeter and he only averages 7.5 points per game. Cavel Witter was a great sixth man last year, but he has generally failed to step up when his team needed him, whether it be as a starter or off the bench. Coach Dana Altman has even tried out freshman Josh Jones in the starting lineup. While he has had some good games and is not a bad outside shooter, he is still an inexperienced freshman.
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Who To Watch for Creighton:
Antoine Young has the unenviable job of trying to keep this team together and get the offense moving. Young is a fine ball handler and is certainly capable of creating opportunities for his teammates, but having the ball in the sophomore’s hands is not always safe, especially late in the game since he is such a poor free-throw shooter. Having a ball handler that only shoots 58.0 percent from the charity stripe is a problem in close games and it may be a problem again somewhere down the line in the postseason. If Witter and Ashford can help Young out by handling the ball and keeping their turnovers down, it will allow Young to feel like he does not have to force the action. In any event, somebody on the perimeter has to score or the opposition can stop Lawson and Carter under the basket and that will lead to an early tournament exit for the Bluejays.
Creighton By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.4 (162nd in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.4 (183, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.5 (177, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.1 (115, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.3 (68, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.6 (223, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.9 (107, 8)
Rebound Margin: 0.3 (187, 7)
Assists Per Game: 13.6 (126, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.4 (69, 5)