Going to a game at the Qwest Center is always an adventure whether it is just me or if my family tags along. But on Wednesday, by the time the game was over, there were some real odd things happening. Here are just a few of the significant things of the evening:
- The Men’s and Women’s basketball teams played a doubleheader for the first time together at the Qwest Center.
- Because of the doubleheader, the Men’s game started at 8:00.
- The area usually reserved for the student section was full of fans. (The students are gone for Christmas break). Announced attendance was over 16,000, one of the top attendance numbers of the season.
- Creighton didn’t score a point until they were seven minutes into the game.
- We had Quick Change for our halftime entertainment.
- The shooter in the Big Lots shootout hit all the shots including the half-court shot and won the $500 gift card.
I wondered to myself how many people showed up thinking it was a 7:00 p.m. game? There were only about 1700 people for the Women’s game, but by the time the Men’s game started, there were a good amount of people in their seats and you could actually feel a buzz of people at the game.
And what can you say about Quick Change? Each season when they perform at the Qwest Center, it still amazes me how they do that stuff so flawlessly.
In the end, the Bluejays go home with an 18 point victory.
When a team gets a new coach, there are always new philosophies that get put into place. Whether it is a new defensive scheme, like implementing a 1-3-1 zone defense for your core instead of a man-to-man, or a new offense which goes to a slow down, grind it out game instead of a full court pressing and up and down the court kind of game.
For me, it has taken a while to adjust to Coach McDermott’s styles where there are limited offensive possessions and not so much defensive pressure in the full court. What I have learned is that scoring points is a premium this season. In the past seven games, the Bluejays have averaged a little over 62 points a game. But they have now won four games in a row after defeating Samford on Wednesday night 58-40.
What is probably more amazing is that although they walked away with an 18 point victory, Creighton failed to score a point in the first seven minutes of the game. Samford loves to shoot the three pointer more than any other team in the nation. That could have been a dangerous combination. Luckily for the Bluejays it did not come to fruition and their defense kept things in check.
Once again, the two most consistent players for Creighton so far this season, Antoine Young and Doug McDermott, stepped up and played solid games to lead the Bluejays to victory. Samford spent their time trying to defend down low against Kenny Lawson and Gregory Echenique, which they were pretty successful with. The leadership of Young got things going for Creighton scoring their first points of the game. He was only 6-16 from the field but hit the shots when they mattered the most and carried the team on his shoulders like he has all season. McDermott fought for rebounds and had a knack for scoring around the basket and behind the arc. The freshman finished with another double-double and continues to impress.
As the new philosophies continue to be implemented this season the possessions and the scoring will be a premium. But if Antoine Young and Doug McDermott can continue to be as consistent as they have been throughout the non-conference season and the defense can hold up, the rest of the players can continue to fill in around them and there will be different heroes each night.
As conference season approaches, it will interesting to watch how things will evolve and maybe I will be used to the Bluejays scoring only 60 points a game. As long as they can walk away as winners like they did on Wednesday night.