The Week That Was:
- Multiple Bid Talk—As the Valley non-conference season comes to a close, there is a lot more talk that the MVC will get more than its one automatic bid this season. Creighton and Wichita State appear to be the strongest in the league right now, but Indiana State and Northern Iowa are close behind. These four teams were talked about before the season started and have delivered in non-conference play. There are some good wins and some bad losses.
- Creighton Dominating—The Bluejays have received a lot of attention behind the performances of Doug McDermott. They capped off their non-conference season by defeating Northwestern to go 3-0 against the Big Ten. Granted, the three teams they beat (Northwestern, Nebraska, and Iowa) may finish at the bottom of the league, but that is still impressive. McDermott is second in the nation in scoring, while Creighton as a team leads the nation in assists.
- Jankovich Ejected—It is not uncommon for coaches to get a little emotional in a game to the point that they get a technical foul. However, it is more rare for the coach to get a second technical foul in a game to get themselves ejected from the game, much less before halftime. This is exactly what happened to Illinois State head coach Tim Jankovich last week when the Redbirds hosted Arkansas-Little Rock. Jankovich was ejected by referee Gerry Pollard with 2:31 to go in the first half after a disputed foul called on a Redbird.
Let’s take a look at each team and how they did in the non-conference side of things.
- Creighton (10-1)— The Bluejays have probably had the best possible outcome during their non-conference season. They already have more road wins this season than they did all of last season. Doug McDermott has been the star for this team scoring over 20 points in the last 10 games. However, the other bright point of Creighton’s performances have been from Gonzaga transfer Grant Gibbs. Gibbs had 22 assists over the last two games. The connection between McDermott and Gibbs has been a key combination for Creighton this season. As a team they lead the nation in assists. Things are going so well this season, there are even stories about the dancing grandma in the stands.
- Wichita State (9-2)— The Shockers started off a little slow, but have been pretty dominant as they closed out their non-conference season. They suffered a couple of losses in the Puerto Rico Tip-off tournament, but have rebounded to get wins over UNLV, Utah State and Tulsa. One thing that will help Wichita State in conference play is depth. They have nine players averaging ten minutes or more of action a game. Read the rest of this entry »