The 2015-16 Creighton team will be a much different one than last year's team that tied for last in the Big East and ended up with the 10th seed in the conference tournament. This year's squad boasts both length and quickness and after a decent non-conference schedule that includes away trips to Oklahoma, Indiana, and home games with Nebraska and Arizona State, the Bluejays will look to endure what might be the toughest conference schedule amongst their peers.
The Big East conference schedule is a round robin, so everyone plays each other twice and no real distinct advantage or disadvantage should be had. Unless you look at this year's conference slate for Creighton.
It's the way the games fall that could make it difficult for them. The Jays begin the season on the road on New Year's Eve against what looks to be a rebuilding St. John's team, but after that they are home to arguably two of the best teams in the conference, Villanova and Georgetown, teams that both swept Creighton last season.
The game against the Wildcats should be rocking though as it lands at 9 p.m. on a Saturday.
Next up for the Jays is two out of three on the road; at Seton Hall, Providence at home, and DePaul away. These three are certainly winnable games but Creighton could easily begin the Big East schedule 2-4 or 1-5 and it wouldn't be a stretch for what should be an improved Bluejays team.
Creighton's next game on January 23 features a home game against a pre-season ranked Butler before traveling to Georgetown, a place the Jays have not had any success since joining the conference. Creighton will host Seton Hall before visiting Villanova.
If you remember last season's game at 'Nova, it wasn't much like the Wragge/McDermott bombardment two seasons ago. Villanova ended the game before the 10 minute mark in the first half.
After Philadelphia, Creighton hosts DePaul and Xavier, both of which will be crucial mid-season games. After the Xavier game, it really gets tricky for Creighton.
The Bluejays will play on the road four of the final six Big East games, including two in a row to end the season. The Jays are at Marquette on Feb. 13, at Butler Feb. 16 and then home for Marquette (again so soon?) and St. John's on Feb. 28. Creighton then ends their regular season at Providence and at Xavier.
All teams might say they have a tough schedule, but the beginning and end of Creighton's conference season would have been tricky for even Doug McDermott and company.
The good news is that this Creighton team has many opportunities to impress. Games away from the CenturyLink Center include Indiana, Oklahoma, Villanova, Georgetown, Butler, Xavier, and Providence. Even if Creighton wins two of those and holds ground at home, they could be in the conversation come Selection Sunday.