1. James Milliken is super duper talented
Of the many Bluejays who performed well on Wednesday night, no one was better than James Milliken. The JUCO transfer emerged in his first ever Big East Tournament game with a 22-point, three rebound, two assist and one turnover performance.
"It started with transition points," Milliken said. "And my teammates looking for me. After I hit the first one, it felt pretty good."
Milliken had a 50.0 percent mark from the 3-point line and a 57.1 percent mark from the field itself. The 22-point outing was the second most points he's scored this year, just falling shy of the 23 he scored against South Dakota in the nonconference portion of Creighton's season.
2. Like the city of Chicago's baseball team, with similar colorway, "there's always next year" for DePaul
There weren't high expectations for the Blue Demons heading into 2014. Then, DePaul ascended up the ranks and surprised everyone with their jump into the lead of the Big East Conference in the league's opening sequence.
"I thought our guys came to battle, but the rebounding situation bothered us," said head coach Oliver Purnell of his team's performance. "We were in good position, but could not sustain it. We did not play well for long enough, we did not rebound the basketball well enough. Defensively, we have to get better and that surrounds our rebounding. We need a little bit more size, which we addressed in recruiting."
The season has come to an end for DePaul but not without a lot of promise shone. Billy Garrett Jr. was terrific again in his sophomore campaign, after winning the Big East Rookie of the Year Award last year. Myke Henry was shot out of a cannon this year and was one of DePaul's most significant contributors. And Tommy Hamilton showed promise as well as one of the nation's most efficient shooters and better defensive rebounders, too. Who knows? Maybe the bounces will go their way next season...
3. Like years past, 3-point shooting helped the Jays
Maybe it's a flash in the pan, but Creighton's 3-point shooting ways returned to prosperous form on Wednesday night at The Garden. The Bluejays shot 7-for-17 from the 3-point arc, totaling up a 41.0 percent mark. That might look better in the NBA given the differences in distance, but when you consider that CU was shooting 34.3 percent on average this season from the perimeter, the lofty 40.0 percent mark looks pretty dang good. DePaul, meanwhile, shot a meager 7-for-22 from deep.
In addition to the performance that Milliken had, Will Artino performed magnificently as well. He and his head coach had lots of commendable things to say about his night in New York.
"Will was exceptional in the second half," head coach Greg McDermott said of Artino, who scored nine points, grabbed eight rebounds, and nabbed three steals in 22 minutes in the first round of the Big East Tournament.
"Coach told me to come in and bring some energy," Artino told Sean Saint Jacques after the game. "We did a great job of not getting rattled, and we were able to keep our composure and stick to the game plan."