Over the course of the first fifteen minutes of play, it appeared as if Cole Huff and the Creighton Bluejays would march on to where their season had previously ended: Madison Square Garden. Over the next 25 minutes, however, it was shown that this would not be the case.
BYU implemented a zone defense - also known as McDermott's kryptonite - and proceeded to force turnovers, force low percentage shots, and manhandle the Jays on the boards. They proceeded to kill the Jays by driving into the middle and putting up a litany of layups that inevitably drew a foul afterwards. The Jays couldn't answer back, no matter what they tried.
Creighton went cold from three. They coughed up the ball on opportune possessions. They couldn't handle that damned zone defense. Ultimately, they lost. They lost in the most routine way imaginable for the 2015-2016 season; by being outworked and falling apart on the defensive end.
Man, it just looked so good in those first fifteen minutes.
You can find the stats below. For the interim, I'm going to start talking about this year in a sort of retrospective, a short and sweet musing about what I perceived during the 2015-16 season. If you'd like the final stats of this one, keep scrolling; you'll find them.
Creighton started out this season with little to no expectations. Most thought that they'd finish 9th or whatever in the BIG EAST, I figured they'd improve. Throughout the first portion of their schedule it seemed as if those pollsters were wrong, Khyri Thomas was a burgeoning star on the cusp of stardom with his magnificent dunks and even more electric defensive styles. We saw the emergence of Cole Huff in Las Vegas, a sweet, smooth jumper that was absolutely to die for.
Some forget that Tyler Clement was the de facto number two point guard to start the season. Malik Albert was still warming to McDermott's offensive sets, so Clement was tabbed to play second fiddle to then relative unknown Mo Watson Jr. It was the Arizona State loss that opened some eyes to the limitations that Clement offered and ultimately became the bane of Creighton's existence.
Then, Creighton lost to Loyola. I spiraled into a deep psychosis where this was an actual fucking thing. I soon devolved into a madman after that stretch of play, wishing for death upon those who sought advice from an elastic membrane that is the college basketball season. When the holidays came around and relatives asked what I was doing, I would begin to weep and repeat, "I don't know anymore!"
My darkest hours came when Creighton played Villanova. There I was, on press row and looking like a complete dink as my brain melted into a marmalade soup. As Nova's shooting percentage began to rise, as did the feeling of absolute worthlessness. I was an infant again, being reborn into some sort of cesspool of a college basketball season, where I only knew of immense defeat yet knew nothing of the glory of pursuant wins under a meadow of palm trees.
That was, until, the Georgetown game. Oh yes, you remember. The game where each and every one of us were in the cemented belief that losing was no longer an option, that winning was the only outcome foreseeable. Oh my how wrong we were. Maurice Watson Jr., looked like the Hulk on steroids, ANGRY and unbeatable, elusive and sly with the rock in his hands. Yet, when he fouled out with under a minute to play, the baroque style of Creighton University crumbled to the very deathbed we wished it hadn't. I didn't sleep much that night, I could only rock back and forth while Thom Yorke sang me lullabyes that would only enhance the mind's eye. That, my friends, was quite the low.
When you reach your lowest peak it's only fair to reach the highest of highs. Creighton welcomed #5 Xavier into the CenturyLink Center and proceeded to wallop the seemingly untouchable Musketeers. I recall Jalen Reynolds telling the Bluejay faithful to, "shut the fuck up," only for the fans clad in blue to roar louder than they had previous, forcing their will upon that lightly stained wood and the players that inhabited it. A magnificent showing from the impervious Maurice Watson showed that he was to be taken with a swell sense of weight; to take him lightly would be a fool's errand.
The season then wore on. Creighton never again reached the high that beset them on that faithful night against Xavier; they could've only been so lucky. Instead, they lost five of their last six games and limped into the BIG EAST tournament with the dream of capturing our hearts with a championship. Instead, they ran into Whitehead and his droogies who happened to be on a mission of their own to destroy the league and impose their defensive will. Selection Sunday arrived and Creighton was delegated into the NIT.
There are so many more storylines I'm leaving out because there's just so much more to delve into and I haven't got the time. What you need to know is this:
~ Creighton will be damn good next year.
To the seniors on this team - Geoffrey Groselle and James Milliken - thanks for being extremely entertaining. I hope you both make billions and billions of dollars so you can sit around and eat lobster out of a caviar dish.
To the rest of the players - please don't send me into an emotional black hole where light is unable to penetrate. I do not like it when that happens; it is better when it does not.
To the readers who click on my articles and don't read them - I'm right there with you. This shit is garbage.
To the readers who click on my articles and do read them - you must have as many issues as I do. Be positive, friend.
To my family - why are you reading this, aren't you already ashamed?
To my deceased dog - I'm sorry I didn't give you more treats.
To 1620 the zone - thanks for letting me talk on your radio show.
To the Big East Coast Bias staff - I can't believe you still let me write here.
To Spaceman and Omar, the cats that live in my house - get a job.
To my friends - why are you friends with me?
To ESPN - haha
To everyone involved with Creighton athletics - thanks for letting me hang around with you this year.
To my 6th grade teacher who was a Georgetown fan - whatever, man.
To whatever deity I praise - thanks for the luck.
To you, whoever you are - you look great today.
Signing off for the 2015-2016 Creighton basketball season, this is Alex Sindelar reporting from the peripherals of the internet. Good night.