BLUEJAYS BACK ON TRACK, BEAT BLUE DEMONS
This game couldn’t have come at a better time for the reeling Bluejays to regain a sense of confidence after dropping two consecutive affairs to Marquette and Georgetown. With a renewed sense to actually perform on offense and defense, with a subpar opponent yet somehow other-worldly elite warrior in DePaul, Creighton found a rhythm on offense, moved the ball with a better ebb and flow than against Georgetown, but most importantly they caught DePaul on an incredibly cold shooting afternoon.
I know DePaul isn’t actually this bad, but they started the game 1-10 from the field and were seemingly unable to hit a shot to save their lives, lest it was from the free throw line. Their first three came with 8 minutes remaining in the half from Chris Harrison-Docks, but by that point it was 26-11, all Bluejays.
The most poignant storyline in this game came with giving Davion Mintz the start at point guard. He didn’t look too swell at practice this week after the Georgetown debacle, thus his starting position was a little up in the air.
He played 10 minutes in the first half, with 2 points, 2 assists, and one turnover. In the second half, Tyler Clement got a majority of the playing time, logging 16 minutes with four assists, one turnover, and two rebounds.
With this newfound tandem of point guards perhaps offers Creighton a more versatile option going forward, adjusting to tempo and pace of the game. Head coach Greg McDermott noted that it was more of a “feel” for what was transpiring on the court that guided his hand in choosing Clement or Mintz.
Late in the first half Marcus Foster checked out onto the sidelines as trainers attempted to remove blood from his uniform, dabbing it with some sort of detergent, before getting fed up and finding him another jersey. The new jersey he was adorned with was Kaleb Joseph’s - the 6’3 point guard from New Hampshire, a transfer from Syracuse who is ineligible this season - and Foster was sporting #14 with “JOSEPH” on the back.
This drew a rise from not only Kaleb from the bench, but the rest of the team, as Foster marched down the court and nailed a three pointer. The look of pure joy on Joseph’s face caused quite the stir as the Jays returned back up the court. A beautiful, hilarious, bizarre moment that is so unique to the game of basketball. After the half, Foster would return to the court in his #0 jersey.
Khyri Thomas was undoubtedly player of the game. His defensive performance on Eli Cain was notable solely because he forced the top-scoring Blue Demon out of sorts. Cain ended up going 4-17 from the field with just 9 points and two turnovers. Khryi also had a phenomenal day on offense, going 7-14 from the field with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Khyri noted after the game that he took the lead as the defensive go-to guy, becoming the vocal leader the Jays desperately needed, that transferred into a confident shooting stroke from beyond the arc.
Creighton will head to Hinkle on Tuesday to face off against soon-to-be top 10 Butler, their record at 19-3 (6-3).
DePaul will host Georgetown at the AllState Arena, their record at 8-13 (1-7).