I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the Jays since Wednesday’s game. I keep reminding myself that a performance like that doesn’t happen too often. Coach Mac said in his postgame presser that it was “relatively perfect.” It was a night where everything just came together. I have a few thoughts that keep coming to my mind, so I want to air them out.
Damien Jefferson continues to ball out
It’s been written about, tweeted about, talked about in postgame pressers, etc. so I’m not sure I can provide any unknown stats or original analysis to show how great DJ is playing. I just want to keep giving him shine, because it has been thoroughly earned. He is playing like an All-Big East player right now, and only seems to be improving every week. He does a little bit of everything, and the area he impacts seems to change from game to game. There has been at least one game this season in which he led the team in points, rebounds, assists, or steals. The fun part about watching him is you don’t need to check the box scores to gauge his impact on games… you can just feel it. I remember watching the St. John’s game and about halfway through the second half I thought to myself, “Damn, it seems like DJ has been the best player on the court, I wonder how many points he has.” I went to check the box score and he had taken just two shots at the time. He has a unique way of impacting the game and it is so fun to watch. Let’s not take it for granted.
The Jays can play some damn defense
I think it is safe to say that we have seen enough out of Creighton’s defense to be sure that this isn’t a fluke. This is far and away the best defensive team the Jays have had under Greg McDermott. KenPom has them at 26th in their defensive ratings, the best in the Big East. For reference, the best defensive rating Creighton has finished the season with under Coach Mac is 46th in 2016-2017. It is now four straight games that they have held their opponent to under 36% shooting, which Creighton had only done eight other times since joining the Big East. That’s pretty pretty good. They move together on a string, they cover each other’s mistakes, and they compete. If this team is going to make that evasive postseason run that the program and fans have been eyeing for a long time, it will be the defense that gets them there.
Mitch Ballock is Creighton Basketball
I am going to let Coach Mac do the talking here. If you have not watched the postgame press conference after Wednesday’s game, just take a moment to watch from 7:50-9:30. I got chills hearing the passion and sincerity in Mac’s voice. Mitch embodies everything Creighton’s culture and identity is about. It is also just hilarious that one of the best shooters in the country can take 2 shots and Creighton can still win by 30+. That is nightmare fuel for the rest of the Big East. Let’s not take him for granted either.