The same two things were missing from both this photo and Creighton's performance tonight. - Denny Medley
The Bluejays demonstrated the perfect recipe for how to not only fritter away the top spot in your conference, but to do so in embarrassing fashion.
On January 8th, Drake played Creighton on the Jays home court. Grant Gibbs hit a jumper that put his squad ahead by an embarrassing 30-9 margin with 10:53 left to play in the game, and Creighton never led by less than 20 points the rest of the way en route to a 91-61 thrashing of the Bulldogs.
So what did they do tonight? Lose 74-69, of course.
Back on January 8th, Creighton shot a ridiculous 64% from the field, including 59% from three-point range (16-27), and Gibbs' 10 points was fourth on the team. They lost the turnover battle (-7) but outdid them nearly 2:1 in both rebounds (40-22) and assists (28-15). Gregory Echenique and Avery Dingman were the only players to miss more shots than they made.
They also held Drake to 9-of-32 shooting in the first half, including a six minute span where the Bulldogs didn't make a single shot.
So what did they do tonight? All the players not named Doug McDermott shot 4-of-14 in the first half, while Drake drilled in 17 of their 31 shot attempts, ending the first half with a 16 point lead. In the second half, the Non-McDermott's closed the gap by shooting a much stronger 13-of-27 from the floor while holding Drake to only 8-of-24 shooting.
Problem is, they needed every ounce of that to close the gap, and Dougie Fresh was only 2-of-4 from the floor, including exactly one shot attempt in the last seven minutes and none on the team's last three possessions.
Why did Creighton manage to lose to a team that a) they beat by 30 at home and b) who had just lost by 30 to Northern Iowa three nights ago? Because:
A) Nobody but McDermott could do anything right in the first half
B) The solution to this was to have everyone but McDermott do something in the second half
C) This meant that in The Jays final nine possessions, they took ten shots, and McDermott took one of them.
I don't think it's too crazy to say that the poor offensive performance by Doug's teammates was at least a part of how they got into that huge hole to begin with. The solution is not to shoot yourself out of a funk at the sake of not giving your best player the ball.
In 37 second-half possessions, Grant Gibbs shot the ball 10 times. Gibbs, Ethan Wragge and Austin Chatman all shot the ball more than McDermott. I hope Creighton learns from this, because there are several teams on their remaining schedule that are much more dangerous than Drake and will not let the Jays out of such a massive hole.