The Creighton Bluejays are one of the darlings of this basketball season. Head Coach Greg McDermott has led his Bluejays to a 20-5 record. However, the Bluejays have hit a bump in the road lately.
Creighton has lost its last two Missouri Valley Conference games, putting them in a three-way tie with the Wichita State Shockers and the Indiana State Sycamores. The bad news for Creighton is that they have lost to both the Shockers and Sycamores, so they do not own the tie-breaker.
The Bluejays need to get back on track to have a chance to win the MVC. So will Creighton get back to its winning ways against the Northern Iowa Panthers tomorrow night or will they continue their losing streak?
Here is what the numbers say. First of all, Creighton has not lost three games in a row since the last season in mid-February. Ironically, Northern Iowa started their three game slide last season on Feb 4. They also lost games on Feb. 9 and Feb. 11 of last year.
This year? They have lost games on Feb. 6 and Feb 9. and their game versus the Panthers is on Feb. 13. Looks similar, huh?
Also and more importantly is that All-American candidate Doug McDermott, Greg’s son, has been off in the last two Creighton losses. Doug McDermott is just 10-26 (38.5 percent) from the field including just 2-10 (20 percent) from three-point range. This is well below his 55.2 percent from the field and 48.2 percent from behind the arc this season.
However, Creighton did upend Northern Iowa, 79-68, earlier this season. In the game, McDermott scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half and the Bluejays beat the Panthers in almost every meaningful category. However, he had to take 22 shots to get his 31 points, which is very un-McDermott like.
In addition, in the last two seasons, the Bluejays and Panthers have split their season series.
So what is the final verdict? Northern Iowawill continue Creighton’s losing streak. It’s all in the numbers.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo