Is it Time to Turn On the Panic Button For the Creighton Bluejays?
At some point the light bulb has to come on because over the course of the past eight games this is not the Creighton squad that we are accustomed to seeing.
The Bluejays began the season as one of the premier mid-majors teams in all the country. Led by an All-American candidate and one of the nation’s most prolific scorers in Doug McDermott, the upswing for Creighton this season was seemingly through the roof.
Now however, the Bluejays have hit a snag and head coach Greg McDermott and his squad better figure things out quickly. On Wednesday night, with a two-game losing streak staring the in the face, the Bluejays hit the road to Northern Iowa only to come away with a similar result to the past two games: a loss.
The Panthers controlled the tempo for the most part and the lack of bench production from Creighton’s side of things certainly did not help. The Bluejays shot 43.8% from the field in the loss, which is actually not that bad at all, but given the fact that they mustered only 54 points only shows that they gave into exactly what Northern Iowa wanted; a slow paced game.
In addition, Creighton totaled only four points outside of their starting five while missing nine free throws in a seven point road loss. The numbers don’t lie; Creighton did not deserve to win this game.
The time to dwell on their recent struggles however, should be second to none. A third consecutive loss has sent Creighton to 9-5 within the Missouri Valley Conference. The Bluejays five league losses have all come over the course of the past eight games, as well. It’s not your average mid-season slump though, Creighton is losing games that they cannot afford to lose and this rut is actually coming more so towards the end of the regular season rather than the middle.
Creighton will hit the road to Evansville on Saturday, squaring off against a team that they have already defeated by 17 points this season. Securing a win this weekend is not only crucial to ending their current skid, but it holds increased potential on their chances of a regular season conference crown and down the line seeding within the NCAA Tournament.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS