Creighton Bluejays Live And Die By The 3-Pointer

By Matthew Sturgeon
Creighton Bluejays, Doug McDermott
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Creighton Bluejays are great and fun television. They operate a highly efficient offense centered around arguably the nation’s best player, Doug McDermott, and on any given night this team has the potential to absolutely go off. I’m talking 96 points, 21 made three-pointers, go off. Just ask Jay Wright and the Villanova Wildcats. I’m pretty sure Nova is still having nightmares about Ethan Wragge.

Since McDermott’s arrival, the Bluejays have been one of the more interesting and exciting teams in all of college basketball. And in the past year, the Creighton program took a major step forward with a change in conferences that moved them from the lowly Missouri Valley to the well respected Big East.

Pretty big adjustment, right?

Well, Creighton has seemed to make it look easy. And although the whole conference realignment nonsense has weakened the Big East to some extent, it still remains a very strong league. As it stands today at the halfway point of the Big East season, the ‘Jays are out to an 8-1 start. They currently sit atop the standings and have beaten the likes of traditional Big East powers Georgetown, St. John’s and the aforementioned Villanova.

There’s a lot to like about this team, and with the way they shoot the three ball it’s conceivable that they could knock off anyone in the country. No one is going to want to see McDermott and Co. in their bracket.

But there are also some legitimate concerns. And again, it goes back to the way they shoot the three.

Creighton has attempted 532 three-point field goals this season, fifth most in the nation. The Bluejays launch an average of 25 threes per night. And while they make them at a remarkable rate — shooting 43 percent, the best in college basketball — eventually they’re going to run into a night where they don’t shoot it very well — probably sometime in March.

That’s going to be a night where they need to go inside or look to attack the rim, and they simply don’t have the personnel to do so. Last year in the third round of the NCAA Tournament against Duke, Creighton went 2-for-19 from three, ultimately losing the game by 16.

It’s not farfetched to think that could happen again.

Come tournament time, the teams who survive and advance are the ones who have balance. That’s something Creighton just doesn’t have.

Living and dying by the three will only take you so far.

Matthew Sturgeon is a College Basketball writer for You can follow him on Twitter @OfficialSturg27

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