After Shocking Upset, 8-Ranked Creighton Might Have a Cause for Concern

Published 12/14/2023, 4:09 PM EST

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The season of twists and turns is here. While favorites are facing defeats, underdogs are rising on the NCAA’s horizon. The latest in the list is #8 Creighton Bluejays taking a 79-64 beating from the UNLV Rebels in the Jack Jones Classic held at the Dollar Loan Center in Henderson. The defeat has become a telling comment on Creighton’s college campaign.

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It seemed like the Bluejays were at the mercy of the Rebels as they couldn’t make it above 40% shooting and hitting only 8-of-28 made 3-point shots. Interestingly, including this one, Creighton has lost 2 matchups to the Mountain West teams. The other one was in November last month when the Bluejays took a hit from #17 Colorado State with a 69-48 loss.

Flaws in Bluejays

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In the recent episode of Field of 68, sports analyst John Fanta was joined by Chris Mack and Matt McCall in a discussion regarding Creighton University’s shocking loss against UNLV.

In the discussion, the analysts talked about Creighton’s performance piece by piece while observing how the season might be for them soon. Chris Mack said, “My biggest concern for Creighton moving forward isn’t losing a game at UNLV but it’s the fact that although Greg runs great stuff he’s got a thousand set plays. The longer your season goes on, the more you’re scouted. The more teams know your set plays and then you have to play after the play. And I don’t see a whole lot of playmaking on Creighton’s team, you know, like I did a year ago.”

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Observing Creighton’s head coach Greg McDermott’s strategy for this season through the Bluejays’ performance in the matchup, Mack added, “They’ll be a good team, but I don’t think they’re a top 10 team. And that’s no disrespect. It’s just sort of the cards they dealt with right now in my opinion.”

Bluejays was led by Ryan Kalkbrenner who scored 22 points, with Baylor Scheierman and Mason Miller contributing 16 and 11 points respectively. However, the grass looked greener on the other side.

The Rebels taking center stage

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Kaylan Boone scored 10 points and 6 rebounds as the Rebels pulled off a significant 79-64 win over the Bluejays. The new face of the Rebels came off as a force. “I just wanted to help these guys, I’ve been practicing with them every day. They’re hard workers, and we all just want to get wins. Obviously, we had a great game plan and it played out in our favor, but it felt amazing,” Boone was reported by CBSSports as saying

His twin brother Kalib hooped 25 points including 12-of-17 made shots and also grabbing a team-high 7 rebounds. Adding to the score was Dedan Thomas Jr. with 16 points, 9 assists, and 13 points from Justin Webster.

Praising the opponent team’s skills, Creighton’s head coach Greg McDermott said, “UNLV played great, they controlled tempo probably as good as anybody we’ve played this year.”

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With Creighton’s performance slowed down, the season forward is going to be a rocky road to survive for the Bluejays.

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Written by:

Dimple Gupta

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“Learn to thrive in thorns in order to become the rose of your life”. I like this very idea of resilience and how it defines six and seven footers of the NBA. They fall down, but they never stay down.
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Bilal Handoo

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