Omaha, NE (Sports Network) - Hoping to keep their perfect record in tact, the
11th-ranked Creighton Bluejays entertain the Boise State Broncos on Wednesday
as part of the 2012 Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge.
Boise State is off to a solid start of its own, having won four of its first
five games, the most recent of which being a 72-56 decision against visiting
UC Santa Barbara last Saturday. The Broncos also have wins over Texas
Southern, Oakland and Louisiana on their resume', while their lone setback
came in a narrow 74-70 verdict at Michigan State. BSU will open MWC play at
Wyoming on Jan. 9, 2013.
Creighton is the highest ranked opponent Boise State has faced on the road in
more than a decade, and the Bluejays have soared out to a 6-0 start, with each
win coming by double digits. The team recently concluded the Las Vegas
Invitational by posting an 87-73 victory over Arizona State last Saturday.
Creighton kicks off MVC action at home versus Evansville on Dec. 29.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between Boise State and Creighton in
The Broncos use a balanced attack to put up nearly 75 ppg, as seven guys
average at least 7.2 ppg. The team boasts just two double-digit scorers in the
form of Derrick Marks (16.4 ppg, 4.0 apg) and Anthony Drmic (13.8 ppg, 6.0
rpg, 3.2 apg), although Jeff Elorriaga (9.8 ppg) is close to joining the
ranks. Boise State is an average shooting team (.443 overall, .343 three-point
range), but the team owns favorable margins in both rebounding (+7.2) and
turnovers (+1.2), and is holding the opposition to just 30.6 percent success
from beyond the arc. Drmic led four Broncos in double figures in the recent
win over UCSB, netting 16 points. Elorriaga added 15, Igor Hadziomerovic had
14 and Marks tacked on 10 for BSU, which hit 44.4 percent of its total shots,
draining 9-of-18 three-point attempts along the way. A 15-9 edge in points
from the foul line helped, as did a 37-22 rebounding advantage and the fact
that the visitors turned the ball over 16 times.
Creighton is fortunate to have one of the best players in all of college
basketball wearing its uniform, as Doug McDermott is averaging 21.0 points and
7.8 rebounds per game. A 51.9 percent shooter who also happens to convert his
free throws at an 87.8 percent clip, there isn't much McDermott can't do as he
has the ability to take over a game at any point. The Bluejays have only one
other double-digit scorer in Ethan Wragge, who is netting 12.8 ppg behind a
near-60 percent shooting effort despite not starting a single game to this
point, and he too is lights out from the charity stripe (.857). Both Austin
Chatman (9.7 ppg, 4.5 apg) and Gregory Echenique (9.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg) are close
to joining the double-digit scoring ranks, and both serves other roles as well
in helping Creighton average a robust 85.2 ppg. The team is shooting 53.4
percent from the floor, which includes a 39.4 percent effort from three-point
land. Defensively, foes are scoring just 62.2 ppg in hitting 38.5 percent of
their total shots, which includes a mere 28.1 percent of their long-range
tries. The 'Jays also own a +7.0 rebounding margin. McDermott scored 29 points
and grabbed nine boards in the recent win over Arizona State, and Wragge
tacked on 13 points in 19 minutes off the bench.
The Sports Network