Thursday, February 13, 2014
Another day of predictions from Buzz and Zurg. Tonight, Zurg takes an in depth look at Creighton-Butler, while Buzz gives his opinion on St. John’s-Seton Hall.
Records to Date:
Creighton vs. Butler, 7:00 PM EST, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Zurg: Creighton (AP: 18, KenPom: 5, BPI: 13) are coming off a loss for the first time since January 20th. Following a road loss to Providence, Creighton traveled to Villanova and hit their first 9 3Ps along its way to an all-time Big East record 21 3Ps.
The Bluejays may not need a historic shooting night to take down Butler (AP: NR, KenPom: 112, BPI: 95). Doug McDermott will look to make his first and last appearance in Hinkle Fieldhouse a special one.
Creighton has the most efficient offense in the Big East and the second most efficient offense nationally. In addition, the Bluejay defense has been the second-best in the conference this season behind Villanova.
On the other side of the ball, Butler boasts the worst offense and second-worst defense in the conference, and its effective Field Goal Percentage (45.8%) and defensive effective Field Goal Percentage (56.8%) rank at the bottom of the Big East.
In their previous matchup in Omaha, Creighton had no issues with the Bulldogs, winning 88-60. McDermott scored 28 with an Offensive Rating of 142 using 36% of the team’s possessions.
Doug McDermott is on pace to be the first Big East player to average at least 20 points and 7 rebounds since Marshon Brooks did it for Providence in 2010-11. Luke Harangody accomplished that feat three times (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10).
Kellen Dunham is one of three players in college basketball this season to take more than 13.5 shots with at least 7 3PA and score less than 17 points per game.
Creighton will head back to Omaha with a win. Doug McDermott puts on a show – and the Bluejays are victors.
Creighton 79, Butler 60
Buzz: Brandon Miller is starting to lose his team this year, and they are in desperate need for success. The sharpshooting Bluejays aren’t what Butler needs right now. Even though this one is in Hinkle, Creighton will roll. Creighton 80, Butler 63
St. John’s at Seton Hall, 9:00 PM EST, Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
Kevin Willard’s Pirates reeling a little bit after consecutive losses at the hands of Villanova and Marquette. Next up is Steve Lavin’s Red Storm who is rolling as of late winning 6 games out of their last 7. Seton Hall (AP: NR, KenPom: 94 , BPI: 104) is a mere 1-4 at home in conference play and in order to be a good team they need to be able to protect their home floor. Meanwhile, St. John’s (AP: NR, KenPom: 39, BPI: 49) is in the midst of trying to play their way into the field of 68.
The key to this game is the Johnnies mindset. After starting so poorly with a 0-5 start to Big East play, the expectations weren’t high for them to go on this roll. Now that they are here; however, the Red Storm are expected to play consistent basketball. Will they? They definitely have the talent to do it.
Seton Hall- Brian Oliver: The Pirates offense needs Oliver to be clicking from the outside in order to hang with the firepower of St. John’s. The 6’7” wing is shooting 44% on the season from downtown and is averaging 12 points a game. Sterling Gibbs and Fuquan Edwin will have much more room to penetrate and attack the rim if their 3-point threat can spread the floor for The Hall.
St. John’s- Rysheed Jordan: A Big East and Beyond favorite, Jordan has tremendously improved as of late and this coincides with the Red Storm’s surge. He doesn’t have to score to be effective as can be seen in the Creighton upset on Sunday. Jordan had 7 assists to only 1 turnover, which makes it 5-0 for St .John’s in games when Jordan has 5+ assists.
Kevil Willard will have his team ready to play after losing to Marquette on Tuesday. Combine that with a letdown for St. John’s after a huge upset against Creighton and this one will be a fight to the wire. I do think St. John’s survives to set up a huge matchup with Georgetown this weekend, but barely. St. John’s 70, Seton Hall 66
Zurg: St. John’s has won three straight – and six of seven overall. Seton Hall ranks in the bottom half of the conference in adjusted Offense and Defense and have lost three of four. St. John’s will have to battle, but the Red Storm will get another win to move its tournament résumé in the right direction yet again. St. John’s 74, Seton Hall 64.