Game 14 - Georgetown (7-6) vs. Creighton (9-4)
Nuts & Bolts
Date: January 2, 2024
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Capital One Arena - Washington, DC
How to Watch: CBS Sports Network
Matchup History: Creighton leads all-time series 14-9
Last Meeting: Creighton def. Georgetown 99-59 on 3/1/23
Betting Lines: Via DraftKings
Spread: Georgetown +12.5
Prediction: Georgetown 63, Creighton 68
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Georgetown has had ten days off after losing 81-51 in Milwaukee against #6 Marquette. It was by far the Hoyas worst performance of the year.
Marquette is not only one of the best teams in the conference, but one of the best in the country. However, the Hoyas floundered early and often in the game and it was never close.
Just over 12 minutes into the game, the Golden Eagles went up double digits and never let Georgetown get close again.
The Hoyas shot 33% from the field, 20% from three (5-25), and 55% from the free throw line while dishing out just 8 assists on 20 made baskets and committing 19 turnovers.
"We didn't show up today,” Head Coach Ed Cooley said after the loss. “Very, very disappointed in our overall preparation today. That was just a bull***t performance by Georgetown today."
Now, following the longest break between games all season, the Hoyas host Creighton in its Big East home opener. The Bluejays are also 0-2 in the conference and desperately need to get back in the win column.
How will Georgetown after the long break following a 30 point loss? I’m sure it hasn’t been the most fun holiday season around the basketball program following yet another winless start in conference play.
It’s been an extremely disappointing start to the season for the Creighton Bluejays.
Coming into his 11th season as head coach, Greg McDermott and the Jays are coming off its best ever season, advancing to the 2023 Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament before falling to the eventual national runner-up, San Diego State.
Entering this year, expectations were sky high, with CU expected to contend for a conference title and a Final Four bid.
Fast forward to now, and this team feels as far away as ever from being a Final Four or even conference title contender.
Creighton is 9-4 and has lost its first two conference games, including a two point loss at home to Villanova and a five point loss on the road against Marquette.
The Jays also have lost to Colorado State and UNLV while its best wins have come against the underperforming Alabama Crimson Tide, Iowa, and a road win over early-season surprise Nebraska.
In the offseason, Creighton lost two of its most important players to its Elite 8 run, with Arthur Kaluma transferring to Kansas State and point guard Ryan Nembhard transferring to Gonzaga.
That left the Bluejays with Steven Ashworth, a Utah State transfer who was prolific from three last year with the Aggies.
He has been a major step down thus far from Nembhard at point guard, averaging just over 8 points per game while shooting just under 36% from three after shooting 43% from deep a season ago.
Beyond Ashworth, returning big man Ryan Kalkbrenner has been off to a very slow start. The back-to-back Big East Defensive Player of the Year has really struggled in Creighton’s biggest games up to this point, leaving the lane more open than years past and the Jays with a significantly less imposing presence defensively than the last couple of years.
Where Creighton lives and dies is the three point shot. More specifically, the three point shot of Baylor Scheierman.
Scheierman leads CU with 18.6 PPG to go along with his team-high 7.5 RPG while dishing out 4.2 APG and shooting 44.6% from the floor.
In CU’s losses, he’s averaging 17 PPG and 32% from three. In CU’s wins, he’s averaging 19 PPG and 39% from deep.
The Jays are 7th in the nation with 11 made three pointers per game while shooting nearly 30 three’s each contest.
CU is good enough to win the games necessary to make the NCAA Tournament, but is clearly not the contender it was last year.
If the Jays want to make it to the Final Four in Phoenix, or even out of the opening weekend in March, it’ll all come down to shooting.
Live by the three, die by the three.