The Jays have just one day of prep before they’re back on the court. A Sunday home game against North Florida is up next for CU. Here’s a breakdown of the matchup:
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2018-19 Record: 16-17, 9-7 Atlantic Sun
KenPom offensive efficiency: 158th (CU: 6th)
KenPom defensive efficiency: 208th (CU: 102nd)
Trending: North Florida won eight in a row before losing in the A-Sun tournament semifinals last season. The Ospreys expect to carry that momentum into this year, particularly since they return four starters from that team. They were picked to finish second in their conference. They have, however, suffered 15-point defeats at Florida and at Iowa in the early going.
Series history: Sunday is the two teams’ first meeting.
Three players to watch
Senior guard Ivan Gandia-Rosa: He’s often making the right reads in ball-screen situations and in transition. He’s not flashy, but solid. The Atlantic Sun’s assist leader last season simply gets the ball where it needs to go. Plus, he’s made 19 of his 39 3-pointers (48.7%) this year.
Sophomore forward Carter Hendricksen: His 6-foot-7 frame will make it more difficult for CU’s shorter guards to disrupt his shooting rhythm. He’s 14 of 34 (41.2%) from 3-point range so far this year.
Junior forward Wajid Aminu: He’s listed at 6-foot-7, but he plays much taller. The 2019 Atlantic Sun defensive player of the year already has 10 blocks in six games. On the other end, he’s a threat to roll to the hoop after setting a ball screen, and then elevate for a rim-rattling dunk.
Three keys for Creighton
1. Defend the 3-point line: North Florida has attempted 398 field goals this year. More than half of those were 3s. In fact, 53.8% of the Ospreys’ total points have come from 3-point range (the highest rate in the country), according to Ken Pomeroy’s data. There will be shooters all over. And just getting a hand up won’t be enough for the Jays, either. They’ll likely have to make an extra effort to keep UNF from getting comfortable on the perimeter.
2. Attack inside: Creighton may be tempted to rely on its jump shooting ability, particularly if North Florida turns to its nontraditional extended zone defense. CU is 11th nationally in 3-point shooting (42.7%), so that is a strength. But the Jays may find some easy buckets against an opponent that doesn’t have a great deal of height. They might even be able to work their way into some second-chance attempts up close (Iowa got 20 offensive boards against the Ospreys on Thursday).
3. Put the game away: This is assuming, of course, that CU can build an early lead. Perhaps the quick turnaround will take some sting out of the Jays’ attack. But to this point, they’ve been incredibly effective in the first halves of games (plus-30). Not so much after the break (plus-12). If indeed Creighton has the advantage, it can’t let North Florida hang around, because the Ospreys have the potential to get hot in a hurry.
ESPN’s BPI: Creighton’s win probability is 91.2%
KenPom: Creighton wins 83-68
Jon Nyatawa’s take: It looks like another favorable matchup for the Jays, who don’t mind getting into a 3-point shooting contest with a perimeter-oriented opponent. The only issue, though, is North Florida will attack in waves. Its rotation goes at least 10 deep. So CU will have to empty its tank. Creighton wins, 80-70.
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2016: Creighton players from left Toby Hegner, Tyler Clement and Kobe Paras react to a play in the first half. The Jays would lose to Rhode Island 84-72 in the first round.
2016: Creighton's Justin Patton reacts to a call as he fouls out of the game.
2016: Creighton's Toby Hegner reacts to the loss to Rhode Island in the locker room after the game.
2016: Creighton's Marcus Foster is fouled by Rhode Island's Cyril Langevine.
2014: Creighton coach Greg McDermott hugs his son, Doug McDermott, as he leaves the game during the final moments of an 85-55 loss to Baylor.
2014: Doug McDermott, from left, Ethan Wragge, Will Artino, Jahenns Manigat and Austin Chatman sit on the bench during the game's closing minutes.
2014: CU's Doug McDermott gets a clear shot at the basket.
2014: CU's Austin Chatman, center, and the rest of the team take in the loss in the locker room after the game.
2014: Creighton's Ethan Wragge hits a second-half three point basket in front of the Creighton bench during a 76-66 Jays' victory.
2014: CU's Grant Gibbs fights with Louisiana's Elfrid Payton under the basket.
2014: Doug McDermott drives to the hoop as Louisiana-Lafayette's Elfrid Payton, No. 2, Shawn Long, No. 21, and Elridge Moore, No. 22, defends during the first half.
2014: Austin Chatman celebrates teammate Jahenns Manigat, No. 12, scoring a basket while being fouled.
2013: Creighton's Doug McDermott, left, and Grant Gibbs try to press Duke's Mason Plumlee.
2013: Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Creighton coach Greg McDermott exchange a few quick words in the hall after the game.
2013: Gregory Echenique, front, and the other players applaud the fans at the end of the Duke game.
2013: Creighton's Doug McDermott doesn't find much space against Duke's Mason Plumlee.
2013: Gregory Echenique goes for the hoop past upended Cincinnati defender Justin Jackson. The Jays would win 67-63.
2013: Creighton's Doug McDermott looks for an open teammate against the Cincinnati defense.
2013: Creighton's Gregory Echenique, left, and Ethan Wragge, right, acknowledge the fans following the win over Cincinnati.
2012: Creighton's Josh Jones gets off a 3-pointer over North Carolina's Harrison Barnes. The Jays would lose 87-73 in the third-round matchup.
2012: Creighton's Gregory Echenique dunks over UNC's John Henson.
2012: North Carolina's John Henson, right, confronts Creighton's Grant Gibbs, left.
2012: CU's Ethan Wragge, left, and Josh Jones, center, reflect in the locker room after the loss to UNC.
2012: Alabama's Trevor Releford missed a game-winning shot with CU's Josh Jones playing tight defense. Creighton would win 58-57.
2012: CU's Avery Dingman, left, embraces Grant Gibbs after Alabama's final shot didn't go in.
2012: Creighton's Doug McDermott, left, and Gregory Echenique, right, crowd Alabama's JaMychal Green.
2012: The referee keeps a close eye on Alabama's Andrew Steele as he plays tight defense against Creighton's Doug McDermott.
2007: Nevada's Kyle Shiloh, right, pokes the eye of Creighton's Nate Funk while both track a loose ball in the air during the Jays' 77-71 overtime loss.
2007: Creighton's Anthony Tolliver shoots against Nevada's Denis Ikovlev.
2007: Creighton's Dane Watts throws his elbows as he protects the ball from Nevada's Dennis Ikovlev (from left), Nick Fazekas and Marcelus Kemp.
2007: Creighton's Nick Porter reacts to the Bluejays' loss to Nevada.
2005: Creighton's Anthony Tolliver reacts to a foul called on him during the Jays' 63-61 loss to West Virginia.
2005: Creighton's Johnny Mathies, center, jumps for two but is swatted by West Virginia's Johannes Herber, right.
2005: Creighton fans cheer during a timeout after the Bluejays took a 10-0 lead to open the game against West Virginia.
2005: Creighton coach Dana Altman watches from the sidelines as the Bluejays and West Virginia duke it out.
2003: Creighton's Kyle Korver loses the ball after stealing it under the Central Michigan basket. The Jays would go on to lose 79-73.
2003: CMU's J.R. Wallace, left, and Tony Bowne, on floor, chase a loose ball with CU's Kyle Korver, No. 25, and Tyler McKinney, No. 24.
2003: Creighton coach Dana Altman watches Central Michigan take the lead in the second half.
2002: Creighton's Kyle Korver, left, tries to get by Illinois' Cory Bradford in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Jays would fall 72-60.
2002: Creighton's Larry House has layup is blocked by Illinois' Robert Archibald.
2002: Illinois coach Bill Self yells during his squad's game against Creighton.
2002: CU's Terrell Taylor kicks Cory Bradford's pass.
2002: Creighton's Terrell Taylor puts up the game-winning shot in double overtime to beat Florida 83-82 in a first-round game of the NCAA Midwest Regional.
2002: Creighton's Brody Deren, left, shoots over Florida's Udonis Haslem.
2002: Florida's Justin Hamilton, left, ties up Creighton's Joe Dabbert in the second half.
2002: Creighton's Kyle Korver celebrates after CU goes into overtime against Florida.
2001: Iowa's Jason Smith and Creighton's Kyle Korver scramble for a loose ball during the second half of the Hawkeyes' 69-56 win over the Jays.
2001: Creighton's Livan Pyfrom throws down the dunk over Iowa's Dean Oliver and Duez Henderson.
2001: Creighton seniors Ben Walker, left, and Ryan Sears leave the court after losing to Iowa.
2000: Creighton's Ben Walker, right, drives against Auburn's Scott Pohlman in the first round. The Jays would go on to fall 72-69.
2000: Creighton's Ryan Sears, left, and Justin Haynes, right, trap Auburn's Scott Pohlman.
2000: Creighton coach Dana Altman tries to get the Bluejays into position to press after they come with three-points of tying the game in the last minutes.
2000: Creighton seniors Donnie Johnson, left, and Matt West, right, watch the seconds tick away on their final game of their careers at Creighton.
1999: Creighton's Corie Brandon, right, leans around Maryland's Danny Miller, left. The Terrapins would win 75-63.
1999: Creighton coach Dana Altman signals jump ball to the officials after his players tied up Maryland.
1999: Creighton's Rodney Buford drives against Maryland's Laron Profit.
1999: Maryland's Terrell Stokes , left, and Steve Francis, right, right, box in Creighton's Ben Walker.
1999: Members of the Creighton basketball team, including Donnie Johnson, left, Justin Haynes, No. 40, and Alan Huss, No. 34, celebrate during the closing moments of an upset win over Louisville in the first round.
1999: Creighton's Ben Walker, on ground, reaches for a loose ball between Louisville defenders Cameron Murray, left, and Marques Maybin, right, during the second half.
1999: Creighton's Ryan Sears reaches out to attempt to knock the ball away from Louisville's Marques Maybin.
1999: Creighton's Doug Swenson, left, and Ryan Sears , No. 5, pressure Louisville's Tony Williams.
1991: Bob Harstad, the 1990 Missouri Valley player of the year, goes up for a shot over Seton Hall's Anthony Avent, the 1991 MVC player of the year, with Chad Gallagher getting position for a possible rebound. The Jays would go on to lose 81-69 in the second round.