The Jays will complete the second leg of their two-game road trip with a match-up against the Hoyas, who’ve lost three out of their past four contests. Here’s the breakdown:
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
Record: 11-6, 1-3 Big East
NET ranking: 52nd (CU: 27th)
2018-19 postseason: NIT first round
KenPom offensive efficiency: 23rd (CU: 15th)
KenPom defensive efficiency: 96th (CU: 83rd)
Trending: Four players left Georgetown in December. Yet those who remained suddenly started to flourish. The Hoyas won six games in a row (beating Oklahoma State, SMU and Syracuse during that stretch). But you have to wonder how long a thinned-out roster can hold up. Georgetown’s off to a 1-3 start in league play, although those three defeats all came on the road.
Series history: CU leads 8-6 (Creighton won both meetings last year)
Players to watch
Senior center Omer Yurtseven: The 7-footer is tough to stop. But if he's getting deep position Wednesday, he might just be an automatic bucket against the Jays. He’s the best scoring big man in the conference (16.5 points per game) and the second-best offensive rebounder.
Sophomore guard Mac McClung: Georgetown’s really leaned on its playmaking guard of late. He’s attempted 52 shots in three conference games. He’s a little banged up, too. But overall, McClung’s much improved from last year — his 3-point shooting percentage is up (27.7% to 34.7%) and his assist-to-turnover rate is much better (0.98 to 1.6).
Junior guard Jamorko Pickett: He’s up to 40.5% as a 3-point shooter, and the Hoyas are running plays to get him jumpers. He’s good at moving off the ball, especially when he’s hunting down offensive rebounds. You can’t let the 6-foot-8 playmaker roam alone.
Three keys for Creighton
1. Defend in transition: Georgetown will look to push tempo and attack a defense that isn’t yet set. The Hoyas’ average possession length is just 15.5 seconds (ranks 22nd-nationally), according to Ken Pomeroy’s data. And since this game has the making of an up-and-down affair, the Jays will need to be alert and focused the moment Georgetown starts its offense.
2. Rebound: The Hoyas have grabbed offensive rebounds on 27.9% of their own misses in wins. But in losses, that rate dips to 22.9%. They’ve failed to out-rebound their opponent six times this year, and they’ve lost all six games. Creighton, as always, will be undersized. But it has to attack the glass Wednesday, similarly to Saturday when it limited Xavier’s second-chance opportunities and even hustled its way to a few offensive boards of its own.
Make Georgetown’s defense work: Villanova had success against the Hoyas Saturday when it moved the ball, attacked vulnerabilities and then shared the ball to exploit a rotating defense. The Wildcats finished with 20 assists in their win, the most they’ve had in a game in two months. Passing up good looks for great ones. That’s the blueprint Creighton will look to follow.
ESPN’s BPI: Georgetown’s winning percentage is 64.8%
KenPom: Georgetown wins 78-76
Jon Nyatawa’s take: The Hoyas haven’t shown yet that they have the defensive prowess to make CU’s guards uncomfortable. Then again, Georgetown can surround its big men with shooters and put a gigantic amount of stress on all levels of Creighton’s defense. So it should be a shootout. The Jays tend to prefer that style of play. I’ll pick CU. 82-78.
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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.