Seton Hall vs Creighton - Preview

Scouting Seton Hall
Seton Hall is 12-3 on the season and tied for second place in the BIG EAST with a 2-1 league mark. Seton Hall starts 5 sophomores, a group headed by former McDonald’s All-American Isaiah Whitehead (15.5 ppg., 4.5 apg.). Khadeen Carrington (13.9 ppg.) and Desi Rodriguez (12.0 ppg) also score in double-figures, while Angel Delgado (9.3 ppg., 9.9 rpg.) is second in the BIG EAST in rebounds per game
The Pirates score 73.9 PPG and shoot 44.6% from the field, 34% from three-point range and 65% at the line. SHU yields 64.4 PPG, allowing opponents to shoot 40.4%.


Scouting Creighton

Creighton is 11-5 on the season, including an 8-2 mark at home and a 2-0 mark on neutral floors. The Bluejays are 2-1 in league play after an 80-70 win at St. John’s on New Year’s Eve, an 85-71 setback to No. 16 Villanova last Saturday, and a 79-66 win over Georgetown on Tuesday.
The Bluejays are scoring an impressive 85.4 PPG (10th nationally) and have 4 men averaging more than 11 PPG. Boston University transfer Maurice Watson Jr. leads Creighton with 6.2 APG and 13.8 PPG, while Geoffrey Groselle tops the club with 6.4 RPG and is second with 12.1 PPG. He’s shooting a nation-leading 73.8% from the field this year. 
Also averaging in double-figures are Cole Huff (11.0 ppg.) and Isaiah Zierden (11.3 ppg., 1.6 spg.), who lead one of the nation’s top shooting teams in three-pointers made, as well.

The Bluejays return 9 lettermen and 1 starter (Toby Hegner) from last year’s team that finished 14-19 and tied for ninth in the BIG EAST with a 4-14 league mark. Hegner averages 6.7 PPG, while the team’s leading returning scorer (James Milliken) averages 7.7 PPG.


The Coaches

Greg McDermott (Northern Iowa, 1988) is in his sixth season as head coach at Creighton. He is 132-62 with the Bluejays. McDermott has previously been a head coach at Iowa State (2006-10), Northern Iowa (2001-06), North Dakota State (2000-01) and Wayne State (1994-2000). He owns a career mark of 412-257 in his 22nd season and is 281-193 in his 15th Division I campaign. McDermott is assisted by Darian DeVries, Steve Lutz and Preston Murphy.
Kevin Willard (Pittsburgh, 1997) owns a 94-84 record in his sixth season at Seton Hall, which moves his career mark to 139-133 in nine years as a college head coach. He came to Seton Hall after a three-year stint as Iona head coach. Willard is assisted by Shaheen Holloway, Fred Hill and Grant Billmeier.

The Series With Seton Hall
Seton Hall leads the all-time series with Creighton 8-3, including a 6-2 record in New Jersey. The last three meetings have each been decided by exactly one point.

Greg McDermott is 2-2 against Seton Hall and coach Kevin Willard. Willard is 3-2 all-time against Creighton, leading his 2009-10 Iona team to a 63-55 win over the Bluejays at the Old Spice Classic near Orlando, Fla.



Won By One
Each of the last three meetings between Creighton and Seton Hall have been decided by exactly one point, including both meetings last year. Last year was just the second time ever that Creighton played multiple one-point games against the same team in the same season, joining the 2004-05 Northern Iowa series (CU won 67-66 and 83-82).
Creighton is 5-5 in one-point games under Greg McDermott and 78-72 in program history in onepoint games.
Creighton went 0-4 last season in one-point games and its current streak of four straight losses in one-point games is tied for the program’s second-longest streak ever, trailing only a stretch of five straight losses in one-point games between 1947-52.
The 67-66 meeting the last time these two teams met is the most frequent score in Creighton’s history among its one-point games, as it’s happened 10 times (CU has won three).


So Close, Yet So Far
Seton Hall won a pair of one-point decisions against Creighton last season, but Creighton led both games with 17 seconds left.
In Seton Hall’s 68-67 win in Omaha, Creighton took a 67-65 lead with 17.2 seconds left on a tip-in by Will Artino, only to surrender a three-pointer by Sterling Gibbs with 2.2 left. A game-winning attempt from three-point range by James Milliken hit the front rim and rolled over the rim.
Five weeks later in Newark, Angel Delgado’s putback with 15.9 seconds left provided the winning margin of SHU’s 67-66 victory. After Delgado’s score, Austin Chatman was stripped while shooting and Milliken, Geoffrey Groselle and Milliken (again) all missed putback tries amid contact in the final frenzied seconds before the clock expired. Creighton trailed for just 65 seconds in the entire game, and led by as much as 14 points in the contest.


Creighton improved to 2-1 in BIG EAST play Tuesday with a 79-66 win over Georgetown that featured a 27-point explosion from junior point guard Mo Watson Jr. who has quickly established himself as one of the top floor generals in the conference in his first season after transferring from Boston University
• The Bluejays previously opened league play with an 80-70 victory at St. John’s – their first and
only road win to this point in the season. Two of CU’s three losses away from home in non-conference
play came to top-15 opponents in then no. 14 Indiana and then-no. 3 Oklahoma but Creighton also fell
to Loyola-Chicago on the road as well. The second-highest scoring team in the BIG EAST at 85.4 ppg, the Bluejays averaged just 68.0 ppg on the road prior to the conference slate
• Big man Geoffrey Groselle dropped 22 points in the conference opener against St. John’s but has been
held to 13 points combined on just seven shot attempts (4-of-7) in the last two games. Groselle, who
is averaging 12.1 ppg after posting 5.4 ppg last season, has been held in single digits in each of the
Bluejays last two losses. For the season, Groselle is shooting 73.8% from the field with 76 makes on 103
attempts, all of which have come from inside the arc. According to KenPom.com, that ranks as the fifthbest 2-point field goal percentage in the nation (min 2 shots/game)
• CU has knocked down 141 3-pointers on the season, the highest total in the conference, while also
maintaining the top 3-point percentage at .385. The Pirates did well to limit the Bluejays’ opportunities
from deep last season, holding them to 14-of-38 (.368) combined while sweeping the season series
• Creighton has benefited from consistency and stability among their starting unit as the Bluejays will
enter Saturday as the lone BIG EAST team to start the same five players in every game this season.
Along with Watson and Groselle, freshman guard Khyri Thomas has started alongside juniors Isaiah
Zierden and Cole Huff. Together, the five have combined for over 70 percent of the team’s scoring
through three conference outings (162 pts / 230 pts, .704)
• Seton Hall and Creighton have split four meetings since CU joined the BIG EAST and the last three
matchups have all been decided by a single point. In the most recent installment in the series, The Hall
erased a 14-point deficit to record a 67-66 victory at Prudential Center (2/28/15)

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