So if you didn't see last night's game, you should do exactly what I did after watching it:
1) watch it again to make sure you aren't in a weird real-life form of Inception
2) laugh/cry as hard as you can every time you see Villanova give up a wide open three
3) repeat steps one and two.
Now that you're done crying tears of blood or laughing hysterically, we are prepped for the best part of the day, where we grade Villanova on last night's performance. But see I got to thinking, the good homie Chris Lane suggested that I'll have more fun grading Creighton.
He's absolutely right.
SO instead of grading Villanova's piss-poor performance and using every profane word possible and then spending the rest of the day in church, I'll be grading the ridiculous and historic output from the BlueJays. Seems to start a good trend, every time the Wildcats lose (which I'll assume won't be too many more) we'll dissect some game film from how the opposite team broke them down. Good? Good.
Doug McDermott, forward: 28 minutes, 8-for-13 from the field, 5-for-8 from 3PT, 2-for-2 FT, 23 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 TO's (Grade: 9.6/10 | A):
Positives: Do I really have to name them all? Honestly, I was a little skeptical of how well McDermott could be at the next level, in fact, I originally thought he wouldn't make it. But after hearing how close Jay Wright is to him and how much he's seen him play, then re-watching a few hours of offensive tape on him, I'm convinced he'll be a strong NBA player. He's got one of the purest releases I've seen in a while at the collegiate level and his scoring last night was efficient, 15 of his 23 from beyond the arc and abusing every mismatch Coach Wright threw his way (there were plenty).
Negatives: Doug doesn't equal negativity, but the two turnovers as you were destroying a team saves Douggy from an A+. Still a pretty dominant performance nonetheless.
Ethan Wragge, forward: 28 minutes, 9-for-14 from the field/3PT, 27 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 fouls (Grade: 10/10 | A+)
Positives: If there is any possible way you think Wragge doesn't deserve a perfect game, then you didn't watch the first five minutes of game action. The more I re-watched the tape from last night's game, a third of his made shots I acquaint to shooting from NBA range and no one guarding him, another third is just being a great shooter, the last third is from Villanova playing their usual lax perimeter defense where they expect the shots just not to fall. Well, on Monday they fell from the heavens.
Look at how many Wildcats attack McDermott in the paint leaving Wragge open at the top of the screen:
These are how he got his shots off. Wragge played his role perfectly. If you told me before Monday that McDermott wouldn't have the most points on the team, I'd chuckle.
Jahenns Manigat, guard: 28 minutes, 6-for-7 from the field, 4-for-5 3PT, 19 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 foul, 1 steal, 0 turnovers (Grade: 9.3/10 | A)
Positives: Another nearly perfect game from one of the three Creighton players that scored in double figures. Manigat only missed one shot. Outside of Austin Chatman, he was one of the main players distributing the ball for Creighton which lead to their Big East record 21 triples. Every single deep shot came by way of an assist and a big chunk of his five dimes were setting up Wragge. Like most of the team, he stayed out of foul trouble for the game.
Negatives: Defensively he was usually matched up with James Bell or caught on a switch in the low post with JayVaughn Pinkston which resulted in Villanova scoring inside and from the perimeter from Bell. Manigat also didn't take as wide open shots as McDermot or Wragge. Look at how close Kris Jenkins is to swatting his shot:
Though he had a small amount of space before this shot (which did go in), Jenkins was in on the shot before he fully released the ball. One more half second and it would have been a bucket in transition for Villanova coming from a big swat. He benefitted from the spacing that Creighton used with the ball movement from Chatman and where Jenkins had to jump from and other players opposed to where they were shooting. Jenkins is starting his jump from college range but Manigat and Wragge were shooting from NBA range.
Austin Chatman 37 minutes, 2-for-6 from the field, 1-for-2 3PT, 0-3 FT, 5 points, 4 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 TO's, 1 steal (Grade: 8.7/10 | B+)
Positives: Outside of Chatman's 10 assists, he carved up the Villanova point guards every chance he got with his smooth dribble and quick bullet passes while directing traffic around the arc. The vision Chatman had during the game really killed Villanova.
Chatman originally grabbed the ball on the right side of the arc, but he only held the ball for a second before gunning a pass to a streaking Wragge, the same player who inbounded the ball. Three Wildcats are stuck watching the ball inside the arc while Chennault was idly wading in the paint. Wragge ended up scoring from where he received the pass at the top of the key. However even if he didn't, he still could swing to Manigat because by time Wragge caught the ball, Bell (third circle from the bottom) was sprinting to his position and Chennault slid to the right leaving Maginat in a perfect position to score. This play was doomed from the start and McDermott ended up using a pick before sliding to slightly stop Ochefu before he could even get close to Wragge. It all started with Chatman.
These were the kind of plays that carved up Villanova.
Negatives: Though Chatman was getting to the rim, his shots weren't always the best choices, like Manigat, but his didn't seem to fall as frequently. One bad shot was when he was being guarded by Ochefu and he hit a hop-step and used a bank shot instead of slowing the play down. His quick dribble got him opportunities but he couldn't finish at the rim.
From this point on, no other player scored or played significant minutes
Devin Brooks, guard, 23 minutes, 2-for-6 from the field, 0-2 from 3PT, 5 rebounds, 4 points, 4 steals, 3 fouls, 2 turnovers (Grade: 8.3/10 | B)
Positives: Brooks really just stuffed the stat sheet from the bench as much as he could but wasn't very efficient from the floor, missing every deep attempt and half of his two point attempts. But he was strong defensively, aggressively patrolling Villanova's guards from the top of the key.
Negatives: Though he played tough defense, it was his defense that resulted in some fouls on loose balls and once underneath the basket when switching onto Pinkston. He also finished the game with two turnovers and no assists.
Isaiah Zierden, guard, 19 minutes, 2-for-5 from the feidl, 2-for-3 3PT, 6 points, 2 fouls, 1 turnover (Grade: 8.1/10 | B-)
Positives: Zierden was the only player off the bench to connect from deep and he did so the same way his teammates did, by abusing the space from the perimeter that Villanova gave them. Take a look at this shot:
By time Zierden was half a second from leaping, look at how much space he has between Ryan Arcidiacono. Arch's head is toward the ball and his arms are down as his opponent is about to make a three point attempt. By time Arch got his hands up on this shot, the ball was half way to the rim. Arch was on his way to defend as Zierden was on his way up with the ball. There was another few feet of space between the players when Zierden originally caught the ball. This is what led to so many high IQ shots from Creighton, that, and they were almost always shooting from NBA range, making it very difficult to defend from that far. However, this shot was late in the game. Arch isn't doing poorly guarding the usual perimeter, but it's hard for me not to think that shots like these weren't on the scouting report.
Negatives: On defense Zierden was pretty much a liability. He got trapped under the rim against Ochefu and Pinkston more than once while playing out of position or on a switch, which resulted in fouls. He didn't really help Creighton that much outside of two shots.