A closed scrimmage against Iowa State might have provided Creighton with the one thing it needed most after a month of practice.
“It was just good to beat up on somebody else instead of ourselves for once,” Creighton guard Jahenns Manigat said. “We've been battling each other, and this gave us a chance to meet up with another pretty good team.”
The Bluejays and the Cyclones squared off Sunday at the CenturyLink. NCAA rules prohibited fans or news media representatives to be present. An official score and/or statistics could not be kept, and results and statistics could not be posted on the schools' web sites or released to any type of media outlet.
The schools could keep score and statistics for their own use. Chances are, if you could obtain a copy of those statistics, you would see that Creighton won the scrimmage.
Numbers aren't really important at this stage. What is important was what the Bluejays learned about themselves after taking on an Iowa State team that returns several key players from teams that made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA tournament.
“We had a few things exposed that we know we need to do a better job of doing,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “Iowa State is a different team in that they really don't have a true center, and that goes against some of the things we've been working on defensively.
“But their 'five' man, Georges Niang, is hard to guard on the perimeter. I thought for the most part our inside guys did a good job of keeping him in front and making him take tough shots.”
Creighton forward Doug McDermott came away from the scrimmage encouraged.
|BLUEJAYS TODAY ON FACEBOOK|
|Join the conversation on the Bluejays Today Facebook page.|
“There were some things that we were a little worried about after our first couple weeks of practice that really weren't too big an issue,” he said. “I thought we did a really good job of doing what Creighton basketball is all about — playing for each other, playing unselfish basketball.
“We got it up and down and tried to limit the turnovers as much as possible. I think we did that.”
McDermott said he thought the Bluejays held up well against the Cyclones' style of play.
“They are very skilled and like to shoot a lot of 3s,” he said. “They run a lot of dribble-handoff, weave and shoot a lot of 3s. That's tough to defend when you're not used to seeing it that often.
“I thought we handled it well. It was a great scrimmage.”
Manigat came away convinced that he and some of the other Bluejay veterans might be getting more rest this season. Creighton returned all of its key perimeter players from last season's 28-win team and added a pair of junior college guards in Devin Brooks and James Milliken during the offseason.
Creighton also brought in true freshman guard Darian Harris, although it's uncertain at this point if he'll play or redshirt this season.
“Potentially, this team is going to be a lot deeper than last year's,” Manigat said. “I don't see myself or Grant (Gibbs) or Austin (Chatman) having to play 38 or 39 minutes in some games. That should be good for our pace and the way we want to play.
“The guys coming off the bench will be just as good as the guys that are starting. That will be a good asset for our team.”
The Bluejays returned to work Monday in preparing for the season, which begins Nov. 8 with a home game against Alcorn State. Creighton will play an exhibition game Friday against Northern State.
“Today we just tried to shore some things up,” Greg McDermott said. “We've been going pretty hard with a lot of practices so we lightened it up a little. And I know guys are looking forward to that day off tomorrow.”
Tickets go on sale today
Creighton officials are anticipating a busy day Tuesday as single-game tickets for the 2013-14 men's basketball season will go on sale at 10 a.m.
Tickets can be purchased at the CenturyLink Center box office, at the school's on-campus ticket office at the Ryan Center or at Ticketmaster locations.
Tickets also can be purchased by phone through Ticketmaster (800-745-3000) or online at www.ticketmaster.com. All available tickets are for upper-bowl reserved seats and cost varies depending on the game selected.
Fans wishing to purchase tickets at the CenturyLink box office should note that a lottery drawing will take place at 9:30 a.m. to determine selling order.
Tickets for women's games also will go on sale but will not be sold at the CenturyLink Center.