Monday, November 21, 2011

College Basketball Top 25: Creighton #25 in ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, after wins at UAB, vs. Iowa

The 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Rankings in ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll Week 3 (Nov. 21) has the Creighton Bluejays (4-0) at #25, after picking up wins at UAB (70-60) and vs. Iowa (82-59) in Des Moines. Creighton moved up seven spots from 32Nd in last week's release.

It's the first time that Creighton has been ranked in the coaches poll since being tabbed 24Th on March 12, 2007. The last team from the MVC to be ranked by the coaches was Northern Iowa, which was 13Th in the final USA Today Coaches poll at the conclusion of the 2009-10 campaign.

Creighton will enjoy Thanksgiving on Thursday, then host Campbell (3-0), who will play at Iowa (3-1) on Wednesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, before heading to Omaha. Creighton's game with Campbell on Friday will tip off at 7:05 pm at CenturyLink Center Omaha.

Creighton didn't make the Top 25 in the AP Poll, finishing #28, right behind Michigan State (2-2). Creighton has not been ranked in the top 25 by the Associated Press since being 20Th on Nov. 13, 2006. Creighton was last as high as 28Th in the AP poll on March 12, 2007, when it was 26Th. The Jays had been tied for 33rd in last week's AP poll.

The Missouri Valley Conference honors Doug McDermott as Player of the Week

After double-digit wins at UAB and versus Iowa on a neutral floor, the Creighton men's basketball team on Monday garnered its share of recognition from the league office and national pollsters.

Sophomore forward Doug McDermott was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week after averaging 26.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. He shot 63.6 percent from the field (21-33), including 5-of-7 from downtown (71.4 percent) and also sank 5-of-6 free throws (83.3 percent).

McDermott began his week with 27 points and seven rebounds in a 70-60 road win at defending Conference USA champion UAB, snapping the Blazers 38-game non-conference regular-season home winning streak. He made 11-of-18 field goals, 3-of-4 shots from downtown, and both free throws while going against a UAB front line that included Preseason C-USA Player of the Year Cameron Moore.

On Sunday, McDermott returned to his home state and put on another impressive all-around display in an 82-59 demolition of Iowa. The sophomore had 18 of his game-high 25 points in the first half to help CU to a 45-29 intermission lead, and finished with 25 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes. He sank 10-of-15 field goal attempts, including 2-of-3 from deep, and also made 3-of-4 foul shots.

McDermott also became the first Bluejay since 2003 with three straight games of 20 points or more, something last accomplished by two-time MVC Player of the Year Kyle Korver.

This is the first MVC Player of the Week accolade in McDermott's career, though he did set a league record last winter with seven MVC Newcomer of the Week awards.

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