Red Raiders start Maui Invitational with Creighton Bluejays

GAME DETAILS

WHERE: Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, HI

IF: Monday, November 21 at 1:30 p.m

WATCH IT: ESPN2

SERIES HISTORY: Creighton leads 3-1 all time.

OPPORTUNITIES: Texas Tech +3.5

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: CREIGHTON

RECORD 2021: 23-12 (12-7 Great East)

HEAD COACH: Greg McDermott

RECORD 2022: 4-0

AP RANKING: No.10

The Creighton Bluejays entered the 2022-23 season after a successful season last year in which they finished fourth in the Big East and qualified for the NCAA tournament. A few key departures injured the Bluejays in the offseason, including top scorer Ryan Hawkins, but returnees Ryan Kalkbrenner and Ryan Nembhard are looking to make a big impact on Creighton’s season this year.

Three Bluejays to Keep an Eye on:

1) Ryan Kalkbrenner (7-1, C)

Kalkbrenner was arguably the Bluejays’ best player to date. An extremely efficient scorer with great aftermovements near the basket, the 7-footer is averaging 16.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 80.6% from field in four games this season. Kalkbrenner has already scored 20+ in two games and will certainly be a challenge for the Red Raider defense and Daniel Batcho.

2) Ryan Nembhard (6-0, W)

Nembhard was one of the best point guards in the Big East and across the country that year. The sly keeper is an assist machine, averaging nearly 7 assists per game, including a 12-assist outing against Holy Cross on Nov. 14. However, one of the qualities that makes Nembhard so effective is that he just doesn’t flip the ball. In four games, Nembhard has committed just two total turnovers, both of which came against Creighton’s win over North Dakota in week two. He’s not that big of a threat for goalscorers – there are no games above 9 points this year – but he can definitely hurt defense in other ways if left unchecked.

3) Baylor Scheiermann (6-7, W)

The hotly sought-after transfer from South Dakota State fits the Bluejays this year after earning First Team All-Summit League and Summit League Player of the Year honors. A good rebounder and three-point taker, Scheierman is traditionally known for his goalscoring skills. The 6-7 senior averages 10.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists for the year.

MATCHUP PREDICTION

Creighton will be the first real test for Mark Adams and the Red Raiders.

Texas Tech must limit turnover and force the Bluejays to slow down to win on Monday. Creighton have never played an opponent who comes close to Tech’s defensive ability and I think they might struggle to get points on the board early in the game. The real key for me is the guard game with the Red Raiders in terms of shot formation and turnovers and the matchup between Daniel Batcho and Ryan Kalkbrenner at rock bottom. I don’t know if the Creighton Top 10 hype is justified only still. Monday will tell us a lot.

Give me the Red Raiders in a close-up.

Score Prediction

Texas Tech – 73

Creighton-71

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