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Courtside Players Club (12/13/23)


CBB

(1 Pick)


9:00PM EST: Creighton -13.5 (3 Units).


The Blue Jays got smoked by Colorado State on a neutral site and took it personally. Since then, they've won 3 straight and have steamrolled everyone. They beat Oklahoma State 79-65, Nebraska 89-60, and Central Michigan 109-64. Over that 3 game stretch they've shot 102/187 (54.4%) from the Floor and 39/81 (48.1%) from Deep. The Oklahoma State and Nebraska games were both on the road too, so it's not like they've needed the Home Crowd.


The UNLV defense they're about to face just plain sucks. Their defense ranks 334th in opponent effective FG% at 55.4%. Teams are shooting 40.9% from deep against them, that ranks 357th of 362 teams. Over their last 3 Games teams are up to 49%. Creighton attempts 31.2 3-Point shots per game, 2nd most in the Nation. It's not like they're just throwing them up there either, this team shoots 40.2% from deep on the year. They consistently get open looks, regardless of the competition. UNLV certainly isn't going to deter them from their 3-PT shots.


The Rebels aren't terrible offensively, but the Creighton defense is elite. They rank 26th in defensive efficiency and Ryan Kalkbrenner has a lot to do with it. Creighton forces teams off the 3-PT Line and makes you shoot 2's. Over 75% of opponent FGs are attempted inside the Arc, most in CBB. Then once you're ran off the 3-PT Line there's the 7'1 Kalkbrenner protecting the Rim and deterring shots. Creighton's holding teams to 50.3% at the rim, 26th best in CBB. Put all that together and it's no surprise the Blue Jays force more opponent 2-PT Jump Shots than any other team in the Nation.


This UNLV team got blown out 85-71 by Southern despite being 20.5-point favorites. They also lost by 8 to an FSU team that will finish near the bottom of the ACC. Richmond smoked them by 17 too. They lost by 3 at home against Loyola Marymount their last time out. They're 3-4 so far with wins over Pepperdine, Stetson, and Akron...


They aren't a very deep team either. They get an average of just 16.4 bench points per game, 245th in CBB. They have done a decent job playing clean basketball, but they haven't played a juggernaut yet. Their 14 fouls per game ranks 28th in CBB. The thin rotation and fear of foul trouble also plays into their defensive struggles. Creighton meanwhile ranks 1st in fouls per game and opponent FT attempts per game while playing stellar defense. The Rebels are going to have to earn their points.


Unless Creighton goes cold from deep, they handle this and easily. And even if they do go cold, they'll have no issue scoring at the rim. Their defense is going to stymie UNLV regardless.

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