Arizona St.-Creighton Preview

Doug McDermott finally was called upon to resemble the player

who is the nation’s top returning scorer. He delivered with a

spectacular performance.

McDermott will try to help No. 14 Creighton capture the Las

Vegas Invitational on Saturday night against fellow unbeaten

Arizona State.

Creighton (5-0) won 84-74 over Wisconsin on Friday as McDermott

had a season-high 30 points. He entered averaging 16.2 points after

averaging 22.9 in 2011-12.

“We let Doug go to work,” said coach Greg McDermott, the

forward’s father. “He made really good decisions. He took what the

defense gave him. His pace was better offensively tonight.”

The Bluejays didn’t need much from their star in winning their

first four contests by an average of 28.5 points. Against the

Badgers, the 6-foot-8 junior forward made 10 of 23 shots, although

he was critical of his performance.

“I got off to a slow start. I missed a lot of shots I normally

make,” Doug McDermott said. “I need to get to the post. I thought

I did a great job in the post. I felt really comfortable being

patient and making reads out of the post.”

Creighton, which began 7-0 last season, finished at 46.6 percent

from the field after entering play Friday leading the country at

57.0. The Bluejays shot 61.9 percent in their 46-point second

half.

“We matched their toughness,” Greg McDermott said. “We wanted to

make a statement. Anytime you play a Big Ten team, it’s a big game.

Wisconsin is unbelievably well coached.”

Ethan Wragge added 17 points off the bench. Wragge is averaging

15.0 points over his last four games while making 17 of 26

3-pointers in that span.

Arizona State (4-0) is seeking its first 5-0 start since

1985-86. Accomplishing that would give the Sun Devils half of their

victory total from all of 2011-12.

Coach Herb Sendek’s team looks much improved from that 10-21

club that finished 10th in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils, who are

averaging 80.8 points after scoring just 61.0 per game last season,

shot a season-high 56.0 percent in cruising to an 83-68 victory

over Arkansas on Friday.

Carrick Felix scored 17 of his career-high 24 points in the

first half and Jordan Bachynski added 14 and matched a career best

with 13 boards. Jonathan Gilling also grabbed 13 rebounds as

Arizona State held a 42-32 edge on the glass.

Along with Felix, newcomer Jahii Carson is a perimeter player to

watch with his team-high average of 18.8 points. Carson, who was

academically ineligible last season, had 19 points Friday.

Creighton knows that Felix and Carson provide a unique

challenge.

“Their guards are a handful,” Greg McDermott said. “We’re

definitely facing a totally different team. We’ll have to use our

bench a little bit earlier. Only half the work is done here.”

The Sun Devils have taken four of six meetings with the

Bluejays, although these teams have not met since the 1973-74

season.