The UNI Panthers are on the road in Missouri Valley Conference play this evening to take on 10th ranked Creighton. The Panthers are 2-3 in the Valley after a home win over Bradley and coach Ben Jacobsen must find a way to slow down Blue Jay standout Doug MerDermott.
The junior is averaging nearly 24 points per game and is coming off a 39 point effort in a victory over Missouri State. UNI coach Ben Jacobsen says you have to do what you can with McDermott to make it difficult for him to get the ball and limit what he can do after he gets the ball.
“That’s a tall order because he is so good at finding spots, not just in the post…if there is a way you can limit his touches or just it a little bit harder, I think that is an important part of it. And then just throw some different things at him,” Jacobsen says.
Jacobsen says Creighton is far from being a one man team and everybody is playing at a high level. He says they are trying to figure out some things they can do at both ends of the floor to try and win and he says it’s a long list when you play Creighton.
Creighton coach Greg McDermott says the Panthers are much better than their 9-8 overall record. He says they have played a very aggressive schedule and are a couple of possessions away from having a very different record.
At 5-0 in the Valley and 16-1 overall the Blue Jays continue to climb in the national polls. “Nobody is unbeaten anymore and you are 16 and 17 games in and that’s college basketball,” McDermott says. But he says the polls mean a lot more 6 or 7 weeks from now than they do today.