It appeared early in Saturday's Creighton-Tulsa game that the officiating crew hadn't gotten the memo about the new charge-block rule in college basketball this season.
Charges were called three times in the first eight minutes of the Bluejays' 82-72 victory. Two other offensive fouls — one for pushing off with an elbow on a drive — also were whistled.
“It was like they were going to call them today like they used to,” Creighton guard Grant Gibbs said.
Wrong. There wasn't another charge called the rest of the game. Six times in the final 32 minutes the Bluejays attempted to draw a charge. Six times they were whistled for a block that gave Tulsa a chance for a three-point play.
“We know with the new rule that we're not going to get the benefit of the doubt,” Gibbs said. “But then they called a few early, and I think we fell into that old trap.”
In an attempt to increase scoring, the NCAA instituted a rule change before the season in which defenders clearly had to establish position before offensive players begin their motion to shoot the ball. Officials also were instructed to emphasize calling existing rules against such things as hand checks, especially on the perimeter.
Creighton had drawn just one charge in its first three games this season. Gibbs drew one three minutes into Saturday's game, and teammates Jahenns Manigat and Doug McDermott were called for charging before the game was seven minutes old.
Gibbs drew two of the six blocking calls later in the game.
Creighton coach Greg McDermott said he and his staff are going to have to evaluate the film to determine how to approach the rule moving forward.
“We have to figure out just how far away we are from getting a charge called,” McDermott said. “Are we getting set before the ballhandler makes his move to the basket or is it not even close? If it's not close, then we have to come up with a different technique.”
One alternative, McDermott said, would be to foul before the offensive player starts his drive to keep from giving up a three-point play.
“Make him earn it at the free-throw line,” McDermott said.
Manning: Doug's future bright
Tulsa coach Danny Manning played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association after a collegiate career that saw him wind up as college basketball's eighth all-time leading scorer.
After watching Doug McDermott score 33 points in Saturday's game, Manning predicted a long and prosperous NBA career for Creighton's two-time All-American.
“I've watched Doug play for years,” said Manning, who tried to recruit McDermott's high school teammate, Harrison Barnes, to Kansas. “Doug is a fun player to watch. I really appreciate his style of play.
“He's always in motion, he's unselfish, he plays hard, he's skilled. He's going to have a very, very successful career at the next level for a very long time.”
Green light from 3-point line
Creighton made 11 of 26 3-point attempts, with three — two by McDermott and one by Austin Chatman — coming in a critical 13-4 run to open the second half. That allowed Creighton to extend a one-point halftime lead to 10.
The Bluejays then missed 6 of their next 7 attempts from beyond the arc, with several of the shots coming early in the shot clock.
“It's hard to tell good shooters not to shoot the ball,” Greg McDermott said.
He did stress to his team afterward the need to recognize situations before jacking up a shot from outside.
“When we're in the double bonus, sometimes the first open 3 isn't the best shot for the team,” he said. “There's no chance for a foul, so let's get it moving and try to get a post touch or drive it a little. You want to get to the free-throw line in those scenarios.
“But this is a team I've always given the green light to, and that's not going to change any time soon.”
Bits and pieces
» Chatman's 19-point game bettered his previous career high of 16.
» Saturday's crowd of 18,078 was the seventh largest in program history.