Published Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 12:01 am / Updated at 1:05 am
Notes: Not only do Jays look good in gray, they play great in those uniforms

Talk about your fashion statements.

Creighton has worn its gray uniforms three times this season, including in Tuesday night's 88-60 win against Butler. The Bluejays have won the games against Nebraska, Marquette and Butler by a combined 61 points.

“I like them,” Creighton forward Doug McDermott said. “We've played our best basketball with them. We'll keep wearing them.”

Teammate Devin Brooks was even more supportive of the new uniforms.

“I like these jerseys,” Brooks said. “It gives me more swag on the floor, more confidence in my game. It's a new look.”

Asked if the gray uniforms increased his swag, Creighton coach Greg McDermott replied, “I didn't know I had any swag.”

The coach wasn't sure about the idea of changing out of Creighton's traditional whites for home games when the seniors approached him last spring.

“This senior class has meant a lot to this program,” McDermott said. “We decided to let them go ahead with it. They've picked when they want to wear them, but they've earned the right to be a little different every once in a while.”

Creighton has six home games remaining but will wear pink uniforms for its next home game, the Jan. 25 meeting with Georgetown. The uniforms will be a part of the school's third Pink Out game designed to raise awareness for cancer.

Pretty pass part of huge run

A lot of things went right for the Bluejays during the 32-6 run that turned a 21-18 lead into a 53-24 bulge at halftime.

No play symbolized that good fortune as much as a nifty bounce pass from Brooks to McDermott midway through the run. Creighton pushed the ball up the court after a Butler missed shot, and Brooks saw McDermott behind the defense.

He threaded a curving, left-handed pass to McDermott, who scored to give the Bluejays a 39-20 lead with 5:51 left in the half.

“It was a great pass,” McDermott said.

Added Brooks: “A great finish, as well.”

Brooks making strides

Brooks followed up a solid performance in Sunday's win over Xavier by scoring nine points, grabbing five rebounds and recording three assists against the Bulldogs. He also didn't turn the ball over in 22 minutes after having four turnovers against the Musketeers.

The 6-foot-2 transfer from Iowa Western continues to make strides in adjusting to his first season of Division I play.

“When I first got here, I was going through the process of adjustment,” he said. “Coach was in my hair, telling me to stay focused and just be myself. Coach has been riding me, and I appreciate it. I see a lot of improvement in my game.”

Brooks said he needs to continue to work on becoming a better defender and making better decisions.

“I need to know when to pass and when to shoot,” he said. “And I need to become more of a leader.”

Greg McDermott beamed as Brooks answered the question in the postgame press conference.

“Good answer, Dev,” McDermott said.

Brooks quickly shot back, “Thanks, Coach. My man.”

Getting along without Gibbs

Tuesday's game was the second Creighton played without guard Grant Gibbs, who is out for four weeks after dislocating his kneecap in the Jan. 7 win at DePaul.

Greg McDermott said he thought Gibbs' replacement, Avery Dingman, appeared more comfortable with his role than he did in Sunday's game against Xavier. Dingman scored six points and had a career-high seven rebounds, and he helped hound Butler star Kellen Dunham into a 5-for-14 shooting night.

“Avery Dingman was much more at ease,” Greg McDermott said. “I think with each passing game, everyone is getting more comfortable with their new roles. That was obvious tonight.”

Big men Will Artino, Zach Hanson and Geoff Grosselle scored 25 of the 35 points recorded by Creighton's reserves. Artino had nine points, four rebounds and blocked two shots. Hanson worked hard down low for eight points, while Groselle's eight points were a career high.

“Those guys went 12 of 15 between them,” McDermott said. “They demanded the ball down low. Will's activity coming off the bench was off the charts. He came out of nowhere to block a couple of shots, and we need some of that.

“Our bench has been pretty good when you consider that we're a man down without Grant and that everyone's role changed in a blink of an eye when he went down.”

Bits and pieces

Ethan Wragge came into the game needing 14 points to reach 1,000 for his career. He finished with six, making the only two 3-point shots he attempted. His next chance to reach the milestone comes Saturday at Providence.

Creighton backup guard Alex Olsen missed the game because of illness.

The win was Creighton's 10th at home this season. The Bluejays have won at least 10 home games for 18 straight seasons.

The Bluejays also have won 12 straight games at home.

Creighton improved to 74-26 as a ranked team in the Associated Press poll.

* * *

Video: See highlights from Creighton's win over Butler:

>> Video: See Creighton coach Greg McDermott's postgame press conference:

>> Video: See Butler coach Brandon Miller speak after the game:

>> Video: See highlights of the game from Fox Sports:

Contact the writer: Steven Pivovar    |   402-679-2298    |  

Steven Pivovar is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and primarily covers Creighton athletics and the College World Series.

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