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Quinn: Creighton's win over Butler shows growth

Jays defeated the Bulldogs 76-67 Tuesday night
Quinn: Creighton's win over Butler shows growth
Posted at 8:39 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 21:39:32-05

Things don't appear to be coming off the rails for the Jays after all. 

Despite losing two in a row in Big East play following Maurice Watson Jr.'s knee injury, Creighton has rattled off two successive victories, capped off by an impressive road win at Butler Tuesday night. 

I think most of us thought the same thing watching Creighton knock off DePaul in Omaha on Saturday: It's great to see the Jays win, but it's DePaul.

At least some of those thoughts should be shelved after watching Creighton handle business on the road. 

The first thing that jumped out Tuesday was the combined point guard play by Davion Mintz and Tyler Clement. The two combined for 11 points and 9 assists, compared to just two turnovers on the night. If the Jays continue to get that kind of effort from the duo, it'll considerably lessen the sting of losing Watson the rest of the way. 

Clement in particular has been a bit of a revelation the past two games. Despite not starting again Tuesday, he played 25 minutes, including long stretches of the second half while the game was still very much in doubt. At times in the past he's been a liability handling the ball, but the last two games he's been sharp. 

Mintz continues to be the better scoring option of the two point guards, netting 8 points. He was aggressive in going to the basket and knocked down both of his three point attempts. 

It's also worth noting that utilizing the Mintz/Clement combo at point guard frees Isaiah Zierden to move back to the shooting guard spot, where he's much more effective. It's a win-win for the Jays.  

Justin Patton continued to show his dominance against the Bulldogs. Despite committing two early fouls, he finished with just three total, and was a one-man wrecking crew down the stretch. 

If Patton can continue to stay out of foul trouble and get quality looks set up by the guards, he'll be a load for any Big East team to handle. 

Both Marcus Foster and Khyri Thomas also played extremely well for stretches Tuesday night. Each dropped 15 points and were nearly un-guardable at times. 

Creighton may never prove to be the same team without Maurice Watson, but Tuesday night once again proved that they're far from helpless. It should be a fun rest of the season.