1963–64 Creighton Bluejays men's basketball team

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1963–64 Creighton Bluejays men's basketball
Creighton Bluejays Wordmark.gif
1964 NCAA Tournament, Sweet Sixteen
Conference Independent
1963–64 record 22–7
Head coach Red McManus
Assistant coach Herb Millard
Home arena Omaha Civic Auditorium
« 1962–63 1964–65 »

The 1963–64 Creighton Bluejays men's basketball team represented Creighton University during the 1963–64 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Bluejays, led by fifth year head coach John J. 'Red' McManus and All-American Paul Silas, played their home games at the Omaha Civic Auditorium. The Bluejays set six new team records, plus home attendance marks. The Jays played before 86,856 fans in 13 home games at Omaha's Civic Auditorium including a standing room only crowd of 10,556 for the Oklahoma City game. They finished the season 22–7. The 22 wins were the most ever for a Creighton team, as were the 2,441 points and 84.2 scoring average with 1,024 field goals. Single game marks for most points and field goals were established in the Bluejay's 124-94 win over Miami University of Florida when Creighton tallied a record 54 field goals. The Jays worst loss came at the hands of the Oklahoma City Chiefs in their first meeting 85-101.[1]

The Creighton Bluejays earned a bid into the 1964 NCAA Tournament where they defeated Oklahoma City University in the Midwest Region Quarterfinals round before falling in the Midwest Region Semifinals to Wichita University. They fell to Texas Western in the Midwest Region Third Place game.[2]

Season Summary[edit]

The Bluejays started the season off by winning nine games in a row before running into the NCAA champion UCLA Bruins on the West Coast. The Jays opened the season by pounding Colorado 85-72 with the help of a zone defense that stifled the Buffs. With Paul Silas playing very little because of a knee injury, Hardin-Simmons was downed 72-58. Charlie Brown hit 8 field goals to lead the Bluejays to a 77-62 Homecoming victory over LaSalle and Harry Forehand hit six points in the last minute of play to pull the Jays from a 57-61 deficit to a 63-61 victory over Idaho State to make it four wins in a row for Creighton.[1]

The Jays took a last second victory from #4 ranked Arizona State 84-83. The game was highlighted by Chuck Officer's game-tying shot while in a prone position on the court and Bobby Miles free throw shooting in the two overtime periods. Creighton made it six in a row by beating Utah State 96-91. The Bluejays then defeated Iowa 77-72 in one overtime and beat Gonzaga 89-79 before heading for the West Coast. Creighton toppled Long Beach State 99-93 before running into the Bruin buzz-saw and losing 79-95. The Jays rebounded against Nevada 92-63 and South Dakota 75-54 before being routed by Oklahoma City 85-101. The Bluejays then beatNotre Dame 95-81 before a capacity crowd with Silas hitting a season high 37 points.[1]

New Mexico State and Marquette fell to the Bluejays 99-73 and 84-57 before they headed for their ill-fated East Coast trip. Losing two out of three games doomed the Jay's chances for any national ranking as the fell to Providence 77-80 and St John's 60-64 after toppling Canisius 74-72. Creighton returned home to defeat Aquinas 106-60. The Bluejays then lost their only home game in a heartbreaking last-second defeat by the Memphis State Tigers 86-87. Miami was then shot down 124-94 under the warm Florida sun and Western Michigan was beaten 88-72 in a Chicago snow storm.

Creighton got revenge for an earlier defeat by trouncing Oklahoma City 94-77 before the largest crowd ever to witness a Bluejay game in the Civic Auditorium.[1] The Jays then traveled to New York City where Chuck Officer made a last-second shot to dump NYU 88-86 in Madison Square Garden and make up for some prestige lost in the earlier eastern trip. Notre Dame again felt the sting of Creighton's hot shooting hand as the Irish went down 84-71 at South Bend, Indiana. In the play-off for an NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament spot, the Jays downed Oklahoma City for the second time 89-78 in Dallas, Texas.

Invited to the NCAA post-season playoffs for the second time in three years, the Bluejays took it on the chin twice to place fourth in the Midwest Regional tourney at Wichita, Kansas. In the opening round the Wichita University Shockers, complete with a near 10,000 home fan cheering section, bounced the Jays 68-83. An excessive amount of fouls plus some cold shooting doomed the Bluejays from the start. Creighton's Paul Silas held highly touted Shocker Dave Stallworth to one field goal and two free throws in the first half. Texas Western knocked off the Jays in the consolation game the following night 52-63. Poor foul shooting again plagued Creighton as they hit only 50 percent from the line. The Bluejays out-shot the Miners from the field 22-21. [1]

All-American Paul Silas rounded his collegiate basketball career by competing for a berth on the United States Olympic Basketball Team. The 6'7" senior led the 1963-64 Jays to their best record (22-7) as captain and set six new individual player records to add to two written in 1961-62. Silas, who guided the Bluejays to two NCAA tournament berths in his three-year career, led the nation in rebounding his sophomore and junior years.[2] He was named to many all-opponent and All-American teams.[1]


Number Name Position Height Weight Year Hometown
23 Bill Pfalmer Junior
41 Merrill Smet Sophomore
44 Loren James Senior
35 Paul Silas Center 6–7 220 Senior Oakland, California
43 Elton McGriff Forward 6-9 225 Junior Corsicana, Texas
45 Jim Bakos Senior East Chicago, Indiana
32 Tom Apke Junior
21 Charlie Brown Junior
25 Harry Forehand Senior
Tom Potter
Fred Losch Junior
33 Fritz Pointer Sophomore
24 Chuck Officer Guard 6-2 175 Senior Moline, Illinois
42 Mike Lyons Senior
31 Bobby Miles Sophomore


Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance Record
Regular Season
11/30/1963 Colorado Omaha Civic AuditoriumOmaha, Nebraska W 85-72  - 1–0
12/03/1963 Hardin-Simmons Omaha Civic AuditoriumOmaha, Nebraska W 72-58  - 2–0
12/06/1963 LaSalle Omaha Civic AuditoriumOmaha, Nebraska W 77–62  - 3–0
12/09/1963 Idaho State Omaha Civic AuditoriumOmaha, Nebraska W 63-61  - 4–0
12/13/1963 #4 Arizona State Omaha Civic AuditoriumOmaha, Nebraska W 84-83  - 5–0
12/14/1963 Utah State Omaha Civic AuditoriumOmaha, Nebraska W 96-91 2OT - 6–0
12/16/1963 at Iowa Iowa Field HouseIowa City, Iowa W 77-72 OT - 7–0
12/18/1963 Gonzaga Omaha Civic AuditoriumOmaha, Nebraska W 89-79  - 8–0
12/20/1963 at Long Beach State Long Beach, California W 99-93  - 9–0
12/21/1963 at #6 UCLA Long Beach, California L 79-95  - 9-1
12/23/1963 at Nevada Reno, Nevada W 92-63  - 10-1
12/28/1963 at South Dakota Vermillion, South Dakota W 75-54  - 11-1
1/04/1964 at Oklahoma City Oklahoma City, Oklahoma L 85-101  - 11–2
1/11/1964 Notre Dame Omaha Civic AuditoriumOmaha, Nebraska W 95-81  - 12–2
1/14/1964 New Mexico State Omaha Civic AuditoriumOmaha, Nebraska W 99-73  - 13–2
1/23/1964 Marquette Omaha Civic AuditoriumOmaha, Nebraska W 84-57  - 14–2
1/25/1964 at Canisius Buffalo, New York W 74-72  - 15–2
1/27/1964 at Providence Alumni HallProvidence, Rhode Island L 77-80  - 15–3
1/29/1964 at St. John's Alumni HallJamaica, New York L 60-64  - 15-4
2/01/1964 Aquinas Omaha Civic AuditoriumOmaha, Nebraska W 106-60  - 16-4
2/05/1964 Memphis State Omaha Civic AuditoriumOmaha, Nebraska L 86-87  - 16–5
2/10/1964 at Miami Coral Gables, Florida W 124-94  - 17–5
2/15/1964 vs. Western Michigan Chicago, Illinois W 88-72  - 18–5
2/17/1964 Oklahoma City Omaha Civic AuditoriumOmaha, Nebraska W 94-77  10,556 19-5
2/26/1964 at New York Madison Square GardenNew York, New York W 106-60  - 20-5
2/29/1964 at Notre Dame Notre Dame FieldhouseSouth Bend, Indiana W 84-71  - 21-5
1964 NCAA Tournament
03/09/1964 vs. Oklahoma City Moody ColiseumDallas, Texas
(Midwest Region Quarterfinals)
W 89-78  - 22-5
03/13/1964 vs. #5 Wichita The RoundhouseWichita, Kansas
(Midwest Region Semifinals)
L 68-84  - 22-6
03/14/1964 vs. Texas Western The RoundhouseWichita, Kansas
(Midwest Region Third Place Game)
L 52-63  - 22-7


  1. ^ a b c d e f The Bluejay. Creighton University. 1964. 
  2. ^ a b "Go Creighton". Creighton Athletic Department. Retrieved 9 March 2013.