#18 Creighton Bluejays: College Basketball 111 in 111


doug mcdermott creighton

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season.  We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Led by two time All-American Doug McDermott, the Creighton Bluejays take a step into the big leagues by leaving the Missouri Valley and heading to the Big East.  They have an experienced group returning but how will Creighton handle a major upgrade in competition?

Last Season: 2nd, 14-4 in MVC, 29-6 overall
Predicted MVC Finish: 1st

Projected Depth Chart
C: Will Artino (Jr)/Geoffery Goeselle (So)/Zach Hanson (Fr)
F: Doug McDermott (Sr)/Ethan Wragge (Sr)/Toby Hegner (Fr)
G/F: Grant Gibbs (Sr)/Avery Dingman (Jr)/Darian Harris (Fr)
SG: Jahenns Manigat (Sr)/Isaiah Zierden (Fr)/James Milliken (Jr)
PG: Austin Chapman (Jr)/Devin Brooks (Jr)

Gone: C-Gregory Echenique, SG-Josh Jones, G/F-Nevin Johnson (transfer-NW Florida State), PG-Andre Yates (transfer-Cleveland State)

2013-2014 Outlook:
Transitioning to a new conference is a lot easier when McDermott is your team.  He is the most dangerous scorer in college basketball as he shot from 49% from distance but is also very capable taking defenders in the post and using his craftiness around the bucket.  What is most impressive about McDermott is that he puts up huge numbers without being selfish or a “me first” player.

Creighton will undoubtedly ride McDermott’s back to wherever they end up in March but he won’t have to do it all by his lonesome.  The Bluejays return all three starting guards from last season in Austin Chatman, Jahenns Manigat, and Grant Gibbs who was granted a sixth year by the NCAA (and why McDermott is now considered a walk-on… get ready for that angle to be beat into the ground.)  Manigat is a terrific, experienced role player while Chatman is a capable three-point threat.  Gibbs’ return means the most to the team since he is a jack of all trades who contributes in multiple areas of the game and can play a few different positions.

Avery Dingman is the lone returning reserve at guard and is another weapon who can help space the floor with his outside shooting.  Minutes will be up for grabs with redshirt freshman Isaiah Zierden, JUCO transfers Devin Brooks and James Milliken, true freshman Darian Harris competing for spot minutes.

The biggest question mark for head Greg McDermott comes inside where the team tries to replace physical big man, Gregory Echenique.  Will Artino played sparingly a year ago but has the leg up to start in the middle.  Seven-foot Geoffrey Groselle barely sniffed the floor last season and is expected to compete for minutes with newcomer Zach Hanson.

More than likely, the Bluejays figure to play a decent amount of small ball with McDermott and Ethan Wragge.  Wragge is another stretch four who lives beyond the arc and doesn’t bring much to the floor as a low post presence or defender.  He does make Creighton an insanely talented shooting team when both he and McDermott share the floor at the same time.

Having won 57 games the past two seasons, the Creighton Bluejays appear ready to for the new Big East.  They may not have the athleticism of most other conference foes but by having an experienced line-up with perhaps the best player in the country, don’t be surprised to see them competing for a conference title.

Player to Watch: Grant Gibbs
McDermott was too obvious of a choice so I’ll switch it up and roll with Gibbs.  It was huge news for Creighton to get Gibbs for another since he is a crafty veteran and stat sheet stuffer who averaged 8.5 points, 5.8 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 40% from downtown.  I fully expect him to be McDermott’s second banana this season.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/16 at St. Joseph’s
11/23 vs. Tulsa
11/28 vs. Arizona State (Wooden Legacy)
11/29 vs. San Diego State/Charleston (Wooden Legacy)
12/1 vs. Marquette/CS-Fullerton/Miami FL/George Washington (Wooden Legacy)
12/3 at Long Beach State
12/8 vs. Nebraska
12/22 vs. California

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#19 Wisconsin
#20 Virginia
#21 Wichita State
#22 VCU
#23 New Mexico
#24 UConn
#25 Indiana
#26 Colorado
#27 Tennessee
#28 Baylor
#29 St. John’s
#30 Harvard
#31 UCLA
#32 Iowa
#33 Boise State
#34 Villanova
#35 Oregon
#36 St. Louis
#37 La Salle
#38 San Diego State
#39 Stanford
#40 Arizona State
#41 BYU
#42 Pitt
#43 California
#44 Iowa State
#45 Providence
#46 Cincinnati
#47 UNLV
#48 Purdue
#49 LSU
#50 Illinois
#51 Xavier
#52 Boston College
#53 Ole Miss
#54 Missouri
#55 Washington
#56 Saint Mary’s
#57 Maryland
#58 Butler
#59 Minnesota
#60 Florida Gulf Coast
#61 Akron
#62 Temple
#63 Alabama
#64 Florida State
#65 Arkansas
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#68 Davidson
#69 Dayton
#70 Miami FL
#71 SMU
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#74 UMass
#75 Northwestern
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#78 Oklahoma
#79 Richmond
#80 Manhattan
#81 Belmont
#82 Texas
#83 Houston
#84 Washington State
#85 Iona
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#88 Towson
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#91 Rutgers
#92 Drexel
#93 USC
#94 Charleston
#95 Seton Hall
#96 Vanderbilt
#97 George Mason
#98 Clemson
#99 Penn State
#100 Nebraska
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#104 DePaul
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#107 TCU
#108 Virginia Tech
#109 Georgia
#110 Utah
#111 Auburn

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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