#21 Creighton Bluejays: College Basketball 111 in 111


creighton bluejay cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 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.

Behind a breakout sophomore campaign from All-American Doug McDermott, the Creighton Bluejays burst back onto the national scene behind one of the most potent offenses in college basketball.  With most of their roster intact from a year ago, more of the same is expected this season.

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

Projected Depth Chart
C: Gregory Echenique (Sr)/Will Artino (So)/Geoffery Goeselle (Fr)
F: Doug McDermott (Jr)/Ethan Wragge (Jr)
G/F: Grant Gibbs (Sr)/Josh Jones (Sr)/Nevin Johnson (Fr)
SG: Jahenns Manigat (Jr)/Avery Dingman (So)/Isaiah Zierden (Fr)
PG: Austin Chapman (So)/Andre Yates (Fr)

Gone: PG-Antoine Young, G-Ross Ferrarini

2012-2013 Outlook:
Creighton finished seventh in nation in scoring and also boasted the highest field percentage and third best three-point percentage among all D-1 teams.  McDermott led the way ending up as the third highest scorer averaging 23.2 points per night and boasting a blistering 60.1 FG%.  Talk about an efficient season.  He can clearly stroke it from deep but also has a solid back to the basket game thanks to his size and variety of moves on the block.

Second leading scorer Antoine Young is gone but the Bluejays do return plenty of talent to surround McDermott.  Grant Gibbs is an all-around threat who is expected to split the point guard duties with developing sophomore Austin Chapman.  Gibbs can also play effectively off the ball and guard several positions on the defensive end while Chapman is more of a driver and distributor like Young was capable of doing.

A pair of more than capable shooters will flank them on the wing with returning starter Jahenns Manigat and key reserve Josh Jones.  Ethan Wragge and Avery Dingman each shot above 40% from beyond the arc a year ago and will play key roles off the bench.  Freshmen Isaiah Zierden, Andre Yates, and Nevin Johnson will find minutes hard to come by.

Upfront, the physical Gregory Echenique brings the muscle down low.  He plays his role well as a rebounder and rim protector, but can also score on the block.  6-11 Will Artino played sparingly a year ago and brings some size off the bench along with seven-foot freshman Geoffrey Goeselle.  Greg McDermott won’t be afraid to use a smaller line-up of five shooters with his son, Doug and Wragge being used as an undersized frontcourt.

It’s almost sickening at how dangerous this team is shooting the ball from distance.  While they can put on a show offensively, becoming more of a lockdown team on the defensive end will help Creighton reach their full potential this year.  There is no question though that they are the team to beat in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Player to Watch: Grant Gibbs
McDermott is clearly the guy here but I wanted to mix it up and give someone else some love.  The Gonzaga transfer led the Bluejays in assists and steals, finished third in rebounds, and fourth in scoring which led to him being runner-up for the MVC Newcomer of the Year.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/9 vs. North Texas
11/14 vs. UAB
11/23 vs. Wisconsin (Las Vegas Invitational)
11/24 vs. Arkansas/Arizona State (Las Vegas Invitational)
12/1 vs. St. Joseph’s
12/6 at Nebraska
12/15 at California
12/19 vs. Tulsa

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#23 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#24 Memphis Tigers
#25 Baylor Bears
#26 Wisconsin Badgers
#27 Tennessee Volunteers
#28 Pitt Panthers
#29 New Mexico Lobos
#30 St. Mary’s Gaels
#31 Georgetown Hoyas
#32 North Texas Mean Green
#33 Ohio Bobcats
#34 Texas Longhorns
#35 Miami Hurricanes
#36 Purdue Boilermakers
#37 Alabama Crimson Tide
#38 St. Joseph’s Hawks
#39 Murray State Racers
#40 VCU Rams
#41 Davidson Wildcats
#42 Stanford Cardinal
#43 UMass Minutemen
#44 St. John’s Red Storm
#45 Butler Bulldogs
#46 Florida State Seminoles
#47 Drexel Dragons
#48 St. Louis Billikens
#49 West Virginia Mountaineers
#50 BYU Cougars
#51 Temple Owls
#52 Washington Huskies
#53 California Golden Bears
#54 Kansas State Wildcats
#55 Nevada Wolfpack
#56 Colorado Buffaloes
#57 Iowa State Cyclones
#58 Northern Iowa Panthers
#59 Colorado State Rams
#60 Iowa Hawkeyes
#61 South Florida Bulls
#62 Valparaiso Crusaders
#63 Illinois Fighting Illini
#64 Arkansas Razorbacks
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

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.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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