#75 Creighton Bluejays: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Creighton Bluejays have been in the upper echelon of the Missouri Valley Conference for the past decade-plus.  However, the past two seasons the Bluejays have been an average team.  Behind star in the making, Doug McDermott, Creighton will hope to return to the top of the MVC.

CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS
Last Season: T-4th, 10-8 in MVC, 23-16 overall
Predicted MVC Finish: 3rd

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

Gone: C-Kenny Lawson Jr., G/F-Daryl Ashford, F-Wayne Runnels, SG-Kaleb Korver

doug mcdermott creighton

2011-2012 Outlook:
The son of head coach Greg McDermott, Doug led the team in scoring and rebounding last year as a freshman.  He has a well-rounded offensive arsenal and should blossom in his sophomore season.  Ethan Wragge only played in just nine games last season due to a foot injury.  He offers some size on the wing and adds another perimeter threat at forward.

Creighton loses Kenny Lawson Jr. up-front but does return former Rutgers transfer, Gregory Echenique.  He is one of the top shot blockers in the MVC and will need to provide the muscle inside.  Freshmen Geoffery Goeselle is the center of the future for the Bluejays and should contribute immediately.

McDermott will likely go with a three guard look in his starting line-up.  Antonie Young is the maestro of the offense and was the only Bluejay to play more than thirty minutes a game last season.  Jahenns Manigat and Josh Jones each saw time as starters a year ago and are the favorites to start alongside Young.  Gonzaga transfer Grant Gibbs adds another shooter on the perimeter.

A trio of freshman also figure to compete for playing time.  Manigat is capable of playing the point when Young needs a blow but Austin Chapman provides another option.  Avery Dingman and Nevin Johnson will also try to work themselves into the rotation and replace what Creighton loses in Korver, Ashford, and Runnels.

The Bluejays will be in the battle for MVC crown but it’s doubtful they have what it takes to de-throne Wichita State.  Creighton will rely heavily on their three-point shooting and will need McDermott to be even better than he was as a freshman to earn a spot in the dance.

Player to Watch: Doug McDermott
Playing alongside North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes in high school, McDermott has somewhat flown under the radar throughout his career.  Not anymore.  McDermott had a terrific summer playing for the US U-19 team and was without question one of their top performers.  The former Northern Iowa commit should be one of the favorites to bring home the MVC Player of the Year Award.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/15 at UAB
11/20 at Iowa
11/30 at San Diego State
12/4 vs. Nebraska
12/19 at Tulsa
12/22 vs. Northwestern
2/17 vs. TBA (ESPN Bracket Busters)

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, 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 on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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