#30 Creighton Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Creighton Bluejays

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #30
Conference Rank: #3 Big East

Creighton Team Page#30 Creighton Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Creighton Basketball Tickets

On the surface this looks like a year of big change for Creighton. The program has made the move to the Big East and the competition is going to get tougher. But the changes could have been much more significant if Doug McDermott and Grant Gibbs were not on the team. McDermott could have left for the NBA, but he opted to spend his senior year playing for the Bluejays. McDermott averaged 23.2 points per game and connected on an amazing 49.0 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. That is not too bad for a 6-8 forward who also led the team with 7.7 rebounds. Grant Gibbs was granted a sixth year of eligibility. The guard dished out 5.8 assists and is a superb leader and slasher. With Gibbs getting the ball to McDermott, this is an experienced and dangerous team that should expect a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.

2012-13 Record: 28-8, 13-5
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Greg McDermott
Coach Record: 80-30 at Creighton, 351-228 overall

Who’s Out:
Gregory Echenique is the only starter gone, but he is a huge loss. Without the 6-9, 270 pound senior there is literally a huge hole in the paint. Echenique was second to only McDermott in scoring and rebounding and led the Bluejays with 1.7 blocks per contest. Josh Jones, Nevin Johnson, Andre Yates and Taylor Stormberg have also moved on, but none of them made much of an impact last season.

Who’s In:
Junior college transfers Steven Ferrarini, Devin Brooks and James Milliken will add depth to the perimeter. Brooks is a lot like Gibbs and can pass, score and rebound. Milliken is more of a pure scorer and should be a potent offensive option off of the bench from day one. Creighton has seven freshmen on the roster, yet there are just a few who are likely to make an impact in 2013-2014. Darian Harris has the potential to be a big time scorer. He does need to bulk up though before he is going to have much luck attacking the basket in the Big East. Zach Hanson and Tony Hegner could add some depth to the frontcourt. Hegner is 6-9 and 225 pounds, yet has a nice perimeter game. It may take a little polishing, but sooner or later he should be a nightmare to defend.

Who to Watch:
The backcourt surrounding Gibbs has plenty of experience and talent. Austin Chatman is the true point guard on the team and dished out 4.2 assists per contest as a sophomore. Jahenns Manigat is back to man the shooting guard spot. He is mostly a three-point shooter and averaged just 5.9 points per game. However, he is a great glue guy and does the little things for Creighton. With so many other scoring options, Manigat does not have to shoot all that often to make a huge impact. Speaking of shooters and scorers, Ethan Wragge can spark the offense with his three-point shot. He connected on 44.6 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. The 6-7 senior forward does not do much else besides shoot, yet he does that amazingly well. Avery Dingman, a big 6-6 wing, is a great athlete who has yet to reach his full potential.

Final Projection:
Coach Greg McDermott is loaded with talent and experience on the perimeter and at the power forward position. The concern is at center where Echenique will surely be missed. Hanson and Hegner, as well as junior Will Artino and sophomore Geoffrey Groselle, are options. In limited action Artino showed promise as an interior scoring threat. Groselle has a larger upside. The seven-footer has spent two years at Creighton beefing up and working on his overall game. If he emerges as a force on the glass and can at least be a threat to score, the Bluejays will be right in the mix for a Big East title.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Austin Chatman, Junior, Guard, 7.4 points per game
Jahenns Manigat, Senior, Guard, 5.9 points per game
Grant Gibbs, Senior, Guard, 8.5 points per game
Doug McDermott, Senior, Forward, 23.2 points per game
Will Artino, Junior, Center, 3.9 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.4 (30th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.2 (83, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 50.1 (2, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.7 (77, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.5 (10, 2)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 41.4 (2, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.9 (9, 1)
Rebound Margin: 4.6 (44, 2)
Assists Per Game: 16.9 (4, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.3 (94, 6)

Madness 2014 NBA Draft Rankings:
#26 Doug McDermott


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