#85 Creighton Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Creighton Bluejays

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #85
Conference Rank: #7 Big East

Creighton Team Page#85 Creighton Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Creighton Basketball Tickets

It is the end of era at Creighton. During Doug McDermott’s senior season, the Bluejays earned a three seed in the NCAA Tournament and beat Louisiana before falling in the round of 32 to Baylor by a score of 85-55. It was not quite the send off Creighton had hoped to have for their superstar forward, but overall it was a great season for this program as they moved into the Big East.

2013-14 Record: 27-8, 14-4
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Greg McDermott
Coach Record: 80-30 at Creighton, 360-225 overall

Who’s Out:
McDermott wrapped up his collegiate career averaging 26.7 points and 7.0 rebounds. He knocked down 44.9 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and was equally comfortable scoring with his back to the basket. Ethan Wragge, the only other Bluejay to average double figures in the scoring column in 2013-2014, is also gone. Wragge had some great games, usually against Villanova, and was one of the best pure shooters in the nation. He made more three-pointers than McDermott and connected on 47.0 percent of his attempts. Two more regular starters, Jahenns Manigat and Grant Gibbs, are also gone. As if losing McDermott was not enough, replacing three other starters is going to be tough.

Who’s In:
In an effort to replace the experience lost from his son and the other departures, Coach Greg McDermott has brought in a couple junior college transfers. Steve Ferrarini and James Milliken will at least add some options for Coach McDermott. Milliken, a 6-2 guard, is a major scoring threat from anywhere on the floor. He has a nice shot from long range and that is extremely important for a team that wants to shoot but lost their three main shooters. Freshman Tyler Clement will add more depth on the perimeter, while Toby Hegner is a big 6-9 forward who can stretch the defense. Forwards Ronnie Harrell and Leon Gilmore are the most highly regarded freshmen. Harrell is a great pickup for the Bluejays and the 6-6 small forward should be able to step right into a starting role.

Who to Watch:
Austin Chatman is the only returning starter after averaging 8.1 points and 4.4 assists. Slowed by off-season thumb surgery, Chatman will be ready to be the senior leader of this team by November. Devin Brooks and Avery Dingman bring more experience to the perimeter. Brooks was the team’s sixth man a year ago and averaged 6.5 points per game. He is not a great shooter for a shooting guard, but he is a good rebounding guard who can finish around the basket. Dingman, another senior, is a great athlete, but has yet to live up to his potential. This is his last shot. Isaiah Zierden showed flashes as a freshman. He can run the point or be another shooter off of the ball and that versatility should lead to more playing time in 2014-2015.

Final Projection:
Creighton does still have seven-footer Geoffrey Groselle on the roster, but the frontcourt will need to rely quite heavily on senior Will Artino. The 6-11 center started a handful of contests in 2013-2014 and is easily the most experienced traditional post player on the roster. The Bluejays have no problem playing small and having their forwards spend a lot of time shooting from long range, but at times they will need a more traditional bruiser in the paint. Artino is the one person who can do that. This will not likely be an NCAA Tournament team and playing in the Big East is going to catch up with this team now. However, Coach McDermott is bringing in some Big East caliber players and that will be noticeable this season in the freshmen. Their complete lack of experience will be noticeable too and that will leave Creighton battling for a spot in one of those other postseason tournaments.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Austin Chatman, Senior, Guard, 8.1 points per game
Devin Brooks, Senior, Guard, 6.5 points per game
Avery Dingman, Senior, Guard, 3.2 points per game
Ronnie Harrell, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Will Artino, Senior Center, 5.5 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.7 (24th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.9 (115, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.7 (4, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.6 (116, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 10.2 (2, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 41.4 (1, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.3 (29, 2)
Rebound Margin: 2.3 (111, 5)
Assists Per Game: 17.5 (2, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.8 (10, 1)

Madness 2014 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#83 Ronnie Harrell
#86 Leon Gilmore


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