2012 is turning out to be a banner year for the Creighton Basketball program. Creighton won a game in the NCAA tournament for the first time in ten years to go along with a Missouri Valley tournament title. The Jays ranked first in the nation in team field goal percentage, second in assists per game, and seventh in points per game, leading to a 29-6 overall record. Doug McDermott was named as a 1st Team All-American to go along with his MVC Player of the Year award while Gregory Echenique collected the MVC Defensive Player of the Year.
With all the successes of the 2011-2012 season Creighton was primed for a big off season. Creighton’s staff knew replacing rising seniors Josh Jones, Gregory Echenique and Grant Gibbs would be no easy task. Yet, with arguably the most important recruiting period approaching the Jays sit with three solid verbal commits and the luxury of assessing the nation for the best fit possible.
In mid-June Creighton coaches were able to score four verbals in as many days, getting commitments from 2013 forward Toby Hegner, 2013 guard Darian Harris, 2014 point guard Nick Norton and 2014 forward Ezra Talbert. The score had college basketball pundits talking, yet Creighton was far from done. Last week Creighton received a verbal commitment from South Dakota big Zach Hanson, a player collecting numerous new high major offers each week. His commitment is crucial for the upcoming evaluation period for the Creighton staff as they can begin to focus in on the final spot for either the 2013 or 2014 class, with an eye on multiple 2015 prospects.
In the past I have reported that the Jays are looking for an athletic wing player, more apt to play the shooting guard position to round out preferably the 2013 class. This would require one of two things to happen. First, Coach Greg McDermott would need to utilize what fans are lovingly referring to as the “Daddy Scholarship” which would require Mac to pay for Doug’s tuition, thus opening up a roster scholarship for another recruit. The other option would be if Doug were to declare for the NBA draft next spring the Jays would then too have an open position to fill. I personally think Doug will stay for his senior season.
Nearly every coach in major college basketball will converge on Las Vegas this week to watch the best high school talent in the country as both the Adidas 64 and Fab 48 Vegas AAU tournaments tip-off. Creighton too will be making their way down there, here are some of the prospects the Jays staff will monitor closely:
I am of the opinion that Foster is the exact type of player this class needs to be complete. At 6’2’’ he is a long, athletic guard who thrives in the open offense Mac has begun to implement. Fosters strengths are within areas Creighton needs to fill. Like fellow 2013 recruit Kendal Harris, Creighton has been on Foster early in his recruitment. Foster continually lists Creighton as one of the schools he is highly interested in. Foster is currently ranked #12 by Texas Hoops and for prospects in the Lonestar state, as well as #5 player in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by Metroplex hoops.
My Opinion: Getting Foster to campus for an Official Visit would do wonders for our already good chances.
Harris should be well known to Jays fans by now. The 6’4’’ combo guard has gotten rave reviews at multiple summer camps and has played extremely well for his Urban DFW Elite squad. Harris and his family have made a close connection with the Creighton staff. Harris has been offered scholarships by nearly every school in the Big XII, Big East and SEC, and will be seen by many more coaches this weekend. Harris is currently ranked #10 by Texas Hoops for prospects in the Lonestar state.
My Opinion: The longer his recruitment goes on, the worse chance we have of making Kendal a Jay.
Thomas was a bit overshadowed early this summer due to his involvement with Urban DFW Elite, a squad that boasts numerous Top 100 players nationally, including Kendal Harris. Thomas is a silky smooth shooting guard who excels in transition and attacks the rim with authority. A big weekend in Vegas would see Shirmane’s stock soar through the roof. Thomas is currently ranked #23 by Texas Hoops for prospects in the Lonestar state.
My Opinion: While Thomas has recently collected BCS offers, I still think Creighton stands a good chance of getting him onto campus for an Official
Relatively unknown point guard from New Mexico burst onto the scene nationally over the summer. At 6’4’’ Dawson is a big time leader who has really improved his game and is beginning to get looked at by programs across the nation. Although, Dawson seems committed to those schools who showed him early love. Dawson has excellent handles and passing ability, yet it is the combination of shooting accuracy and athleticism that has Creighton coaching staff extremely interested.
My Opinion: Dawson is still seen as under the radar by most recruiting services, most of which have not fully evaluated him. It is my understanding that the Jays really like John and the feeling seems to be mutual.
Other 2013 names to watch out for:
- AJ Riley – PG – Illinois Wolves (Not in Vegas)
- Trey Kennedy – PG – Marcus Banks Hard 2 Guard
- Brandon Parrish – SG – DFW Urban Elite (ranked #20 by Texas Hoops)
- Michael Williams – SG – South Texas Irish (ranked #18 by Texas Hoops)