We are profiling each member of the 2012-13 Creighton Bluejays men’s basketball team. Check in weekdays leading up to Creighton’s regular season opener against North Texas (November 9) for an introduction to this season’s Bluejays, from freshmen to seniors.
Ethan Wragge (#34 / F / 6-7 / 225 lbs. / RJr.)
Check out our photo gallery of Ethan Wragge (courtesy Adam Streur and Mike Spomer for WBR)
A series of injuries kept CU junior Ethan Wragge from entering his senior season in 2012. After a solid first year at Creighton that saw him earn MVC All-Freshman team honors, Wragge fought nagging injuries and took a medical redshirt season after 9 games in 2010. That coincided with Doug McDermott’s first year on the Hilltop, and now the two forwards are on a parallel trajectory in terms of exhausting their eligibility.
McDermott’s abilities are evident. Wragge has spent the last two years refining his game to add the kind of versatility that will help him find minutes around the 30-plus that McDermott will get night in and night out. In no game last season was Wragge’s improved versatility more evident than in Creighton’s road victory at San Diego State. Known primarily as a three-point shooter, Wragge stepped in on a night when the Aztec defense was limiting Gregory Echenique’s effectiveness in the post.
The Bluejays went small, and Wragge connected on 4 three-pointers. But his two field goals inside the arc in the last 3 minutes of the game were indicative of his improvements to his overall game. The first, with 2:20 to play and the Jays up by 2, saw Wragge cut through the lane and put back a McDermott miss to extend Creighton’s lead to 76-72. Then, with less than a minute to go and the Jays clinging to a one-point lead, Jahenns Manigat found Wragge streaking through the lane for a runner that gave CU an 84-81 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
Still, Wragge is a long range sharpshooter first. Teammates and coaches claim he’s the best on the team, which is saying something for a team that last season had five regulars who shot better than 40% from three-point range.
Wragge made 68 three-pointers as a freshman and 66 last season as a redshirt sophomore (both were team highs). If he hits the same number this year, he’ll vault ahead of CU sharpshooters Booker Woodfox, Matt Roggenburk, Nate Funk, and Rodney Buford on the all-time three-point field goal makes list. If he plays this season and next, he’ll surpass Ryan Sears too. It would take averaging more than 113 this season and next to replace to top man on the list, Kyle Korver.
Last season Wragge earned MVC All-Bench team honors; he was the highest scoring reserve for the Bluejays. Now fully healthy and more versatile, he enters his junior season ready to make teams pay for focusing too heavily on McDermott and Echenique in the post.
We caught up with Wragge at Creighton’s Media Day: