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.
Grant Gibbs (#10 / G / 6-5 / 210 lbs. / RSr.)
Check out our photo gallery of Grant Gibbs (courtesy Adam Streur and Mike Spomer for WBR)
As a junior, CU’s Grant Gibbs was runner-up for the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year award. The transfer from Gonzaga took a circuitous route to donning a Creighton uniform, eschewing his original college choice for a return to the Midwest while battling injuries. His debut in blue was worth the wait for Jays fans, though; Greg McDermott’s team most definitely wouldn’t have gone 29-6 without the savvy Gibbs.
The pass-first member of the backcourt partnered with point guard Antoine Young to deftly facilitate Creighton’s explosive and efficient offense. Gibbs led the Valley with 176 assists and his 2.41 assist/turnover ratio was second best in the league and 27th nationally. He set a CenturyLink Center record for assists in a game (12) in a CU win against Northwestern, and became the first Bluejay with consecutive games of 10 or more assists after having dropped 10 dimes the game before against Tulsa.
Box scores don’t do justice to Gibbs’ ability to find the open man. He takes amazing angles to distribute the ball to teammates, especially Doug McDermott and Gregory Echenique in the frontcourt. He was a steady hand among a sometimes sped-up CU backcourt last season, and his ability to let the game come to him provided plenty of scoring opportunities.
And this focus on Gibbs’ passing abilities isn’t meant as a slight to the other parts of his game. He scored in double figures 11 times, pouring in a career-high 20 points in the MVC Tournament championship game against Illinois State. His 4.5 rebounds per game were good for third best behind McDermott (8.2) and Echenique (7.3). And he led the team with 37 steals.
Just like last season, the key to Gibbs’ game is his ability to stay healthy. He started every game for the Bluejays as a junior, but the team took extreme precautions in practice to ensure that he would be healthy and ready when game time rolled around. If he can stay on the court as a senior, Gibbs will be the main cog in getting Creighton back to the Big Dance.
We caught up with Gibbs at Creighton’s Media Day: