Hurrdat Sports

↓ The Local Coverage You Need ↓

Hail Varsity
Mavericks All Access
Bluejay Breakdown
NEB Preps
NEB Pros

2024 Creighton Men’s Basketball Offseason Primer

by Apr 2, 2024Creighton Mens Basketball

Creighton Bluejays guard Baylor Scheierman
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

The season came to an end in the Sweet 16 for Creighton men’s basketball, potentially marking the conclusion of a special era in program history. The Jays finished 25-10 after their fourth-straight NCAA Tournament run, and now attention turns to what comes next.

With a mix of knowns and unknowns in terms of departures, the offseason will likely be a busy one for the program, and the work has already begun to build the roster for another tournament run in 2024-25.

Here’s what you need to know as the offseason activity ramps up for the Creighton coaching staff.

Known Departures

The loss to Tennessee ended the careers of Creighton’s two fifth-year seniors, Baylor Scheierman and Francisco Farabello. The transfer duo spent the last two years in the program and played pivotal roles in Creighton’s Elite Eight and Sweet 16 runs.

Scheierman put together one of the best two-year careers in program history and is leaving some massive shoes to fill on the wing. He turned himself from highly-recruited low-major transfer to high-level Big East role player to third-team All-American over the past two years, and now he’ll have a chance to play in the NBA.

Scheierman led the Jays in points, rebounds and 3-pointers, he was second in steals and free throws and he was third in assists. Additionally, Scheierman stepped into an expanded leadership role in his second year in the program.

Farabello didn’t start a game in his two years at Creighton, but the TCU transfer filled an important role as the sixth man on a team lacking in proven depth otherwise. After a down first year from a shooting perspective, he bounced back to 42% from 3 this season.

We’ve already seen a trio of transfer portal entries since the season’s end as well in center Brock Vice, wing Johnathan Lawson and point guard Josiah Dotzler. Vice redshirted this season in his first year in the program while contributing on the scout team. Lawson joined the program after a promising freshman season at Memphis but never found his way into the rotation. Both Vice and Lawson are Memphis natives. Dotzler, the younger brother of former Bluejay Josh Dotzler, entered the portal on Monday. Dotzler played in 19 games this season, averaging 4.1 minutes.

Decisions, Decisions…

Scheierman and Farabello didn’t have a decision to make — they’re out of eligibility. It’s a different story for the rest of the key guys on the team. Ryan Kalkbrenner and Steven Ashworth have both completed four seasons of eligibility but have one more available to them because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ashworth opted against participating in the team’s senior day ceremony and isn’t on any NBA Draft boards, which seems to indicate he’s more likely than not to return even if he hasn’t announced a final decision yet.

Kalkbrenner is certainly on draft radars after attending the NBA Draft Combine last summer. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has him at No. 52 in his latest mock draft – far from a lock for guaranteed money but more than enough to consider going pro. He has been at Creighton for four years, has his degree and walked on senior day.

Alexander has only been at Creighton for three years but went through the draft process and attended the combine a year ago. He chose to return to Creighton for another year to put more play as a primary ball-handler on tape. The season was a mixed bag for Alexander as he was one of the best mid-range shooters in the country and developed as a playmaker for others but also saw his 3-point percentage tail off significantly. The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie had him at No. 32 in his latest mock draft in mid-March, but Givony left Alexander off his. Alexander could be ready to go all in on his pro career regardless but has indicated he hasn’t made up his mind yet.

The possibility remains that others from the bottom half of the roster could choose to entertain transfer options as well. Reserve center Fredrick King fell behind Isaac Traudt in the rotation late in the season and saw his playing time and production decrease from his freshman year. Sterling Knox redshirted this season like fellow scholarship freshman Vice.

Additionally, assistant coach Ryan Miller interviewed for the Fresno State head coaching job on Monday. If Miller lands the job, that would open up a spot on the coaching staff for McDermott to fill as well.

Freshmen on the Way

Greg McDermott inked a top-20 recruiting class on National Signing Day which features three prospects who will join the program this summer.

Jackson McAndrew, a 6-foot-9 sharp-shooting forward from Minnesota, is the highest-rated recruit Creighton has signed in the recruiting websites era as a 4-star prospect ranked 23rd by On3, 35th by 247Sports and 36th by Rivals.

Larry Johnson is an explosive 6-foot-4 guard from California ranked as a top-100, 4-star prospect in his own right.

Ty Davis, a 6-foot-5 3-star point guard from Alabama, rounds out the class.

Two and perhaps all three of the freshmen could be in the mix for early playing time, depending on how the rest of the offseason plays out.

Looking Ahead

Currently, Creighton has seen five players exit the program with the three freshmen taking scholarships next year. That leaves two open spots pending the decisions of Kalkbrenner, Alexander, Ashworth and any others.

Ashworth sticking around would give Creighton its starting point guard back while Davis joins the program to add depth to the position. With Mason Miller, Jasen Green and McAndrew at the four spot (plus Isaac Traudt if he returns to that position after backing up Kalkbrenner at the five late in the year), Creighton looks set at power forward.

That leaves the Jays with potential needs at the guard, wing and center spots. The Creighton name has popped up on plenty of lists as the staff reaches out to players who enter the portal.

A couple of key names with early traction fall into the scoring guard category. Former South Dakota State guard Zeke Mayo listed Creighton as one of his four finalists, along with Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Former Toledo guard Dante Maddox Jr. included Creighton on his list of eight schools he’s focusing on. Both are high-scoring combo-guards that can really shoot the ball.

Omaha wing transfer Frankie Fidler visited Creighton for a couple of practices ahead of the Sweet 16 before also checking out Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Most of the players Creighton’s name has been connected with have been perimeter players. If Kalkbrenner does not return, it makes landing a starting-caliber center the biggest need of the offseason.

New targets will emerge as players continue entering the portal and setting up visits. The Creighton coaches have a proven track record with a lot to offer to prospective portal targets in Omaha, but there’s plenty of work for the staff to do over the next few weeks.

You May Also Like

2024 Creighton Men’s Basketball Offseason Tracker

2024 Creighton Men’s Basketball Offseason Tracker

The college basketball season is over, but there's no time for college coaches to relax. The transfer portal is wide open and coaches — including Creighton's Greg McDermott — are working to set up their rosters for the future. We've already seen plenty of activity...

Creighton’s Run Ends with Sweet 16 Loss to Tennessee

Creighton’s Run Ends with Sweet 16 Loss to Tennessee

The Creighton men’s basketball team saw its NCAA Tournament run come to an end on Friday night as the third-seeded Bluejays fell 82-75 to No. 2 Tennessee in Detroit. The Bluejays finished 25-10 overall after their second-straight Sweet 16 apperance, matching the...

Bluejays, Volunteers Set for Sweet 16 Clash

Bluejays, Volunteers Set for Sweet 16 Clash

When Ryan Nembhard and Arthur Kaluma opted to depart from an Elite Eight team last offseason, a return to the second weekend of the Big Dance looked like it may not be in the cards. However, through interior development and some work in the transfer portal, the...