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2024 Creighton Men’s Basketball Offseason Tracker

by May 27, 2024Creighton Mens Basketball

2024 Creighton Men’s Basketball Offseason Tracker
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

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 with more on the way. To keep you updated on all the comings and goings, we’ll update this offseason tracker whenever news drops.

>> March 29: Redshirt freshman Brock Vice enters the portal.

The 6-foot-10 freshman from Memphis redshirted this season while providing size on the scout team. He was high school teammates with Mason Miller, Jonathan Lawson and former Bluejay walk-on Zander Yates at Houston High in Memphis.

>> April 1: Johnathan Lawson enters the portal.

The 6-foot-6 wing transferred to Creighton after spending his freshman year at Memphis. He averaged 15.7 minutes and shot 41.3% from 3 for the Tigers but wasn’t able to crack Creighton’s rotation as a sophomore. He appeared in 17 games, totaling 11 points and 12 rebounds in 59 minutes.

>> April 1: Freshman Josiah Dotzler enters the portal.

The Bellevue West product earned the opportunity to achieve his childhood dream of following in his brother Josh’s footsteps at Creighton and was the lone freshman who didn’t redshirt this season. However, he wasn’t able to carve out a role behind Steven Ashworth, Trey Alexander and Francisco Farabello. Dotzler appeared in 19 games, scoring 25 points in 77 minutes.

**Update: Dotzler has committed to St. Louis and new coach Josh Schertz.

>> April 11: Fredrick King enters the transfer portal.

The 6-foot-10 big man from the Bahamas spent two seasons in Omaha backing up Ryan Kalkbrenner, averaging 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 7.5 minutes per game. He scored in double figures four times in his 67 games as a Bluejay, including a high of 16 set twice in two of his three starts as a freshman while Kalkbrenner was sick.

King saw less playing time as a sophomore than he did as a freshman and fell out of the rotation entirely late in the season when the coaching staff gave Isaac Traudt a look as a stretch-give option behind Kalkbrenner.

King’s departure would leave Creighton with three open scholarships, pending decisions from Trey Alexander and Kalkbrenner.

>> April 18: Jalen Courtney-Williams officially joins the LSU coaching staff.

Courtney-Williams spent three seasons as an assistant at Creighton, helping the Jays reach the NCAA Tournament all three years. The Mississippi native joined Greg McDermott’s staff after coaching stints at Mississippi State and McNeese State. As a player, Courtney-Williams spent three season at LSU before finishing his career at Morehead State.

>> April 22: Creighton hires Trey Zeigler to fill the void on McDermott’s coaching staff left by Courtney-Williams’s departure.

Zeigler spent the 2022-23 season as a graduate manager at Creighton before following former Creighton assistant Alan Huss to High point as an assistant coach when Huss landed the head coaching job. High Point went from 14-17 when they arrived to 27-9 last season. Now he returns to Omaha as a full-tome assistant.

“I’m extremely excited to be back at Creighton,” Zeigler said in a release. “Coach McDermott and the rest of the staff continue to elevate this program. I am honored to be part of a great staff and come back to a place I consider a second home.”

Zeigler played two seasons at Central Michigan for his father, Ernie Zeigler (currently an assistant coach at Nebraska), one year at Pittsburgh and one year at TCU before embarking on a seven-year professional playing career overseas. During his season as a graduate manager, Creighton advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history and he played an instrumental role in the development of stars Trey Alexander, Baylor Scheierman and Ryan Kalkbrenner.

“I’m excited to welcome Trey back to Omaha,” McDermott said. “He was instrumental in the development of our roster during his time on our coaching staff. His work ethic and ability to connect with people was exactly what I was looking for. The youthful energy and knowledge of our system and style of play will allow for a smooth transition.”

>> April 24: Creighton lands its first portal addition as Arizona State transfer Jamiya Neal announces his commitment.

The 6-foot-6, 185-pound wing averaged 11.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals as a junior for the Sun Devils last season. He’s a career 26.9% shooter from deep but is a plus athlete who can finish above the rim and defend at a high level.

“We are excited to add Jamiya to our program,” McDermott said in a release. “His blend of skill and athletic ability was exactly what we were searching for. His work ethic and desire to improve will fit perfectly with our roster. We can’t wait to get him to Omaha!”

Neal started 31 of his 32 games last season and scored in double figures in 19 of them with a high of 21. He made steady improvement during his three years in Tempe, averaging 2.0 points in 14.6 minutes per game as a freshman and 4.9 points in 16.2 minutes per game as a sophomore before his breakout junior year.

Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Neal was a 3-star recruit coming out of Hillcrest Prep in Arizona in 2021.

>> April 26: Trey Alexander declares for the 2024 NBA Draft.

The 6-foot-4 guard from Midwest City, Oklahoma, declared for the draft last season as well before withdrawing prior to the deadline to return to Creighton for his junior season. He averaged 17.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists while taking on more ball-handling duties. His 3-point percentage dropped off from his sophomore year (41% to 33.9%), but his playmaking took a leap.

He totaled 1,376 points, 488 rebounds and 347 assists in his three-year career, earning second-team All-Big East honors as a junior. Alexander participated in the NBA Combine last summer when he tested the waters the first time.

Players who wish to withdraw from the draft after declaring must do so by May 29 to maintain NCAA eligibility, though Alexander’s plan is to remain in the draft.

>> April 27: Creighton lands a commitment from Texas Tech transfer Pop Isaacs.

“The most important factor was just trust and a place that I know I could see myself at and a coaching staff that I really trusted,” Isaacs told Jeff Goodman on The Field of 68’s YouTube channel. “Obviously it was well documented what I went through off the court and I just wanted to be in a place where I think I would feel comfortable at and with a coaching staff that I already know, just a place that I could see myself on the court as well, the system, the shooting that’s going to be out there. I’m going to be going to Creighton next year and play for Coach McDermott. I think that’s the best fit for me.”

He chose Creighton over other finalists BYU and St. John’s. Isaacs originally played to visit his finalists, but after discussing things with his parents he said Creighton just made sense and he wanted to pull the trigger.

“Coach Mac’s offense, it’s tailor-made for me in a way, especially with things I need to get better at,” Isaacs said. “Obviously I wasn’t as efficient this year as I would like to be everybody else would like me to be, and that’s fine because I know I’m going to be a lot better next year, especially when I’m healthy. So I think he’d get me better at the things that I know I need to get better that I’m not running from. I just think the offense being wide open, he’s a laidback dude, and I’ve known that staff for quite a while now. So I felt really comfortable.”

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound guard spent two seasons in Lubbock, starting 58 of his 59 games. He was a third-team All-Big 12 selection as a sophomore after averaging 15.8 points and 3.5 assists, shooting 34.9% from the field (29.3% from 3) and 83.6% from the free-throw line. He scored 20 or more points nine times with a high of 32 against BYU in January.

Isaacs’ father, Richard Isaacs, indicated in March that his son played all season with a torn hip labrum and he had it surgically repaired after the season.

He earned All-Big Freshman Team honors in his first season, averaging 11.5 points and 2.7 assists while shooting 36.8% from the field (37.8% from 3) and 89.6% from the foul line.

“We are thrilled to add Pop to our backcourt,” McDermott said in a release. “His ability to score in a variety of ways and create for his teammates will be a seamless fit in our offense. In addition, his ability to defend at high level is very impressive. We look forward to getting him on campus soon!”

In January, parents of a 17-year-old girl filed a civil lawsuit alleging Isaacs had sexually assaulted their daughter while she was intoxicated during a team trip to the Bahamas in November. Isaacs maintained his innocence and Texas Tech allowed him to continue playing throughout the season. On Tuesday, the plaintiffs dismissed the claims, and Isaacs was found “not responsible” by a panel during a Title IX hearing Wednesday morning.

>> April 30: Ryan Kalkbrenner appears on the 2024 NBA Draft early entree list, joining teammate Trey Alexander,

The deadline to submit paperwork was April 27. Kalkbrenner made no announcement about his plans, just like a year ago when he quietly declared for the draft, went through the pre-draft process and withdrew close to the deadline to return to Creighton.

The deadline to withdraw from this year’s draft and maintain NCAA eligibility is May 29.

>> April 30: Fredrick King announces he has withdrawn from the transfer portal and intends to remain at Creighton.

 

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A post shared by Fredrick king jr (@fredrick_242)

King entered the portal on April 11. His return gives the coaching staff another option at the five spot for the 2024-25 season.

>> May 1: Ryan Kalkbrenner announces his return to Creighton for a fifth season.

One day after appearing on the 2024 NBA Draft early entree list, Kalkbrenner announced he’ll be back in Omaha for his extra season of eligibility. Kalkbrenner is a three-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year who averaged 17.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.1 blocks while shooting 64.6% from the field.

>> May 27: Steven Ashworth announces he’s returning for a second year as a Bluejay.

 

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A post shared by Steven Ashworth (@stevenashworth3)

The announcement does not come as a surprise as Ashworth has dropped hints about a likely return, but he hadn’t made it official previously. The Utah State transfer started all 35 games for Creighton this year, averaging 11.1 points and 4.2 assists.

With the Ashworth news, Creighton is set to return three starters from the 2023-24 season.

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