I try to avoid ranting here because I feel annoying. Considering that may not be the case today, I apologize in advance if I begin to preach to my very small choir of readers. That being said, I feel obligated to address an extremely uniformed and misled population right here on Creighton’s campus. For whatever reason a large amount of my peers are convinced that without our pride and joy Doug McDermott the Jays can longer roll to victory. Although we have flourished throughout Doug’s unforgettable four-year journey, his departure has been blown slightly out of proportion in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong – Dougie McBuckets cannot and will not ever be replaced. But for some reason it has come to my attention time and time again that “we are going to suck at basketball next year.” That really annoys me. What these individuals have failed to recognize is that we no longer associate ourselves with the hodgepodge of lackluster mid-majors (besides Wichita State) that compose the MVC. We belong to the Big East Conference now. And with our new-and-improved status comes an abundance of perks that will amplify Bluejay basketball to a great degree. I’m not talking about our coverage on FOX SPORTS 1, or the increase in our strength of schedule. I’m talking about the much better recruits we now have a much better shot at luring to Omaha. Nevertheless, here are four newcomers that will surely keep the Jays rolling in the post-Doug era.
First, the high school recruits:
1) Ronnie Harrell
The top addition to our team is without a doubt Ronnie Harrell – the 84th best player in the class of 2014 according to Rivals.com. This four-star stud out of the Mile High City was a dominant force throughout his time at Denver East where he became respected for his silky outside jump shot and versatility among positions. Yet the best part is he may not even be done growing – doctors predict the 6’7 Harrell may grow another three inches.
2) Leon Gilmore III
This three-star wingman out of Texas has a lot to offer the Jays. Standing 6’7 and weighing 200 pounds, Gilmore III is a freak of an athlete who declined offers from Kansas State, Houston, and Texas Tech to become a Bluejay. Between his distinctive hairstyle, catchy nickname (LG3), and energetic play on the court, he is sure to be a crowd favorite.
And now, the transfers:
3) Maurice Watson Jr.
Watson Jr. recently ended his remarkable two-year stint at Boston University to relocate to Omaha. The 5’10 Philly native led the Terriers last season averaging over 13 points and seven assists per game. A speedy point guard with a knack for finding the open man, Watson Jr. is sure to be a great fit to the Bluejays.
4) Cole Huff
Huff announced he would be leaving Nevada and joining the Jays a mere 12 hours ago via Twitter. And considering he chose Creighton over the likes of both Iowa and Michigan, the city of Omaha should be pretty pumped right now. The 6’8 sophomore averaged 12 points and five rebounds per game for the Wolfpack last season, and was named to the All-Conference team.
Although Watson Jr. and Huff will be ineligible to play this coming season due to NCAA transfer rules, there is not a doubt in my mind they will be valuable contributors in the 2015-16 season. As for Harrell and Gilmore III, I am confident these two high school stars have promising careers ahead of them in Omaha. If these key new acquisitions are able to mesh with returners Chatman, Artino, Brooks, Hanson, and Zierden, the Jays should have no problem shocking the naysayers and holding their own in the Big East Conference.