- Seth Greenberg, ESPN Insider
Maintaining a program at an elite level is not easy in today’s culture of college basketball. It’s becoming more and more difficult each year to balance recruiting classes and have that much-needed continuity. Kentucky, Kansas and Duke are among a select few programs that have the ability to reload each year. But most aren't able to do so. When either a dominant player graduates or leaves for the NBA draft, it could leave a team in disarray. Transferring is also a major problem, as the amount of players leaving programs early is at an all-time high.
Which programs are hit the hardest heading into next season and who could help fill those voids? Let’s take a look.
Who’s gone: Creighton has been a great story the past two years having earned bids to the NCAA tournament and winning games once getting there. Coach Greg McDermott had a special player in his son Doug, who was the consensus National Player of the Year in 2013-14 after averaging 26.7 points per game. He was complemented by big, smart, point guard Grant Gibbs and long-range specialist Ethan Wragge. Now the Bluejays must move on without that talented trio.
How the void is filled: Austin Chatman’s role is going to evolve next season. He needs to be a better leader and manage the basketball game more efficiently. The senior guard must demonstrate a sense of purpose and not try to do too much. Chatman has been part of a winning culture thus far with Creighton and will need to show the proper intangibles that are crucial for a young team. He’ll be joined in the backcourt by Devin Brooks, who, like Chatman, will be a senior. Though Brooks was solid last season for Greg McDermott’s squad, he would benefit from an improved 3-point shot (28.1 percent on the season).
Maintaining a program at an elite level is not easy in today’s culture of college basketball. It’s becoming more and more difficult each year to balance recruiting classes and have that much-needed continuity.