- 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).
75dFran Fraschilla and Seth Greenberg
128dFran Fraschilla and Seth Greenberg
145dFran Fraschilla and Seth Greenberg
165dSeth Greenberg and Fran Fraschilla
177dFran Fraschilla and Seth Greenberg