Mag Power Rankings: 20-16

Creighton may be a contender in its first season in the new Big East

Originally Published: October 29, 2013
By Jeff Goodman and Seth Greenberg | ESPN The Magazine

Kevin PangosStreeter Lecka/Getty ImagesKevin Pangos helps make up a solid backcourt for Gonzaga.

20. Creighton Bluejays

Joe Lunardi's project NCAA tourney seed: 6
Returning minutes: 81 percent

What you know: When 6'8" do-it-all F Doug McDermott (23.2 ppg) decided to return for his senior season, the Bluejays instantly became legit contenders in their first season in the new Big East.

What you should know: The difference between a No. 6 and No. 12 seed will be whether McDermott's athleticism translates to the Big East. But he had no problem scoring against some of the best young NBA players at a Team USA minicamp this summer. He'll need to rely on 6'5" senior G Grant Gibbs out of double-teams that will come even more often now that C Gregory Echenique (9.7 ppg) is gone. Senior F Ethan Wragge (45 percent from deep) could see an expanded role if coach Greg McDermott goes small. But the D (sixth in efficiency in MVC play) must improve in a tougher conference.

Post-ups: Coach McDermott will be pressured to put his son in different places, and even without Echenique, Doug will continue to be the main option on post-ups. Those are important; this team wants to spread you out to create open shots on the perimeter.

Three-pointers: McDermott shot 49 percent on threes, and Wragge is ridiculous too. But getting Gibbs back for a sixth year was the next most important thing. He is physical and sees the floor (team-high 5.8 apg) as well as PG Austin Chatman. They get it to guys in the right spots.


To see Nos. 19-16 in ESPN The Magazine's college hoops Power Rankings, plus Seth Greenberg's shot selections, you must be an ESPN Insider.