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The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Creighton men’s basketball 2023-2024 season preview

The Jays come back for revenge after a heartbreaking loss in the final four of the 2022-2023 NCAA tournament
Sam Blecha
Creighton men’s basketball team will host their opening game on Nov. 3 against Wayne State.

In the 2022-2023 season, Creighton lived up to expectations and didn’t let the fans down. They finished with a 24-13 record in the season and came in third place in the Big East. They ended the season off with beating Georgetown and Depaul while gaining momentum going into the Big East tournament.  

Creighton’s first challenge in the Big East tournament was against the Villanova Wildcats.They beat Villanova 87-74 and at this point it seemed as if no team could beat them. But before they knew it, Xavier came in and dominated them by 22 points in the next game. Although losing badly right before the NCAA tournament isn’t ideal, they would bounce back and prove people wrong.

Going into the NCAA tournament, Creighton was a six seed and their first matchup was the NC State Wolfpack. They beat them pretty handedly 72-63 and then went and beat the Baylor Bears 85-76. Now they are in the Sweet 16 and face the Princeton Tigers who have had a miraculous run so far in the tournament. Creighton had a chance to make history in this game as they had never made it past the Sweet 16 before. 

They go into the game as favorites against this Princeton team and all is going for them in this tournament. Creighton dominates Princeton the whole game and wins 86-75. At this point, they have already exceeded expectations for the season and it isn’t even over yet. Their next matchup comes against a hot San Diego State team that has been breaking down teams with their outstanding defense.The score was tight the whole game and it was a defensive matchup. Both teams were playing tremendous defense and held each other to under 60 points. With 34 seconds left in the game, San Diego State was winning 56-54 and they had the ball. 

As they pass the ball in, Creighton steals it and makes a layup to tie the game at 56. Now San Diego State has one possession to win the game or go to overtime. They ended up calling a timeout and had 6.7 seconds to make a shot. As time is about to run out, San Diego State misses a layup but the player gets fouled. The player has two shots with no time left so if he makes one of them then they win. He misses the first free throw and makes the second. Creighton ends up losing the game 57-56 and their season is over. It was a heartbreaking end to the season but it won’t take away from the amount of success they had during the year.

During the offseason, Creighton was looking to build onto their team that had gone far in the NCAA tournament. But getting to the same spot they did in the tournament the year before was in jeopardy because of players departing for the NBA draft. Three players tried for the NBA draft but luckily, they all ended up coming back to the team. On the other hand, Creighton had two major departures from the team. Their point guard Ryan Nembhard had left the team to go join the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Also, Arthur Kaluma, the team’s small forward, left to go to Kansas State. 

Although there were other departures, these were the significant ones that made an impact. Creighton had to make some moves to fill in the gaps of the key departures. So they went out and got Issac Traudt from Virginia. He redshirted at Virginia last year so he still had all four years of his eligibility. They also got guard Steven Ashworth from Utah State. He will fill in for Nembhard and fit perfectly with the team. He is a facilitator that has a great three point shot. 

Their three biggest returners were center Ryan Kalkbrenner, guard Trey Alexander, and forward Baylor Schierman. These three were all testing out the NBA draft waters and all ended up coming back, hoping to up their stock for the following NBA season. Creighton is looking to improve on their NCAA tournament resume and go farther than they did last year. They enter the year as favorites to win the Big East  just behind the Marquette Eagles. The limits are sky high for this team and anything is possible. 

Creighton will start off the season against Wayne State. They play at the CHI Health Center and it is an exhibition game. Their first real game is at home against Florida A&M. They look to start off the year hot and get some momentum to start off the season. They will be playing with fire and won’t be holding back at all after the heartbreaking end to last season. The expectations for this team are through the roof and it is going to be a long and entertaining season. 


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About the Contributor
Sam Blecha
Sam Blecha, Staff Reporter
Sam is a senior at Millard West and this is his first year on the CATalyst staff. He likes to spend his time hanging out with friends and family. Things he likes to do with his friends are watching and playing sports, like golf and basketball. A lot of his time is also spent working. He enjoys writing about sports events that have happened all over the world and reviewing new and upcoming movies in the movie industry.

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