Part 2: Questions Heading into the New Season
As with any season, there are always questions before the games began. On the eve of the 2015-16 season we take a look at the five biggest questions for the Jays as they begin year three in the Big East. In part two of this two part series, we take a look at the final three questions.
Question 3: Will defense finally be the difference?
We have heard the same thing every year since Coach McDermott has been at the helm at CU-"We need to get better on the defensive end." While there have been strides and from time to time big stops made, for the most part it still is an issue six years later. Could this year be different?
Certainly the upgrade in athleticism will help. The lack of an inside presence may be over as Geoff Groselle, Justin Patton and Zach Hanson all have the tools to alter shots. But the reason for optimism this year lies with freshman Khyri Thomas. His length and quickness to get into passing lanes could make a difference and turn games around on the defensive end. We shall see.
Question 4: Will let it fly return?
A drop off in three-point production was expected with the loss of Doug McDermott, Ethan Wragge and Jahens Manigat. The void was to be filled by Isaiah Zierden, James Milliken and a group of others, but when Zierden was lost for the season with an injury, a great deal of the three point production went with it.
The Jays had plenty of offensive struggles last year and to be successful this year the threes need to drop at a higher clip. Newcomers Martin Krampelj, Cole Huff and Malik Albert should give the perimeter shooting a boost along with the return of Toby Hegner, Zierden and Milliken. Even a small improvement in this area could pay big dividends.
Question 5: Can the home court be defended?
Creighton has enjoyed a great home court advantage since joining the Big East. In a recent poll of beat writers on Bluejay Banter, Creighton received its fair share of votes as the toughest home venue in the league. Even during a down year last year only one of the Big East battles was a blow out at home and frankly the Jays should have picked up a couple more wins at the Clink.
Can this young, inexperienced group find success at home? Usually with young teams that is the case. We will find out early with the first two conference home games against Villanova and Georgetown.