The 2008-09 Creighton men's basketball team hit 276 three-pointers, including 91 by the graduated Booker Woodfox, and 34 by the possibly departed Cavel Witter. In the previous season Creighton hit 274, but the Jays will enter the 2009-10 basketball season with an apparent lack of consistent three-point shooting. Junior starter P'Allen Stinnett could be one solution, if he improves his jumper. However, Stinnet is streaky and Junior reserve Kaleb Korver who hit 39 of his 41 made field goals from behind the arc, has trouble creating his own shot. Creighton will need more shooters on the floor to pick up the slack left by MVC Player of the Year Booker Woodfox, who was 2nd in the nation at three-point shooting percentage (47.6 %).
One option could come from incoming freshmen Ethan Wragge from Eden Prarie, Minnesota who was recruited by Jays' coach Daren DeVries for his ability knock down the 3. Wragge is a 6-foot-8 200 pound small/power forward who is built in the mold of former Jay Dane Watts. With the size of forward and the outside shot of a guard, Ethan Wragge could prove to be a stellar addition to Bluejay basketball because of his ability score both inside and out. Head Coach Dana Altman actually believes that Ethan will enter college as a better shooter than Dane was although a little smaller is size.
Ethan became a Creighton Bluejay last fall when he signed to play for Coach Altman. The recruitment of Wragge heated up after several strong performances over the summer at a variety of AAU events and had several BCS schools calling on him.
Last week in an interview with TheBluejaycafe.com Wragge explained his desire to get to Omaha was so great that he is skipping his high school graduation ceremony so he can start his offseason program "I don't want to be that far behind everyone else by the time I get down there and with Minnesota schools getting out really late - it was a decision me and my parents made."
While Wragge admits that he needs to gain weight (only weighs 200 lbs), he isn't afraid to bang on the inside. He was the tallest player on his team for all three of his years as a Varsity player at Eden Prairie, and likes to mix it up in the paint.
"I averaged 10 rebounds this year and 8 rebounds last year. Our conference for high school in Minnesota is considered the football conference. Most of the football players play basketball so yeah; I'm not going to shy away from contact (laugh)," said Wragge.
Jays fans hope Wragge can develop into an inside/outside threat that the team has been lacking since the graduation of Dane Watts and Anthony Tolliver. The coaches already see such a similarity between Watts and Wragge that they have shown him film of the former Jay. Ethan will enter next year as the third tallest player on the roster, so there is a very good chance that he will see the floor as a Freshman.
BJC: What has it been like for you since you since you signed the LOI to attend Creighton?
EW: It's been fun - I've enjoyed it a lot . I've got a bunch of family in the area who have been trying to get tickets for next year. That's what my family has been doing over the last few weeks. The main part is that I'm really excited to get down there to get started on the work. I'm ready to get down there now with school winding down, there is not too much left - I'm just really excited to get down there.
BJC : When you were making your decision as to where to play basketball in college you had larger schools like Marquette and Providence recruiting you - what was the final issue that nailed down Creighton as your new home?
EW: As I said, I have a bunch of family that lives in Omaha. I actually have 2 uncles that live right in Omaha. I really liked Coach Altman. I really liked Coach DeVries. I really liked the players that I got to hang out with - that is really what it boiled down to. The other players I met from other schools didn't go out of their way to make me feel like family or like a part of them. And then the final selling point was the Qwest Center. I got to come down to a couple of games to see the atmosphere, to see what it looks it and there was nothing better for games I had been at during the process.
BJC :Do you remember which games you came down for?
EW: I went to 2 games this year. I went to the Oral Roberts game. The team was only up 1 at half and then REALLY turned it on during the second half. And then I went to the Kentucky game - which was a lot of fun.
BJC : When you were at the Kentucky game - did it hit you that you were going to be playing in front of crowds that big next year potentially?
EW: Yeah, the crowd difference between that game and Oral Roberts was remarkable. That was one of the most fun basketball games I've ever been to. It was cool because I got to sit next to Wayne (Runnels) and that was the first time I got to meet him and we got to talk about the game and what we thought about it.
BJC : Has the coaching staff talked to you about the fact that there is a lack of height on next year's team?
EW: Yes, when I talk to Coach DeVries lately, when I found out that Kenton and Cavel quit, that was the first thing we talked about - there are only 2 other guy taller than me on the team for next year.
BJC:Have they talked to you about playing the power forward or 4 spot - playing on the interior?
EW: Um, I haven't talked to them about that but I don't know what they are going to do. I just want to get down there to see if I can play next year.
BJC: Have you talked to Coach Altman or DeVries about redshirting? Is that an option?
EW: They told me it's open right now. It all depends on how well I play once I get down there.