By Spencer Impellizzeri @Spence_I on March 18, 2014
In their first season in the Big East, the Creighton Bluejays have put together a great season, going 26-7 and finishing second in the conference. The Bluejays enter the NCAA tournament as a No. 3 seed in the West Region, and although they aren't a deep team, they have plenty of firepower to make a deep tournament run. Here's a look at the five most important players for Creighton during the NCAA tournament.
Jahenns Manigat starts at a guard position for Creighton and provides the Bluejays with a great perimeter defender. He leads the team in steals at 1.1 per game and in free throw percentage at 89.5 percent. Manigat also takes care of the ball well, sporting a 3.6 assist to turnover ratio.
Austin Chatman runs the point for Creighton and has done an excellent job. He leads the team in assists with 4.5 a game, and is the third-leading scorer at 7.7 points per game. Chatman is second on the team in minutes per game, averaging just under 30 a game, and is a key part of the team.
Grant Gibbs is a sixth-year senior for Creighton and his veteran leadership will be key for the Bluejays in the NCAA tournament. He is a well-rounded player, averaging 7.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. He also shoots 57 percent from the floor, including a team-leading 47.5 percent from 3-point range. Gibbs is key to the Bluejays' success in all facets of the game.
The Bluejays are a team that lives by the three as they leads the country in 3-point field goal percentage, and Ethan Wragge is a big reason why. He is the second-leading scorer at 10.5 points per game and shoots just over 47 percent from 3-point range. Creighton is a smaller team, so Wragge is relied on a lot as a post defender and in the rebounding department.
Doug McDermott is the heart and soul of this Creighton team. He leads the nation in scoring at 26.9 points per game and is the presumed leader for the Naismith Award. McDermott is fifth on the all-time NCAA scoring list, with 3,105 career points. He also leads the Bluejays in rebounding at 7.0 per game, is a 86 percent free throw shooter and shoots at over 45 percent from three. Creighton will go as far in the tournament as McDermott takes them.
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