The State of CU Recruiting – 2019

“Top tier teams rarely have true ‘down’ years and find a way to stay relevant every year.” – Adoraz (




I recently asked about what the philosophy and strategies were for Jays basketball recruiting.  I was told by an anonymous source that the Jays;

Try to pick battles that make sense (prior relationships or geographical advantages).

Traditionally, Creighton Basketball, as a Midmajor, recruited for fit to its’ system.  The Jays went after players who had talents/skills to fit the style of play and had upside potential.  Our players were predominantly 2 & 3 star guys back in those days, with an occasional 4-star guy (Lawson, Miles, Morrison, Stinnett -247Sports) thrown in.

2007 – Two 4-Stars, 2 transfers, Dane Watts, & Bookwood.  Wow!

With the move to the majors in 2013 we had a shift in our recruiting targets up to the 4 star level.  Recent recruiting has still focused on fit for the Jays uptempo style and the team has had good successes in bringing in 4-star recruits.  In the six years we’ve been in the Big East, we have signed six 4-star HS recruits to the team.  With Jacob Epperson being the highest rated Creighton recruit (247 Sports 0.9664) since ratings began in the mid 2000’s.  Two of our transfers were also 4-stars out of HS.  Five of which are still onboard, counting transfer SF Antwaan Jones.

Surprisingly, all of our six Big East recruiting classes have been Top 100, with the 3 classes of 2016-2018 rated in the Top 50.  The 2017 class of Epperson, Ballock, and Alexander rated #25 (247 Sports).  Have we had our misses? Yes, like all programs we’ve missed a few we’d liked to have snared, but overall our recruiting has been successful.

The Jays also have had significant recent success in bringing in foreign players such as Canadian Jahenns Manigat, Slovenian Martin Krampelj, and Aussies Jacob Epperson & Samson Froling.



CU is at a significant geographical disadvantage on 90% of our recruits.  That is why we have pivoted to the international scene some.  CU will try on any player that makes sense (fits our style, fits from a character standpoint) from our región.  Otherwise Creighton will focus on taking advantage of our network and relationships both nationally and internationally .

Another area of success has been the growing college transfer market.  Who would have envisioned todays burgeoning lists of transfers back in the day when we picked up Gd Nick Bahe-KU (2005) and Fwd Chad Millard-Louisville (2006)?  Creighton has relied on cherrypicking a steady stream of talent from the transfer ranks, most recently Gd/Fwds Kaleb Joseph (4*), Damien Jefferson, Denzel Mahoney, and Antwaan Jones  (4*).



Our 2 main message board sites had the Jays with 23 and 27 main 2019 offers with one site having over 15 additional recruits of interest.  Not knocking those sites by any means but my source inferred:

The other thing to note is that just because an offer is reported, does’t mean that an actual offer was made.  Kids, especially young kids, mistake a couple calls for an offer. We laugh all the time about kids that report we have offered that we called a couple times and never offered,  The Jays have even had a few times where we were reported to be a finalist and we weren’t recruiting the kid and had never offered.

My synopsys is that the overall state of recruiting for the Jays is good.  We’ve won a few battles and lost a few as well, but we’ve secured enough talent to remain competitive.  Here’s the thing…Can Creighton basketball recruiting improve and remain competitive in conference and on the national scene?

Adoraz ( says:  “Top tier teams rarely have true ‘down’ years and find a way to stay relevant every year.”

Good recruiting is one of the means for the CU basketball program to achieving and maintaining relevance.

By all means Yes!  We need to continue to schedule as well as we have, win at current levels or better, and also overachieve a bit more – both in the regular season as well as in the post season NCAAs. All the above will aid us in continuing to recruit effectively.  We must improve in order to remain competitive as our Big East brethren are killing it on the recruiting trail.  From Villanova to DePaul, all are signing high end recruits, and UConn rejoins the mix next season (2020).  It’s an arms race and Creighton must strive to stay relevant.

We are on the right path…stay the course.



Photos:  Creighton Athletics




Become strategically relevant.

Step 1: (Re)define marketing for your organization                                                                  Step 2: Align with corporate strategy                                                                                          Step 3: Cascade performance from pipeline .                

The common threads along the path to strategic relevance all come together around pipeline and your ability to build it or convert it as a total marketing system. The path to strategic relevance is straightforward: Define your marketing organization as an ecosystem of demand creation, align your mix to pipeline creation and Athletic Department/University (business) performance, and then measure everything you do according to its impact on the topline results of your business.  (Seek assistance from your Bus. Marketing and University planners for converting SR principles to your needs.)

Set goals.   Develop objectives/milestones to meet goals.   Measure results.