World-Herald staff writer Steven Pivovar shares his observations from Friday’s Creighton men’s basketball practice at the Vinardi Center:
SEEN: The Bluejays go through a two-hour workout as they get back in the swing of things after finals week.
HEARD: “They don’t sleep like they should this week, they don’t eat like they should. It kind of throws their body into a whirlwind. Yesterday, I liked our intensity and our focus wasn’t bad. Same with today. We’re easing back into it pretty well.’’ — Creighton coach Greg McDermott, on the return to practice after Tuesday and Wednesday off.
SEEN: A few players missing from practice. McDermott said forward Ethan Wragge and guard Steve Ferrarini missed practice Friday with the flu, while guard Grant Gibbs was limited because of illness. Forward Doug McDermott was sick on Thursday.
SEEN: An additional player at practice. Former Creighton forward Dane Watts practiced with the Bluejays on Friday. Watts has played in Europe since his graduation in 2008, but injured his back near the end of last season. He is getting back into shape with hopes of returning to Europe after the first of the year.
SEEN: Some fancy passing by Darian Harris and Devin Brooks. Harris threaded a hard bounce pass to Alex Olsen for a transition layup. Brooks found Zach Hanson inside with a pass from the wing that drew plenty of compliments from his teammates.
SEEN: A lot of work on defense. McDermott wants the Bluejays to tune that part of their game over the upcoming holiday break as they prepare for their final three nonconference games and the start of Big East play.
HEARD: “We want to get some guys some skill work. There’s not always time for that during the regular semester. Now, they have plenty of time to work on that.’’ — McDermott, on other priorities during the break period.
ON TAP: Creighton will practice Saturday, although McDermott will be on the road recruiting. Assistant coach Darian DeVries will run the workout.