World-Herald staff writer Steven Pivovar shares his observations from Monday’s Creighton men’s basketball practice at the CenturyLink Center.
SEEN: The Bluejays going through a two-hour practice in preparation for Tuesday’s game against Butler. Because of a one-game turnaround between games, the Creighton coaches had introduced Butler’s offensive and defensive tendencies in last Thursday’s practice. Creighton coach Greg McDermott said he liked the retention the players showed in Monday’s practice.
SEEN: In spite of sporadic playing time, freshman Zach Hanson continues to work hard in practice. On one sequence, Hanson blocked a shot on the defensive end and then sprinted downcourt. He caught a slightly off-target lead pass, righted himself and scored on a nice layup move. Hanson also showed good activity on the boards throughout practice.
SEEN: Guard Austin Chatman has the ability to score from confounding angles on drives. His best one Monday came midway through practice when he snaked his way through the middle and then somehow slipped the ball through a defender’s arms and into the basket.
SEEN: Junior James Milliken sporting a pair of gold shoes for practice. Redshirting this season, Milliken made a nice fashion statement with the shoes accenting his gold practice jersey.
HEARD: McDermott chastising his regulars for a lack of defensive focus midway through practice. He told the players that they won’t be able to give up 89 points, as they did in Sunday’s win over Xavier, and expect to win.
SEEN: Former Creighton great Bob Portman watching practice. Portman, who still holds many of the Bluejays’ scoring records more than four decades after he played his final game, attended Sunday’s game along with his wife and grandson. They’ll also attend Tuesday’s game before returning to home to Charlotte, N.C.
Creighton legend Bob Portman & Doug McDermott. Combined 4,492 points, 1,940 rebounds, and 42 30-point games. pic.twitter.com/rtRNn0aCI6
— Rob Anderson (@_robanderson) January 14, 2014
HEARD: “I love watching you guys play, and I love the way you guys play together. This is a great time in your life, and enjoy it.’’ — Portman, addressing the team after practice.
HEARD: McDermott introduced Portman by pointing out that he holds many of the school’s scoring records, including points in a single game (51). McDermott then added that Portman also owns the 1 through 10 spots on the chart for most shots attempted in a game. The person laughing most about the comment? Portman.
HEARD: “I think he certainly has people’s attention where he wasn’t on anybody’s radar going into this year.He’s a guy that has shown a good element of toughness inside, that’s a great teammate, that is very intelligent and can shoot the daylights out of the ball from 26, 27 feet. That’s a pretty good combo.’’ — McDermott, when asked if Ethan Wragge’s pro prospects have been helped because of the number of scouts turning out to watch Creighton star Doug McDermott play.
Grant Gibbs said his injured knee is feeling better. "I still don't have much mobility. Then again, I never had much mobility.''
— Steve Pivovar (@PivOWH) January 14, 2014