When playing alongside Big East Player of the Year Doug McDermott and his father as head coach, it was hard for any other player to standout at Creighton. Despite Austin Chatman helping the Bluejays to the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row, (The) Colony, Texas native is currently sidelined with a thumb injury and has missed almost all of Creighton's offseason workouts.
With this in mind, is the senior point guard prepared to lead Creighton this year as their only returning starter?
The tone of any college basketball team's season starts during the dog days of summer. Focus, dedication, fine tuning your game, putting on or trimming weight, and fighting for starting spots are what fills summer months for college basketball players. Pressure combined with frustration felt from coaches and long conditioning days can carry a lot of weight on a players shoulders. But Chatman feels a different side of frustration, as he has no choice in the matter due to an accidental injury. Creighton has built a reputation as a team known for its high-powered offense and quick ball movement. They were second in the country last year in total team assists per game. Chatman's vision as the floor general will be is missed this offseason as the team prepares for non-conference play. Chatman averaged 8.1 points in his 2013-2014 campaign and had some of his highest scoring in the NCAA Tournament and Big East Tournament games respectively.
Chatman has proven he adds to the quick efficient basketball Creighton brought to the table all season long last year, but will it be enough to fill the crater-sized hole Dougie McBuckets left?
If the Bluejays from Nebraska hope to dance again in 2015, they will need Austin to bounce back in mid season mode upon his return. He will need to provide the level of intensity Creighton did last year and them some as he is surrounded by a new supporting cast. Chatman will be looked to instill veteran experience in the locker room and on the floor. He will also need to spread the ball in order to find a way to manufacture the missing 25+ points McDermott provided night in and night out. Chatman's shoulders will be heavy as all eyes will be on the 6-foot point guard early in the nonconference schedule, when Creighton opens against Sioux Falls November 7.