Creighton basketball players Ethan Wragge and Doug McDermott face drastically different routines as they head into the offseason.
Wragge, the Bluejays’ sharpshooting senior forward, will be sidelined for about five weeks as he recovers from left wrist surgery. He was hurt in the opening game of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament in March.
“They told me that if I wanted to have the possibility of playing through next season, I should probably get it done now,” Wragge said. “I didn’t want to wait and then probably be missing time in November or December.”
Meanwhile, McDermott will begin preparing for the chance to represent his country for the second time in three summers. He confirmed a report from ESPN.com’s Andy Katz that he will try out for the U.S. team that will play in the World University Games in July.
The two-time All-American, who last month decided to return to Creighton for his senior season, will participate in the U.S. training camp June 24 through July 1 at Colorado Springs, Colo. Coaches will select the 12-member team for the international competition July 7 through 16 in Kazan, Russia.
McDermott played for the U.S. under-19 team in the 2011 world championships held in Latvia.
In other basketball-related developments:
>> Guard Grant Gibbs said he hasn’t heard anything from the NCAA regarding his petition for a sixth season of eligibility. Creighton filed the petition in early May.
>> Coach Greg McDermott said the Bluejays will play in the Anaheim Classic in late November after they initially considered pulling out of the tournament because another new Big East team, Marquette, also is in the field. He said Creighton has not finalized its nonconference schedule.
>> McDermott expects the Bluejays’ three incoming scholarship freshmen — Zach Hanson, Toby Hegner and Darian Harris — to report to campus before the June 10 start of summer school. Devin Brooks and James Milliken, the team’s two junior college recruits, probably won’t report until the second session in July.
>> The selection of veteran official John Cahill as the new Big East’s supervisor of officials is a positive for the league, McDermott said.
McDermott said he did not know Cahill until meeting him at the league meetings this week in Florida.
“The officials that I do know well could not speak more highly of him,” McDermott said. “I think we’ve hired the right person. He was very impressive in our meetings, and I think the coaches are unanimously on board with his vision of what the officiating needs to be in our league.”
McDermott said most of the team’s veterans either are on campus or should return shortly. While Wragge’s surgery is a bit of a setback, McDermott said, the good news it was not a serious procedure.
“He should be able to get back sometime this summer,” the coach said.
Actually, Wragge intends to participate, on a limited basis, in the Bluejays’ summer conditioning program even though his left wrist will be in a cast for the next five weeks. The injury was to the wrist on his non-shooting hand.
“From what I’ve been told, I should be able to continue running and lifting and do a little bit of shooting,” said Wragge, who underwent surgery May 17 in Omaha. “The only thing they don’t want me doing is anything with much contact.”
Doctors inserted two pins to reattach a ligament on the top of Wragge’s wrist. He sustained the injury in a March 8 game in St. Louis, but was able to play in the team’s final two Valley tournament games and its NCAA tournament contests.
“At first, they thought it was just a bone bruise,” Wragge said, “and that a couple weeks of rest would heal it.”
He said the wrist continued to bother him when the Bluejays started April workouts. He had the wrist re-examined, and x-rays revealed a couple of bone chips as well as the ligament damage.
“They put it in a cast, thinking that might help it improve,” Wragge said. “But it didn’t get any better, so that’s when we decided to have the surgery.
“It’s a pretty lousy way to start the summer, but if everything goes well, I should be back to doing everything by mid-July.”
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