With a couple training camp sessions in the books at Creighton's practice facility last week, Denver coach Michael Malone told CU coach Greg McDermott something that surely will be repeated in the living rooms of recruits for some time.
The Bluejays' practice courts now have an NBA endorsement.
Said McDermott: “Coach Malone told me he was going to bring his owner in and just say, 'This is what I want to build. Back in Denver, this is what we need. We don't need to change a thing.' That's the ultimate compliment.”
The Nuggets' coaches, staff and players had plenty of positive things to say about the 2-year-old Championship Center during their week at Creighton.
The Jays didn't necessarily have a major recruiting weekend that coincided with Denver's time in Omaha — 2017 commit Ty-Shon Alexander was on an official visit and 2018 guard Eric Hunter Jr. (see below) stopped by to check out Creighton as well. It's not entirely uncommon, either, for NBA teams to conduct their training camp on a college campus.
But the CU coaches will most certainly be adapting their recruiting pitches so they can reference what went on last week at their facility — and all of the glowing reviews it received.
“Without question, that's going to help us in recruiting in the long run,” McDermott said.
In the meantime, the Bluejays are looking to fill at least one roster spot in the 2017 recruiting cycle. Alexander and guard Mitchell Ballock are the two known commits. CU wouldn't mind getting a third — preferably a player with size.
Below are a few names to note as Creighton continues the hunt (revisit last month's recruiting roundup for more on the Jays' pursuit for a 2017 wing):
6-7, 185 | Top 100 player, according to ESPN, Rivals and 247 Sports
He committed to Butler on Sept. 24. Creighton placed David high on its priority list — CU's had plenty of success in the past utilizing shooters with size. But David, out of Vermont Academy, ultimately chose the Bulldogs (who are, by the way, putting together their most highly rated recruiting class ever).
Butler university class of 21' pic.twitter.com/0hZFra4kqj— Christian David (@cdavid0619) September 25, 2016
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6-7, 195 | Consensus top-25 player
Bowen recently trimmed his list of finalists in half — from 12 to six. Creighton made the cut. The Bluejays are going to have to battle some big-time programs if they want to lure Bowen, who's playing at powerhouse La Lumiere in Indiana. CU is firmly in the mix, though. ... Michigan State's been reported as the favorite. He's originally from Saginaw, Michigan.
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6-9, 230 | Three-star recruit, according to Rivals and Scout
The Pickerington, Ohio, standout announced on Twitter that he received an offer from Creighton on Sept. 12. In-state rival Nebraska had been recruiting Manley for some time. But neither the Huskers nor the Jays made his recent cut (now down to West Virginia, North Carolina, Xavier and Purdue).
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6-9, 220 | Three-star prospect, according to Rivals
Over the summer, Fisher moved from Washington, D.C., and joined Oldsmar Christian School in Florida. Creighton reportedly paid him a visit two weeks ago. Could be an under-the-radar talent.
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2018! The Bluejays are well into their 2018 recruiting cycle, as well. Below are a few names to keep an eye on (these aren't all of CU's targets; just the ones who've made noteworthy recruiting noise lately):
6-3, 170 | Rated inside the top 30 by Rivals and Scout
The St. Louis point guard was offered by Creighton more than a year ago. He averaged 17.7 points and 4.8 assists as a sophomore for Webster Groves High School. And apparently he has legit interest in the Bluejays, too, according to 247 Sports analyst Evan Flood.
.@Rameybasketball 2018 PG Courtney Ramey looking to visit Texas, Creighton, Marquette, Iowa State, Ohio State, Louisville, Florida this fall— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) September 2, 2016
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6-2, 175 | Ranked as a top-50 recruit by ESPN and Rivals
He reportedly earned a CU offer last month. He averaged 16 points and 4.6 assists for state champion Providence Day School in Charlotte, N.C., last year. He was also on the AAU roster for Team Charlotte this summer (the same squad that Ty-Shon Alexander played for).
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6-9, 240 | Unrated
He just joined Brewster Academy (New Hampshire) last month. He has apparently been blowing up ever since. The Lithuanian reportedly received a Creighton offer three weeks ago. He averaged 6.9 points and 5.9 rebounds during seven games at the U-17 FIBA World Championships during the summer (his team finished third).
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6-5, 175 | Ranked 181st by 247 Sports' composite rating
The Arlington, Texas, product took an unofficial visit to Creighton two weekends ago, according to CU Rivals website Bluejay Banter. Phillips averaged 18.5 points per game last year at Grace Prep, a Class 6A school.
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ERIC HUNTER JR.
6-2, 155 | Ranked No. 86 by Rivals
His stock appears to be rising. Hunter scored 50 points in a game last year for Tindley School, which is classified in the lowest division in Indiana. Hunter helped his team earn a spot in a regional final game during last spring's state tournament. He was on Creighton's campus Friday. He then visited Nebraska the next day, and got offered.