The three high school basketball players Creighton expects to sign Wednesday should add to coach Greg McDermott's already deep pool of talent.
“They're definitely not hurting themselves,” said Van Coleman, a national recruiting analyst. “He already has too many guys.”
The three who are expected to sign letters of intent with the Bluejays are 6-foot-10 Toby Hegner of Berlin, Wis.; 6-6 Darian Harris of Springdale, Ark.; and 6-9 Zach Hanson of Pierre, S.D. The players verbally committed during the summer.
Wednesday is the first day of the weeklong November signing period.
Creighton will lose three players from this season's team — 6-9 center Gregory Echenique, 6-5 guard-small forward Grant Gibbs and 6-2 guard Josh Jones. In addition, All-America forward Doug McDermott could consider leaving after this season for professional basketball.
If McDermott would leave, Coleman said, the Bluejays would potentially have a strong candidate to replace him in Hegner. He averaged 16.4 points and 8.9 rebounds while shooting 35 percent from 3-point range as a junior.
“It's really a good situation for Toby,” said Coleman, who operates the Hot100Hoops.com website. “If Doug stays, Toby will have a chance to develop while practicing daily against him. If Doug moves on, Toby would have a chance to step in as a freshman.
“I'm not saying Hegner is going to be another Doug McDermott, but he has a lot of the same skills that Doug has. He'll need to get stronger, especially in the upper body, but he has a chance to be a very good player for them.”
Harris averaged about 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists last season for Shiloh Christian High School.
“I really like Harris as an athlete,” Coleman said. “He can rebound and run the floor. He's a reasonably good shooter from inside the arc. He'll give them a multipurpose player that will be capable of defending a couple spots on the floor.”
The 245-pound Hanson played mainly inside in his first three seasons at Riggs High School but has shown the ability to move outside while playing on the summer AAU circuit.
“He'll be a guy that will give them even more depth inside,” Coleman said. “Even after Echenique leaves, they should be in good shape.”
By Coleman's rankings, Creighton's class is tied for third in the Missouri Valley Conference. He'll rank Wichita State and Southern Illinois ahead of the Bluejays and tied with Northern Iowa.
“I see Creighton and Northern Iowa in a dead heat right now,” Coleman said. “I think they both did a good job of addressing needs.”
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