Creighton junior Christian Bishop, a two-year starter at center, announced Wednesday that he plans to enter the transfer portal.
Bishop revealed his decision on Twitter, asking fans to respect his decision. He also thanked his family, teammates and the coaching staff for helping him along the way.
“After coming to a decision with my family, I believe it’s best for me to join the transfer portal and explore my opportunities to grow as a player and a person,” Bishop tweeted. “I would like to thank all of the Bluejay fans for supporting me and giving me a place to call home.”
The 6-foot-7, 220-pounder emerged as a versatile asset on both sides of the ball the past two seasons. His ability to run the floor, initiate offense and rise above the rim aided CU’s attack. He could put pressure on opposing guards out of ball screens defensively, while also helping to protect the rim.
Bishop was asked to play out of position at Creighton, mostly due to injuries. Despite being undersized, though, he found his niche.
Bishop is coming off a year when he recorded the second-best single-season field goal percentage in program history (68.1%). He ended up averaging 11.0 points and 6.4 rebounds.
He played especially well in Creighton’s two NCAA tournament wins, grabbing an event-high 26 rebounds and making 12 of his 15 shots during the first weekend. He became the third Bluejay ever to record multiple double-doubles in the same NCAA tournament.
But Bishop plans to finish his college career elsewhere.
Bishop, who’s from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, technically has two years of collegiate eligibility remaining. The NCAA granted all winter sports athletes an extra year due to the pandemic.
His presence will be difficult for Creighton to replace.
The Jays are already projected to lose three starters, seniors Mitch Ballock, Denzel Mahoney and Damien Jefferson. Point guard Marcus Zegarowski tweeted Wednesday that he’s not entering the transfer portal, but he will have to decide this offseason whether he’ll stay in school or turn pro.
So CU could have an entirely new starting five next.
Creighton is set to return freshman center Ryan Kalkbrenner, who averaged 5.9 points as a reserve in 31 games this season. He led all Big East freshmen in blocks (1.2 per game).
But Kalkbrenner’s the only scholarship center currently on the roster.
Junior Jacob Epperson, who battled injuries during his career, announced earlier this month that he plans to retire from the game.
So CU will look to add frontline depth via the transfer portal. The Jays were reportedly in the mix for Division II transfer Cam Martin, but the 6-9 big man from Missouri Southern committed to Kansas on Wednesday.