Creighton head coach Greg McDermott and players Ryan Nembhard (2) and Arthur Kaluma (24) speak following the Xavier vs. Creighton men's basketball game in Omaha on Saturday, January 28, 2023. Creighton won the game 84-67.
With his college commitment looming over the next couple of months, 2024 five-star wing Trentyn Flowers wants to check all the boxes before he makes a decision.
A second look at Creighton was fairly high on that list, prompting Flowers’ unofficial visit this past weekend.
He’d already narrowed his list down to six schools — Creighton, Arkansas, Kansas, North Carolina, Louisville and Alabama — in early January. By the time his official visit to CU wrapped up back in November, he’d left without the chance to witness one seemingly significant experience: What the campus looked like on game day.
“Being around the environment and seeing how it translated to how it’d be on the floor,” Flowers said he hoped to return for. “Just getting to watch a game was the biggest thing.”
The Combine Academy forward might not have chosen a more opportune time than Saturday’s game versus Xavier, which featured a standing room crowd for the annual Pink Out game at the CHI Health Center.
Flowers called it a full circle moment; Xavier was the first school to offer him back during Travis Steele’s tenure. Now it was on the other end of a game that could influence his decision.
Creighton fans have flooded Flowers’ Twitter mentions in recent months, and he noted he received similar attention in his return to Omaha.
“All the fans, just the support they showed me while I was there, it was crazy,” Flowers said. “... It was great to be back. Being able to see the city more and be around a place like that, it was a great feeling.”
The Jays have risen quickly in Flowers’ recruitment despite extending him an offer as recently as October. Flowers has noted the relationship he’s built with second-year assistant coach Jalen Courtney-Williams as part of what’s drawn him to Creighton.
“(Courtney-Williams) has been a big part of my recruitment,” Flowers said. “... That’s just a great person to build a relationship with, no matter if you’re playing basketball or not.”
Flowers wasn’t old enough to watch the Doug McDermott era of Creighton basketball that launched the program further into the national scope. But being a self-proclaimed basketball junkie, he said he’s caught the Bluejays in their recent NCAA tournament appearances, citing a lingering appreciation for their playstyle.
“They just get up and down the floor and play well,” Flowers said. “They value shooting the ball. They can play without the ball, they can play with the ball. Coach McDermott is a great basketball mind.”
Ask Flowers himself, he’ll tell you he’s a “unicorn.” The 6-foot-9 forward has shown flashes of handle to attack closeouts and operate in pick-and-rolls here and there. He boasts a respectable shooting touch that’s allowed him to impress both on and off the ball. And with his athleticism, Flowers has been a headache for those trying to get in front of him as he heads downhill.
He noted he saw a lot of what he envisions for his own mold while taking in Saturday’s game.
“I just think it’s a great fit for me and how I’d like to play,” Flowers said. “Just being able to go and watch in person, it kind of even sealed the deal more for me.”
His final decision could still ultimately be weeks away. Flowers won’t budge without “dotting my I’s and crossing my T’s,” he says. He hasn’t exactly checked every box, noting that he currently has an official visit to Arkansas planned for March 5.
Flowers has repeatedly stated his commitment could come at any point between March and April. As he continues to make his rounds, he knows exactly what he's looking for.
“Biggest thing for me is the want, fit and need," Flowers said. "If you have those three things, most likely that’s where I’d like to go to school.”
Photos: Creighton men's basketball takes on Xavier