South Dakota State transfer Baylor Scheierman, arguably the best player available in the portal, committed to Creighton on Tuesday.
A Nebraska native, Scheierman chose the Bluejays over Nebraska, Clemson, Arkansas, and Duke.
“I decided to commit to Creighton because I really like how they play,” Scheierman told ESPN. “They’re a selfless team that really shares the ball, and I’m used to that and I like to play that way. They also let their guys play free and loose, and I feel like I’m playing my best in that kind of system.
“They have a great group of guys coming back who are very talented and know how to play the right way and I think we can do something special together. Also the opportunity to come home was an offer I couldn’t to resist.”
The Bluejays were ranked No. 9 in ESPN’s first Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25, but the addition of Scheierman, who is No. 4 in the ESPN transfer rankings, gives them a top scorer and pushes them into the top five.
“They said I’m that missing piece that can take them to a National Championship — and better yet, I can do it at home,” Scheierman said.
A versatile 6-foot-6 winger, Scheierman won the Summit League Player of the Year honors last season after averaging 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists and 46.9% of the 3 point range. Over the course of the season, he scored 12 double-doubles, including a performance of 26 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists against Omaha in January.
Scheierman helped the Jackrabbits to a 30-4 record, including an 18-0 Summit League mark, before losing in the first round of the NCAA Providence tournament. He had 18 points and 10 rebounds in the loss to the Friars.
It was his second straight season that he earned a first-team all-conference roster as he was selected in 2020-21 after averaging 15.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists.
One of the top NBA draft prospects on the portal, Scheierman is still testing the NBA draft waters and being invited to the G League Elite Camp to be held May 16-17.
“There isn’t a song I had in mind,” Scheierman said. “I think if I can be called up and it is guaranteed money, I will stay.”
What makes Scheierman so interesting is his offensive versatility. He can play point guard because he is an elite passer, but he is also great off the ball because of his marksmanship. Plus, he bounces back like a power forward.
Creighton should give Scheierman a good fit as it will help him defensively. He can defend whatever attacker Arthur Kaluma doesn’t defend, and he’ll have Big East Defensive Player of the Year Ryan Kalkbrenner behind him to protect the edge.
For Scheierman, proof that his production can withstand the highest level of competition – more than any NIL package – was key in his decision to choose Creighton. He played power forward in the Summit League for an up-tempo team, which allowed him to show his full skills, but the NBA teams wondered how this translates.
“It’s actually funny because information came out that I was demanding this and that,” Scheierman said. “In reality, I knew NIL would be a part of it, but I told my parents at the beginning of the process that if I go back to school, I’m doing this to ultimately put myself in a better position for my professional aspirations. “
Scheierman joins four players who started at least 13 games for Creighton last season. Ryan Nembhard was one of the top freshman point guards in the country, while fellow freshman Trey Alexander came out strong all season, averaging 16.0 points and 7.0 assists in two NCAA tournament games. Kalkbrenner and Kaluma will anchor the frontcourt.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA drafting expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a privately-owned scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA, and international teams.