Former Duke basketball player Alex O’Connell has decided his fresh start will come at Creighton, which appears to be an ideal landing spot for someone with his level of potential.
Last month, junior guard Alex O’Connell announced he’d be transferring from the Duke basketball program. While the announcement came as a surprise to many, it seemed to only be a matter of time.
The sharpshooter from Roswell, Ga., averaged a career-high 5.2 points per game this past season. However, being a part of a deep Duke basketball lineup led to O’Connell only seeing 13.3 minutes per game. While starting six games during the 2019-20 campaign for the Blue Devils, he just couldn’t seem to hit many of the few shots he took. A 40.5 field goal percentage and a 27.3 3-point percentage made for the lowest of his career.
Although O’Connell’s stats may not grab the attention of many, there were plenty of bright spots during his three years in Durham. In a 2019 bout at Syracuse, he showed what he was capable of as he scored 20 points, propelling the Blue Devils to a victory.
The speculation surrounding his next destination had fans everywhere guessing, but that all came to an end on Wednesday afternoon when O’Connell announced Creighton as his destination. As of now, his eligibility for the 2020-21 season remains up in the air. He won’t be able to play unless he either graduates early or is granted a waiver by the NCAA.
Creighton is coming off an incredible season and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. The Blue Jays return plenty of talent, including big-time scorers Ty-Shon Alexander and Marcus Zegarowski. O’Connell will undoubtedly get more playing time, though, and will be able to showcase his potential.
Assuming O’Connell gains eligibility, this squad out of Omaha will be an issue in the upcoming season. Not only did the Blue Jays win a share of the Big East regular-season title, but they also capped off a cut-short season ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll.
With conference foe Seton Hall losing a plethora of production, Creighton will battle with Villanova to rule the Big East. Head coach Greg McDermott has built something special in Omaha across his 10 seasons at the helm, and he is continuing this by adding talents like O’Connell.
Despite his numbers from beyond the arc declining the past two seasons, O’Connell can still be lethal as a 3-point shooter. Given the ability to put up more shots, one can only assume that he will sequentially produce more. This ability will surely help Creighton to continue to win high-scoring affairs that are often characteristic of the Big East.
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