PREVIEW: Basketball Looks to Keep Momentum Going

Brendan Priesman, Jay Journal Sports

The Creighton Prep basketball program has had an excellent half decade, winning state titles in 2015 and 2018, and is looking to return to the state tournament for the 6th year in a row.  The team is coached by Josh Luedtke, a 1990 Prep grad who is looking to earn his 3rd state title. Despite losing Akol Arop, Luedtke is looking forward to this year and discussed how he is feeling about the team.  

Last year, the Junior Jays went 22-5 and bowed out of the state playoffs in the first round despite a season from Arop that earned him all-Nebraska honors.  When asked how the team was going to replace Arop’s 19 points and 10 rebounds per game, 


“I don’t think we can replace Akol Arop…you don’t replace Akol,” Luedtke said.


However, Luedtke isn’t bothered by the loss of Arop or other 2018 graduates such as Robert Peters or Thomas Faber.  In fact, he believes that this year’s team is better than last year’s.  


“The difference between this year and last year is the depth…We might be the deepest team in the Metro, from 1 to 9 or 1 to 10,” Luedtke said.  


Another thing he’s also impressed with is the amount of length on the team.  Senior Spencer Schomers, who plays shooting guard, is 6’5”. junior AJ Rollins, who is 6’6” and one of the most athletic players on the team.  There’s also Luke Jungers, the only sophomore on the team, who is 6’8”. With the lack of a true star on this team (no player averaged double figures last year), Luedtke is pushing a more balanced approach that stresses sharing the ball.  


“There’s a lot of really good players…that makes us more dangerous than last year…I want to have 5 guys average in double figures,” Luedtke said.  


The team is looking to have another potent offense and match last year’s output of 66 points a game.  With less senior leaders than there have been in the past, some of the younger players will have to step up, and Luedtke believes that they can.  With the amount of talent that he’s seen in preseason, Luedtke believes that this team will go pretty far.


“I think we definitely could be a state tournament team, we could definitely beat anybody,” Luedtke said.


The Junior Jays are looking to return to Lincoln, and the depth of the team will likely get them there.  A roster that runs 9 or 10 quality players deep is a potential champion, and that’s what Luedtke has on his hands.  In the end, only one thing is certain right now. 


 It’s going to be a fun year.