Ezra Talbert wasn't going to gamble.
Creighton had offered a scholarship to the 6-foot-7 forward from Olathe, Kan. He knew two of his AAU teammates also had offers from the Bluejays, and he figured they weren't the only players Creighton would pursue for its recruiting class of 2014.
“They can't give scholarships to eight kids, so it does add a little bit of pressure,” Talbert said. “One of the reasons I decided to commit was that I didn't want to lose the opportunity to play at the school I knew I wanted to play at.”
Talbert secured a spot in Creighton's plans when he committed Thursday. He joined Nick Norton, his teammate on the Kansas City Run GMC AAU team, as juniors-to-be to accept Creighton scholarship offers.
He also made it four players this week to pledge to Creighton. Toby Hegner, a 6-10 power forward from Berlin, Wis., started the week off by committing on Monday. Darian Harris, a 6-7 guard-forward from Springdale, Ark., informed Creighton coach Greg McDermott of his intentions on Tuesday.
They'll fill two of the three spots in Creighton's recruiting class of 2013. Talbert and Norton will join the Bluejays in 2014.
Talbert received his scholarship offer last weekend while participating in a camp at Creighton. As he reviewed the offer the past few days, Talbert said, one thought kept entering his mind.
“With Creighton, there were no negatives, only positives,” he said. “Their fan base is outstanding. I really think their style of play fits me, and I liked the players they already have in the program.
“They are not only great players but great people. Plus, I knew I would be getting a great education at Creighton.”
Talbert averaged 6.0 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in primarily a reserve role as a sophomore at Olathe East High School. Even in limited action, Talbert displayed a midrange game that has caught the attention of coaches on the AAU circuit.
“I can take the basketball inside, and I think that's the biggest part of my game right now,” Talbert said. “I feel like I'm pretty good from 15 feet in, but I can also pull it out and shoot the 3 all right.”
Because of his height, Talbert played primarily as a power forward during the high school season. He'll likely see more time as a wing player with the Bluejays.
“I know one of the things I need to work on in the next couple of years is my defense so that I can keep quick ‘3' players in front of me,” he said. “Right now, I feel like I can guard any position on the court.”
In committing before his junior year, Talbert said he wasn't trying to rush the recruiting process.
“It wasn't like I was just trying to get it over,” he said. “Creighton is a great school, and I liked it a lot. Even if some bigger school came along and offered me, chances are I would have picked Creighton in the end.
“Because of that, I really didn't see a need to wait around. I'm happy, and now I don't have to worry about where I'm going to end up.”
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