Ryan Kalkbrenner previously entered the NBA Draft while retaining his college eligibility. Him announcing that he is withdrawing from the NBA Draft is huge news for Greg McDermott and the Creighton basketball program.
Kalkbrenner is a huge part of Creighton's success. He has won the Big East defensive player of the year two times, one of them coming this past season. He was also a member of the 2022-2023 All-Big East team, according to Sports Reference.
The presence Kalkbrenner provides on the inside is a big difference maker for Creighton and Greg McDermott. Retaining Kalkbrenner will help the team deal with the losses of Ryan Nembhard and Arthur Kaluma.
The big piece to watch for with Creighton is Trey Alexander and whether he keeps his name in the NBA Draft or not. If Trey Alexander decides to come back to Creighton, the Bluejays could once again be a contender to go deep in march. If he decides to stay in the draft, Greg McDermott will likely have to turn to the transfer portal to add another piece.
A roster that includes Kalkbrenner, Alexander, Baylor Scheierman and Steven Ashworth should be a strong team in the Big East conference. With Kalkbrenner returning, there will be many great conference matchups. The games against UConn will be great Creighton goes up against the defending champions and Kalkbrenner battles it out with Donovan Clingan inside. Matchups with St. John's and Rick Pitino stick out as well with Kalkbrenner facing off against Joel Soriano.
As the May 31 deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft approaches, Creighton got good news with Kalkbrenner. They hope to get more good news with Alexander by Wednesday.