- HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors - http://www.hoopsworld.com -
McDermott makes Creighton a mid-major power
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On October 24, 2012 @ 7:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
OMAHA — For so long, Doug McDermott flew under the radar.
That’s what happens when your high school teammate is Harrison Barnes, who would become the nation’s top recruit in the 2010 class.
And that’s what happens when you decide to play college ball in the Missouri Valley Conference for Creighton — a team that hadn’t made the NCAA tournament since 2007.
But slowly, steadily and somewhat surprisingly, McDermott continued to grow his game. He spent endless hours at the gym, always pushing himself to get better at something — his jump shot, his ballhandling, his defense.
Two years ago, McDermott became the first freshman to make the all-Valley first team, scoring 14.9 points a game. The rest of the conference took notice, but that didn’t catapult him to national stardom.
Last season, he averaged 22.9 points (shooting 60.1% from the field) and 8.2 rebounds a game — with 11 double-doubles on the season — leading the Bluejays to top-25 rankings in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches and Associated Press media polls, as well as the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance in five years.
That did it. No one could ignore Barnes’ former teammate, the 6-8, 220-pound kid from Ames, Iowa, who was playing for his father in Omaha.
“I felt he had a chance to be a good college player,” says Greg McDermott, Doug’s father and coach. “I don’t think anybody who watched him play — and there were hundreds of coaches that watched Doug play during the recruitment of Harrison Barnes — I don’t think anybody would have predicted he’d be a first team All-American as a sophomore.”
He was not only a first-team All-American on nearly every major college basketball list but a finalist for national player of the year awards, too.
By the end of the season, McDermott’s stock had risen so quickly it wouldn’t have come as much of a surprise if he chose to leave Creighton and declare for the NBA draft.
Just four days after the Jays’ season ended with a loss to North Carolina in the third round of the NCAA tournament, McDermott announced publicly he’d return for … [For more on McDermott returns to make Creighton a mid-major power, click here.]
Article printed from HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors: http://www.hoopsworld.com
URL to article: http://www.hoopsworld.com/mcdermott-returns-to-make-creighton-a-mid-major-power
Copyright © 2013 HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors
Part of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group.