If a coach ever wanted his players to model their game after anybody in college basketball, they would more than likely pick Doug McDermott.
He rebounds. He leads his team emotionally. He moves without the ball as well as anyone in the nation. And, of course, he scores.
Who better to preach these qualities than his own father?
McDermott, who has been a model of consistency for the past four years, is coached at Creighton University by none other than his own father, Greg McDermott. If that doesn’t make you want to practice early and do your homework, I don’t know what would be incentive.
The father-son combination of Doug and Greg is in its final chapter. After joining forces at the college level at Creighton in 2010, the Bluejays have gone 102-34 and have made it as far as the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
But this year is a different story for the Creighton basketball team. Obviously, they have found success in the past, but they have been overlooked because they played in the Missouri Valley Conference. This year, the Bluejays are in a powerhouse conference in the Big East and are getting the attention they deserve, by virtue of their top-15 ranking.
Their first season in the Big East was looking rough in the early going, after they lost back-to-back games against San Diego St. and George Washington. But after that hiccup, they have been nearly perfect. The most impressive of their victories was a regular-season sweep of Big East powerhouse Villanova, who they beat convincingly 96-68 on the road.
The senior McDermott is the leading candidate for the Naismith Award for many reasons. In addition to being the most complete offensive player in the nation, he has put the program on his shoulders and taken them to new heights. Creighton leads the Big East in virtually every significant offensive category as well as rebounding and turnovers.
McDermott has been nothing short of legendary in his four-year career. As he nears the 3000-point mark for his career, McDermott sits at tenth all-time on the NCAA scoring list and is only a decent half’s worth of scoring away from passing Danny Manning for ninth all-time.
Not only is McDermott a scoring machine, but he can bang in the paint as well. He leads the Bluejays in rebounding and is fifth in the Big East in that category. CU also leads the Big East in scoring margin, outscoring their opponents by almost 10 points per game, attesting to their defensive prowess as well as their explosive offense.
So, as McDermott nears the end of his collegiate career, what does this mean for his lasting legacy on the NCAA as well as his future in the NBA? Well if you were to compare him to those still ahead on the scoring list, it does not look good.
Of those in the top-ten of the all-time NCAA scoring list, only two or three could say they had successful basketball careers after college: Pete Maravich, Oscar Robertson and arguably Hersey Hawkins. Everybody else went through a series of playing overseas, being injured, or jumping from team to team.
McDermott has the potential to be a significant contributor to a good NBA team if he stays healthy and sticks to his game. He is simply too good of a basketball player to not succeed at the next level.
As it stands now, though, McDermott and his father have something special going on at Creighton and have the Bluejays in position to make a big Tournament run. They do everything right and make very few mistakes, which is just the right formula to become a Final Four contestant.
About the Author: Chris Markham
Sophomore at the University of Mary Washington, for whom I run cross country and track. Aspiring sports journalist, planning to major in journalism. Sports editor of "The Blue and Gray Press," the University of Mary Washington's independent student newspaper.