McDermott Wins AP, Oscar Robertson, Wooden Awards; Would've Jumped to NBA a Year Ago if Not for Creighton's Move to Big East | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / September 27.
  • McDermott Wins AP, Oscar Robertson, Wooden Awards; Would’ve Jumped to NBA a Year Ago if Not for Creighton’s Move to Big East

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    McBuckets 2ARLINGTON, Texas — Doug McDermott won The Associated Press, Oscar Robertson and John R. Wooden National Player of the Year awards this week.

    That comes as absolutely no surprise given the dominant campaign the 6-foot-8 Creighton senior put up this year. He led the nation in scoring (26.7 ppg.) and points (934) while also ranking second in field goals made (330) and ninth in three-point percentage (.449).

    What may come as a surprise to some is the news that Dougie McBuckets would’ve jumped to the NBA a year ago had Creighton not shifted leagues to the Big East from the Missouri Valley.

    “I think I would’ve [gone to the NBA],” McDermott told here Thursday. “The thing that was appealing to me about my senior year was the change, going to different cities, playing in different arenas, playing in front of different fans, it’s just great exposure.”

    A year ago, McDermott was projected as a second-round pick after Creighton lost to Duke in the NCAA Tournament.

    He thought long and hard about his decision, but ultimately decided to come back for his senior season.

    And by doing so, he not only climbed up the all-time college scoring list, eventually finishing fifth all-time in scoring with 3,150 career points. But he helped transition Creighton — a school in Nebraska — into the new-look Big East, enabling it to make a national recruiting footprint along the way.

    “It was a huge factor, just playing on the East Coast,” he said of his motivation to come back. “You know, much different exposure around the media. Just getting Creighton’s name out there. I feel like people realized how great a team we were and how well we played together and it really helped get my name out there, too.”

    It also helped his father, Creighton coach Greg McDermott, who can now go into living rooms across American knowing everyone knows who he and his program are.

    Now we may never see a lottery pick score 3,000 points again simply because most lottery picks are one- or two-and done.

    “Had we not moved to the Big East we might not have seen it this year,” Greg said. “That certainly factored into his decision. He might have came out, but the draw of playing those programs in those cities and the Big East Tournament in Madison Square Garden, for a 21-year-old kid that’s pretty special stuff.’

    Going forward, Doug is repped by agent Mark Bartelstein and is projected as a late-lottery pick.

    He’s heard the comparisons to everyone from Larry Bird to Kyle Korver and offered this analysis.

    “You can’t compare anyone to Larry Bird, it’s just not fair,” Doug said. “I definitely do some things in my game that I try and do after him, but it’s not even close to the level he did it at. Kyle Korver, that’s a great one. He’s made a living in the NBA sooting 3’s and coming off screens. I would love that comparison just because he’s a guy I really look up to being a Creighton guy.”

    Doug also said that he’s anxious “to prove a lot of people wrong on the defensive end” in the NBA.

    ‘I feel I’m a much better defender than most people give me credit for,” he said. “I had to stay out of foul trouble at Creighton so I kind of had to hide it a little.”

    Added his father:  “My personal feeling is whatever organization he ends up [with], if they focus on what he can do instead of what he can’t they’re going to have themselves a heck of a player. And I’ve got a feeling that there’s a lot of us that he made look foolish at the college level that didn’t think he was good enough coming out of high school. And I have a feeling he’ll do the same in the NBA.

    “The guy can put the ball in the basket, I don’t care who he’s playing against. The fact that he can shoot the 3, he’s improved so much off the dribble and his intermediate game and he can take someone his size down to the block and score on the block, there just aren’t many players that can score in all parts of the game.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.