Quick question: who is one of the most celebrated college players this past season to not declare for the NBA Draft?
If you answered Creighton’s Doug McDermott, then you know your college basketball.
Talk about a guy with rising stock. Who could have predicted that this Ames, Iowa high school player would become a nationally talked about player in just two seasons?
McDermott was a solid high player but played second fiddle to Harrison Barnes. Barnes was the best high school player two years ago and headed to North Carolina. McDermott’s college destination was mid-major Northern Iowa. He was to play for Ben Jacobson a former assistant under his dad, Greg, with the Panthers.
But then there was major change in the McDermott family. Greg McDermott was under pressure as coach at Iowa State. With his shaky position there, Greg probably didn’t want his son, Doug, playing for him with the almost certain possibility of Greg’s firing. But then Creighton rescued the elder McDermott and gave him a 10-year contract.
Doug then asked out of his scholarship commitment to Northern Iowa so he could indeed play for his dad at Creighton. Jacobson graciously allowed the father and son to reunite.
It was a match made in Creighton blue.
Doug McDermott had a solid freshman year and then soared this past season. He averaged 22.9 points per game and grabbed 8.2 rebounds. He was the Missouri Valley Conference Most Valuable Player. He also was selected first-team All-American by both the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the Associated Press. He also helped his team to the third round in the NCAA tournament.
Arguably, McDermott has had a better college career than Barnes. Barnes declared for the NBA draft last month so his college career is over.
Funny, how things sometimes work out in life. For Doug McDermott, funny is termed beautiful.