University of Louisiana-Lafayette coach Bob Marlin was in on the ground floor of Creighton sharpshooter Doug McDermott. In November of 2010, Marlin took his Ragin' Cajuns on the road to Creighton to face the Bluejays and McDermott, then just a freshman with no name recognition in his only his third collegiate game.

Creighton won 63-58 and Marlin said he was impressed with McDermott but had no clue that this kid was about to become one of college's most prolific scoring machines.

"Doug started that game and he scored 12 and six (rebounds) in 26 minutes,'' said Marlin, who was in his first year as coach during the 2010-11 season. "He was a skinny 6-7 four man (forward) that posted and played around the basket a lot. We told our staff, this guy is going to be a good player in time. But I had no idea he'd be one of the elite scorers in the country.''

More than 3,000 points later, Marlin will be reacquainted with McDermott, now a 6-foot-8 senior forward who is the fifth-leading scorer in NCAA history.

The 16th-ranked Bluejays, seeded third in the West Region, will meet 14th-seeded UL-Lafayette at 2:10 p.m. on Friday in San Antonio in a second-round NCAA Tournament game.

Marlin was bleary-eyed Monday, just a day after the Cajuns earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament with an 82-81 overtime victory against Georgia State. But it had less to do with celebrating and a lot more because of McDermott, who averages an incredible 26.9 points per game and 7.0 rebounds.

McDermott is a matchup nightmare because he's a big, athletic perimeter shooter. He hit on 310 of his 590 shots from the field this season (53 percent) and was good on 94 of 207 3-point shots (45 percent). He's also an outstanding free throw shooter, averaging 87 percent.

"I've been searching,'' Marlin said of his defensive game plan for McDermott. "That's why I haven't had much sleep. I haven't been able to come up with anything. He's quite the player. We'll have to do all kind of things with Doug. But we have some guys who can cause him some problems hopefully.''

Two of those guys are New Orleans products. Don't be surprised to see Cajuns junior point guard Elfrid Payton, from Ehret, guarding McDermott some. At 6-3, Payton does give up five inches. But his athleticism and length can offset that. Plus, Payton was the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year.

And look for Cajuns senior forward Elridge Moore, 6-5, to lock up with McDermott as well. Moore, from St. Augustine, is one of UL-Lafayette's better defenders.

Marlin didn't detail his plans for McDermott as they're still in the planning stages. But he did give a clue Monday. Providence defeated Creighton, 65-58, last Saturday in the Big East Tournament championship game and Marlin noticed something the Friars did that could be effective.

"I do know that Providence zoned them in the Big East Tournament and had a lot of success there,'' Marlin said.

Even McDermott said the Friars' zone gave Creighton some problems. It certainly cut down on the Bluejays' point production. Creighton averages 79.5 points per game, 23rd-best in the nation.

"They (Providence) did a good job,'' said McDermott, who still scored 27 points and made 5 of 12 3-pointers. "That zone is tough. I don't think we were really expecting zone. I thought we were kind of panicking almost to start the game, and rushing stuff and not making the extra passes. Then in the second half, we really did a good job of getting our pace going and transition, and that allowed us to get some open shots.