Doug McDermott’s wallet told him to go pro, but his heart said stay in college. Creighton is thrilled the 6-foot-8 star senior from Iowa was content eating cafeteria food for another year, but the rest of the conference probably wishes McDermott went for the money. His presence has made Creighton’s transition into major conference college basketball seamless. With McDermott enjoying a Player of the Year caliber season, the 20th-ranked Bluejays sit all alone atop the Big East entering Tuesday night’s clash with St. John’s in Omaha, Neb. If Creighton’s 2012-13 season hadn’t ended so early, on the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, maybe McDermott would have gone pro. But after a lopsided loss to Duke, as he sat on a plane home crying next to good friend Grant Gibbs — who also thought he had played his last game — the sweet-shooting McDermott realized he needed to come back to school. “We’re a brotherhood here, that played a huge factor,” McDermott said last Monday, following a rout of then fourth-ranked Villanova in Philadelphia. “It’s been the most fun I’ve ever had playing the game. It’s gone as good as it possible could’ve. I hoped that continues. “The NBA is great, making money playing basketball, but I get just as much satisfaction playing with some of my best friends here, just knowing that we’re having a lot of fun with it.” After McDermott decided to return, Gibbs was granted a sixth year of eligibility. McDermott — called the best player in the country by Villanova head coach Jay Wright and Providence’s Ed Cooley — gave up his scholarship to Gibbs and became the best walk-on in the country. Creighton, as a result, is thriving. McDermott, the Big East preseason Player of the Year, is leading the charge, averaging 24.3 points per game — second in the nation behind Niagara’s Antoine Mason — and 7.2 rebounds, for the 17-3 Bluejays. Creighton leads the nation in assists, averaging 18.4 a contest, and while McDermott is only tallying 1.7 per game, teammate Ethan Wragge credits his unselfishness with the team’s high-scoring attack. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t get open looks,” Wragge said.
Creighton’s McDermott to test St. John’s
New York Post | Jan 28