2013-14 RTC National Player of the Year: Doug McDermottPosted by Walker Carey on April 3rd, 2014
Rush the Court is releasing its season superlatives throughout this week. Our RTC All-America teams were released on Tuesday, while our National Coach of the Year came out yesterday, and our National Player of the Year is below.
In this era of so many talented one-and-done players, it can be viewed as a bit of a career achievement award when a senior earns National Player of the Year honors. While that could be the case for our unanimous RTC National Player of the Year who put together a legendary four-year run in Omaha, Creighton senior Doug McDermott saved his best for his final season in a Bluejays uniform. The forward led the nation in scoring at 26.9 points per game, while shooting 52.6 percent from the field on an astonishing 627 field goal attempts. In an offense centered around McDermott’s creative scoring acumen, Creighton averaged 79.5 points per contest, shot 49.9 percent from the field, and led the country with a stellar 42.1 percent mark from the three-point line. Needless to say, the Bluejays were an explosive group all season with our NPOY McDermott leading that charge.
McDermott’s National Player of the Year honor is meant to memorialize his senior season accomplishments, but it would be inappropriate not to mention all the career milestones he also achieved during the campaign. On March 8 in his Senior Night game against Providence, McDermott exploded for a career-best 45 points, and in the process, he became the eighth player in college basketball history to surpass 3,000 career points. By the end of the season, McDermott had compiled a total of 3,150 career points, which is good for fifth on the all-time list. Not too shabby for a kid from Ames, Iowa, who didn’t have a bunch of great offers coming out of high school. During the postseason award circuit, “Dougie McBuckets” became the first player since Patrick Ewing and Wayman Tisdale in 1985 to be named to three straight AP All-American first teams. It’s been a tremendous career for the Bluejay.
What is interesting to consider in retrospect is that a fairly intricate cycle of events had to occur to result in McDermott’s arrival at Creighton in 2010. As a high schooler in Ames, McDermott originally signed to play in-state at Northern Iowa. That was until Oregon fired Ernie Kent, which resulted in then-Creighton coach Dana Altman taking the job in Eugene. At the time, father Greg McDermott was the coach at Iowa State, and after three mediocre seasons with the Cyclones, he was ready to move to Omaha to take the spot vacated by Altman. With Greg now the coach at Creighton and an open scholarship at his disposal, Doug was able to get out of his letter on intent at Northern Iowa and, as they say, the rest is history.
So much has already been written about McDermott throughout his career that the most fitting way to honor him is to repeat the words of his old man from the Creighton locker room following the Bluejays’ round of 32 loss to Baylor — the senior’s final college hurrah:
“Doug, what we all got to witness was incredible. I don’t think any of us understand the magnitude of what you have done. The reason we don’t understand that is because of how you have handled it. We had a front row seat to one of the best collegiate performances for four years in the history of college basketball. But, I’m still prouder of who you are.”
Doug McDermott was an incredibly rare college basketball player. For how good of a player he was, he always represented Creighton and college basketball with the utmost humility, class, and honor. We were all extremely fortunate to have these past four years with him, and we hope that he finds as much success at the next level and beyond in his career as he has found at this one.