Doug McDermott Faces Big Expectations as Preseason Big East POY

Posted by George Hershey on October 17th, 2013

Wednesday morning at the Big East Media Day in New York City, the league announced that Creighton forward Doug McDermott had been selected as Preseason Player of the Year by the league’s 10 coaches. McDermott decided to return for his senior year with the Bluejays in large part due to Creighton’s arrival in the Big East. He told reporters that “If it was the Missouri Valley, I don’t know if I would’ve come back,” he said. “This is just a new challenge.”

McDermott's Return Makes Creighton a Contender (ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE WORLD-HERALD)

McDermott’s Return Makes Creighton a Contender (ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE WORLD-HERALD)

After averaging 23.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game last year, it will be interesting to see if McDermott can match or improve his production when facing stiffer competition. McDermott is an extraordinary talent and there is no reason to believe he will not have another special year. Nonetheless, playing in the Big East is going to be a more substantial challenge. The Big East is known for its bruising play, and McDermott will face larger, faster, and stronger defenders than he has in the past. Also, as the presumptive star of the league, teams will be sure to game plan and strategize to neutralize his offensive capabilities. In two NCAA Tournament games last season, for example, McDermott averaged 24 points per game, but he did it going a combined 11-of-31 against Cincinnati and Duke. Those are the types of bruising defenses he will be facing on a consistent basis during conference play this season. McDermott is without a doubt an NBA talent, but his ability to score against improved competition and focus will determine if he is the running for the National Player of the Year award.

The league also announced its all-conference teams:

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Big East M5: 03.13.13 Edition

Posted by Will Tucker on March 13th, 2013

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  1. The Big East named Otto Porter and John Thompson III Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively, on Tuesday. Porter was the unanimous choice for POY among coaches, and had been the only unanimous selection on the All-Big East First Team roster that was released Sunday. Barry Svrluga at the Washington Post recounts how unlikely that feat would have seemed in early January, when Porter shot 7-of-19 and had nine total rebounds in consecutive losses to open Big East play. After turning the ball over seven times against Louisville, Porter notched 34 assists to just nine turnovers in the Hoyas’ final 11 games –– a staggering 3.8 A/TO ratio. The 6’8″ sophomore is the eighth Big East POY winner from Georgetown, making the it the most successful program in that category.
  2. Prized recruit Aquille Carr announced yesterday that he would forgo a college career at Seton Hall to play professionally abroad next year, prompting the Star-Ledger’ Steve Politi to question whether Kevin Willard is repeating the mistakes of his predecessors. While recruiting success offered some hopeful silver lining during Seton Hall’s miserable 3-15 Big East regular season, that optimism evaporated in the span of less than a week. Willard’s only other commitment, Illinois shooting guard Jerron Wilbut, was arrested last Thursday for robbery and will likely never step foot on campus. Now with no recruits in the fold for 2013, Politi says Willard “can’t afford an entire goose egg for a recruiting class” if he wants to avoid the fates of former Pirates coaches Bobby Gonzalez and Louis Orr.
  3. CBS New York’s Jon Rothstein maintains that Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti made the right choice in retaining coach Mike Rice, and believes the Scarlet Knights are poised to turn the corner. It takes time to try to build a program that hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 1991, and Rothstein cites Jay Wright-era Villanova and Mick Cronin’s Cincinnati as examples of programs that needed four or five years to do so. Moreover, “There is a distinct jump in production when a group of sophomores become juniors,” he says, and Rutgers’ roster boasts seven rising seniors, including leading scorers Eli Carter and Myles Mack.
  4. Cincinnati’s staff hopes to have Justin Jackson back in the fold against Providence tonight, after the 6’8″ junior missed the past three games with an ankle injury. Jackson has averaged 3.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, but Mick Cronin insists, “We need him. He’s an energy guy.  This time of year is when you rely on your veteran players.” On the topic of Cashmere Wright, Cronin admitted that his mercurial point guard is still hobbled by a tricky knee, which is preventing him from exploiting defenders off the dribble. “He’s giving us everything he can give us,” Cronin reiterated.
  5. UConn blog A Dime Back has been conducting a tournament-style bracket of the most historic Huskies in a feature dubbed “The Ultimate UConn Challenge.” The survey’s architects have given it a thoughtful treatment, having “researched, compiled, ranked and seeded 64 of the greatest players in Husky history” over the course of this season. Descriptions of each player display a level of research uncommon to the format, and contain some history that will appeal to inquisitive college basketball fans regardless of team allegiance. Ray Allen, Kemba Walker, Donyell Marshall and Emeka Okafor are the top seeds, while Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright are the only current players to make the field.
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