Here we continue to look at the top prospects for the 2013 NBA Draft. Today we examine:
Creighton star Doug McDermott projects as a mid- to late first-round pick if he comes out after his junior year for the Bluejays. (Flickr.com photo by White & Blue Review)
Doug McDermott, Forward, Creighton, 6’8”, 225lbs
2012-13 Collegiate Stat Line: 23.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 55% field goals, 49% 3-point field goals, 87% free throws
Doug McDermott has spent his college career under the guiding hand of his father and coach at Creighton, Greg McDermott. He has become one of the most popular college basketball stars in the country and highly spoken of by fans and media members alike. However, there is more to the gaudy box-score numbers than meets the eye. Let’s take a look here.
McDermott has the inside-out ability NBA will scouts love. At 6’8”, he can post up on smaller defenders and casually stroll out to the 3-point line, where he hits nearly half of his attempted shots. He constantly moves without the ball because he is the focal point of the Creighton offense. Scratch that. He is the Creighton offense. He’s the only player on the Bluejays’ roster that averages double-digits in scoring.
Dougie Fresh, as many have started to call him, is the ultimate scoring threat. He’s active on offense, moves well for a guy his size and has the green light to shoot whenever he feels fit. McDermott is a big man with range and isn’t afraid to show it. He’s also a fairly crafty ball handler for a guy his size.
He has some nifty footwork which allows him to get open and move around the paint on backdowns. Active hands on defense keep him with defenders, especially when he is pitted against a smaller opponent.
Here’s where the truth starts to come out about McDermott. While he has been a great player in college, his scoring numbers are dramatically inflated. The Missouri Valley Conference was once a prominent conference in college basketball, but has diminished in overall quality players and teams the past few years. Because of this, McDermott is rarely challenged on defense.
Now, it’s not that McDermott can’t play. He can. He’s put up some great numbers against teams like Wisconsin and California this season, but the volume of his shot attempts to get those numbers is dramatically high, even for McDermott’s standards. Scoring numbers often get lost in the overall attempts in a game and even how many of those points were scored at the foul line (examined below). McDermott can score, but his opposition played a role in those high numbers.
On the defensive side of the ball, McDermott’s skills don’t jump out at you. He can keep his man in front of him but often gives up on a play and allows for an open jumper or drive to the lane. This can be attributed to how active he is on the offensive side of the ball but cannot be overlooked here. He’s essentially uninterested in playing defense and just waiting it out until he can look to score again down the floor.
Dec. 15 at California (W 74-64) 34 points, 10-for-17 field goals, 4-for-7 3-point field goals, 10-for-10 free throws, nine rebounds
Here’s the type of game typical of McDermott’s scoring prowess: high volume shots, consistency in hitting those shots and getting to the free-throw line. You can’t fake consistency, so that is great news for whoever is looking to draft McDermott. This is the game where you look back and say, “Wow. He can ball.” California is no slouch of an opponent and Dougie Fresh made them look foolish.
March 24 vs. Duke (NCAA tournament Third Round Game L 66-50) 21 points, 4-for-16 field goals, 1-for-4 3-point field goals, 12-for-12 free throws, nine rebounds
Now here’s the game most scouts will look at and cringe. His scoring numbers are there; 21 points is nothing to sneeze at against Duke, but 12 of them came from the free-throw line. The key here is that Duke’s Ryan Kelly was matched up against McDermott for much of the game. While Doug was able to get Kelly and Mason Plumlee in foul trouble, their size and physicality rattled McDermott. He was not able to get into any sort of rhythm on offense and it showed. I stated in an earlier article that if McDermott could win the battle against Kelly his draft stock would shoot up. He failed to do so, so he could potentially fall down the boards. NBA teams aren’t too interested in guys who can’t handle themselves against physical players, especially if you are a forward.
Potential Landing Spots:
McDermott has been projected in the middle-to-late first round since last summer. We still don’t know if Doug will forego his senior season, but if he does, he won’t have trouble finding a home. However, he likely won’t be drafted to start. He will probably be selected to be a role player off the bench. His scoring potential isn’t something to sneeze at.
Teams That Make Sense:
Boston Celtics: I’ve said since the day Rajon Rondo tore his ACL that the Boston Celtics should take a long look at McDermott in the draft. My stance on this has not changed since then.
The Celtics are an aging group. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are only going to be around for so much longer, meaning that Rondo is going to need some scoring help for the future. McDermott can easily fill that void. Pair Rondo with the inside-out threat of McDermott, add in the developing Jared Sullinger and key guards Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee and the Celtics could have a solid core of young scorers waiting to make their mark.
Brooklyn Nets: Brooklyn has righted the sinking ship since Christmas and are currently one of best teams in the Eastern Conference. Joe Johnson’s and Brook Lopez’s contracts mean they will be sticking around for a while and Derron Williams wants to play on a winning team. He has that. What the Nets don’t have are solid bench scoring options.
Jerry Stackhouse’s legs aren’t going to last much longer and the Nets could use a lengthy small forward who can also slide down to the power forward position without giving up size. McDermott fits that role perfectly for Brooklyn.
An ultimate scoring threat, Doug McDermott will find a home in the 2013 NBA Draft. While his numbers may be exaggerated now, he has the makings of a great role player for any team looking for some help in scoring. He’ll have to work on his defense and energy a bit, but that should come along with more than himself as a scoring threat. There will be plenty of teams willing to take the gamble on McDermott.