There is an argument to be made that the most important NBA Draft early entry decision will be that of Creighton’s Doug McDermott.
McDermott is a first-team all-american, which is something that doesn’t often come through the Bluejay’s Omaha campus. With him on the roster, Creighton is going to be a tournament team with a chance to make quite a bit of noise in their first season in the new Big East. They may not win the league, but they’ll be a threat to win every time they take the court.
But if McDermott leaves, the Bluejays could find themselves in a bit of trouble. Not only would they lose arguably the best player in the history of the program, but they’ll also be losing their most indispensable piece in center Gregory Echenique. The former Rutgers star had the size and the physicality to battle with centers at any level of the game. There is no replacement for that.
And there also may not be a piece to plug in for Grant Gibbs if he decides not to use a sixth-season of eligibility. Gibbs’ ability to be a playmaker on the wing and a threat in the pick-and-roll was a major reason Creighton got so many open looks at threes this year.
So is McDermott close to making a decision? Doesn’t seem like it.
“I go back and forth all the time,” McDermott told the Omaha World-Herald. “One day, there’s no way I’m leaving this place. The next day, it changes. I’m a guy that has a tough time making decisions. Right now, I don’t even feel like I’m close to making a decision.”
The good news is that McDermott not only has the support of his parents — his dad doubles as his head coach — but he seems to understand that there is more to the equation that simply earning that first guaranteed contract.
“I’ve reached the point where I’m going to the NBA when I feel I’m ready for the NBA,” he said. “I’m not so concerned about the first round or the second round because the reality is I’m either an NBA player or I’m not. If I feel like it’s my time, I’m going to go. If not, I’ve got a great option of getting ready for another year and getting my body better.”
“I’ve been saying it all along I can’t make a bad decision.”
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.