McDermott Stands In Baylor’s Sweet 16 Path
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He scored 30 points in Creighton’s second round win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday. He leads the nation in scoring this season, and only four players in the history of college basketball have scored more career points. Now, Doug McDermott is Baylor’s problem.
“Well, I thought I was going to get a good night’s sleep,” Baylor head coach Scott Drew said on Saturday. “But the more Creighton film I watched, the tougher it was to go to bed.”
Drew didn’t mention McDermott by name, but you know he’s the one who caused the sleepless night. The six foot eight senior enters Sunday’s third round matchup scoring 27 points per game. He is shooting close to 53 percent from the field and over 45 percent from the three-point land, and not only does he make 87 percent of his free throws, he gets to the line six times a game as well.
“He’s great from the mid‑range,” Drew said of McDermott. “He’s good from the post. He’s good from the perimeter. So there is no weakness to his game.”
Sunday’s meeting will be Baylor’s first against McDermott, though there is some familiarity with him. His father, Creighton’s head coach Greg McDermott, coached in the Big 12 at Iowa State for four seasons, and forward Cory Jefferson was a teammate of McDermott’s on Team USA at the 2013 World Games and got an up close look of why he’s so good.
“He’s a confident player, just taking the shots,” Jefferson said. “Sometimes a lot of shots that other people wouldn’t usually take, but he’s confident in the shots that he takes and most of the time they go in.”
For Baylor to advance to it’s third Sweet 16 in five years, the Bears will have to figure out how to stop McDermott, or at least slow him down.
“We’re going to try to pick him up as soon as we can, as soon as he crosses half court,” Baylor guard Gary Franklin said. “We just want to limit his shots as much as possible. He’s a great scorer, so you obviously don’t want to give him any good looks.”
Baylor has played and had success against plenty of big-time players this season. In Friday’s 74-60 second round win over Nebraska, the Bears held Big Ten all conference selection Terran Petteway to 18 points on 15 shots. Baylor plays zone at the defensive end, and it’s anchored by their bigs- Franklin and center Isaiah Austin.
“Obviously, not a lot of teams have guys that are 7’1″, and 6’10” with that wingspan, so it’s going to be hard to get a good look at it in practice, but we’re going to imagine it and we’re going to try to do our best,” McDermott said on Saturday.
After losing to eventual national champion Kentucky in the 2012 Elite Eight, Baylor missed the NCAA Tournament last season. It looked like they’d miss out again this season due to losing eight of ten to start conference play, but they closed the regular season winning seven of eight, and followed that up with a berth in the Big 12 Conference title game, now the Bears have a chance to get to another Sweet 16. All they have to do is get past Doug McDermott.
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