With another stroke of his right wrist, Doug McDermott continued etching his name in the NCAA record books in Creighton's 88-73 win over Providence on Saturday night.
The Bluejays forward and likely NCAA Player of the Year hit a three-pointer midway through the second half to become the eighth player in Division I history to surpass 3,000 career points. As ESPN's Max Bretos pointed out, McDermott also passed Basketball Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson in the process:
Doug McDermott on fire has 35. Has become 8th division 1 player to score 3,000 points. Oh yeah, he passed Oscar Robertson.— Max Bretos (@mbretosESPN) March 9, 2014
Depending on how many more games Creighton plays this season, he could really make some headway on the all-time scorers list.
At 3,011 total points, he also passed Hershey Hawkins for seventh place just before the Big East tournament. Keydren Clark (3,058 points) and Harry Kelly (3,066 points) will almost certainly drop down a spot later in the conference tourney or in the Big Dance.
The limit for McDermott is probably fourth, where Alphonso Ford sits with 3,165 career points. Scoring 25.9 points per game coming into Saturday night, the Bluejays would have to roughly play six more games to have a shot—not likely but certainly possible.
Either way, McDermott's scoring brilliance was on full display against Providence. Going to work despite double teams and zone defenses designed specifically to stop him, McDermott scored 45 points. He was 17-of-25 shooting overall, employing a series of post moves and his patented long-range touch (he was 5-of-7 from beyond the arc) to almost single-handedly put Providence away.
Gary Parrish of CBS Sports noted the special scene on McDermott's senior night:
Doug McDermott just checked out of his final home game with a career-high 45 points. Pretty cool scene here in Omaha.— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) March 9, 2014
Arguably the most dangerous shooting team in the nation, the Bluejays shot well over 60 percent overall. Austin Chatman had 11 points and Grant Gibbs added nine, but the story—much like it has for most of the season—was McDermott.
The son of coach Greg McDermott, Doug has blossomed into the nation's best scorer over these past four years. While viewed as a preseason All-American and potential NBA first-round pick, there may be no player this side of Joel Embiid who has helped his draft stock more this season.
McDermott has led the No. 13 Bluejays to a 24-6 regular-season record, including a stellar 14-4 mark in the new Big East. That latter mark may be the most important. Even as McDermott was receiving preseason accolades, there were questions about Creighton's ability to handle a tougher schedule. Thanks in large part to McDermott, his team has more than assuaged those doubts.
Then again, McDermott is no stranger to being questioned. Lightly recruited coming out of high school in Iowa, McDermott's best offer before Creighton was to Northern Iowa. Seen as one-dimensional and a potential defensive liability, McDermott faced the same criticisms coming out high school as he does today.
"I've always had a chip on my shoulder because I wasn't rated or didn't have any scholarship offers," McDermott told ESPN's Elizabeth Merrill. "It was more of a trying to prove people wrong early in my career. Now I feel like I've established myself and I'm just playing for the love of the game."
And establish himself he has. McDermott is a virtual lock to win every national player of the year award, doing so in a season that was supposed to be dominated by freshmen. Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and others came in with the expectation they would take over college basketball.
Instead, it's been the kid no one wanted coming out of high school and few believed could withstand the rigors of a Big East schedule. On this night, McDermott again proved any and all doubters wrong.
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