In two decisions that should surprise no one that kept an eye on college basketball this season, Doug McDermott of Creighton and Gregg Marshall of Wichita State were announced as The Associated Press Player and Coach of the Year, respectively.
Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated reported the announcement on Thursday via Twitter:
Doug McDermott is your AP player of the year. Gregg Marshall is AP coach of the year.— Brian Hamilton (@BrianHamiltonSI) April 3, 2014
Kevin Brockway of The Gainesville Sun provides details on McDermott's award:
No surprise, Creighton F Doug McDermott named AP player of the year. Got 64 of 65 votes.— Kevin Brockway (@gatorhoops) April 3, 2014
The voting for McDermott was also the most lopsided in the award's history, as Creighton Admissions notes:
McDermott named AP player of the year by the biggest voting margin the award's history (tweet corrected): http://t.co/6PvCsVobTK— Creighton Admissions (@ChooseCreighton) April 3, 2014
McDermott spent the entire season solidifying himself as one of the best in college basketball, not only this season but also in the history of the game. The 6'8" forward finished his senior season leading the nation with 26.7 points per game and 934 total points.
Will McDermott be successful at the NBA level?
While his final season came to a halt during the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament with a 30-point loss to Baylor, McDermott finished fifth all time in scoring with 3,150 career points. He is also the first Big East player to win the award since Walter Berry did so in 1985-86 for St. John's, according to GoCreighton.com.
The senior was named an All-American earlier in the week and spoke to the AP about having his name mentioned with college basketball's best, per Matt Norlander of CBS Sports:
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine being with names of that caliber. Truly an honor to be an All-American three straight years. It's hard to wrap my mind around being in the company of those guys.
As for Marshall, the Shockers' head coach led the team to a 35-1 record, but he was unable to advance out of the round of 32 just like McDermott's Creighton team. Wichita State rattled off 35 straight wins under Marshall, which broke the record—UNLV started 34-0 in 1990-91—for most wins without a loss in a single season, per R.B. Fallstrom of the AP.
Marshall was also previously named Coach of the Year by CBS Sports, an honor Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports commented on:
Though his team was knocked early in the NCAA tournament, Marshall still has a very successful program that can make noise in college basketball next season. The Shockers lose Cleanthony Early but retain a solid core of players led by Fred VanVleet, who will be a junior in the 2014-15 season.
As for McDermott, his college career is over, but he has a bright future in the NBA ahead of him. He has been projected as a top-15 pick in countless mock drafts, including those from both NBADraft.net and CBS Sports.
Neither Marshall nor McDermott is still participating in the NCAA tournament, but there's no denying they were two of the best in college basketball during the 2013-14 season.
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