Shatel: Big East seasoning could help McDermott -
Published Monday, March 25, 2013 at 9:23 pm / Updated at 9:54 pm
first downs and second guesses
Shatel: Big East seasoning could help McDermott

The Doug is on the clock.

Doug McDermott, the classy Creighton star, didn’t show many emotions or cards in the early Monday morning hours after the loss to Duke. He never has.

When pressed about his Decision, McDermott said he hadn’t made up his mind, and was going to take some time off, travel to the Final Four in Atlanta with his family in two weeks. Then he said something I found curious.

Doug said he might just wake up one day in the next two weeks and it would come to him.

He actually has until April 16.

Doug was asked if he might consider going through the NBA pre-draft evaluation period in late spring, without hiring an agent, and jump back to college if he didn’t like what he was told. But Doug noted, correctly so, that he can’t do that.

In 2011, the NCAA created an earlier withdrawal deadline than the NBA’s, set just before the beginning of the spring signing period. It precludes underclassmen from going through the NBA’s pre-draft evaluation camps, and then jumping back without signing. You have to leave — or stay — by the NCAA’s deadline.

The NBA’s deadline for declaring for the draft is April 28. The NCAA’s early withdrawal deadline is April 16.

The NCAA Final Four, in Atlanta, is April 6-8.

Given the timeline Doug offered up after the Duke game, he — and we — should know something the first two weeks of April.

There are a lot of factors going on here. Helping his father, and school, make the transition into the Big East. Showing his wares against Big East competition. Playing in Madison Square Garden. Doug dropped the nugget that he’s always wanted to play there (of course, he could play there in the NBA, too.)

Doug got his points in Philly, but they weren’t easy or cheap, and he struggled to get shots at times against physical Cincy and Duke. Another year of development can only help. Necessary? Probably not.

Of course, if he’s been told he’ll be a first-rounder, then you wave goodbye and say good luck, young sir. But can Doug really know that now? Has the NBA told him that already? Good question.

The NBA may tell him that he can’t raise his stock any more next year. But don’t tell me that he’s done all he can do at Creighton. Not true.

The young man is not easy to read. But I know he’s a competitor. This can’t be the ending he had in mind, though there’s no guarantee CU would make the NCAA tourney again even if he comes back.

But he’s a unique guy, too. I could see him coming back, helping his old man and school transition into the Big East. Prove he can play night in and night out at that level? Yeah, there’s that, too. There’s a new world to explore, and ways to add to his legacy.

Don’t ask for a prediction. Like everyone else, I’ll just wait and see how he feels one day.

>> It will be very interesting to see the makeup of Creighton’s roster, and even coaching staff, in the next year or two. There could be some collateral damage from this move to the Big East.

It’s nobody’s fault. Greg McDermott has a program in place to recruit and win in the Missouri Valley. Now the game has changed overnight. Many of the players on CU’s roster are not Big East bodies or talents. They’re developmental players. You don’t get many developmental kids in the Big East, ACC. You need guys ready to go.

Creighton basketball is not about running off players. But this is a big-boy league. Mac has got to be evaluating the kinds of assistants, players and style he’ll need in the new league. Maybe drastic change isn’t needed. But I wouldn’t be surprised if things looked different a year from now.

>> I’m happy for Dana Altman and his staff. They had some help with a couple of transfers, but they’ve got Oregon hoops in the Sweet 16 in three years.

Some people (I have no idea who they are) in Omaha wondered whether Altman could recruit/win at that level after Creighton. He’s answered that. It’s good fodder for those who wonder if Creighton can recruit players to the Big East. Recruiting to a bigger league can make all the difference.

>> I don’t want to see replay used to determine a block and a charge. There’s enough instant replay in sports. Would replay show every angle clearly? Not necessarily. I’d just like to see officials apply the rule the same way. You see basically the same play called two different ways in the same game. It’s frustrating. Especially if you live in Ames, Iowa.

>> In this business there are favorite players you cover. I enjoy the gym rats, the gamers. Grant Gibbs is one of my favorites. He can play on my pick-up team, along with Bruce Chubick, Mike Brown and Joe Ganz. Gibbs will coach. He was born to do it. In the meantime, if you’re in a money pick-up game and you see him coming, choose him on your side. Anyone remember the movie “White Men Can’t Jump?”

>> I’m never surprised when Gonzaga goes out early in the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs get salty nonconference games, but their league is so soft. I don’t know if they’ll get a No. 1 seed again anytime soon, but that’s not a bad thing. Gonzaga built its reputation as the lovable underdog of March.

>> Speaking of that, is Florida Gulf Coast an underdog this week in the South Regional? Or the favorite?

>> Gregg Marshall’s name is about to pop up in all the job speculation. I don’t think he leaves this year. He’s got the team in the Valley next year. Some would say leave now, you won’t always be in the Sweet 16. He’s not a UCLA or Minnesota guy. I think he’ll be back. But the Shox will have a hard time keeping him now. He’s hot and for good reason.

>> Something I never thought I’d see: Creighton fans cheering for Wichita State over Gonzaga. I was there Saturday night. I witnessed it.

>> An all-Big Ten Final Four is very much a possibility but I don’t think Michigan State gets out of the Midwest. A Big Ten trio, plus Louisville? That looks real. But why do I think Jim Boeheim might spoil Indiana’s party?

>> I had never spent much time in Philadelphia. What a great city. Leads the nation in statues. My one regret: I never did see the “Rocky” steps. Which saved me from having to run them.

>> One of the great places I saw was the Reading Terminal Market. Looked like an old train station converted into an incredible food court — a maze of individual and original vendors, sort of a Seattle Fish Market with an Amish flavor. Dutch diners, bakeries, cheese steak stands, etc., etc. The most unusual thing I saw was people eating Cajun cheese steaks for breakfast. Thought about it. Passed.

>> Coolest thing I saw was in the Wells Fargo Center, in the concourse, decorated with Sixers and Flyers images. There was a trophy case filled with the actual hats thrown onto the ice for every Flyers hat trick through history, separated into sections by the date they were thrown. I thought my hat collection was dusty.

Contact the writer:


Contact the writer: Tom Shatel    |   402-444-1025    |  

Tom Shatel is a sports columnist who covers the city, regional and state scene.

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