NBA Draft Prospect of the Week: Doug McDermott
This week we profile the forward from Creighton.
Week of: October 27 – November 2
When you first notice Doug McDermott out on the hardwood he looks more like a linebacker in football rather than a forward in basketball. However when the game starts, you quickly learn McDermott is a gamer and he can score the ball at will. He was elected as a first team All-American in both 2012 and 2013 and he’s entering 2014 with massive expectations. There’s no reason he shouldn’t absolutely dominate for the third consecutive year.
McDermott has been one of the top scorers in college basketball in each of the last two seasons. As a sophomore in 2012 he averaged 22.9 PPG while shooting a staggering 60.1% from the floor and connecting on 48.6% of his three point attempts. He followed that up with another stellar campaign in 2013, averaging 23.2 PPG on 54.8% shooting while hitting 49% of his three point attempts.
The product out of Grand Forks, North Dakota has a very talented offensive arsenal. He’s a lethal shooter who is great in spot-up and catch-and-shoot opportunities. McDermott also has a lot of solid post moves. Thanks to his offensive versatility McDermott causes all kinds of matchup problems. He can dominate a lot of SF’s in the post and can drag opposing PF’s out on to the perimeter where he’ll burn them with his shooting abilities.
A coach’s son, McDermott has a very high basketball IQ and plays with a ton of effort. McDermott has a great feel for the game which has also made him a very solid off the ball player. He knows when to cut to the rim and where to be on offense. McDermott was second in the NCAA in scoring last year while only shooting 14.4 shots per contest; a very impressive statistic.
The other prominent strength McDermott has is his rebounding. Throughout his three years in college, McDermott has averaged 7.7, 8.2 and 7.2 RPG respectively. McDermott excels as both an offensive and defensive rebounder. This is another very solid stat for a player who’s not even supposed to be his team’s primary rebounder. In fact, McDermott was first in rebounding in the MVC as a freshman and was second as a sophomore and junior. With a PER of 32.8, he’s an extremely efficient player.
Overall, McDermott’s biggest weakness is his defense. Right now he doesn’t have the muscle to defend PF’s and he isn’t fast enough to stay with SF’s. So far at Creighton, McDermott has spent much more time as a PF than he has an SF. That’s probably also his best bet in the NBA. He can add more strength, but you simply can’t add lateral quickness no matter how hard much effort you put in.
McDermott isn’t very athletic and his physical limitations are apparent. Last season McDermott had an offensive rating of 124.6 but a defensive rating of only 98.5. This is a staggering difference. When on the perimeter he tends to surrender a large amount of space to attempt to combat his terrible foot speed. In the NBA good shooters will destroy him if he continues to do this.
Believe it or not, there are also some very concerning aspects of McDermott’s offensive game. He’s not a good ball handler and he can’t really create his own shot. When matched up with NBA-sized bigs there’s a noticeable decrease in McDermott’s ability to score in the post.
Despite some concerning weaknesses in McDermott’s overall skill set, he’s still one of the best players in college basketball and should be in the running for the Wooden Award this year. He’s going to continue to dominate at the collegiate level, but it will be very interesting to see how he translates to the NBA. Thanks to his incredible ability to shoot for a big man, I’d say there’s a very good chance he’s going to be a first round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Player Comparison: Kyle Korver
Next Week’s Report: Gary Harris, SO, SG, Michigan State