I was at Creighton's final game of the season, the one in which Duke switched every screen set for Doug McDermott and frustrated him into missing 12 of the 16 shots that he took. Afterward, we talked a little about the future, and the first team All-American seemed genuinely and definitely conflicted about what to do.
On one hand, what else could he do in college?
On the other, why turn away from the time of your life?
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McDermott started by talking about the possibility of fulfilling his dream of playing professionally in the NBA but also discussed the lure of Creighton joining the Big East and providing him with the opportunity to compete in a conference tournament held at New York's Madison Square Garden. He seemed to be weighing the pros and cons right there in front of me. Then, eventually, McDermott settled on this quote: "I think it's just going to hit me at some moment. I'll just be like, 'This is what I'm gonna do.'"
That moment came at exactly 1:55 p.m. CT on Thursday.
That's when McDermott announced his intentions on Twitter.
"Just wanted to thank my team, coaches, family, and friends for the support throughout this tough decision," McDermott began in a series of three tweets. "It has been a difficult process. With that being said ... I will be returning to Creighton for my senior year and can't wait to put on that uniform for one more season!"
So, go ahead and pencil Dougie McBuckets in as the Big East Player of the Year.
He'll be a first team All-American, too.
And what's not to like about a son playing one more year for his father?
That's what makes McDermott's situation different. He's not just returning to Creighton for one more year of school and college basketball. He's returning to Creighton for one more year with his dad, Greg McDermott, who just so happens to be his coach. Doug acknowledged to me on that March night in Philadelphia that his father being his college coach would play a role in his decision, as it should. Ultimately, the 6-foot-8 forward decided he'd rather experience another year of that and college in general than rush into being a reserve in the NBA, and I can't really blame him.
To be clear, I wouldn't have blamed him for leaving, either.
Nothing wrong with getting paid to hoop.
But McDermott's father is quite literally a millionaire -- he makes more than that annually as Creighton's coach -- so it's not like McDermott is one of the many student-athletes who feels compelled to turn pro to change his lifestyle or relieve a family from a cycle of poverty. It's not that the money doesn't matter. It's just that the money isn't needed immediately. So he can afford to delay the millions that will come his way, and, yes, millions will eventually come his way regardless because he's tall and he can shoot, and there's always going to be a place in the NBA for a tall guy who can shoot.
But there's also a place in college basketball for tall guys who can shoot.
And generally dominate.
Doug McDermott decided to occupy one of those spaces for one more year.
So good for him.
Good for his dad.
And good for Creighton and the sport in general.