The offensive game of Doug McDermott
The current leader in offensive rating for players who have used at least 28% of their team’s possessions is Creighton’s Doug McDermott at 127.2, as he has contributed 24.4 points per game as the Bluejays have started 7-0. McDermott is still somewhat under the national radar but he has shown he is one of the best offensive players in the nation early in the season, posting a true shooting percentage of 71.6%, 20th in the nation. He has a polished offensive game and can score in a variety of ways. As Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Eisenberg noted, he makes the game look effortless on the offensive end.
While UNC’s Tyler Zeller is current holder of the best big man in transition title, McDermott can give him a run for his money. When Creighton gets a defensive rebound, McDermott immediately sprints for the opposite rim and often finds himself beating everyone down the floor. While Creighton does not have Kendall Marshall at point guard, they have capable distributors who can find McDermott ahead of the pack for the easy finish. This gives McDermott many easy baskets and illustrates how Creighton’s offense is running at a high level early in the season, as it currently ranks 10th in the nation in offensive efficiency.
3 point shooting
While McDermott is mainly an interior player, he has the ability to step outside and knock down the three point shot. He has shot 15-26 (57.6%) from beyond the arc in the first seven games of the season, which is the third most makes on the team. He usually spots up and shoots off the catch, rarely creating his own outside shot off the dribble. This makes him a difficult player to defend, as he stretches the defense as he forces them to guard him on the perimeter. Defenders are most worried about him getting the ball on the block but also need to pay attention when he steps behind the three point line.
My favorite part of McDermott’s offensive game is his post play. At only 6’7″, he is not your typical big man post player, as he is a bit undersized, but he has shown he is quite comfortable on the block. The following video highlights two plays from the Nebraska game that show both his skill level and basketball IQ on the block. In the first play, Jorge Brian Diaz feigns a double team on the high side of McDermott. McDermott raises his eyes, surveys the defense, sees the double team coming and spins away from the second defender to nail the hook shot.
In the second play, he ducks under the defender at the last second, sealing him and taking him completely out of the play. This allows McDermott to have an uncontested layup and shows part of the reason why he is shooting 65.2% from 2’s this year, as he rarely allows himself to be blocked.
Creighton will be a contending team all season, so it’s time to get acquainted with McDermott and his offensive repertoire. He will be one of the top offensive players this season and he can hurt the opposition in a variety of ways.