All you have to do is talk to 2010 Iowa Forward Doug McDermott and you instantly understand why coaches are very high on him as a person. Articulate, intelligent, and very confident, the 6'7 forward seems much older than a teenager.
Head Coach Dana Altman had a busy weekend with not one but two recruits making official visits to Omaha. 2010 California Forward J.j. O'Brien was on campus at the same time as Doug's official visit. Both were hosted by Coach Altman's family for dinner last Saturday night as they learned about what it would be like to play basketball for the Jays.
The trip also consisted of meeting all the players, a tour of the campus by Assistant Coach Daren DeVries, and a pick up game inside the Qwest Center.
The son of Iowa St. Head Coach Greg McDermott, Doug has been to Omaha before and said the visit "went pretty fast but going on a unofficial before - I sorta knew what it was all about but I got to hang with the guys and play in the Qwest Center"
"We were pretty much on campus the entire time" Doug said. "Friday night we went out to eat with the entire coaching staff and then they let me go around with Kaleb Korver who introduced me to all the guys. Saturday I had breakfast with the coaches at the hotel and then played at the Qwest Center and went to dinner at Coach Altman's house. The Qwest Center is awesome and I couldn't imagine what it must be like filled.""
Doug likes to use the word "comfortable" a lot when talking about Creighton. As many know, the Jays have a long history of recruiting the state of Iowa. Currently, there are 2 juniors (Korver and Casey Harriman) from the Hawkeye State and 2010 verbal commit Will Artino is also on his way to Omaha from Des Moines.
"It's funny cause Coach Altman told me that one year he had a entire starting lineup from Iowa" said McDermott. "They talked about Kyle Korver a lot, Mike Lindeman, players that are kinda like me."
The major question about Doug's recruitment to Creighton is whether or not McDermott is being offered a full ride to the Hilltop? With his father's school, Iowa St offering free tuition and Central Florida also offering a full ride, is Creighton doing the same?
Here is where the numbers crunch for scholarships come into play. There are only 3 players leaving the program next season. Artino has one of those spots for 2010 already secured. However, there will be several openings in 2011. The Jays, seeing the openings in 2011 appear to be offering a 4 for 5 deal.
"I would walk-on the first year and then depending on how hard I would work - would depend on the future." Said Doug. "They made it very clear that I was one of their top guys but going into the summer they didn't need my position so they weren't looking for a perimeter forward but once they saw me play they felt like they needed to go after me. Then they got the commitment from Will (Artino) and that limited their scholarships. So I'd redshirt that first year and walk-on and then be on scholarship".
With 2 other schools offering full rides, you would think that would push Creighton down on McDermott's list of options. However, he says otherwise.
"Walking On the first year would be totally worth it for the Creighton education. I think they will be really successful as well being a postseason team" said McDermott.
One area that many see as a weakness of Doug's is his overall strength. A redshirt year would allow him to work hard on his physical attributes with Strength and Conditioning Coach Zach Duval.
"I met Coach Duval and he's done a great job with the guys. He told me that most of the guys have improved their verticals 4 inches since he's gotten there." Doug said. "He told me came from a football background and he's one of those kinda guys. He's really putting the weight on the guys. Coach DeVries told me that he's working the guys so hard that he's surprised the guys like him but they really do."
Doug told us that he is going to make an official visit to UNI this coming weekend and then sit down and talk about his options with his family.
"I could make a decision in the next couple of days or maybe in a month. I've been pretty consistent that I want to make a choice before the start of the basketball season. I'm really comfortable with Creighton but I don't have an order of preference for the 3 schools that I have left." Said McDermott.
Stay with www.TheBluejaycafe.com for the latest on Doug's recruitment to Creighton.
***** In related news
We still can not connect with J.j. O'Brien after numerous attempts. Speaking to a person close to the situation, it appears that the O'Brien family did not like Omaha for personal reasons. It appears J.j will be headed to Utah.