Zack Spears is a senior lineman on the Iowa State football team with a love of the media. We are happy to have Zack as a contributor to TheBluejaycafe.com. Spears is from Texas and is close friends with Doug McDermott from his days at Ames High.
True freshman Doug McDermott of Creighton had one stellar season.
At the first glance at his statistics on the year it is clear that he is the best player on his team. Once you look at his weekly and post season accolades he easily becomes one of the best players in the Missouri Valley Conference. Then you get to McDermott's age and classification and once again, the fact that he is just a true freshman with the stats and awards he possesses makes him stand out that much more. Which can leave you asking yourself, "Is Doug McDermott a freshman all American?" The answer is yes, and I will tell you why. (In fact, Doug was just named to USBWA Freshman All-America team on Tuesday.)
In McDermott's first year of play, he broke the Missouri Valley Conference record for the most Newcomer of the Week awards in a season with seven. The previous record was six, held by former Bradley Brave Marcellus Sommerville in the 2003-04 season.
When McDermott arrived on the Creighton campus, the 6'8" freshman worked his way from possibly redshirting into a regular in the Jays starting lineup. The Jays were blessed with a transfer from the Big East Conference by way of Rutgers; that player is Gregory Echenique.
The massive human being from Venezuela averaged a double-double at Rutgers in his freshman year in arguably the best conference in college basketball, the Big East.
Creighton is also home to the Missouri Valley preseason player of the year in Kenny Lawson Jr. McDermott outworked and outperformed Lawson in early practices and games, forcing Lawson to perform most of the season in an off-the-bench role. This move worked especially well in the conference tournament, when Lawson provided a much needed spark consistently throughout Arch Madness.
McDermott, throughout the season, also out played the older, bigger, and Big East experienced Echenique. Doug not only set himself apart from the freshmen, but also set himself apart from the man who was tabbed the best player in the league and a talented big man who put up impressive numbers in the Big East Conference just one year before.
This season McDermott averaged almost 15 points per game to go along with 8 rebounds. McDermott scored 15 or more points in 18 of the 33 games that he played in this season. The freshman also posted nine double digit rebound games with an amazing 17 boards against Bradley and 16 versus Akron.
Now if all of that didn't sell you on a spot on the freshman all American team for Doug McDermott, this surely will. Doug clearly distanced himself as the best player on Creighton's roster this season; these next few things distanced himself from other players in the conference and other freshman in the country.
McDermott cleaned house with the Missouri Valley Conference postseason awards and honors. The graduate of Ames High School was named the conference's Freshman of the Year, named to the conference's All-Freshman Team, and was awarded the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year Award.
McDermott was also awarded first team all conference honors, solidifying that although he is just a true freshman, McDermott is one of the best players in the entire conference. McDermott's most impressive piece of post season hardware is the award that CBS sports awarded him just last week.
He was named the CBS Non-BCS Freshman of the Year, an award that sets him apart and clearly makes him the best player in non BCS schools. This should sell anyone on his candidacy for a spot on the freshman all American team, if all of the points previously pointed out didn't sell you on it already.
One has to figure, with a full off season in front of him filled with individual workouts, conditioning, and lifting weights in a division one program, McDermott is only going to get better. A lot better. Along with his stellar true freshman numbers he would be the safe choice for next seasons Missouri Valley Conference pre season player of the year.
Doug McDermott has tremendous upside and once he gains healthy weight, muscle, and more experience, look for the coach's son to be bringing in more than just Missouri Valley Conference awards. Personally, I can't wait to watch.
Footnote: In his first ever postseason game, Doug scored 26 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and hit 4 three-pointers in a win over San Jose State in the CBI Tournament.