Two weeks ago, we took our second look at the pace at which Creighton freshman Doug McDermott was scoring and rebounding for the Bluejays. At that point, he was averaging 13.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
But in the last five games, McDermott has improved his production to a level not yet seen during his freshman season at CU. He averaged 18.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game during that stretch, improving his season average in both categories by more than one full point and rebound.
For the season to date (24 games), McDermott leads the Bluejays with 14.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He’s fourth in the league in scoring and second in rebounding.
His numbers are even more impressive during league play, which contradicts the notion that a true freshman may tire as the season progresses. He is second in the league in points per game (16.3) and first in the Valley in rebounds per contest (9.2).
Let’s put his rebounding efforts in perspective this way: if the year ended right now, McDermott’s 7.7 rebounds per game would be the highest total for a Bluejay since Nate King grabbed 9 boards a game in the 1993-94 season, regardless of class.
In terms of his scoring ability, McDermott needs just 76 more points this season to surpass Rodney Buford’s freshman point total. Buford scored 421 points in just 29 games in 1995-96, a 14.5 ppg average. McDermott will have at least 8 games best Buford’s total, requiring him to score 9.5 points per game. To match Buford’s 14.5 ppg mark, McDermott would need to tally about 465 points for the season, or 119 more over Creighton’s next 8 games. That’s about 14.9 points per game — just about McDermott’s per-game average to this point in the season.
It’s pretty simply, really: Doug McDermott is the Valley’s Freshman of the Year, as well as its Newcomer of the Year. It’s such an easy decision, even some of the worst refs working this year’s Valley games could make the right call.
If Arch Madness comes around and McDermott does in fact earn both honors, it will mark the first time since 2008 (Creighton’s P’Allen Stinnett) that one player takes home both awards.
But will it be enough to earn McDermott All-Missouri Valley Conference honors? While Antoine Young might be the most important Bluejay, considering the team’s depth at point guard, McDermott is the team’s most productive player. However, assuming McDermott does indeed win the Freshman of the Year award in a few weeks, he won’t be assured a spot on the All-Valley teams.
In the previous 10 seasons, no player named Valley Freshman of the Year earned first- or second-team All-Valley honors. During that same time, only four of the ten Newcomer of the Year honorees earned All-Valley recognition in those same seasons: Champ Oguchi was second-team All-MVC in 2009, while Lorenzo Gordon (2005), Marcellus Sommerville (2004), and Rolan Roberts (2002) earned first-team accolades.
Sure, the Bluejays are only 6-6 one-third of the way through Valley play, but can you imagine where Creighton would be without McDermott leading the way? Or, if he was wearing the purple and gold in Cedar Falls? If the freshman continues his tireless efforts on the glass and keeps displaying a deft touch around the rim, it will be awfully difficult for voters to keep him off an All-Valley team.