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Creighton’s Doug McDermott Continues His Historic Pace

A little more than one month ago, I wrote a piece about Doug McDermott’s first eight games as a Bluejay. After beginning his Creighton career with eight straight double-digit scoring efforts, McDermott was averaging 14.5 points per game. As I wrote here, that put him on a pace with some familiar names: Rodney Buford, Benoit Benjamin, etc.

Of course, McDermott failed to record a point in the game immediately following that piece of publishing. After starting with eight consecutive double-digit games, a scoreless night against the Saint Joseph’s Hawks would be the first of four games in which he failed to score in double figures to this point in his freshman season.

Through 19 games, McDermott has fallen about one point a game off the pace he established during the first month of his collegiate career. He leads all Creighton players with 13.4 points per game, having tallied 254 points through 19 games. He’s doing his damage in about 30 minutes per game.

McDermott continues to lead the Bluejays in scoring and rebounding (Adam Streur/WBR)

McDermott continues to lead the Bluejays in scoring and rebounding (Adam Streur/WBR)

The guys at Bluejay Banter call it Doug’s Quest for Greatness. But while it would take quite a bit of great basketball for McDermott to reach Buford’s all-time school scoring mark, he is already on pace to join some of the most memorable players in CU history.

Considering a player needs to average 250 points each season for four years to join the school’s 1,000-point scorers list, McDermott seems well on his way to joining that group of 34 individuals (Kenny Lawson, Doug’s current teammate and CU senior, is the group’s most recent member).

But now the conversation shifts to include mention of McDermott’s amazing rebounding talents. More than his scoring output, the freshman is turning heads around the league with his rebounding efforts. He’s averaging 6.9 rebounds per game, an average that also leads all Bluejays.

McDermott’s 131 rebounds are already more than Buford (122), Kyle Korver (101), Rick Apke (114), Vernon Moore (63), John C. Johnson (91), Kevin McKenna (80), Ben Walker (118), Dane Watts (101), Anthony Tolliver (34), and Lawson (89) collected during their first full seasons at CU. Those names represent some of the other players that comprise the 1,000-point scorers list.

In fact, the frosh could realistically reach and exceed the rebounding total posted by Chad Gallagher during his freshman season at Creighton. Gallagher, who left CU with a 7.2 rpg mark, hauled in 168 boards during his first season at Creighton. McDermott needs 38 caroms to pass the taller member of the Dynamic Duo in this category.

That leaves the other half of the Dynamic Duo, Bob Harstad, as the player some CU fans are comparing McDermott to halfway through his freshman season. Harstad finished his first year at Creighton with an 8.5 rpg average, which led the team. He grabbed 272 rebounds in 32 games. McDermott would need to snare 142 rebounds in his last dozen or so games (counting 11 more Valley contests and an initial game in the Valley postseason tournament) to surpass Harstad’s first-year total. How likely is that? Not very, considering McDermott would need to average just shy of 12 rebounds each game to accomplish the feat.

But the fact that we can legitimately pose the question should leave fans counting their blessings that Doug’s dad, Greg, was Bruce Rasmussen’s first phone call after Dana Altman left for Oregon last spring. Next week’s Sports Illustrated will feature the father and son duo, bringing a little national publicity to what Bluejays fans have witnessed so far this season: through 19 games, both McDermotts are just starting what could be magnificent careers at Creighton.

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