No. 17 Creighton, McDermott pose challenge for Tulsa
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
12/19/12 at 4:44 AM
Months from now, when Danny Manning reflects on his first season as the University of Tulsa coach, he might determine that Creighton was the best team and that Doug McDermott was the best player on the Golden Hurricane's schedule.
In the history of college basketball, only two Associated Press first-team All-Americans were coached by their fathers - LSU's Pete Maravich (an All-American in 1968, 1969 and 1970) and McDermott (a first-team selection as a sophomore last season).
As a junior now, the 6-foot-8, 225-pound McDermott averages 23.7 points. Coached by his father, Greg McDermott, Doug McDermott seems destined to repeat as an All-American and could wind up as the national player of the year.
On Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Omaha, Neb., TU tackles the challenge of battling the McDermotts and the Bluejays on their home floor.
The Hurricane enters with a 6-4 record - having lost most recently at Arkansas-Little Rock - and Creighton is 10-1.
Of Doug McDermott, Manning said, "He's the best player we've faced so far, in terms of being complete and doing it all."
Asked whether any one TU player will get the McDermott defensive assignment - maybe an athletic, quick-handed guard like Shaq Harrison or a bigger man like 6-foot-8 forward D'Andre Wright - Manning replied, "It's a shared assignment, but that's always how we guard. No matter who is guarding the ball, we want the other four guys to be in strong help spots.
"That's the tough thing about (McDermott) - his versatility. You put a big guy on him and he plays out on the perimeter a little bit more. You put a small guy on him and he posts you. He's clever and crafty. He shoots the heck out of it. It's a tough cover, any way you look at it."
The Bluejays are ranked 17th in the AP poll and occupy the No. 24 position in the Ratings Percentage Index.
In Las Vegas, Creighton beat Wisconsin 84-74 and Arizona State 87-73. Creighton rocked Nebraska 64-42.
Last Saturday, Creighton recorded an impressive road win, conquering California 74-64 in the Bears' home gym. McDermott was brilliant, totaling 34 points on 10-of-17 shooting overall from the field, 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range and 10-of-10 shooting from the foul line.
Because of foot injuries, Hurricane forwards Rashad Smith and Brandon Swannegan have been sidelined during TU's last six games. Neither is expected to be in uniform on Wednesday. Their presence would have been useful not only in the group effort to bother McDermott, but in the attempt to limit the productivity of 6-foot-9 Bluejay center Gregory Echenique (10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game).
McDermott has quality teammates, and Creighton shoots the ball phenomenally well - 51 percent from the field overall, 42 percent on 3-pointers and 76 percent on free throws.
Formerly rivals in the Missouri Valley Conference, TU and Creighton clash for the 77th time. Tulsa has a 43-33 lead in the series.
On Saturday, the Hurricane buses to south Tulsa for its Mayor's Cup meeting with Oral Roberts at the Mabee Center.
Although Creighton is nationally recognized as a mid-major power - and while McDermott is described by Manning as "definitely an NBA guy" - the Bluejays are not unbeatable.
On Nov. 28, in its home arena, Creighton was defeated 83-70 by Boise State. The Broncos did it with tremendous shooting - 60 percent overall and 10-of-19 on 3-pointers.
|Ht. ||Pt.|| Reb.|
|F|| Black|| 6-7|| 6.7 ||4.9|
|F ||Wright ||6-8|| 9.1|| 5.6|
|G ||Haralson|| 6-4|| 9.0|| 2.9|
|G ||Woodard|| 6-4 ||13.6|| 5.7|
|G ||Harrison ||6-3|| 6.0 ||3.9|
|Ht. ||Pt.|| Reb.|
|F ||McDermott ||6-8|| 23.7|| 6.9|
|C ||Echenique ||6-9|| 10.5|| 7.5|
|G ||Chatman ||6-0|| 8.4 ||2.3|
|G ||Gibbs ||6-5 ||7.3 ||3.8|
|G ||Manigat|| 6-1|| 4.6 ||1.5|
Tulsa at No. 17 Creighton
7 p.m. Wednesday
Original Print Headline: Creighton poses challenge for Tulsa
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397
Creighton's Doug McDermott averages 23.7 points a game. He scored 35 against TU last season. BEN MARGOT / AP