Kentucky was crowned the 2012 National Champions back on Apr. 2, effectively ending the 2011-12 college basketball season. Five Rant Sports writers took the time to vote on some of this year’s memorable moments and top performers.
First up, the Rant Sports’ Mid-Major Player of the Year.
Winner: Doug McDermott
Stats: 23. 2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.1 apg
After averaging 14.9 points per game as a freshman in 2010-11, Creighton’s Doug McDermott began to make a name for himself, building hype, not only on a personal level, but also for the Blue Jays’ program, as well.
McDermott responded to the hype in his second season in Omaha, finishing the year among the nation’s top offensive threats.
The 6-foot-7 forward ranked third in the nation in scoring, averaging 23.2 points per game this past year. The offensive mark was only surpassed by Weber State’s Damian Lillard and the nation’s top overall scorer, Oakland’s Reggie Hamilton.
McDermott scored 20+ points in an astonishing 24 of the Blue Jays’ 35 games in 2011-12. In fact, the sophomore surpassed the 30+ plateau six times.
McDermott scored a career-high 44 points on Jan. 7 in a 92-83 victory over Bradley.
An offensive machine that can easily be considered a coach’s best friend, McDermott was indeed much more than that. In fact, the sophomore is the son of Creighton head coach, Greg McDermott.
With a balanced attack and a talented group around him, Creighton was able to qualify for the NCAA Tournament under the forward’s leadership. The Blue Jays advanced past Alabama in the opening round, but were ousted by top-seeded North Carolina in the Round of 32. In the pair of tournament contests, McDermott averaged 18 points per game.
Following the conclusion of the Blue Jays’ season, speculation began to arise on whether or not McDermott would return to Omaha next season. Well, the forward wasted no time in proclaiming his stance on returning to Creighton, a move that once again, puts the Blue Jays in contention for the Missouri Valley Conference title and a bid into the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
After a tremendous sophomore campaign, McDermott will easily be considered the front-runner and one of the top mid-major prospects in the country, next season.