The Creighton Bluejays suffered a minor setback, losing to the Indiana State Sycamores on Wednesday night. Creighton’s star Doug McDermott, who is a Wooden Award Candidate and one of the nation’s top players, was virtually shut down by his lofty standards.
McDermott only mustered eight points on 3 of 10 shooting from the field. His 8 points, surprisingly enough, is not a season low. McDermott tallied only 5 points on Nov. 14 vs. the University of Alabama-Birmingham. The difference is that the game against UAB was a 17-point win for Creighton, and his minutes were limited. Against Indiana State however, the Bluejays were blown out by 19 points.
Creighton looked to remain in first place in the Misouri Valley Conference and post their 1oth win in conference play when they faced the Illinois State Redbirds last night but it was to no avail.
However, McDermott did notch a double-double, scoring 24 points and adding 13 rebounds.
So how does Creighton come up with a better game plan to ensure victory in the future?
It is simple. Feed the beast known as Doug McDermott. Mcdermott was averaging 14.5 field goal attempts per game, and shoots a blistering 55.7% from the field before last night’s game versus. Illinois State. In two of Creighton’s losses, McDermott failed to reach his field goal average, shooting just 11 and 10 shots respectively.
That cannot happen, no matter how the defense decides to play him. Whether they choose to use full denials/face guards, full-court pressure defense, box and one’s, double teams, or whatever the case may be. McDermott and his head coach, Greg McDermott, have seen it all before.
McDermott is not a volume shooter. Nor is he a ball hog as the numbers likewise reinforce. He is great from the foul line and will not take bad shots. If he is doubled, he can pass out of the double-team; however, the key is to have him be a score first, and playmaker or decoy second.
Once again, the formula is simple. Get McDermott into a rhythm early and often, and let him make as much of an impact scoring the ball as he can.
That is the recipe for Creighton to win the MVC and make a deep run during March.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo