In one of the deepest draft classes in recent history, Doug McDermott sticks out. The former Creighton Blue Jay is 5th on the all-time collegiate scoring list. His senior season saw him climb the scoring list past some of the most prolific players to ever play the game.
He is a three time All-American and without a doubt one of the most efficient shooters to ever play college basketball.
Yet there are still questions on where he will fall in the draft and if he can stick it out in the NBA.
Scouts will be trying to decipher from now until the draft whether McDermott is the next stretch four to take over the league, or if he’ll struggle like a very similar college player — Adam Morrison did, when he tried to transition to the next level.
For every Morrison though is a Ryan Anderson.
A player whose role is undefined when it comes to where to put him on the floor. Yet Anderson finds a way to compete with the best in the league. He might not always have the best skill set. Yet he brings a special talent to the table.
Like Anderson, McDermott brings that same feel to the NBA.
With an ability to win that nearly seems unmatched in this draft class.
Wingspan: 6’8 1/2″
Hometown: Ames, Iowa
Points Per Game: 26.7 | Field Goal Percentage: 53% | Free Throw Percentage: 86% | Three Point Percentage: 45%
Rebounds Per Game: 7.0 | Assists Per Game: 1.6 | Player Efficiency Rating: 32.8
Where do you start with a player that has proven so much already as a doubted player? Pure and simple what makes Doug McDermott the player that college basketball fans fell in love with was his ability to win.
Go ahead, call him the Tim Tebow of college basketball. Say that his game won’t transcend to the next level. It’s only fuel to the fire of a player that was born to win.
If that is McDermott’s number one strength, then shooting the basketball isn’t very far behind. The senior led the nation in points scored and offensive win shares, while using his basketball IQ to set up the best look every time down the floor. Everyone knows about his smooth and effortless stroke, but not everyone knows how hard he’s worked to be creative with it.
Since he doesn’t have the best success off the dribble or in isolation, McDermott has worked hard on using screens to set up his shot. More than any shooter in this draft, he knows exactly where to be on the floor to maximize the chance of an open shot. In the post he has really worked on becoming more consistent. McDermott is very unorthodox in the post, but somehow, someway finds the bucket.
There’s no arguing that he’s the best pure shooter in the draft.
ESPN’s Chad Ford recently wrote about it for ESPN Insider. His catch and release is a thing of beauty across the perimeter. Ford said in that recent article that at workouts during the Combine, it’s not uncommon for three point shooters to hoist up 100 three pointers from NBA range. McDermott on average in these workouts makes 85% of the shots he puts up.
Offensively, he is going to be a match up problem for a ton of teams in the league. His post moves have developed enough that he could dominate most small forwards near the rim with his back to the basket. If you switch defensively to power forward, he’ll torch you up like America’s sky on the 4th of July.
What makes McDermott so intriguing to teams is that even if he doesn’t work out as an everyday player, he can fill a niche that any bench would need. For a team that is missing shooting and the ability to space out the floor on offense, McDermott could be a solid target.
As hard as you try, you cannot teach size and athletic ability on defense. McDermott gives more effort on that side of the ball than a coach can dream about.
Yet he struggles mightily because he doesn’t have the closing speed to get back to the basketball, or the athletic intuition to make moves to stay with a driving wing to the hoop. His footwork has improved on that end drastically, yet there is still some work to do.
That being said, I don’t think he’ll be a flop on defense in the NBA. His effort on that side of the floor to battle for loose balls and rebounds shows that he knows his inefficiencies. With the right coaching staff, he can be shown how to be a step ahead of everyone with his basketball IQ. If he can learn how to fill the lanes effectively, he can make up for his lack of athletic ability to rebound and face up with the best in the league.
Offensively, the only thing that scouts fear is that McDermott won’t be able to create enough space to get a shot off. Since his face up game needs a lot of work and he doesn’t have the handle to get past defenders — Dougie McBuckets has learned to master the Dirk one legged fade. It’s amazing what it has done for his game. The next step is developing a version to use in the post to create space and perfecting his jump hook and up and under moves. As Mike Schmitz of Draft Express explains with his scouting video breaking down Doug McDermott’s game.
Draft Express Scouting Video
Fitting the Pistons Glove
It’s safe to say that Doug McDermott became a better fit for the Pistons earlier this week when Stan Van Gundy became the Pistons head coach and president. SVG made it clear on Thursday that his organization needs better perimeter players and there is nobody better than McDermott.
If there is a coach that can get the best out of McDermott it’s Van Gundy. From J.J. Reddick to Mickael Pietrus and Rashard Lewis, — the mastermind coach got the best out of these wings and many other perimeter players. He will also be able to get the most out of him defensively. And find schemes to fill the voids he leaves on the defensive end.
It’s been a long time since the Pistons have had a true sharpshooter. Though Nik Stauskas might be the better all around player, McDermott would be a welcomed addition for the Pistons organization with the projected #8 pick in the NBA Draft.