Karl-Anthony Towns Disclaimer: This piece does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Timberwolves organization. Freshman, PF/C, Kentucky 6’11.25”, 248 LBS 8.1 % Body Fat 7’3.25” Wing Span 9’1” Standing Reach*
George de Paula
Doug McDermott | 2014 NBA Draft Profile
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Creighton | Senior | Forward | 6-foot-8 | 223 lbs
2013-14: 33.7 MPG, 26.7 PPG, .526 FG%, .449 3FG%, .864 FT%, 7.0 RPG, 1.6 APG, 0.2 SPG
2012-13: 31.6 MPG, 23.2 PPG, .548 FG%, .490 3FG%, .875 FT%, 7.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 0.2 SPG
2011-12: 31.9 MPG, 22.9 PPG, .601 FG%, .486 3FG%, .796 FT%, 8.2 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.2 SPG
2010-11: 29.1 MPG, 14.9 PPG, .525 FG%, .405 3FG%, .746 FT%, 7.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.3 SPG
Editor’s Note: Throughout June, Timberwolves.com’s Draft coverage presented by Coors Light will profile a series of prospects that could be available at Minnesota’s No. 13 pick, or if they choose to be mobile during the 2014 NBA Draft on June 26. Part X highlights Creighton forward Doug McDermott, one of the purest shooting prospects in this Draft and last year's NCAA scoring champion.
When it comes to scoring at the NCAA level, not many have ever done it as well as Creighton’s Doug McDermott. And when it comes to the past 17 years, no one has done it better.
McDermott leaves Creighton as this year's NCAA scoring champion and college's top overall points leader over the past two years. His 3,150 career points are the most in the NCAA by a single player since 1997-98, and he officially has the fifth-most total points in NCAA history, according to the Associated Press.
He’s a level-headed player who understands how to make the right play, and he’s also an incredibly gifted shooter. Aside from Michigan’s Nik Stauskas, there aren’t many players who can match McDermott’s form and ability from the field.
It comes from a lot of hours preparing and a great deal of skill.
“I think I’ve got a great feel for the game,” McDermott said. “I think they’ll see that, and sometimes you can’t, it’s not evident in the drills. But once game-time hits, you know, I’m a completely different guy.”
The biggest challenge McDermott will face is showing he can consistently play a position at the NBA level on both ends of the court. He’s going to be tested—at the 3 he’ll need to prove he’s quick enough, and at the 4 he’ll need to prove his able to handle the size disadvantage.
He said at the Draft Combine last month he thinks he can play the 3 and even play some 2. Both will be a challenge defensively due to the quickness both those positions have at the NBA level. He admitted he wouldn’t likely be guarding the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant every night, but on a situation basis he thinks he can hold his own.
He said he’s being honest with teams about what he feels he can do at the next level.
“I really think I can fit in, because I’m a guy that hates getting scored on,” McDermott said. “I’m really competitive, and I take that stuff to heart. So throughout the course of an 82-game season, you’re going to get scored on your fair share of times. But you’ve got to make sure you’re giving it your best effort every time you’re asked to guard someone.”
It’s something he’ll need to prove to NBA teams, but his confidence in himself and his competitive nature naturally shines through in his conversations. There are some question marks about McDermott’s physical tools, but there aren’t question marks about his character or his drive.
“I’m just trying to handle even better and obviously working really hard on foot quickness just laterally because obviously you’ve got to be top notch to guard 3s and 2s or whoever in the NBA,” McDermott said. “I’m really trying to work on lateral quickness.”
First and foremost, McDermott can shoot. He led the NCAA in scoring the past two years, and he did so with incredible shooting mechanics. Every time he goes into his shot, it’s the same stroke. That’s huge, because when you alter your shot from attempt to attempt you’ll never get consistency. He’s a strong shooter in several different scenarios—off the dribble, spot-up, coming off screens and from 3-point range. He’s got a quick release and is comfortable getting his feet set and under him before letting it go. He also has a ball fake that will keep defenders guessing. McDermott can go left or right, has a solid jump hook from both sides and has strong footwork. He also is incredibly savvy on the court. He played for his dad at Creighton, and he understands schemes well and will bring a great team philosophy to an NBA squad. He has tremendous hustle on both ends of the floor and seems to be a great teammate in the locker room.
McDermott might end up being a tweener at forward, lacking the size to defend the 4 and the speed to defend the 3. He isn’t known for his explosiveness or his leaping ability, and he’ll need to depend on his positioning in order to succeed at the NBA level. He can shoot, but will he be able to get to the rim without having his attempts altered? He’ll need to prove he can create his own shot at the next level. He’s also not an exceptional defensive rebounder, and he’ll likely have trouble handling elite players off the dribble and on the glass.
THEY SAID IT
“I think everyone has something to prove. Not everyone’s perfect, not every player’s perfect. Everyone’s got to get better at something. That’s part of the reason why we play this game. Not everyone’s perfect. We want to get better every day. That’s something I take a lot of pride in, when someone’s maybe knocking me in one area, I’m going to work my tail off to prove them wrong.” — Creighton forward Doug McDermott
WHAT HE CAN BRING TO THE WOLVES
McDermott is going to be a lightning rod of criticism and potential throughout this Draft season. He comes from a smaller school and doesn’t project to necessarily have the defensive and athletic abilities that will keep him on the court consistently at the NBA level. Questions about his position at the NBA level still linger, too. Yet he is one of the best shooters in the draft and is also looked at as an incredibly level-headed, team player. There’s a reason why he was such a prolific college scorer who helped put Creighton into the national spotlight during his tenure. He will have critics, but he can immediately join a team and give them a shooter’s presence. And even if he’s not a starter—especially right away—he could certainly be a rotation player that can stretch the floor when put in under certain circumstances for certain matchups.