Outside the Draft Box: Doug McDermott

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Doug McDermott is a name that has been mentioned in the lottery all year.  He’s simply too prolific of a shooter and a scorer not to be. Coverage of his play has been limited on LakeShowLife, but he does belong in the late lottery.

Unlike most of the lottery picks, Doug McDermott is a polished, 22-year old senior player.  Scouts have had plenty of chances to examine his game.  He has only gotten better, even with the added responsibility of being a #1 option for Creighton offensively.

Mar 23, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Creighton Bluejays forward Doug McDermott (3) shoots against the Baylor Bears in the second half of a men

So, what can Doug McDermott do?

Offensively, he’s a rare talent.  He’s not a prolific ball-handler, capable of changing directions on the fly.  He is mostly a straight-line driver from the perimeter when he decides to attack. However, his specialty on offense revolves around two types of shots; his jumpshot and flip shots in the painted area.  His jumpshot is simply magic. It may remind fans of J.J. Redick or Jimmer Fredette. The difference is, the same perimeter touch is coming from a 6’8″ player.  He has range comfortably out to 25′.  In catch-and-shoot situations, he excels.  He’s solid taking jumpshots off-the-dribble, but that’s where his offense ends along the perimeter.  In the painted area, he uses quick moves to get the shot up against the glass or the rim, before the defense can react. This is how he is able to get shots by against players with great length.  It may be a jumphook or a layup off of a curl; it’s no different from Antawn Jamison in the painted area.

Draftexpress did an excellent job capturing video footage of Doug McDermott against NBA level length.

Watching the video, one can see his Dirk-like fadeaway.  Even then he’s struggling to create space.  He had great scoring outputs against top-notch defensive teams.  He’s simply too good at perimeter shooting while being contested.  Around the rim, his lack of elite length and elite level explosiveness catches up to him.  If he’s not getting a shot up quickly, he’s automatically switching to his left hand and trying to shield the shot with his body.  That alters his finishing ability in the paint greatly.

At the NBA level, he would be a nightmare 3rd or 4th option player.  Imagine if Ryan Kelly had those same flip shots in the paint. Imagine he worked that well off-the-ball.  He would be a legit 14-18 point per game scorer, simply because he’s agile and happens to be about 6’10” with a near 7′ wingspan.  McDermott is more around 6’6″ (w/o shoes) with a 6’9″ wingspan.  How much of a difference does that make?  Ryan Kelly has a standing reach comparable to centers at 9’2″. McDermott has a standing reach comparable to small forwards at 8’7″.  No wonder why Ryan Kelly was a steal pick in the 2nd round.

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