Game #9-277: Creighton Bluejays at Missouri State BearsJanuary 11, 2013 8:05 pm
You know those nights when you glance up at the scoreboard, notice somebody's scored an absurd amount of points and then ask the dude next to you, "when the hell did he score all those points?"
Friday night was not one of those nights.
Doug McDermott had 11 points at halftime, right on pace for his 22.6 average. Then, in the famous words of Creighton guard Jahenns Manigat after the game, we all sat around and watched Doug do what Doug does best. He scored and scored and scored and scored and scored. Easy layups. Putbacks. Strong takes to the rim. Three-pointers-- one off his back foot. He scored the first 18 points of the second half for the Bluejays, made a string of 14 straight field goals at one point, finished 15-19 overall from the field and outscored the entire Missouri State team by three points in the second half. When he finally missed a three-pointer, it was only because a defender collided with him. The refs gave him three free throws, and he made all of them.
Final total: 39 points. 28 in the second half. Doug doing what Doug does.
After McDermott scored the first 18 of the second half, I did actually turn to the guy next to me. "Has he scored all 18 this half?"
Yup. He sure had.
But I didn't need to confirm that McDermott was on fire. That was obvious. As the scoring binge continued late into the second half, I began to think back on all the great college basketball performances I'd witnessed in person throughout the duration of my short, 21-year lifespan. Interestingly enough, Bradley's Sam Maniscalco came to my mind right away. I watched him score 31 in the 2010 quarterfinals of Arch Madness against these same Bluejays. That was the day Maniscalco became one of my favorite all-time Valley players. The guy made everything in sight, and I'm pretty sure he at least partly fractured nearly every bone in his body that afternoon diving for loose balls.
I also saw Missouri's Marcus Denmon put on a hell of a show against Kansas last year at Mizzou Arena, and he had the added benefit of making a dramatic go-ahead three in the final minutes. In another Valley performance,
I also witnessed Osiris Eldridge rain threes against Northern Iowa in the 2009 MVC title game before his team eventually lost in overtime. Oh, and Doug McDermott himself set a tournament record with 33 points in last year's MVC title game. That was OK, I guess.
If McDermott's dad hadn't pulled him from the game on Friday with three minutes to play (his dad, Greg, is the coach, in case you don't follow basketball or live under a rock), he would have surely reached his career high of 44 points. He probably could have gone for 50 if he really wanted to. It was comical watching Missouri State coach Paul Lusk try to switch defenders and throw different zones and double-teams at McDermott.
At one point, an overmatched and undersized guard, Nathan Sheer, tried to get after McDermott. I started laughing.
On the inside, McDermott was probably laughing too, though he's far too humble to ever admit that.
Even as McDermott was female dog-slapping Missouri State, the student section was still chanting "Daddy's Boy!" at him. It wasn't working. After the game, McDermott just said he was "in the zone." I'll say.
And he said it was his dad's fault he didn't get his career high. In fact, in the post-game press conference, Greg McDermott said he had no idea how many points his son had and wasn't even thinking about leaving him in the game to help him reach a career high.
Maybe it really was one of those nights when some kid obscurely scores 39 and nobody notices. For Greg McDermott, maybe.
For the rest of us, it was impossible not to notice.