|Doug McDermott might now be the best walk on in college basketball history. (cbssports.com)|
Doug McDermott has 1,635 points and 564 rebounds in his three-year college career.
McDermott has a mountain of awards and honors to his name, including Missouri Valley Player of the Year awards, AP All-American First Team honors and being named a consensus First-Team All American.
McDermott has led the Creighton Blue Jays to conference titles and NCAA Tournament victories.
This year, McDermott will add another distinction to his list: walk on. This will most likely lead to an unofficial honor of being the best walk on in college basketball history (with probably only Scottie Pippen, who racked up 1,600 points as a walk on at Central Arkansas, arguing this claim).
McDermott is a walk on to make room for teammate and friend Grant Gibbs, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility earlier this month. It also wouldn't have happened if his father, Greg, wasn't his coach.
But Greg McDermott has the means the pay for Doug's tuition, and credit Doug for not having an ego that would make him hate not being a scholarship player. He could have made another player give up a scholarship, but he and Greg made a sacrifice that was in everyone's best interest.
Gibbs averaged 8.5 points 4.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game last season. Most importantly, Gibbs is one of four starters returning next season, which will keep strong continuity and chemistry preventing a need for an early-season-get-used-to-playing-with-each-other phase.
Apparently the team won't take it easy on McDermott just because he's one of the nation's best players.
"He's going to be carrying bags and doing all that kind of stuff," Gibbs said with a smile in an ESPN article. "He'll have to handle that. That'll be a different situation for him. I think he'll probably be the best walk-on in America. We'll see."
Again, these are special circumstances in which McDermott's coach is also his father and able to pay the $44,000 in tuition. But both could have been stubborn. Both could think McDermott was too good to be labeled a walk on, and there had to be another scholarship player with the family means to pay for tuition.
But neither did that, and should be commended for it. In return, the Blue Jays are returning a strong piece of their starting lineup in Gibbs and should be a force in the new Big East this year.
After all, Creighton does have the best walk on in America on its team.
Follow @BeatsDimesDrive on Twitter
Like Beats Dimes and Drives on Facebook