Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Duke focuses on McDermott

Mike Krzyzewksi has nothing but praise for Creighton’s Doug McDermott, who scores 27 against Titus Rubles and Cincinnati.

Getty Images

Mike Krzyzewksi has nothing but praise for Creighton’s Doug McDermott, who scores 27 against Titus Rubles and Cincinnati.

PHILADELPHIA — Duke will never be a first-weekend tournament darling. So a win today would barely cause a ripple in Durham, N.C.

But at Creighton, a win could send the campus into a frenzy. The Bluejays haven't reached the Sweet 16 since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. For the second straight year, they're on the cusp. North Carolina spoiled their run last season. Now another ACC team looks to send All-American F Doug McDermott and Co. home.

McDermott, an All-America candidate, had 27 points, including 11-of-11 on free throws, and 11 rebounds to help Creighton beat Cincinnati 67-63 on Friday. He impressed Duke coach Mike Krzyzewksi, who overlooked McDermott when he recruited his high school teammate in Iowa, former North Carolina star Harrison Barnes.

McDermott committed to Northern Iowa before following his dad, Greg, to his latest coaching stop at Creighton.

"McDermott is such a beautiful player," Krzyzewksi said of the junior averaging 20.1 points and 7.7 rebounds. "He's really one of the best offensive players I've seen in the last decade in college basketball."

High praise from a coach who has had J.J. Redick, Jason Williams and Kyrie Irving over that span.

Maybe Duke can snag a report from two of its current players, Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly. McDermott and Kelly were roommates last summer at the Amare Stoudemire Big Man Camp in Chicago. McDermott and Plumlee were teammates at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas last summer.

"Ryan was a great roommate," McDermott said. "He always reminded me what time we had to be down in the lobby, what time we had to leave. So he was good for that. I got a chance to pick his brain a little bit because we kind of play similar."

Injury report: Michigan State G Keith Appling said he will be ready for the Sweet 16 despite a right shoulder injury sustained while playing defense with 8:35 left Saturday against Memphis. He sustained the same injury Feb. 6 against Minnesota. "It slid out, but it slid back in," said Appling, who didn't return to the game. "It's nothing. Since it had happened before, I knew what was happening. It was very painful. But I could've gone back in if I had to."

Upset alert: Ohio State failed to reach the Sweet 16 both times it has played its first two games in Dayton (about 75 minutes from its campus in Columbus) under coach Thad Matta. The Buckeyes were a No. 2 seed — just like this year — when they lost to No. 7-seeded Georgetown in the second round in 2006. As a No. 8 seed in 2009, they lost to No. 9 seeded Sienna in double-overtime.

Second-half surges: Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy has searched all season for a way to jolt star G Marshall Henderson out of his first-half funks.

In the win over Florida in the SEC title game, Henderson scored three of his 21 during the first half. Friday against Wisconsin, two of his 19 came during the first half. If Henderson finds his touch early tonight, La Salle could be in trouble.

"I would like him to make shots earlier. That's for sure," Kennedy said. "And he talks about it. I told him (Saturday) he may be talking about it too much. It's almost like it's set in his mind."

Understatement of the day: Temple coach Fran Dunphy isn't the sugarcoating type. He's a no-nonsense guy from Philly. So he wasn't about to hide his feelings about facing top-seeded and title contender Indiana today: "We're concerned."

Quotable: "Nobody can ever take away that he did a fabulous job. On the flip side, I don't really see after 10 years it's near as big a deal as maybe the story line would be." — Kansas coach Bill Self on today's against Roy Williams, who left Kansas to coach North Carolina









Duke focuses on McDermott 03/23/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 23, 2013 10:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL Week 7: What we learned


    Are the Purple People Eaters back in Minnesota? The Vikings sacked Joe Flacco five times and held the Ravens to 208 total yards in a 24-16 home victory, their third straight win. QB Case Keenum looked ordinary with a 67.7 passer rating after completing 20-of-31 for 188 yards and an interception. Kai Forbath …

    Trainers, top, check Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas after Thomas was hurt in the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) OHTD122
  2. Bills' comeback against Bucs a win for the process


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It hasn't taken Sean McDermott long to understand how to play to his base. Asked if the Bills had "gotten away with one" Sunday, the first-year coach gushed about his team reflecting the character of the town.

    Under first-year coach Sean McDermott, the Bills are 3-0 at home for the first time in six years. “I love playing here,” he says.
  3. No. 18 UCF closes in on USF, which drops to No. 17


    USF remained ahead of UCF in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released Sunday — just barely.

  4. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  5. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]