Before the Creighton-Nebraska game last Thursday night, I ran into an NBA scout I knew several years ago when he was an assistant college coach in a major conference. I asked him if Doug McDermott would be ready for the NBA after this season.
The scout said, “Oh, yeah. But it would help him if he went to a team with a good point guard, who could get him the ball in the corner or in a spot where he could shoot (3s).”
That's not a knock on CU's point guard play. It's one scout's opinion on what he sees as McDermott's role on an NBA team.
This is also early December. But if that's the role NBA teams see for McDermott, you wonder where a guy like that goes in the draft and how much money he could make. You wonder if it's worth jumping a year early to do that.
Let's see where D-Mac stands in March. Interestingly, McDermott has been on fire from outside the arc of late (eight of 12 in two games last week). Matchups will dictate that McDermott plays inside and occasionally draws a big guy outside to guard him. If he keeps flashing inside spin moves, like the one that McDermott showed to the Akron big guy on Sunday, he may not be a guy you just put in the corner.
» The Missouri Valley office released the latest RPI on Monday, and the Valley is ranked ninth among all conferences, three spots behind the Atlantic 10 and four behind the Mountain West. The Big Ten was ranked No. 1 and deservedly so. The Jays were ranked 24th overall, but second in the Valley behind No. 18 Wichita State. Hey, weren't the Shox supposed to be rebuilding this year?
» Nebraska-Creighton wasn't a great game, but the atmosphere was electric. Let's do it twice next season, including the Huskers' opening game in the new Pinnacle Bank Arena.
That's a long shot. NU Associate Athletic Director Marc Boehm told me on Monday that Nebraska is talking to schools “nation wide” about being the opening act for the new arena next fall. He said he and coach Tim Miles talked about CU but agreed that one game a year was enough.
So who will it be? Not Kansas. Boehm said KU wants to play Nebraska in future years but is already booked next November. Same with K-State.
The early Pinnacle schedule is coming together. Boehm said the NU women's team will open the arena on Friday night, Nov. 8 (against a marquee name he wouldn't disclose) — the night before Nebraska plays at Michigan in football on Nov. 9. There's a concert scheduled at the arena on Nov. 9.
The Husker men's hoop team will open at home on Nov. 12 or 13, Boehm said. The question is, against whom? Might be time for Boehm to put in a call to his old friend Ben Howland at UCLA.
Who else would you like to see? Any old traditional Nebraska opponents come to mind? Missouri? Iowa State?
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» Don't you wish it was easier to find Johnny Rodgers and Mike Rozier at the Heisman Trophy ceremony? They really need to spice up their wardrobes.
» My ballot: Manti Te'o, Johnny Football, er, Heisman, er Manziel, and Collin Klein. Judging by the amount of votes that Te'o received, I think a defensive player will win the Heisman one day soon. Like, in the next 20 years.
It didn't take long for stories and columns to pop up on Sunday predicting that Manziel wouldn't win another Heisman or play in the NFL. What's wrong with people? Can't we let him enjoy this one?
» The UNO hockey Mavs are off to a terrific start, coming off split series at No. 3 Minnesota and No. 17 St. Cloud State, and moving up to No. 13. But that won't impress this weekend's guests from Minnesota State, starring a familiar face behind the bench. Mike Hastings returns to Omaha with a Minnesota State team that has won six straight, including a sweep of Wisconsin and UNO antagonist Bemidji State.
Hastings' Mavs are in third place in the WCHA with 14 points, one ahead of UNO. This might be the biggest home series of the season, at least until that team from North Dakota comes down for a little outdoor puck.
» Just a suggestion, but UNO coach Dean Blais might give Nebraska baseball coach Darin Erstad a call for a little extra muscle this weekend. I'm talking about Erstad. Before last week's Nebraska-Creighton game, Erstad said he couldn't stay for the entire game — he had to go lace up his skates for an adult league at the Ice Box next to the Devaney Center. I'm trying to imagine what it would be like to play hockey against Erstad, a North Dakota boy. I'm guessing there are some bruises to be had in that league.
» I have no idea if the Royals made the right trade, but Dayton Moore had to do something. He could not stand pat with that roster another season. The Royals needed pitching. James Shields gives them a consistent, reliable workhorse who made the All-Star team two years ago. Shields alone makes K.C. a contender in the division. He's a guy with a lot of innings on his arm. He might not be around in five years. Wil Myers might be an All-Star in five years. But Moore wouldn't be around to see it if he hadn't made a move and gotten some pitching. Someone had to go and Moore chose to keep the nucleus in K.C. together. He gave up too much, but if a guy like Shields was on the market you know others were interested. Moore did what he had to do. This will either work or he'll be gone. But he had to do something. He's not getting paid to stand pat.
» How very interesting that Mack Brown is not only courting a juco quarterback, he's doing so across the river at Iowa Western. Dual threat Jake Waters would be a good “get,” but what in the name of Johnny Heisman is Texas doing looking for a juco quarterback? Guess that's what happens when you don't get, or offer, Andrew Luck (Houston), Robert Griffin III (Copperas Cove, Texas) or Johnny Manziel (Kerrville, Texas).
» One more and I'm outta here: A double shout-out to Creighton men's soccer and Nebraska volleyball, whose seasons came to a crashing halt at least one game early last weekend. It's easy to take those two (and now CU volleyball) for granted as they chase national championships each fall. Unfortunately, the seniors missed their shot. But those programs will roll on, and be back to swing away again next year.
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