Home » Blog » McDermott Grabs Player of the Year Honor, Another Pitino Gets the Big Win

McDermott Grabs Player of the Year Honor, Another Pitino Gets the Big Win

Although his college career is now over, it still does’t mean that Creighton’s Doug McDermott is out of the news. On Thursday, he was named by the AP as its Player of the Year. This came on obtaining 64 of the 65 possible votes from the national media panel that oversees the Top 25 week in and week out. Louisville’s Russ Smith received one vote.

The honor came as McDermott was the national leader with his 26.9 point scoring average. He shot 52.6 percent from the field with 44.9 percent coming in 3-pointers. He also leaves his NCAA career behind as No. 5 in scoring with his 3,150 points.

Doug McDermott

Doug McDermott

McDermott said of the award via NBC Sports, “This is a huge honor. I would like to thank the AP for this award. There are so many great college basketball players this year and to be selected for this award is a huge honor.”

Also receiving an award on Thursday, was Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall as the AP National Coach of the Year. This came in taking his team to the Big Dance with its perfect record at 34-0 and with a No. 1 seed. We all know how this ended.

It was a little bit of a tighter race for the coach honor as Marshall had 44 votes, followed by Virginia’s Tony Bennett with 13, Florida’s Billy Donovan had six votes while John Beilein (Michigan) and Larry Brown (SMU) both grabbed one vote apiece.

The voting for both had concluded on Selection Sunday.

Along with grabbing one vote for the Coach of the Year, Brown was also in the news on Thursday as his SMU team lost to Minnesota in the NIT tournament final, 65-63.

With 46.1 seconds remaining, Minnesota’s Austin Hollins hit a 3-pointer to break a 59-59 tie. But that wasn’t enough to secure the win as SMU’s Nic Moore went 1 of 2 from the free throw line before Minnesota’s other Hollins, Andre, also went 1 of 2 from the line to keep it a one-possession game for the Gophers.

For the night, Austin, named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, led with 19 points while Andre added 14 points. From the win, it represents the third NIT title for Minnesota (1993 and 1998) and the first for its first-year coach, Richard Pitino.

Yes, his dad is Rick and his presence was largely felt on Thursday as he attended the game. He yelled at his son after the victory, imparting his experience, but also gushed about the moment as a proud father.

Richard Pitino

Richard Pitino

Richard said of his team via the Associated Press, “We made some big-time plays. Austin made a big-time 3. We gutted it out. That is a very good team. They’re a really good team. They deserve to be in the NCAA tournament. I’m really proud of our guys. I’m so happy for our seniors.”

As for SMU, who was playing in their first national title game, they put up a good fight and with 5:52 remaining, they had a seven-point lead. Nic Moore was the team’s leading scorer with his 17 points while Nick Russell contributed 15.

In other NCAA news, we have one more day until the Final Four. On Thursday, the coaches and players took their turns in front of the microphones. Questions are lingering on where will some of these players be a few years from now as well as the coaches. Will Frank Kaminsky and Shabazz Napier find success in the NBA? Will Bo Ryan still be the skipper of the Badgers?

For now it’s fun just to enjoy these bracket-busting teams.

On Saturday, play will kick off with No. 7 Connecticut vs No. 1 Florida (-6.5, 126.5 o/u) at 6:09 p.m. ET, followed by No. 8 Kentucky (-1.5, 139 o/u) vs No. 2 Wisconsin at 8:49 p.m. ET.

Here’s the odds to win it all: Florida (even), Kentucky (+275), Wisconsin (+350) and UConn (+700).






  • 100%