2013-14 Season Stats:
Weight: 218 lbs. Height w/shoes: 6′ 8″. Wingspan: 6'9″. Max Vert: 36.5.
Small forward version of Ryan Anderson
Doug McDermott is the best pure shooter in this draft class, and it is not debatable. McDermott had one of the most prolific careers of any athlete in college basketball history. He finished fifth on the NCAA's all-time scoring list, finishing just 517 points shy of Pete Maravich's record. Most people will remember him as the lights-out shooter that amazed the nation during his senior year, or as the guy that seemingly swept every reward he was ever in the running for. However, watching his game evolve to the point it is at today has been a fun journey, as one Eastern Conference executive recollects (quote via Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe).
"When I saw him the first year as a freshman, he was basically a stone-cold power forward. He was just a low-post player. And then in warm-ups, he was just burning up the nets from the outside. And you’re like, ‘What is this guy doing? Why isn’t he shooting threes?’ And then each year, it’s almost like his dad would allow him to shoot a little bit more, a little bit more. By senior year, he’s a lights-out, cannot-leave-the-guy-on-the-3-point-line type shooter. It’s just so funny. It’s a progression from being a back-to-the-basket, rim-running 4-man to being a catch on the wing, get a pick and it’s lights out."
His shooting ability (and stroke) will make him a hot commodity in this year's draft, and he won't slip far, if at all. He has an uncanny ability to find the bottom of the net no matter where he is on the floor. His form is very routine as he squares up to the hoop almost instantaneously when he takes jumpers. His quick release will make defenders pay from leaving him with mere inches of room. He runs the floor well, better than most people think. His moves are very subtle and underrated; he can create shots for himself with all of the variety of moves. When he gets into the lane, he can score with his back to the basket, bank a runner/floater off the glass, do a hook-shot over the defender, or essentially any other way you would think someone could score. McDermott, who always gets criticized for his athleticism, always hustles and will run out in transition to try and get some easy buckets. He uses his body wisely around the rim to shield his defender from blocking his shot, and he is truly more athletic than he gets credit for. His basketball IQ is through the roof and expanding with every time he steps onto the court.
However, McDermott isn't without his weaknesses. While he is more athletic than people give him credit for, McDermott lacks the "NBA athletic ability." Simply put, being 6'8" and only having a 6'9" reach does not bode well for a guy who is already defensively-challenged. While he isn't horrible defensively as a one-on-one defender, he fails to consistently make an impact on the defensive end, posting low steal & block numbers (especially for a small forward) throughout his entire collegiate career, numbers that won't improve against higher and better competition. He will struggle, especially at first, finding the daylight to shoot that he did at Creighton. His lack of quickness and explosiveness will likely make his skills seem significantly smaller/lesser in the NBA as his skills falter the longer he has the ball in his hand. Unfortunately, his effectiveness may rest solely on the which system he goes into and how his coach(es) plan on using him.
Overall, McDermott is a fierce competitor who is not afraid to go up against anybody and try and prove himself. His passion, tenacity, high basketball IQ & fundamentals/intangibles, and stellar shooting will make him successful in the NBA. How successful will depend on which team drafts him and how they plan on using him.