Inside the Locker room – McDermott leaves ISU for Creighton

April 27, 2010
Greg McDermott left the Iowa State men's basketball program to take over as head coach at Creighton University.

Greg McDermott left the Iowa State men's basketball program to take over as head coach at Creighton University. Photo by Charlie Neibergall

By Todd Danner
Greg McDermott was introduced on Tuesday as the new men’s head basketball coach at Creighton University.
A quick hire?
Probably, but I think McDermott knew he was on the hot seat at Iowa State, and this gave him an out before he was probably going to be fired by Iowa State University Athletic Director Jamie Pollard.
According to reports, the news surprised players at Iowa State.
All six of them.
That’s right, six. That’s how many scholarship players are left on ISU’s roster.
Since January, five players have been dimissed from the team or transferred.
And, Craig Brackins declared himself eligible for the NBA draft, while at the same time, Marquis Gilstrap’s appeal for another year of eligibility was denied by the NCAA.
It was the beginning of the end for McDermott.
McDermott went just 59-68 in four seasons at ISU and his teams finished 10th or lower in the Big 12 Conference three times.
Don’t get me wrong, I like McDermott, he’s a proven winner, but just not as an NCAA Division I head coach in a conference like the Big 12.
Seriously, I think he got in way over his head. I’ll be the first to say that it seemed like a good hire at the time in 2006, but after four years of sub-par basketball, the now unstable program and Cyclone fans deserve more.
ISU also deserve more from a head coach than one who goes out and hires two assistant coaches (Nick Nurse and Jeff Grayer) and then decides to jump ship before more than likely being told to walk the plank.
In saying that, I feel that McDermott will succeed at Creighton.
He’s back in the Missouri Valley Conference, where he coached five seasons at Northern Iowa and led the Panthers to the NCAA tournament in his last three seasons.
McDermott will have the opportunity to coach his son, Doug, at Creighton.
The younger McDermott, a senior and teammate of University of North Carolina basketball signee Harrison Barnes at Ames High School, had been recruited by CU last fall but ended up signing with UNI.
He is expected, though, to be released from his UNI commitment.
I guess you can’t blame a guy for wanting to coach his own son or daughter.
So, with McDermott gone, what happens next at ISU?
Hopefully, Pollard doesn’t follow Creighton University Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen’s lead in making a quick hire.
Cyclone fans deserve better than that.

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