A mid-August family vacation will allow Doug McDermott another chance to recharge his batteries before the start of classes at Creighton later this month.
The junior forward has been maintaining a low profile when it comes to training since returning from the LeBron James camp in early July. His father and coach said it was necessary after what had been almost two years of non-stop activity.
“He needed some rest,’’ Greg McDermott said. “He really didn’t have any time off for two years, and that can be as taxing mentally as it is physically.
“When Doug got though with the LeBron camp, we decided that we needed to take a month or six weeks to let his body and his mind rest a little.’’
McDermott’s whirlwind of activity started shortly after his father took the Creighton job in the spring of 2010. Doug reported to campus in June to begin preparing for a season that many thought he see him sit out as a redshirt.
Instead, he earned a starting spot for the season opener and never came out of the lineup. He went on to put together the most productive freshman season by a Missouri Valley player, scoring 587 points and becoming the first freshman since 1952 to earn all-league first-team honors.
He started training immediately after the end of his first season to prepare for a tryout with the United States under-19 national team. He made the team and played in the international tournament in Latvia. When he returned home, he joined his teammates in preparing for a summer trip to the Bahamas.
That led into preparation for last season, when McDermott emerged as a marquee player on the national stage. He became Creighton’s first consensus first-team All-American in leading the Bluejays to 29 wins, one of which was a first victory in the NCAA tournament in a decade.
McDermott’s offseason has included three weeks of training in Indianapolis with a former collegiate and professional coach and prestigious invitations to camps run by NBA superstars James and Amar’e Stoudemire.
McDermott did not participate in Creighton’s summer workouts after returning from the James camp. His on-court activity was limited to shooting. He continued to join teammates in the weight-room sessions but steered clear of participating in pick-up or summer league games.
“At first, it was difficult for him,’’ Greg McDermott said. “But lately, I’ve seen some fresher looks on his face. He took the invitations to the camps and the U.S. team very seriously these past two years.
“He put in a lot of effort in getting ready for those things. When you do that, there can be some adverse effects.’’
The toll has included a slight flare-up of an old back issue. Father and son believe the time off will prevent the problem from having any impact on the coming season.
“Bottom line,’’ Doug said, “it’s better to sit around during the summer than to miss any time during the season.’’