Doug McDermott was chatting with reporters Tuesday afternoon when one asked how many points he scored in Saturday’s scrimmage at Iowa.
Always accommodating, McDermott started to reply, then remembered that the wrath of the NCAA could come down hard if he divulged any details of the practice that was closed to reporters and fans.
“I had a lot of free throws,’’ he said, smiling. “We played well, though. I thought we could have played better but all in all, it was good.’’
NCAA rules prohibit schools from reporting any statistics, including the final score, of the scrimmages that most Division I teams play this time of year.
Creighton’s players and coaches abide by the rule but piecing together enough innocent comments leaves one to assume that the Bluejays came out of top in the game portion of the scrimmage.
Creighton coach Greg McDermott said his players can learn from facing a different opponent after months of banging on each other.
“We put a lot of different combinations on the floor and some guys get an opportunity that they might not get in early-season and regular-season games,’’ he said. “Some of the combinations worked better than others.
“When you play against someone other than yourself, there are some things you might notice that you’re not doing quite as well as you thought you were. The video from that closed scrimmage is a huge learning tool for us.’’
McDermott and his staff have put a heavy emphasis during the offseason on shoring up some of Creighton’s defensive deficiencies. Iowa finished third in Big Ten last season in scoring, and the Hawkeyes provided the Bluejays with a good gauge of where they are on the defensive end.
Asked if he saw what he wanted to out of his defense, McDermott replied, “At times, but it certainly wasn’t consistent enough for us to be where we want to be. Our offense was the same. There were times on offense when we were very efficient and times when we weren’t.
“That’s to be expected just two weeks in. If we would have been perfect, I probably would have been concerned about that.’’
Creighton is preparing for Friday’s exhibition game against Division II Mary University. Doug McDermott said the players are looking forward to putting on the uniforms and playing at the CenturyLink Center against a team coached by former Bluejay Jevin Budde (1999-2001).
“It feels good to finally get to a game week,’’ he said. “It’s going to be good to get our younger guys used to a game-week schedule and have a chance to get out there and get the jitters out.’’