Q&A: Doug McDermott

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Monday, July 21, 2014 with No comments
Courtesy of David Aldridge 

Me: I'm sure you're very familiar with all of the standard pro sets already. When you think of floppy, or pin downs, or single double, which one of those is best suited for your game?

Doug McDermott: I think floppy is a really good one. Just because I'm a guy that's pretty good at making quick decisions, decisions before the play even happens, kind of. So I think that one is pretty good for me. And, you know, just like simple flares on the weak side. I'm a guy that's good at moving without the ball. So I like the floppy sets best.

Me: Are you using summer league to work on the footwork you need to run the NBA versions of floppy and flares?

DM: Yeah, definitely. The floppy in the NBA is a lot different than the floppy in college, because in college there's no defensive three seconds. So you can come off and make a pass, but there's a guy standing right there. In the NBA, it's a little more different. You get a little more freedom out there. It's a pretty good advantage.

Me: Have you found your size gives you better passing angles?

DM: Yeah, I think so. I've got pretty good size, and coming off those screens, being able to see over guys, obviously the centers are huge [in the NBA], and the power forwards. But that plays to my advantage.

Me: Maybe some of the Spurs' sets, like 'hammer' and the others?

DM: Yeah, I think that's a pretty good action for me, too. I just, I'm a guy that likes working with space. I know a lot of times I'm going to be asked to sit in the corner, and I'll have to adjust to that.

Me: Were you surprised you weren't taken in the top 10 of the Draft, given your stats in college?

DM: I'm not at all. I only worked out for four teams, so I kind of slid a little bit. After Charlotte and Philly passed, I got a little nervous, because I didn't work out for a whole lot of those teams after that. So, thankfully, the Bulls made that trade with Denver.

Me: Have you thought about playing off of Gasol, Derrick Rose, all those guys?

DM: It's pretty crazy. They're really unselfish guys, and I think I'm one of those as well. I'll do whatever it takes to win. Obviously, we're loaded with talent on this roster. I'm just looking forward to learning from them and fitting in.

Me: I would think it's actually going to be a lot easier for you in the NBA than in college.

DM: I'd like to think so. I saw just about every defense, individually, known to man in college. In the NBA, you've got to earn that respect. As a rookie, I'm not going to see those kinds of defenses. They're going to be more focused on Derrick Rose, and Pau, and Joakim [Noah]. I'm looking forward to that a little bit.

Me: And the physicality is, in many ways, greater in college than in the pros.

DM: Yeah. In college, especially guys that were guarding me, they had nothing to lose. They were really trying to shut me down every game, so that took a mental toll and a physical toll out on the floor. In the NBA, there's a lot more space, a lot more space to work with.

Me: If you were playing yourself, how would you attack you?

DM: That's a tough question. I never even thought about that. I guess just being real physical, and then switching off screens. I think in college, I got open a lot just because I was able to be crafty with the switches. In the NBA, I never know what I'm going to see.

Me: You like 'McBuckets' as a nickname?

DM: I think it's funny. It's probably not going to be the same in college in terms of buckets, but it's pretty cool. Everyone says it's one of the better nicknames they've heard, so I guess so.

Me: For a kid from the Midwest, I would imagine opening night at the United Center is going to be pretty special for you.

DM: Yeah, it's a dream. Chicago is the sports city everybody loves in the Midwest. Me being from Iowa, we don't have any pro teams, so we cheer either for the Timberwolves or the Bulls. It's pretty much half and half. But I was a Bulls guy.