Creighton University junior forward Doug McDermott has become the first player in Missouri Valley Conference history to be named a Preseason First Team All-American by the Associated Press.
McDermott, the lone returning First Team All-American from the 2011-12 season, averaged 22.9 points and 8.2 rebounds last season to lead Creighton to a 29-6 season. He led the country with 307 field goals, while his 801 points were a school record and trail only Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird among sophomores in the 106-year history of the Missouri Valley Conference.
Indiana center Cody Zeller was one vote shy of being named on all 65 ballots, while McDermott was a close second by being named on 62 ballots. Rounding out the first team were Isaiah Canaan of Murray State, Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas and the duo of Lehigh's C.J. McCollum and Michigan's Trey Burke, who tied for the fifth and final spot.
Past preseason recognition is no guarantee of success, but it hasn't hurt. Since the AP began naming a preseason All-America team in 1986-87, the eventual AP National Player of the Year was a preseason First Team pick in 18 of the 26 seasons. In those same 26 seasons, 68 of the eventual 130 men named First Team All-American at years end did so after earning similar preseason acclaim from the AP.
McDermott and the Bluejays will open the 2012-13 season on Friday with a 7:05 pm exhibition game against the University of Mary. Creighton then opens the regular-season on Nov. 9 with a game against North Texas at CenturyLink Center Omaha, also at 7:05 pm. Creighton will start the season ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press poll, the best preseason ranking in the program's history.