McDermott reflects on decade as Creighton HC, looks forward to the future

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Greg McDermott's 10th season as head coach of the Creighton Bluejays came to a halt last Thursday at halftime of their game against St. John's in the BIG EAST Tournament.

Creighton Head Coach Greg McDermott yells out instructions from the sideline at CHI Health Center in Omaha during a game against Seton Hall on Saturday, 3/7/20. (Rex Smith)

They didn't know it yet, but their season was over just like every other college basketball team in the country.

A lot of people now wonder what Creighton could've done in the NCAA Tournament.

"Thinking that we would’ve been playing our first game more than likely yesterday, that was difficult ," said McDermott.

Now that he's had time to look back on it, he says the most important thing is celebrating the things Creighton did accomplish.

He says not many teams are able to finish their season with a win like the Jays did with their victory in the regular season finale against Seton Hall.

"We can’t focus on what might’ve been. We have to put our focus on what transpired. We had an incredible year and we need to celebrate and enjoy those accomplishments,” said McDermott.

The list is impressive. Creighton won a share of their first regular season title, they finished the highest the ever have in the final AP poll at number seven, Ty-Shon Alexander and Marcus Zegarowski were named to All-BIG EAST teams, Denzel Mahoney was named BIG EAST 6th Man of the Year, and McDermott won the BIG EAST Coach of the Year award.

"This team was so much fun to coach and I’ve told a lot of people close to me that we just didn’t have many bad days," said McDermott. "There weren’t days in practice where you left the practice floor and said ‘I’ve got to get away from these guys for a day.’ Practice was fun. They were connected. They showed up to work they wanted to get better, but we also had a little bit of fun with it.”

Despite the bizarre ending, it capped off McDermott's decade in style. Overall, he says it's hard to believe it has been ten years.

“It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been fun to be part of the Omaha community and just to see how important our basketball program is to a lot of people,” said McDermott.

He said he's looking forward to next year when he'll have basically the entire team back, plus get some guys back from injuries.

“I really like the group we have coming back and I like the pieces that we’re going to add to that. I think we could have an opportunity to be as good if not better next season,” said McDermott.