• Photo Showcase: CU men's basketball, Feb. 11
• Video: Postgame press conference with Greg McDermott, Grant Gibbs and Gregory Echenique
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Doug McDermott airballed his first shot, a baseline jumper.
His second shot barely drew iron. The third time he made a scoring move, he traveled.
In the second half, he fouled a 3-point shooter. Twice.
None of those forgettable plays represented the low point for Creighton's All-America candidate, who finished with 13 points. That came just before halftime when his head coach — who happens to be his dad — gave him a vigorous tongue-lashing in front of a sellout crowd.
With two minutes left, Creighton trailed 39-32 when Doug fronted Wichita State's Ben Smith in the post. The Bluejays didn't have backside help and the Shockers threw over the top for a three-point play.
Greg called Doug to the sideline, grabbed him hard around the shoulder and delivered a stern message.
The next possession, Doug didn't rotate from the weak side to stop Joe Ragland's driving layup. After the Shockers' next possession — a Carl Hall putback to go ahead 46-33 — Greg McDermott had seen enough. He called time out.
Father went directly at son again, coming so close to No. 3 they almost butted heads.
"He had the right to," Doug said after the loss. "I wasn't playing well."
Worse than playing poorly, Greg didn't think Doug was playing hard.
"He's one of our best players, and there's a lot that goes with that," Greg said. "There's a lot that you have to shoulder. That's being able to compete your tail off on the defensive end when shots aren't falling.
Greg's lecture probably hurt his son's play more than it helped.
"It got in my head a little bit," Doug said. "It's part of coaching, I guess. It's tough. It's hard to focus on what you're doing. But it's gonna happen."
Doug said he needs to be mentally tougher. He can't allow missed shots or missed calls to rattle him. And when his dad comes at him angry, Doug needs to resist taking it personally, he said.
It wasn't the first time Greg has come chest-to-chest with Doug during a game. But the coach doesn't take that approach often, he said.
"We're getting our tail kicked, they're scoring whenever they want. As a coach, you have to try everything," Greg said. "I know Doug can handle it. He's as big a critic on himself as anybody else. ... You hope as a coach sometimes when you get your best player to respond, maybe everybody else will follow."
Doug scored just four points after halftime. By then, there wasn't much his head coach could do.
"He was really rough on me tonight," Doug said, "but he had every reason to be."
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