Hidden Gem: Geoff McDermott

UConn made a recent trip. So did Duke. Providence has known about him basically from the get-go. Who is this guy, Geoff McDermott, anyway? We'll fill you in on the player whose stock has risen the most over the high school basketball season.

Coaches always talk about those guys that slip through the cracks until the very end of the recruiting process. Geoff McDermott might just as well be the poster child.

The only problem is whether McDermott will even play basketball in college.

The New Rochelle High (N.Y.) 6-6, 230-pound two-sport standout, who has offers from Rutgers, Syracuse and Wisconsin on the gridiron, is starting to pick up steam on the hardwood.

McDermott, a role player on the Gauchos last summer, is averaging 19.8 points, 10 boards and 8 assists. He's played well enough to warrant interest from the likes of Duke, UConn, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech – and has a scholarship offer from Providence, the school that has been on him the longest and the lone basketball school to receive a visit.

``I never thought it would be like this," McDermott said of the recent attention. "It's crazy."

McDermott has a terrific body, is athletic, has leadership skills, is humble, unselfish and plays hard. Pretty much all the qualities that college coaches are looking for. Add court vision and versatility to the mix and it's a wonder why it took so long for coaches to notice him.

``I think my best assets are slashing to the basket and rebounding," McDermott said. "I know I need to shoot more and be more selfish."

McDermott put up 30 points and 11 boards in a January victory against Texas-bound C.J. Miles and Skyline High. He had 14 and 16 last week in a 72-65 victory against five-time sectional champion Mount Vernon with Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski looking on.

``It was crazy knowing that Duke was interested," McDermott said. "It just motivated me to work harder. They want me to come down and visit, but they haven't offered a scholarship yet."

McDermott just wins. New Rochelle is 24-1 in basketball and will face Brentwood Saturday afternoon in the state semifinals. McDermott led the football team to the Class AA state title game.

He admitted that his first love is definitely basketball, but he still isn't ready to decide whether he'll play basketball, football or try his hand at both sports in college.

``It's overwhelming right now and is a hard decision," he said. "I love both."

McDermott said he'll try and take a couple of basketball visits after his season wraps up.

``This is all overwhelming, like I said, but at the end of this, I'll have a great decision to make," McDermott said. "Whatever I end up doing will be good."


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