Listen to Audio (13:11)
Your son said he felt that Creighton was a better fit for you because it was a Mid Major and Missouri Valley Conference program maybe compared to Iowa State. Do you agree with that?
"Yes. Obviously there's a lot of positives I've taken away from my experience at Iowa State. I met a lot of wonderful people. I think I grew as a coach and as a person through some of the adversity that we faced there.
"I made some mistakes. I made some mistakes in recruiting. I made some mistakes with my dealings with some of our players that resulted in some guys transferring. And I think if you understand yourself and you take a look in the mirror, you better grow from that and learn from that.
"But I think we all know recruiting is a little different animal at the BCS level than it is at the Mid Major level and I fit better here and I'm very comfortable with that."
Your decision not to recruit him though to Iowa State, can you talk about that? He said he didn't want to play for you there either.
"I think it was two-fold. As Doug was improving during his high school years, I had conversations with a lot of coaches that had coached their sons, and some players that had played for their dads. Tony Bennett, Dick Bennett; Pat Knight, and his father, John Beilein; Tubby and Saul Smith. I had conversations with all those guys, and Homer Drew and Bryce as well. And almost to a man they felt if your son was going to be one of your best players, it would work fine. Or if your son was a walk-on that never played, it would work fine. But if he is in the middle, if he's your fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth guy, it creates a lot of additional pressure for your son and for you as his coach. My responsibility to Doug as a father is to make sure that he chooses a situation where he's going to have the best experience.
"Now it might have been best for me to have Doug come to Iowa State, but I didn't feel at that point in Doug's development -- and obviously we all watched him play, Coach Williams is going to talk to you a little bit, saw Doug play almost as much as I did his junior and senior year, I don't think anybody saw this coming. And I've said it before, the culture that I had created with the program at Iowa State wasn't where I wanted it to be. I was constantly plugging holes because of guys transferring. And when you do that, it becomes a vicious cycle of things probably not going very well. And Doug was around it every day and I'm not sure that he was that excited to be part of it."
Could you talk about the differences for you matchup-wise if John Henson plays if John Henson doesn't play?
"We won't change much. Obviously that's a different, a difficult matchup for us whether it's Henson or McAdoo. They're both very talented, long, athletic, they can change shots at the rim, they're great offensive rebounders. That's a tough matchup for us regardless of who they have on the floor. So it isn't going to change much for us."
Yesterday you seemed to want to set a pretty fast pace against Alabama. How fast do you want to play against North Carolina tomorrow given that they like to play at a very, very fast pace?
"We'll still be who we are, because I'm not sure we have a chance to win a game if we try to be somebody that we're not and that we haven't been for 34 games. Having said that, we have got to pick our spots as well and we have to understand when the momentum's in their favor and when the momentum's in our favor. And then I think you pick and choose how quickly to force the tempo based on that. And I hope that's a problem that have I to decide whether the momentum is in our favor or their favor; that means we're hanging around."
Doug McDermott, Jahenns Manigat & Grant Gibbs
Listen to Audio (12:29)
Doug, can you talk about your relationship with him, and is this going to be very difficult to like have him as a basketball enemy tomorrow then?
"Me and Harrison, we have talked back and forth a lot these last couple years, just checking on each other. I was his way of transportation in high school. He didn't have his driver's license, so I took him from place to place quite a bit and it's going to be cool being able to match up with him. I think once we step on the floor, it's just going to be a competitive game. I think all that stuff will be set aside and we're both competitive dudes, so I think it should be a really fun game."
What kind of car were you rolling around in back in those days and any stories that kind of standout in your memory?
"I think I was pushing a Nissan Murano in those days. I remember taking him -- we went and played with the Iowa State guys quite a bit after school, so we would immediately when the bell rang we'd go straight to play with those guys. And I just remember -- I got something strange about Harrison is he was in the choir and the band, so every once in awhile I would take him to those places. But he usually hit us up, any of our teammates up to take him rides around the town."
Doug, 53-0 your last two years at Ames, two future college All-Americans, did anybody come close to beating you guys?
"We had a couple close games. I think the closest our senior year was a 12-point game. Actually on our senior night Des Moines Hoover came in played us really tough, so that was a little bait of a scare. But other than that we had some pretty big blow outs, but it was a bunch of fun. Just everywhere we went people were giving us their best shot and each place was packed, sold out, so it was a blast. I'll never forget those days."
Obviously Harrison is going to be a top draft pick whenever he decides to go pro. What about you and how do you compare your aspirations and hopes for pros to his?
"He's probably looking at a lottery pick this year, and I think that I'll be here awhile. So we're in completely different positions, but I'm really happy for him and how far he's come and what he's going to be able to accomplish in the NBA."
You mentioned looking up to him, what was the biggest thing you learned from watching Harrison?
"I just remember going to our senior year. He would be at the gym at probably 6:00 a.m. lifting and then getting shots up afterwards. So that's something our whole team kind of looked up to him, and every once in a while there would be a day where we had a day off of practice and he would send us a group text to come work out with him. So he was just a great leader all the way through, throughout high school. And it's pretty cool to see how far he's come and a lot of that has to do with the hard work he put in in high school."
Doug, when you were reflecting back about your time at Ames, what was it like with all the recruiting that was going on for Harrison, with all the high profile programs, all the attention he was getting during that last year?
"Well, I think that it made me a better player. It made a lot of us better because we would be playing in open gyms in front of Coach K and Roy, so that just brought a lot of extra attention to our team, and it's a much better team. And I think our coach learned a lot from those coaches that were coming in, put some stuff in for us to get us better, so it was definitely a really cool experience, it didn't feel real at the time but looking back at it, it's really special."