McDermott brings his "A" game.

In a rivalry that had built to a fever pitch, New Rochelle had been biding their time, waiting for a crack at perennial frontrunner Mount Vernon in the Sectional playoffs.

When they got their chance Friday night, 6-foot-6, 230 pound senior small forward/swingman Geoff McDermott brought his "A" game.

McDermott tallied 14 points, 16 rebounds, six assists, and three steals in New Rochelle's resounding 72-65 win over Mount Vernon in the Section I, Class AA finals at the Westchester County Center in White Plains on Tuesday night. They were turning people away at the door, and McDermott's performance was arguably worth the price of admission alone.

Geoff helped spark a 13-2 first quarter run with a pair of steals, and empatic dunk off of an alley-oop, and some board work. He showed toughness and desire on the glass. Perhaps most impressively was his passing in transition and his ability to start the break.

Geoff got New Rochelle out in transition a number of times with pinpoint passes down floor to teammates, and made good decisions when he led the break. As an all-state quarterback who is being pursued by the major conferences on the gridiron, this type of vision probably doesn't come as a total surprise. McDermott also takes very good care of the ball, seldom turning it over.

McDermott is a player with a unique skill set. As a 6-foot-6 bruiser with legitimate point guard skills, he can cause match-up problems. His one visible weakness is that he does not shoot the ball very well. But he handles well at his size, is an excellent passer with very good vision and court sense, and he'll bang inside and attack the glass.

Geoff wowed the County Center crowd with a couple of athletic finishes on Tuesday night, but his most impressive maneuver came in the third quarter. Driving the lane, he spun off a defender and zipped a look-away pass into the hands of open teammate Terrance Parkes in the paint for the easy deuce.

Interest in McDermott has grown over the past couple of weeks. Among the coaches on hand for New Rochelle's win Tuesday night were Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski (who was likely on hand to see McDermott and Mount Vernon players Jon Mitchell and Mike Coburn, whom they have expressed an interest in), Providence coach Steve DeMeo, UConn assistant Andre LaFleur, Virginia Tech assistant Ryan Odom, and others. Duke, UConn, and Virginia Tech had all recently shown interest, while Providence has been on board for some time and has already offered McDermott. Others who have recently gotten into the picture include Texas A&M, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and South Florida.

McDermott already has offers in football as a quarterback and a tight end from schools like Syracuse, Rutgers, and Wisconsin. He has not decided whether or not he will play one sport or both. He led New Rochelle to the Class AA state finals in football, before they fell to Greg Paulus's CBA team. His teammate in both sports, Ray Rice, has committed to Rutgers in football as a running back.

McDermott's steady improvement as a basketball player has paved the way for the newfound interest. Providence began showing interest before the new year, and offered shortly thereafter. Pittsburgh recently came in to evaluate McDermott, and others have come in to investigate.

An engaging kid, McDermott is also a good student, carrying an 82 average. He has scored 1000 on the SAT.


Panther More Top Stories