- Associated Press - Thursday, March 20, 2014

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Four years ago, Louisiana-Lafayette coach Bob Marlin walked off the floor after a close loss at Creighton and reviewed the box score.

There in black and white was Doug McDermott’s stat line: 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting to go with six rebounds in the freshman’s third career game.

“A coach’s son,” Marlin said to an assistant. “He’s going to be a nice player.”

What an understatement.

When No. 3-seed Creighton (26-7) and No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette (23-11) meet again Friday in the second round of the West Regional, Marlin will see up close how that “nice player” has grown into a one of the country’s most prolific scorers and a top contender for just about every national player of the year award as a senior.

McDermott’s scoring average of 26.9 points leads the country and his 3,105 career points rank fifth in NCAA history. Just this season, he has scored at least 22 points in 13 straight games and has topped 30 12 times. Three victories came on his game-winning shots.

That’s pretty much all Marlin has to know.

“I’m scared to look at the scouting report. The numbers are piling up in my head,” Marlin said. “But the things he’s accomplished and coming back to school for his senior year, being the player that he’s become, it’s a good story for college basketball.”

The McDermott family journey at Creighton has become one of THE stories of the tournament. For coach Greg McDermott and his son, the tournament is their last chance to win a championship.

Greg McDermott expected their partnership to end last season, but Doug surprised his dad returning for his senior season instead of jumping to the NBA.

“We made a pact we would enjoy this (season),” Greg McDermott said. “I’ve really forced myself to step back and really enjoy the opportunity I have as a parent, coaching aside, to watch what he’s done.”

Greg McDermott said he knows the duo will break up sometime in the next three weeks, whether it’s an early-round loss or not until after the championship game. The coach and father said he’s ready for that moment.

“I don’t think I’ll shed a tear when that happens. I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to coach him this year,” Greg McDermott said. “It’s been an experience that I wish every parent could experience. It’s been an incredible ride.”

Here are five things to know about Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Creighton

BIG GAME JITTERS: Louisiana-Lafayette’s players have no experience with the NCAA tournament but their coach does. Marlin spent 12 seasons at Sam Houston State and led the Bearkats to the tournament in 2003 and 2010. Both trips were quick one-and-done experiences for him.

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