ROSEMONT, Ill. -- As he spoke in an Allstate Arena tunnel, Doug McDermott almost unconsciously pressed two fingers from his right hand into his left shoulder. As of halftime of Creighton's 81-62 win over DePaul on Tuesday, one of the best college basketball players in the country couldn't lift his left arm above his head.
A few minutes before that, teammate Grant Gibbs exited the locker room on crutches, unable to put any pressure on a right knee injured in the first half. The Bluejays left the place still undefeated in Big East play but plenty concerned about their well-being. McDermott will have an MRI on the shoulder with the expectation that it is just a sprain. Gibbs will have an MRI on the knee with the fear that it is season-ending.
"We'll see the doctor (Wednesday)," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said of Gibbs' injury. "It's more serious than Doug, but until you get an MRI to look at it, it's really hard to say. Obviously worst-case scenario, he tore an ACL. Best-case, it'll be just a minor deal, and in a few weeks we'll have him back."
Gibbs, a 6-foot-5 senior, came in averaging 6.2 points per game but led the Missouri Valley Conference in assists the previous two seasons. As for Doug McDermott, who grinded his way to 19 points on 6-of-16 shooting while basically being unable to shoot a jump shot in the second half, the worries were less.
"I think I'll be fine," Doug McDermott said. "I've never really had that feeling before, so it was tough at the time. I really wanted to go there in the second half. I didn't feel the best, but I was able to gut it out. I haven't been injured much, so it's definitely a scary feeling."
McDermott suffered the injury making a cut and, essentially, running shoulder-first into the chest of a DePaul defender late in the first half. While the Bluejays may be without a key veteran cog in Gibbs for at least some time, the very worst-case scenario didn't come to pass with their national player of the year candidate.