Doug McDermott knows the clock is ticking on the potential life-changing decision he's been wrestling with for almost a month.
Chances are it might take every hour, minute and second he has available to make up his mind.
Forget whatever you've been thinking, chatting or tweeting about McDermott's decision to return to Creighton for his senior season or leave early for the NBA. McDermott remains squarely on the fence, and he gave no indication Tuesday that he's prepared to make the jump one way or the other.
“I go back and forth all the time,” McDermott said after a workout. “One day, there's no way I'm leaving this place. The next day, it changes.
“I'm a guy that has a tough time making decisions. Right now, I don't even feel like I'm close to making a decision.”
McDermott has until midnight Sunday to decide whether to declare for the June NBA draft. Creighton fans have been speculating since the end of the season about McDermott's status for next season.
Some believe it's a done deal that he's gone. Others are holding out hope that he returns for a final season and helps the Bluejays transition to the new Big East.
After Creighton's season ended last month with a loss to Duke in the NCAA tournament, McDermott talked about the decision he knew he would be facing.
“It's a decision I think that's just going to hit me,” he said in the locker room after the loss. “At some moment, I'll know what I'm going to do but I have no idea when that might be.”
McDermott laughed Tuesday when reminded of that comment.
“I wasn't planning on waiting this long,” he said. “I thought I would have made my decision a couple of weeks ago.”
It was generally believed that McDermott would bolt if it appeared that he would be a first-round draft pick. The 30 players picked in the first round receive two-year, guaranteed contracts, while players selected in the second round do not.
McDermott last week received a confidential evaluation of his potential draft status from the NBA Draft Advisory Committee. He said he initially thought the evaluation he received from 20 NBA clubs would provide him some clarity.
Instead, it muddied the waters a bit as McDermott attempts to weigh where he might stand in comparison to the 36 underclassmen who have declared for the draft. The draft pool deepens when seniors and players from overseas are thrown into the mix.
“I've reached the point where I'm going to the NBA when I feel I'm ready for the NBA,” he said. “I'm not so concerned about the first round or the second round because the reality is I'm either an NBA player or I'm not.
“If I feel like it's my time, I'm going to go. If not, I've got a great option of getting ready for another year and getting my body better. I've been saying it all along I can't make a bad decision.”
His parents have made it clear that the decision is his alone. Greg and Theresa McDermott have provided their son with the expected parental counsel and have reinforced to him they'll support whatever decision he makes.
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“There are days when it seems they are in favor one way or the other but they've done a really good job of leaving it up to me,” Doug said. “They've let me know that it's my choice.
“In a way, that's bad because I'm so bad at making decisions on my own. It's like I wish someone would tell me what to do.”
Of course, McDermott has received plenty of advice from outsiders. His indecision has provided fodder to be chewed on in Internet chat rooms. The fact that part of McDermott's daily workout includes shooting from the NBA 3-point line with an NBA basketball is a sure sign that he's gone.
Those cyberspace experts don't realize that's been a part of McDermott's workouts since last summer.
“I truly believe believe that I'm going to play in the NBA sometime, so why not work on improving my range?” he said. “I'm preparing for the next level but I think it also really benefited me this past season.
“I've had those (NBA) balls for a couple of years now. It's actually a tougher ball to shoot with. It's a little slicker, and I think it's made my hands better because it's a little harder to keep a grip on.”
Having an entire fan base hanging on his decision has led to moments of frustration for McDermott, as has speculation such as the Twitter message Monday from a Des Moines sports talk host that McDermott had decided to leave Creighton and would announce his decision on Wednesday.
McDermott didn't know anything about the tweet until he checked his phone after a team banquet.
“I had all these missed calls and texts from people telling me they were happy for me,” McDermott said. “I'm like, 'What are you talking about?' I had no idea, and when I did see it on Twitter, I thought, 'Are you serious?'
“People read way too much into social media these days. They shouldn't trust that stuff.”
McDermott will trust his instincts to make the right decision, even though he doesn't know when he'll finally get around to making it.
“I'm being totally honest when I say I don't have a decision,” he said. “That could change in a day or two. That might not change until the deadline.
“I just have to trust myself to make the right decision. I've been thinking about it a lot, praying a lot and talking to the right people to try to make this easier.”
One of those people is former Creighton star Kyle Korver, now in his 10th season in the NBA. McDermott has had several conversations with Korver, including one Monday night.
“I'm trying to bounce some ideas off of him,” McDermott said. “It helps having someone like that to talk to.”
McDermott said Korver has avoided trying to steer him one way or the other.
“He said I'll know what to do when it's time,” said McDermott. He paused, chuckled and added, “And he's told me he's glad he never had to make the choice that I have to make.”
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