ISU's McDermott gives Iowa's Lickliter his support

Published: March 12 2010 | 7:00 pm - Updated: 30 March 2014 | 9:00 pm in
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DES MOINES — Greg McDermott has his own stuff to worry about.

His Iowa State Cyclones just had another frustrating year. Center Craig Brackins announced Friday he’s entering the NBA draft, and forward Marquis Gilstrap’s attempt at an extra season in Ames was nixed by the NCAA.

Still, the ISU head coach took time to voice his support of beleaguered colleague Todd Lickliter. The Iowa Hawkeyes head coach has been the subject of intense fan and media scrutiny about his future.

“It’s tough to do your job when there’s those kind of rumors floating around,” McDermott said. “Our jobs aren’t easy to begin with, (and) that makes it a little bit (more) difficult.

“What you can’t lose sight of is that Todd Lickliter is a wonderful person. He shouldn’t be judged as a person by whether he won or lost a game.”

McDermott was at Wells Fargo Arena on Friday afternoon to watch his son, Doug, and the Ames Little Cyclones win their 52nd straight game, 59-46, over Sioux City East in a Class 4A state tournament semifinal. Doug McDermott was wonderful with 23 points and 13 rebounds.

The 6-foot-7 senior will play at Northern Iowa next season.

“I’ve missed a lot of games this year with my schedule,” Greg McDermott said. “Just a proud father, like any father would be. He’s worked hard and spent a lot of time with the game. His hard work has paid off.”

Coach McDermott was asked if he thought this Ames team is the best ever in Iowa, as many folks (especially in Central Iowa) seem to think.

“Oh, boy,” he said. “I can only speak to the last 30 years. This is just a complete team, with guys that can handle the ball, shoot the ball, pass the ball. It’s just a complete team. And they’ve got great size and athletic ability across that front line. So they can beat you in a lot of ways.

“Probably most importantly, they do a pretty good job of playing together. When you have a team that’s this talented, it’s rare to see one that’s also this unselfish.”

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