ARLINGTON, Texas — The first of several Final Four weekend awards was handed out Thursday when the Associated Press named Creighton star Doug McDermott and Wichita State Coach Gregg Marshall as its player and coach of the year, respectively.
McDermott and Marshall accepted their trophies at a news conference in AT&T Stadium, which is hosting this year's Final Four.
McDermott, a senior, led the nation in scoring with a 26.7 average while Marshall led Wichita State to the first undefeated regular season in 33 years.
"It's been a heck of a ride," McDermott said.
McDermott was a near unanimous choice, receiving 64 of 65 votes (Louisville's Russ Smith was the other). The winners are named by the same panel of writers that vote in the weekly AP top 25 poll.
Marshall led Wichita State to the first perfect undefeated season since Nevada Las Vegas in 1991. The Shockers entered the NCAA tournament at 34-0 before losing their second-round game to Kentucky.
"I knew Doug would be the player of the year long before I thought I could be the coach of the year, "Marshall said.
McDermott competed against Marshall's Wichita State teams in the Missouri Valley Conference before Creighton moved this year to the Big East.
"It was a lot of fun to watch him this year knowing that the first three years of his career we were battling head to head two or three times a year," Marshall said of McDermott. "It was good to see his maturity and see how his game has evolved."