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New Big East helped Doug McDermott stay at Creighton

Apr 27, 2013, 1:55 PM EST

Creighton Bluejays Doug McDermott drives on the Cincinnati Bearcats Justin Jackson during the second half of their second round NCAA tournament game in Philadelphia

Doug McDermott announced he would return to Creighton for his senior season earlier this week. Conference realignment may be one of the reasons that helped influence McDermott’s decision.

The two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year will lead Creighton into the new Big East along with Butler, Xavier and the Catholic 7. The chance to be a part of the program’s new era was a big factor for McDermott, according to ESPN’s Andy Katz

“I thought about it quite a bit,” McDermott told ESPN. “My dad wasn’t pushing me to stay and I know he would have been proud if I left. But I truly care about Creighton and the fans and what they’ve done for me the last three years. I want to give them one more year and take care of business in the Big East so we can prove people wrong.”

“I don’t think that entered into the equation until this week,” add Greg McDermott. “I was adamant that it not be the factor. We got the facts and research from the NBA. But he did see the opportunity to play on the first Creighton team in the Big East. That’s something he’ll always have and you can’t take that away from him. I’m excited for him, to play in those venues. The emotion tugged at him. But there was connection to his teammates and to the fans and he wanted to embark on this new journey together. He wanted to be a part of that.”

On Thursday, McDermott announced that he would be back with the Bluejays for the 2013-2014 season, making them a tough opponent in the new Big East’s inaugural season. Gregory Echenique and Grant Gibbs leave the Creighton program this season, though Doug McDermott told Katz that sophomore point guard Austin Chatman has been playing well and Will Artino and Ethan Wragge can help in the frontcourt this season. Creighton also has a four-man class coming in with a trio of freshman and one JUCO commit.

McDermott is currently ranked as the 34th best player in the 2014 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne