116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The McDermott name has long carried weight across Iowa basketball circles, and for the past two decades it has been held in similar regard in southern Oregon.
Cascade native Brian McDermott, 60, is in his 20th season as men's basketball coach at Southern Oregon University, where he is the all-time winningest coach in program history.
McDermott leads fifth-seeded Southern Oregon (24-8) into the 32-team NAIA Division II men's basketball national tournament against a foe from his home state – the fourth-seeded Mount Mercy Mustangs (25-7) – in a 10:15 a.m. first-round game Wednesday in Point Lookout, Mo.
'They're a nice team, they look like they're a deep team and they play hard,' McDermott said of Mount Mercy. 'It just looks like they have quite a few weapons. … I think it's probably a pretty even matchup.'
Both teams made it to nationals last season – Southern Oregon reached the national quarterfinals, while Mount Mercy bowed out in the second round.
'Last year was the best year in school history and we graduated two 6-8 All-Americans,' McDermott said. 'So there weren't real high expectations and we kind of turned those things on its ear.'
McDermott graduated from Cascade Aquin in 1972 and played for Coach Al Marshall, whose 47-year coaching career concludes this week at the boys' state basketball tournament with well over 700 wins and a 2016 Iowa High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame induction.
'One of the greatest things to have as a defensive guy is to have the habit of, it's called 'jumping to the ball,'' McDermott said. 'Al instilled that, and whenever you find people that don't have it instilled, it drives you crazy. He instilled that in us.'
McDermott was inducted as a player during the 2010 state tournament.
'Oh, that was awesome,' McDermott said. 'We always tell people that (North Carolina Coach) Roy Williams came to my hall of fame induction. Just so happens that Harrison Barnes was playing that day.'
The induction afforded McDermott the chance to visit with former Northern Iowa and Iowa State Coach Greg McDermott, whose uncle was Brian's father. Brian even tried to recruit Greg to his alma mater at then-Division II South Dakota, where Brian was an assistant and later head coach. Brian eventually landed in Ashland, Ore., and leads the Raiders into nationals for the eighth time.
'It's one of the best tournaments in the country at any level,' McDermott said. 'They just do such a fantastic job of putting it on. They make the kids feel like they're big time. It's wonderful. Whenever anybody gets to it, it's a great motivator to get back.'
NAIA DIVISION II MEN'S BASKETBALL NATIONAL TOURNAMENT
At Point Lookout, Mo.
First Round — Day One
Game 1 —
No. 3 Keiser (Fla.) (28-4) vs. No. 6 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (18-9), 8:30 a.m.
Game 2 — No. 4 Mount Mercy (Iowa) (25-7)
vs. No. 5 Southern Oregon (24-8), 10:15 a.m.
Game 3 —
No. 2 Cornerstone (Mich.) (26-6) vs. No. 7 Cincinnati Christian (Ohio) (23-8), noon
Game 4 —
No. 1 Saint Francis (Ind.) (29-4) vs. No. 8 Dakota State (S.D.) (19-13), 1:45 p.m.
Game 5 —
No. 2 Union (Ky.) (28-6) vs. No. 7 Cal Maritime (Calif.) (22-9), 4 p.m.
Game 6 —
No. 1 Davenport (Mich.) (29-4) vs. No. 8 Saint Xavier (Ill.) (19-12), 5:45 p.m.
Game 7 —
No. 3 Warner (Fla.) (23-6) vs. No. 6 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) (20-8), 8 p.m.
Game 8 —
No. 4 Warner Pacific (Ore.) (23-9) vs. No. 5 Nebraska Wesleyan (22-7), 9:45 p.m.
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