Ames coach Vance Downs said those two seasons were like a traveling circus, with the team going from town to town, dominating its opponents, drawing huge crowds. Practices were almost as entertaining.
"Any competitive drill we had, those two were going at it," Downs said. "I had to separate them constantly. They would do anything to get a win, even in a simple shooting drill. That's just the way they're wired."
McDermott signed a letter of intent to go to Northern Iowa, but when his father got the job at Creighton, Panthers coach Ben Jacobson, a good friend of Greg's, let Doug out of his scholarship because what kid wouldn't want to play for his dad?
Shortly after Greg McDermott arrived at Creighton in 2010, he put his first team through some rigorous workouts, sort of a boot camp, to see what he had. In the players' first meeting with Jack Stark, the team psychologist, the upperclassmen complained about all the work the new coach was putting them through.
Perhaps then they realized that Doug, a freshman, was in the room. Ten seconds of silence followed, then Doug told the team he had something to say.
"I don't want you guys to hold back because the coach is my dad," he told them.
"Besides, I might agree with ya."
He is more like his mother. That's what everyone who knows the McDermotts says about Doug. At a recent Creighton practice, Rasmussen, sitting in the bleachers, was asked where Doug gets his calm and easy demeanor.
"Not from there," Rasmussen said, motioning to Greg. "Maybe Mom."
Theresa McDermott is the one who took care of the boys and their daughter, Sydney, who's now 13, when Greg was on the road. Theresa is a breast cancer survivor; she's strong, calm and funny. She's the one who makes things better. On Saturday, she watched the Creighton-Xavier game at home in Omaha with the coaches' wives. She said for four years, it's been comforting to know that at least one parent is at every game.
But the setup wasn't always harmonious. In their first days together at Creighton, Greg came down hard on Doug, and father and son clashed. He'd watch Doug roll his eyes after a disagreement, which is fine when it's just father and son but a big no-no when there are 15 sets of eyes watching. Sometimes, if Greg was especially hard on his son, he'd call Theresa and warn her that she might be getting a call from Doug. If she didn't hear from him, she'd shoot him a text and ask about practice.
"I probably gave more advice to Greg than Doug," she said. "A mom takes over. I was like, 'Cut him some slack. He took summer school, and now he's in all these classes and you expect so much. Can you give him a little break?'
"But once Doug realized his role as a player and not a son, and Greg as a coach and not as a dad, it just seemed to go pretty smoothly after that. I didn't hear about it as much."
McDermott's assistants often helped smooth things over. There were some funny times, too, senior guard Grant Gibbs said.
"There was a time, I believe it was Doug's freshman year, that they were having one of their days and Coach Mac called him a son of a you-know-what," Gibbs said. "And we all kind of stood around and we're like, 'Wow, that's his wife he's talking about.'