His summer with Speice Indy Heat is helping with that.
McDermott enjoyed a solid sophomore season with the Arabians after transferring in from Lapel. He appeared in 23 games after being granted full eligibility in December and averaged 12.4 points while shooting nearly 41 percent from 3-point range in his first varsity season.
Pendleton Heights head coach Brian Hahn said little has changed in McDermott’s game this summer. It’s more about refining the tools that are already there.
“He’s getting a little stronger, shooting the ball with more consistency and just continuing to improve in all areas,” Hahn said.
McDermott is typically modest about his summer work thus far.
He’ll take part in the top 100 workout Thursday at Ben Davis, and he’s having a blast testing himself against elite competition.
“This is my first year really playing on a high-level AAU team,” he said. “It’s completely different playing against really good teams. It’s really helping me playing against these kids every day.”
McDermott said success during the high school season is his primary goal, and he figures to be the focal point at PH this season.
He’s spoken with Dunham and heard the same advice he gets nearly every day from Hahn — just block out distractions and focus on getting better each day.
Growing up in a basketball family has taught him at least one other important lesson as well. The team always comes first.
“I just know when I go out there, my teammates are there to help me,” he said. “If I need to score to help us win a game, that’s what I’ll do. If I need to get the ball to my teammates and get them involved for us to win, that’s what I’ll do.”
McDermott acknowledged he’ll look to be more aggressive next season, putting doubt into defenders’ heads about whether he intends to drive to the basket or pull up for a jumper.
And he knows enough about the game to realize how much more he still has to learn.
“I just want to keep improving,” he said. “I want to be the very best player I can be.”