Grant Gibbs granted sixth year

Updated: July 2, 2013, 7:00 PM ET
By Jeff Goodman | ESPN.com

Creighton Bluejays coach Greg McDermott received surprising news when he found out that senior guard Grant Gibbs received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA.

McDermott's son, Doug, will become a walk-on for his senior campaign as a result of Gibbs' return since the Bluejays already had utilized all 13 of their scholarships, the coach said.

Greg McDermott would get no tuition discount for Doug because he has not been a university employee for five years. According to a Creighton spokesperson, a coach who has been employed at least five years can receive 50 percent tuition remission for a family member to attend the school or be on the team as a walk-on.

But if he grants his son walk-on status, the McDermotts would have to pay the entire tuition for All-American and player of the year candidate Doug McDermott to attend school next season. Full price for tuition, room and board is $44,000, according to Creighton's website.

"I have the flexibility to do that," Greg McDermott, who joined Creighton in 2010, said of making his son a walk-on, "and obviously to bring Grant back is certainly worth that."

Doug McDermott had been projected to be a late first- or early second-round pick in the NBA draft before he announced in April that he would return to Creighton for his senior year. He's now playing for Team USA in the World University Games and will be a leading contender for preseason Big East player of the year.

Gibbs, a close friend of Doug McDermott, joked that it will be entertaining to see his buddy live the life of a walk-on next season.

"He's going to be carrying bags and doing all that kind of stuff," a smiling Gibbs said. "He'll have to handle that. That'll be a different situation for him. I think he'll probably be the best walk-on in America. We'll see."

Doug McDermott sent a congratulatory text to Gibbs from Turkey on Tuesday morning. The gist of the message: "We're getting the band back together," Gibbs said.

The 6-foot-5 Gibbs began his career at Gonzaga, tore his labrum as a freshman and has dealt with several knee injuries throughout his career. He was unable to practice his first season at Creighton after microfracture knee surgery.

"The NCAA just felt that whether he was at Gonzaga or whether he was at Creighton, he wasn't going to be able to play that year because of his knee injury," Greg McDermott said.

Greg McDermott said Gonzaga coach Mark Few was instrumental throughout the process in helping Gibbs receive the extra year.

"It's refreshing to see the student-athlete put first in this case," Greg McDermott said.

Gibbs has led the league in assists for the past two seasons and is considered one of the best leaders in college basketball.

He averaged 8.5 points, 5.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds this past season and is one of four starters to return.

"His knee feels as good now as it's felt since he's been here," Greg McDermott said of Gibbs' health, which has been an ongoing issue. "He was preparing as if he was going to go overseas, and he's had no issues."

Information from ESPN.com's Andy Katz and The Associated Press was used in this report.