OKLAHOMA CITY — New Purdue assistant coach Steve Lutz contributed to a wildly successful run at Creighton in his seven years with the Bluejays prior to his move to the Big Ten.
That timeframe coincided with the legendary college career of Doug McDermott, a 3,000-point scorer who both the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy in 2014, playing for his father, Greg, at Creighton.
McDermott said Lutz was a key part of the Bluejays' success.
"Steve's a tremendously hard worker, always in the office early, and a great recruiter with great people skills," McDermott said Friday, as his Oklahoma City Thunder team braced for their playoff game against the Houston Rockets. "He was a guy I just grew really close with in my four years there. I was sad to see him go, obviously, but Purdue got a really good one, just with his ability to recruit and find the right guys. And he's really smart on the defensive end, putting together game plans that are very detailed. I think he'll fit in very well with Coach (Matt) Painter."
Lutz has said that he hopes the move might help position him for a head-coaching position at some point.
"He was at Creighton with my dad for seven years and I think part of him maybe he just wanted a change of scenery and a chance at Purdue to establish himself even more in the Big Ten," McDermott said. "Obviously I think his dream is to be a head coach one day and the move probably helps him to get higher in the profession.
"I'm really happy for Steve and will always be pulling for him and always be close friends with him and will be cheering for Purdue a little bit more now."
Cliff Brunt of the Associated Press contributed to this report
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