Charles Leclaire-US PRESSWIRE
How will speedy point guard Shannon Scott adjust to life as a major member of Thad Matta's rotation?
2012 Season Stats:
36 G, 10.6 MPG, 1.2 PPG, .282 FG% (1-18 3PT), .222 FT%, 38 Reb (4 OFF), 60 AST, 36 TO, 1 BLK, 18 STL
A Look Back:
Scott, a true freshman last year, did get to see some playing time. He mostly came in when Aaron Craft was in foul trouble or needed a breather. As the season went on, Scott's speed proved to be a remarkable asset. Scott began to crack more of the rotation as the season went on, playing vital minutes in NCAA tournament games down the stretch (except against Kansas). He acquitted himself about as well as an average true freshman point guard should, never really establishing himself as a scoring threat and erratic at times. However, Scott did flash some ability to find open teammates and showed very quick hands on defense. No one's Aaron Craft, but Shannon Scott definitely showed he could play some D. His best game last year was probably at Iowa, where he tallied six assists and five rebounds in eighteen minutes. Scott averaged 1.2 PPG, 1.1 RPG and 1.7 APG last year. Coming off the bench, Scott provided fresh legs, incredible speed, energy on defense and a pass-first outlook, with little to no scoring punch.
Scott is from Georgia, the son of former NBA guard Charles Scott, who played at UNC and for the Boston Celtics. His team at Milton High in Alpharetta won the state championship, and he was the 2011 Gatorade Player of the Year in Georgia as a senior. Scott came in highly regarded, as a four-star prospect who was ranked 6th at his position in the country. He was also recruited by Georgia, Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Northwestern.
Outlook for 2012-13:
Shannon Scott should see a lot more playing time this year with graduations in the backcourt. He will be the third man in and the first guard off the bench after starters Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith, Jr. Scott will really have to step up his offensive production this year, as behind him is freshman Amedeo Della Valle and nothing else. If Thad Matta decides to go to a smaller lineup, Scott will be playing alongside Smith and Craft. Expect to see Scott hounding a team's second-best option if they are scoring a lot, somewhat like Washington's Venoy Overton in his heyday.
If Scott's really going to make some noise this year and live up to the hype, he's going to have to start scoring with a lot more consistency. When he was in the game last year, teams sagged off him and dared him to shoot. Defenses were overwhelmingly rewarded when playing this way, as Scott either had to take the ball into traffic, pass, or miss an outside shot. According to Ari Wasserman of Buckeye Sports Bulletin and Kyle Rowland of Eleven Warriors, Scott's shot looks improved so far in practice. He has shown more confidence in both his passing and his shooting so far. We'll see if this can translate into game action.
Best Case Scenario:
Scott continues to flash improved scoring ability and with every practice and every scrimmage his confidence improves. His timid play disappears while he still retains the incredible speed, and maybe he even develops a little bit of an outside shot, enough that defenses have to at least respect it and can't leave him open. He becomes a hybrid of Smith Jr. and Craft, and plays valuable minutes as the first guard off the bench and even becomes a vital scoring option. His assists and steals go up while turnovers decrease.
Shannon Scott's success in practice is probably one of the more gratifying reports to come out of early Buckeye practice. If he keeps improving, he'll see a lot of run at the 1 this year when Aaron Craft needs a break.
Worst Case Scenario:
Scott regresses after his excellent start in practice in 2012-13. He continues to miss open looks. Scott may, instead of being timid, start pressing and become careless with the basketball. Scott's playing time dwindles.