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Ohio State basketball 2013 exit interviews: Shannon Scott

Shannon Scott gave Thad Matta a defensive spark off the bench, which resulted in his minutes doubling in his sophomore season in Columbus.


Being an McDonald's All American coming out of high school, and being taken by Thad Matta over Trey Burke, meant that expectations were high (and maybe even a little unrealistic) for Scott when he came to Columbus. Scott showed flashes of his ability this year in his second year playing for the Buckeyes. The luxury that Scott will have to help improve during his time in Columbus is that he will get to spend three years studying under Aaron Craft.

Season Stats

4.9 PPG, 3.8 APG, 1.7 SPG, 2.8 RPG, shot 41 percent from the field, 33 percent from beyond the arc. Played 20.9 minutes per game.

Best Games:

For most of the year Scott was quiet on the offensive end, but he scored a season-high 15 points in the loss to Kansas in Columbus in December. Scott hit the most field goals of any Buckeye on the afternoon, going 5-12 from the field, and was Ohio State's 2nd leading scorer on the afternoon, only trailing Deshaun Thomas' 16 points. With so many Buckeyes shooting so cold in the loss, it was refreshing to see Scott stepping up to try and keep his team in it. Shannon was active on the glass in the game too, pulling down 6 rebounds.

Scott did register his first career double-double, scoring 10 points and dishing out 10 assists in the early-season blowout victory against UMKC. The only other game on the season where Scott has double-digit assists was in the NCAA Tournament opener for the Buckeyes against Iona, when he passed out 10 helpers, to go along with 7 points and 7 rebounds.

Worst Games:

The coldest game for Scott on the season from the field was a 1 for 8 shooting performance at Cameron Indoor in the loss to Duke. A late turnover by Shannon with under a minute to play pretty much put the final nail in Ohio State's coffin on that November night in Durham.

The most infamous moment of the season for Scott was in East Lansing. With the Buckeyes down by three late in the game, Scott heaved up an ill-advised off-balance three-pointer, which was badly off target. It looked as if Scott might have been anticipating a foul on the shot, but it was not called and Michigan State claimed the victory.

The Skinny:

While a lot of people spent the year wondering what might have been, had the Buckeyes recruited Trey Burke over Scott, the sophomore year saw Scott grow into his role on this basketball team a little bit more. Scott's shooting is spotty, and while you aren't going to see him take over the game and drop 30 points, he makes up for that on the defensive end with lock-down perimeter defense. During the stretch run of the Big Ten regular season and conference tournament Scott really stepped up his defensive intensity, registering at least two steals in eight straight games. On the season, Scott had five games with four steals, which is even more impressive considering that he came off the bench and wasn't getting starters minutes.

One area of Scott's game that was troubling to watch at times during the season was his free throw shooting. During the NCAA Tournament Scott only missed one of the seven free throws he took, but on the season he only shot 63% from the charity stripe. With the expected increase in his minutes during the rest of his career in Columbus (and time with the basketball in his hands) it will be interesting to see if Scott is able to improve on his shooing from the charity stripe over the summer.

The Prognosis:

Now having had two years as his understudy, you could describe Scott as "Aaron Craft Light", as they both play a similar style of basketball. The good news for Scott is that he gets to spend another year studying under the tutelage of Aaron Craft before Craft's time in Columbus is up. The defense that Thad Matta is looking for is there from Scott, some improvement on the shooting aspects of his game are needed to really take him to the next level.

During their run to close out the regular season and during the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments, the Buckeyes were at their best when both Craft and Scott were on the court. The perimeter defense and speed that the duo gave the Buckeyes last year was scary at times, and should keep Big Ten coaches up during the offseason trying to figure out how to gameplan for the Buckeyes when the two are on the court together.

With four of the five starters returning next year for Ohio State, it looks as if Scott will continue to come off the bench next year. The improvements that Scott made in his sophomore year gives hope for a promising junior year for Scott, where he should give the Buckeyes a strong 6th man.