Virginia’s Mike Scott placed himself on the radar of all 3o NBA teams with his dominant play this past season. His averages of 18 points and 8 boards were right amongst the top of the ACC and if you were to ask any coach what player was most valuable to their team in the ACC, every single one would have answered Scott. Still, it was UNC’s Tyler Zeller who received the award, something that drives Scott every single day.
“Tyler was a great player and UNC did some big things, but I definitely thought I deserved it,” the 23-year old told us. “It’s just another thing that I use to push me every day.”
The added motivation that he used definitely helped Scott in his preparation for the NBA Draft, which is where we caught up with him. He opted to train at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas, where he worked with renowned trainer Joe Abunassar. What also helped the All-ACC performer was the fact that he was able to go up against other potential NBA big men in Kyle O’Quinn, Justin Hamilton, and Xavier Gibson on a daily basis.
Once the balls got rolling on the court, the first thing that stood out about Scott was his new found ability to shoot the ball from the NBA 3-point line. Shooting just 20 threes as a senior at Virginia, he’s not the type of guy you’d expect to be shooting the lights out of the ball. Well, you learn something new every day, since he was the best shooter in Vegas during the stretch we were out there. He connected on 42-50 (by our count) at one stretch and was hitting around 75 precent of threes on the regular.
Three-point shooting prowess aside, Mike showed off a very strong game in the mid post. He told us that he patterns his game after Carmelo Anthony and you can definitely tell that he’s added Melo’s turnaround J to his repertoire. Comfortable turning over either shoulder and finishing with both hands, it’s clear why he was such a problem to defend in the post.
With Draft night less than a week away, Scott has clearly established himself as a second round pick. Some question his upside (he’ll be 24 by the time he plays his first NBA game) and explosiveness vertically, which are the two main criticisms of his game. That’s obviously not what a franchise will be drafting him for, though. A team will be taking Scott will be drafting him for his maturity and polish, plus the fact that he’s a nightmare to guard on the blocks.
Florida State center and potential draftee Xavier Gibson c0-signs: “Mike Scott was the toughest guy that I’ve ever had to defend. I had to guard him every game and he was a difficult matchup. He’s a smaller 4, but can post up, shoot it, put it on the floor…He’s got it all.”