The NBA Draft is closing in and Mike Scott, Virginia’s star forward, is looking forward to Thursday’s event. And why not? Recent reports and mock drafts from NBA analysts have indicated that Scott’s stock is on the rise. CNNSI, for example, named Scott a sleeper to watch while ESPN’s Chad Ford reportedly sees Scott as a first round possibility.
Scott said on a teleconference with reporters Monday afternoon that he sees himself with the ability of a first round pick.
“I think it matters and it doesn’t. Of course, it matters [because of] that guaranteed contract and it shows the respect that you have from a team that tells you you’re up there with the top 30 players in the draft,” he said. “I would just be grateful for my name to be called, whether it’s first or second round. But I know I deserve to be in the first round, but we’ll see.”
Scott, of course, helped lead Virginia back to the NCAA Tournament this season with a stellar senior campaign. He averaged 18.0 points and 8.3 rebounds en route to first-team All-ACC honors. After shooting 56.3% from the field and 80.8% from the free throw line, Scott finished second in the ACC’s Player of the Year voting.
Those shooting skills – especially as a dead-eye mid-range shooter – are what’s propelled Scott into a possible NBA Draft pick. It’s a specialized weapon that NBA teams love at the forward position because it creates spacing on the floor for the offense. The flipside, of course, is whether Scott can defend well enough in that same space on the other end of the floor. He’ll likely have to take on power forwards in the mid-post and low-post areas or try to guard quicker players at small forward on the perimeter.
Scott acknowledged that he’s been working on the perimeter portion of his game and that there is a lot of work to be done in that department. Besides, he says, his natural spot is at power forward.
“I think I have a lot more room to grow [with my perimeter skills], especially defensively [with] guarding somebody smaller and quicker than me. But I honestly think my bread and butter is at the 4. I can do some 3 stuff and be a mismatch,” he said.
The other main questions for Scott as an NBA prospect revolve around his age – at 23, he’s likely one of the oldest players to be picked in this year’s draft – and his ankle injury. Remember, Scott missed the majority of what would have been his senior season after having surgery on his left ankle. Scott said he doesn’t think his age will be a factor and that the NBA teams looked at the ankle thoroughly.
“The last day of the combine they had an evaluation where they check your past injuries and current injuries and see your durability with nagging injuries. Every team poked and probed and stretched my ankle that day and asked if it hurt. I told them I played the whole year last year and practiced every day and my ankle hasn’t bothered me,” said Scott, who added that he had some X-Rays and MRIs taken on the ankle by teams.
Read more quotes from the teleconference from The Daily Progress’ Whitey Reid’s blog here. Tune in to watch the NBA Draft on Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN or ESPN3.
Hoo-Tube Video Of The Day
The Afternoon Break includes a daily video. Today’s pick features the latest workout video to surface with Mike Scott. Thanks to poster PHoo1 for discovering it. It’s courtesy of CityLeagueHoopsTV and SlamOnline.com.
- There are several good threads on the men’s basketball board about Cavalier standout Mike Scott. Read them here, here, and here.
- Hoop fans will also like the threads on Anthony Gill as a great transfer pick-up and Malcolm Brogdon as a point guard option.
- On the football board, there are some good conversations going too. This one is on which Mike London recruits have a shot at being an All-American or ACC Player of the Year. This thread is about recruiting rankings.
- There are a couple of good baseball threads on Sean Doolittle, who is now pitching with the Oakland A’s – as this thread mentions, he’s posted 17 strikeouts in 8.2 innings of work. Impressive. The other thread work checking out is on “Ninja” Keith Werman, who has started his minor league career.
- Lacrosse fans, check out some all-star results in this thread.
- The Corner variety pack for this edition: flight plans, Big Green Egg cooking, Crater Lake, Rehoboth hotel suggestions, OBX BBQ thoughts, and cleaning teak.
This portion of the break looks at TheSabre.com’s favorite Twitter retweet of the day. Follow @thesabre.
Today’s retweet is from Damon Dillman, the sports director at our media partners over at CBS 19 and the Charlottesville NewsPlex (follow him @DamonDillman). It keeps the Mike Scott theme of the day going!