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Monday, July 07, 2008

Scott Set to Prove Doubters Wrong

Note: This article was originally posted at the Big East Basketball Report.

With future Connecticut guard Kemba Walker no longer at his side with either the New York Gauchos or at Rice High School, it is Durand Scott’s turn to take the reins and become one of the best guards in New York City – and he knows it.

But does everyone else?

“Everyone’s not giving me the respect I deserve,” Scott said. “I need to show everybody what I got.”

If his performance at the Rumble in the Bronx is any indication, that respect will come sooner rather than later. Durand Scott had arguably the best overall weekend of any player at the tournament, and saved his best for last. In the Gauchos’ championship game against the New York Panthers, Scott had 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

The 6-foot-5, 185 lbs. swingman demonstrated a very solid all-around game. He showed the ability to knock down three-pointers on a consistent basis, but also drove past defenders with ease if they came too close to him. He went baseline for several baskets early in the tournament against the New Jersey Panthers. Scott can pass the ball well, and is adept at finishing in traffic. He can knock down shots from anywhere – behind the arc, mid-range, pull-up, contested, wide-open.

Scott does not just excel at one end of the court, either. “He is one of the best defensive players in the country and can guard all five positions on the court,” NY Gauchos assistant Chad Babel told the NBE Basketball Report recently. “His best attributes are his leadership, will to win, and his refusal to lose.”

Scott, who came late to the opening game because he had to take care of his studies, said he wants to continue to play at a high level through the next couple of months. “I want to just dominate all summer,” he said.

Although he is only ranked No. 83 by Rivals.com, Scott feels as if he compares favorably with the top players across the country.

"It’s like my father and brother are always telling me – ‘no one is better than you,'" he said.

Babel agrees, saying that he feels Scott is among the top 25 players in the country. "To me, he is the most underrated player in the country," Babel said. "Some would say that’s biased because I’m his coach but I pride myself on being harder on my players then anyone."

Right now, Scott’s recruitment is wide-open with a multitude of schools courting the confident youngster. He said that Pittsburgh, Louisville, Connecticut and West Virginia and other schools are looking at him from the Big East, while Virginia, Miami and Xavier are also interested in him. He said he is not leaning in any particular direction just yet.

Over the summer, Scott needs to become more of a go-to-guy and a leader for the Gauchos in preparation for his senior season with Rice. Furthermore, despite the fact he exudes swagger, Scott realizes he has things he needs to work on.

“I need to become more of an individual player, more of a scorer,” Scott said. “Last year, I usually looked to my teammates more, but now I need to do whatever my coach wants me to do.

“I have to just play.”

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