If you don’t know who Shannon Scott is, he’s that pesky, relentless defender on Ohio State that isn’t Aaron Craft . Scott is entering his senior season with the Buckeyes and has already made consecutive Big Ten All-Defensive teams. With the aforementioned Craft now in the NBA, Scott finally has the chance to lead Ohio State as a starting point guard. I had the chance to sit down with the scrappy defender at Big Ten Media Day. Here’s what he had to say.
What makes you such a good defender?
“I think it’s more of a mentality more than anything. I don’t have any type of athletic skill that no one else in the Big Ten has. I just really harp on being consistent and not taking any plays off. A lot of players could really score the ball, a lot of players can rebound the ball, but I feel like with defense you just got to play hard the whole time. It’s something you can kind of teach, but it’s nothing that someone can just pick up naturally. Just having that mentality is great for my game.”
Is there any NBA player you look up or try emulate?
“I look up to a guard like Chris Paul of course, but also Deron Williams. I feel like his game is so consistent, so solid that I want to play like him.”
Do you think this is your first chance with Aaron Craft gone to really showcase your skills as a point guard?
“It is. I’ve been on the court with Aaron a lot of times and sometimes with him on the bench as well. I feel like this year is going to be the time for me to step up and get us in the best position we can to possibly win every game.”
How much did you learn from Craft defensively?
“I learned a lot of the tricks of the trade from him. A lot of little things that he probably wouldn’t want me telling anybody, so I’m not going to.”
How much has Thad Matta helped you defensively?
“He takes a role in making sure that everybody plays defense throughout the whole possession. We have a lot of drills where we have to play throughout the whole shot clock or we have to start over.”
Who is the most difficult player to guard in the Big Ten?
“There are a lot of hard players to guard in the Big Ten, but I’m going to have to say (Terran) Petteway from Nebraska. He just has a real solid game. He has an outside game, he has a midrange game, he could get to the basket. Having those three things in your game is really hard to guard. Really hard to stop.”
What’s it like playing with an athlete like Sam Thompson
“He’s bailed me out of a lot of bad passes just being able to go get the ball at the top of the backboard for me. It’s a good feeling to have.”
What are your expectations for this season with the losses of key players from last year’s squad?
“We still have a chance to be a great team. We lost a lot of great players potentially, but we got to come back ready to play this year. We got something to prove.”