Updated: June 25, 2012 at 12:00 am
I predict Josh Scott will someday be drafted by an NBA team, most likely in the first round. He’s not ready to stand beside me in this prediction.
“I have a lot to learn, and I really would just like to succeed in college,” Scott said. “Trust me, there’s no reason to think about that right now for me.”
That’s the correct attitude, and it’s typical Josh Scott, who declines to dwell in the past or the future. He’s relentless in his quest for improvement in the present tense, and this is the primary reason I believe he one day will earn an NBA roster spot.
Scott, the former Lewis-Palmer star who will play for Colorado next season, doesn’t plan to watch Thursday’s NBA draft. He’s too busy working, as always, on his quickness and his strength and his jump shot and his inside moves and his …
He’s 6-foot-9 3/4 and blessed with surprising quickness, agility and leaping ability. He’s virtually ambidextrous, shooting and driving with both hands. Once he gets his hands on a rebound, forget it; the ball is his.
But his greatest asset is his endless, maniacal devotion for more. Scott refuses to be satisfied. He’s convinced, probably without reason, there is always someone out there, somewhere, who doubts him. These doubters, who most likely don’t even exist, keep him laboring in the weight room and gym.
Listen, I realize a journey to the NBA is a rugged path. Over the past 20 years, basketball’s best league has gone global, which means Scott will compete for a roster spot against the best players from China, Lithuania, Brazil, Argentina, Spain and everywhere else on our globe.
Still, there’s something special about him. First time I met Scott, he was a ridiculously skinny 6-foot-7 sophomore. He had just lost in the state semis to Sierra, and I asked how he planned to lead L-P’s Rangers to a title.
“I’m going to work my butt off,” he said.
Those were not empty words. Scott constantly pushed himself. He became the best player in the state this season, and one of the best players in state history. He carried the Rangers to a state title in a highly dramatic, highly entertaining victory over Sierra.
Even though he won’t admit it, Scott has his eyes on an eventual journey to the pros. And he realizes earning a place in the NBA’s first round is not some impossible dream. Pat Garrity, L-P class of 1994 was a first-round pick. Reggie Jackson, Palmer class of 2008, was a first-round pick.
I saw Garrity play several times in college for Notre Dame and was impressed by his ceaseless hustle. I saw Jackson play several times for Palmer, and he, too, played every minute as if it were the final minute of the NBA Finals.
Scott shares their constant hunger for improvement. When I talk with college coaches across Colorado – from DU’s Joe Scott to Air Force’s Dave Pilipovich – the first thing mentioned is amazement at Josh Scott’s rapid development. At the end of his junior season, Scott lacked strength and seemed unprepared for the mean-spirited muscle that awaited him in college lanes.
By camping out in the weight room, Scott transformed his body. This transformation led to Scott dominating competition he faced this season, and helped him prevail over his only genuine competition in the state, Sierra’s Wesley Gordon.
Now, Scott happily reports, he’s working alongside Gordon as a teammate. Both players will be freshman at CU next season, and should form a tag-team that will intimidate the Buffs’ opponents.
Don’t worry about Scott. He’s ready for the Pac-12 brutes who await him. I believe he will eventually be ready for the tough guys who inhabit NBA lanes.
He’s too focused on his immediate future to talk about the NBA. That’s tomorrow, and he’s worried about today.
Scott is taking, as usual, the ideal approach.