Matt Scott is a 22 year old 193cm guard from Brooklyn, New York and playing his rookie season with the Niners Chemnitz. He played four years at Niagara (NCAA) In his freshman season he played 30 games averaging 5.1ppg, 2.6rpg, FGP: 35.0%, 3PT: 31.9%, FT: 74.3%. In his second season at Niagara (NCAA) he played 30 games averaging 15.3ppg, 7.1rpg, 2.5apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 46.3%, 3PT: 28.8%, FT: 76.7%. In his junior season at Niagara (NCAA) he played 33 games averaging 17.0ppg, 7.0rpg, 3.0apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 71.8%. In his senior season at Niagara (NCAA) he played 28 games averaging 19.0ppg, 7.2rpg, 2.6apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 31.5%, FT: 71.6%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
Matt thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
I am currently in Chemnitz Germany, playing with the Chemnitz Niners. My summer has been great and I worked out back home in Brooklyn with a couple different trainers. I was up in Pittsburgh for some weeks working out with Pete Strobl and the scoring factory. And I also kept myself polished playing in some prestigious leagues around New York City.
Before we get to your interview, I have to ask you about your name Matt Scott. There is another Matt Scott who is a well known wheel chair basketball player. Have you seen your common name more as an advantage or disadvantage at times in your life?
My name is pretty simple. I know the wheel chair basketball player comes up when people google me but, my name is just the tag for me nothing to special.
Welcome to Germany. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? You have played against many players over the years in the MAC conference with Niagara(NCAA) that have or are playing currently in Germany.
MAAC* – I really didn’t know anything going until I found out I was coming to Germany. I heard great things. Nice people, welcoming, I heard people often times know English, and Germany is well developed sort of like New York. Basketball wise I was told just bring my A game and be myself.
When I first learned that you were in Chemnitz on a try-out my first question was how can a guy with your superb NCAA career not be on a team with a year contract? How humbling was your first summer transfer period? For me it´s difficult to believe that you only got a try-out period? You must have had interest and other offers?
Man I have been doubted all my life. I had 1 division 1 offer and now I’m a 3 time all leaguer. 7th all time in points at Niagara. I know what I’m capable of so the try out really means nothing to me. My circle thought this was the right choice for me.
Does having this try-out with Chemnitz after a great career at Niagara put a chip on your shoulder? Has this experienced motivated you further in a way that you have never experienced in your career?
Like I said before I have been doubted all my life and I continue to do great things regardless of the situation. I’m used to it really I just go hoop. I feel it does put a chip on my shoulder. Maybe that’s why I was so successful at every level I played at in the past.
Could this try-out be a blessing in disguise? Simply because you have learned quickly that nothing can be taken for granted and nothing is given to you? You are fighting for a contract right away in your rookie season with out any gifts?
It’s a blessing just to try out be with the team, be considered a pro. I mentioned before my circle and I thought this was the best choice for me. Not thinking I’m going to get cut and getting a guaranteed contract.
How has your experience been with the Niners Chemnitz so far? How is the team and have the players taken you in lightly and accepted you as one of them?
My experience thus far has been great. The coaches and team is cool, together, I get along with everybody and I’m playing some good basketball as well. Everybody is just for the team and working hard. I think I fit in perfectly.
Very experienced American Virgil Matthews was signed recently. How important has he been in the short time for your integration?
He brings knowledge and he can also hoop. We have had many conversations since I been here. It’s great to have him around.
It really doesn´t matter which player I have spoken to over the years about head coach Rodrigo Pastore, all have raved about his coaching. How have you experienced his teaching and is he a guy that can make you better over a whole season?
He’s a great coach. I realized it the first day I attended practice. He knows what he’s talking about. He puts players in the right position to succeed.
Let´s talk about your game. You are an instant scoring machine and can score in many many ways. If you had to describe your game to an NBA player who would best fit how you play?
I would compare myself to James Harden the way I can drive, find the open man and shoot. I am a very good one on one player that makes tough shots and also can get to the foul line.
Your ability to be a versatile scorer is a big plus in your game. How do you feel has your offensive game grown at Niagara(NCAA) and what are your goals now as a professional to continue to help your game mature further?
My versatility has been with me since I was in high school I played 1-4 sometimes 5 in high school. Therefore I was able to Play 1-3 in college. Just getting stronger and improving my skill sets had already helped me a lot. I think I can play 1-4 as a pro as well
as I continue to get better, faster and stronger.
In your four years at Niagara you shot near to 30% from outside three times and was at 37% as a junior. Obviously developing your three is still a work in progress. How much of a challenge is it personally for you to keep refining your shot?
Shooting is very important. I get up extra shots on my own all the time. I think I put enough work in the shot when I’m open. I know it won’t fall every time but I’m very confident in my jump shot. But if you ask me I’m more of a driver anyway.
You have always been an amazing rebounder at 193cm and averaged 7,0rpg in your last three years at Niagara. What is your secret to rebounding besides the regular bla blla of anticipation and effort?
I think I have a knack for knowing where the ball is going to go. I have rebounded for teammates so much I can see a shot in the air and determine where I need to be to get the rebound.
You’re a player that can fill the stat sheet at ease, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that isn´t always noticed right away on the court?
I think I make good reads and I’m an underrated passer. With those 2 things I am able to pick defenses apart.
You had a very stellar career as a player at Niagara(NCAA), but as a team you didn´t win anything. What were your highlights in your four year career?
My highlights were receiving my individual awards and every-time we won.
How vital was guard Emile Blackman in your first two seasons at Niagara for you becoming a better player? He also came from Brooklyn, New York like you. Did you guys become brothers for life?
Emile is my brother for life. We work hard day in and day out at Niagara. We tried to make Niagara great, a winning program. We gave our best efforts together.
You had many memorable games at Niagara, but as a sophomore you hit Marist for 32 points and had 13 rebounds in the exciting 69-66 victory. Was this like a break out game for you and where does it rank in your best games there?
That Marist game I just played good. I believe the game before that versus Siena I had 31 or something like that. I was just being myself on the court having fun. I had a lot of big games I think the Marist game cracks the top 5.
You’re a guy that improved his scoring and rebounding each season at Niagara. How vital was head coach Chris Casey in your progression as a player and how did he groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach just believed in me and let me play my game and I because of it I was able to play comfortable and freely and produce.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Chris Barton?
I don’t lose 1 on 1s it’s not help defense.
You played against many great players at the NCAA level. Who was your toughest foe on the court that is in the NBA now?
My toughest foe was my own teammate Khalil Dukes. Playing pick up and guarding each other in practice was hell but it made us both better.
How did your 2018 summer work out plan look like? On what things did you workon most so you would be fully prepared for this season?
A lot of shooting, handling. Daily lifingt because I know I will need to continue to get stronger.
If you had to construct your very own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads old or new would name to the list?
Jordan, Lebron, Kobe, Shaq
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate about who is better Lebron or Jordan?
Jordan had his era Lebron has his era they are both amazing players and can say one is better than the other.
Tracy Mcgrady said that the Boston Celtics will be the Golden State Warriors of the future. Do you see that happening?
Not yet but in due time if the Celtics stick together they can run the NBA no question.
Deandre Ayton was the #1 NBA draft pick in 2018. Do you feel that from sheer talent and experience that Luka Doncic should have been the real #1 draft pick?
I think everything happens for a reason. I’m not taking anything away from anybody let’s see what they do this upcoming season. Both great players.
Lebron James makes amazing passes in every game, but really showcased it in a game this season against the Los Angeles Lakers. He already is like a point guard, but if he played just point guard and concentrated only on playmaking how many assists do you feel would he average per game?
I think he would have 10+ assists because he will get in the lane at ease and force people to help or he will score 50.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Last movie I saw was soul in the hole. Basketball classic!
Thanks Matt for the chat.