Scoochie Smith is a 25 year old 188cm guard that is playing his second season with Peristeri GS Athens (Greece-A1). Last season he split time with the Canton Charge (NBA G League) playing 50 games averaging 12.3ppg, 4.6rpg, 6.2apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 42.6%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 80.3%, and in Apr.’19 signed at Peristeri GS Athens (Greece-A1). In his rookie season he played with Cairns Taipans (Australia-NBL) playing 28 games averaging 10.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.3apg, 2FGP: 44.9%, 3FGP: 33.7%, FT: 77.1%, in Mar.’18 moved to the Canton Charge (NBA G League) playing 8 games averaging 14.3ppg, 4.3rpg, 8.3apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 52.3%, FT: 60.0%. He played 137 NCAA games at Dayton from 2013-2017 and as a senior played 31 games averaging 13.9ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.5apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 40.9%, FT: 78.2%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before a Basketball Champions League game against Brose Bamberg in Bamberg.
Scoochie thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Your grandfather George Blount gave you the nickname Scooche which means annoying and to dance a lot. If I asked your teammate Mike Morrison what he felt you did more annoy him or dance what do believe would he say?
I dont think he’ll say neither but if i had to choose he will probably say im annoying.
How have you learned to live with this nickname? Has it become easier with age and what is the most frequent question you get besides what it means?
Its been my nickname all of my life, most people always ask is it my real name. At this point I tell them yes.
Your playing your third professional season after playing in Australia and G-league and being in training camp with the Cavs. How blessed do you feel are you coming from the Bronx to traveling around Europe for a living? What has got you this far?
Being able to travel the world to do something I love has truly been a blessing. My family, friends, hard-work and dedication has gotten me this far. I just wish my family and friends were with to enjoy every part of the journey.
Welcome to Germany. Is this your first time in Germany? What do you know in general about the country and it’s basketball?
This is my first time here, I’m not too familiar with much from here. I do know they have a good economy, good cars and no speed limit in certain places. Also universities are free. The basketball aspect I am still learning about.
Have you had any friends or former opponents that have played in Germany?
My old college teammate Dyshawn Pierre played in Germany and I also know Paris Lee from Bamberg.
Your playing your second season with Peristeri GS Athens (Greece-A1).After being in the second league only two seasons ago, it is currently in second place in the Greek A-league and playing very well in the BCL. The team brought in many new imports and only Steven Gray is there from last season. What has been the secret to the success of the team?
Everyone has been playing hard and playing for another. No one is too worried about getting the credit everyone is concerned with the win and when you think like that everyone succeeds.
How important has veteran William Hatcher been for you and the further development of your game. What has been the most important thing that you have soaked up from his game?
Hatch had been a good vet, I talk to him about many different things daily. The biggest thing he has taught me is the mentality to have while playing. Staying focused and making sure you do the things necessary to stay successful.
I covered Mike Morrison in Germany closely from 2014-2018. What have you learned to appreciate most about his game? Does his good humor make certain situations easier?
Mike is a very funny guy and I’m very positive so we tend to coincide. What I appreciate about mike’s game is how hard he plays and his love for the game. You can see his passion even from the sideline.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 188cm point guard. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
I would compare myself to Mike Conley, an underrated player who just gets the job done. Whether its making plays for myself or others.
You have always been a very good three point shooter and improved your assists much in the G-League. What kind of player are you striving to become now in Europe?
Im just a basketball player, I try not to limit myself. So I just try to work on every part of my game and tap into my full potential and I know I have in the tank.
How tough has the current situation been with your role. Your only averaging 13 minutes in both leagues, but playing very efficient in the BCL league. How challenging is it being able to be successful in limited minutes. Do you feel like your Basketball IQ continues to improve making smart decisions?
I dont worry about whats not going right. Every day is different so I just control what I can control and stay positive. When my number is called my job is to make sure I’m ready and thats what I do.
On what things do you continue to work on now in your third professional season to continue to improve your game?
Being a better leader, more communicative as there is always room for more. Being a better defender and juss playing at a more consistent level.
Your ex coach at Dayton (NCAA) Archie Miller stated that you were always fearless in big moments. Do you feel like having the opportunity to take the big shots will return in Europe?
I feel like if the opportunity is there I’m more than willing to take it, but im not one to force a heroic moment. I try to make the right play. I already have a buzzer this year vs. AEK.
You finsihed last season with Peristeri GS Athens (Greece-A1). What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were far away from New York?
My wake up call was the day I left. I was in Greece for 2 months last season during the playoffs so it wasn’t too bad.
Last season you finished with Peristeri GS Athens (Greece-A1) playing a three game playoff series against Euroleague powerhouse team Panathinaikos. What kind of experience was it getting this kind of experience despite not seeing many minutes?
It was a good experience to see that level of talent in Europe and to see how hard they play.
How would the Panathinaikos team of last season do against NBA teams?
Im not sure how they will end up as the European and NBA style is different, but I know they could hold their own.
You played parts of your first two professional seasons in the G-League with the Canton Charge. You put up solid stats and averaged 7,2apg and 13,3ppg. Did you ever feel like you were close to an NBA call up?
Yeaa when your playing well you always feel like your close. But sometimes things don’t work in your favor and you just have to work harder.
After playing twice in the G-League and three times in the NBA Summer League, do you still have the NBA dream alive.Do you feel like you could be there now had you just had some luck and been in the right situation?
The NBA dream is always alive as long as im playing, I do believe I can play there and be a contributor. This year is big in me showing that.
After playing in the NBA Summer League, G-League and with the Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) in training camp, what kind of positive feedback have you received from coaches and CEO’s in general in that time?
Just to keep working on my body, and being more assertive when im playing.
It seems like the G-League is getting younger and younger and older ex NBA players are heading to Europe or staying there instead of pressing their luck in the G-League. Do you feel like it can get older again with increased salaries now in the G-League?
If they had increased salaries im pretty sure a lot guys would think about staying in america with their families as long as its worth it.
You started your professional basketball career down under with the Cairns Taipans (Australia-NBL): 28 games: 10.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.3apg, 2FGP: 44.9%, 3FGP: 33.7%, FT: 77.1%. How enjoyable was being a rookie in Australia? What was your fondest moment on and off the court?
I loved playing in the NBL, it is becoming one of the top leagues in the world. My fondest moment on the court was playing in an open stadium on Melbourne United’s court with the Australian-open going on next door. Off the court would be being able to see the whole country throughout the whole season.
You played at Dayton from 2013-2017.Was reaching the NCAA Elite 8 your biggest moment despite it happening in your freshman season?
I would say that was my biggest moment, but every year playing in the tournament was just as beautiful.
What was tougher the Florida or Oklahoma loss in the NCAA tournament?
Oklahoma only because the Florida loss made me stronger being that I was a freshman and I feel that we should of beat Oklahoma.
How memorable was your 26 points in the 85-84 win over Richmond and then hitting VCU with 29 points in the 68-67 win. What win was more spectacular in your opinion?
That was a very memorable week put a lot more people on notice about my play. I would say VCU win was more spectacular because of everything that came with that game & the team gave it their all.
What kind of experience was it being teammates with Jordan Sibert for two years? How proud were you for his NBA game and three pointer and does he belong in the NBA?
It was fun being teammates with Jordan, we did some special things on the court. I was very happy to see him achieve one his dreams, im pretty sure he’ll have another stint in the league.
How did head coach Archie Miller groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
He thought every day to be pro and be who I am today. Its easy to do wrong things off the court so make sure I stay focused and do what’s right.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Charles Cooke
It varied depending on the day. We had some good battles.
Who was the toughest guy that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA today?
Toughest guy in College would be Deandre Bembury . The toughest NBA player I played against in college would be Buddy Hield.
If you had to construct your own personal NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you pick that bets fits your taste?
Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Penny Hardaway, Jamal Crawford
Where will the journey of the Golden State Warriors go now with the injury to Steph Curry? Is the Dynasty now over?
I think a new dynasty is on the rise starting next season with the return of Curry and Thompson. Then you have Russel and Green as trade bait along with their losing record this season to potentially get a top draft pick, it can get scary. Im no Golden State fan though.
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
I would say Michael Jordan is a better competitor but being that I grew up watching Lebron and seeing his numbers statistically would say he’s the better player. If I pick a player on my team I am picking Jordan.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Love & Basketball
Thanks Scoochie for the chat.