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Men’s Basketball: Scott emerges as low-post threat off bench for Irish

Eric Prister | Thursday, December 3, 2009

After a slow start to the season, junior Carlton Scott has come on strong for the Irish, playing four solid games in a row and adding much needed depth to the Irish roster.

“I think [Scott] is a guy that can ignite some stuff with the plays he can make physically,” Irish coach Mike Brey said. “It has just kind of come to him, and I think that’s been a process he’s learned in the last four games. We continue to need him to embrace that role. It’s very important for us.”

Scott’s minutes have increased over the four-game stretch, in which he recorded more than 20 minutes in three of those games and played a more significant role for the Irish on the court. He provides a boost on defense and in rebounding, which is the reason he thinks his playing time has increased.

“I just did my role.” Scott said. “Coach said I needed to defend and rebound more, and that’s what I did. He said if I did that, it’s hard to take me off the floor.

Scott struggled early in the season, particularly with his shot selection, so Brey was hesitant to give him early playing time. By focusing on defense and rebounds, Scott has been able to play more, which has improved his offensive game as well.

“I just wanted him to think about helping us out there and just fitting in on offense.” Brey said. “I think the first three or four games he was worried about ‘when will I get a shot?’

And we witnessed some very bad shots by him, shots where you go ‘what is he thinking?’ I took him out after one, and that was kind of the crossroads. To his credit, he’s a sharp kid. He played key minutes for us in Chicago, and I think now it’s been four straight games where he has said, ‘ok, I get my role, I can be efficient.'”

Scott’s best game of the season so far has been Notre Dame’s 80-62 win over Kennesaw State on Nov. 24. Scott scored seven and totaled 12 rebounds in 22 minutes of playing time. He is currently averaging 4.6 rebounds per game, which is second on a team that has struggled to find consistent rebounding outside of senior forward Luke Harangody.

“I’m just trying to concentrate on defense and rebounding, and letting the offense come to me, not trying to force too many things on offense,” Scott said. “My confidence is building a lot. Just everyday, taking a little bit every time, and we all feed off each other, and the guys are trusting me, so we’re just getting better every day.”