Monday, August 04, 2008

Durand, Durand

He may not have been the biggest name at Jim Calhoun's Connecticut Elite Camp the past two days in Storrs, but Durand Scott is quickly ascending up the ranks of Class of 2009 recruits.

Scott, a 6-5 combo guard, is currently the No. 7-rated shooting guard in his class, according to scout.com. But he's regarded even higher by the UConn coaching staff.

Prior to this weekend, UConn was one of several schools (including Memphis, Arizona and Louisville) that had already offered a scholarship to Scott. Over the past two days, Scott was one of a few select players (along with 6-10 center Daniel Orton and 6-5 guard Dominic Cheek) with whom the Huskies' staff sat down to reiterate their strong interest.

The Huskies love the fact that Scott is a combo guard, able to play the one or the two. They love the fact that he's shared the same high school and AAU backcourt the past few years with Kemba Walker, UConn's incoming freshman point guard.

But what UConn really, really loves about Scott is the fact that he's a winner. He's won at Rice High in the Bronx, he's won with the New York Gauchos AAU team … and he even won at this weekend's camp. One source close to the program noted that Scott's teams were the only ones that "never took an 'L'" in the camp's scrimmages the past two days.

"I'm very competitive, I just want to win," Scott said. "I hate losing. I've won for most of my life, so once you win most of your life, you're not going to like losing. I've been on very successful teams. That's just the type of person I am."

Scott has been a shooting guard at Rice, but this season he'll take over the point guard duties vacated by Walker. When asked what his best position was, Scott said: "Being a leader. That's not really a position, but that's a main role on the team. If you don't have that … you've got to keep the team together, keep it rolling. Everybody sees me as a combo guard or whatever. I can be a shooting guard, I can be a small forward … I'm just a basketball player. You can put me at center, I'll play center as hard as I can."

Scott won't likely make a decision about his collegiate future until the middle of this upcoming high school season. He'll soon narrow his list down to about eight schools – and UConn figures to rank high on that list.

However, he won't entirely base his decision on the fact that Walker will be at UConn.

"Kemba's like my brother," he admitted. "Outside of basketball, we hang out every day. I like playing with him, but that shouldn't be a reason someone should go to a school, just because you've got a good friend going there. You're not playing his life, you're playing with your life. I wouldn't mind playing with him, but just looking at the history UConn has – maybe that's the same reason he came here."

For his part, Walker wouldn't mind being a teammate of Scott's once again come 2009.

"Another four years won't be bad – three, in my case," Walker said. "I know what kind of a player he is, he plays hard, that's something I love. He's a winner, and that's something we need."

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