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Season in Review: Trevon Scott

Scott had a career year as a junior and he might need to have another one as a senior if the Bearcats hope to compete for another league title.

NCAA Basketball: Memphis at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Numbers

  • 9.3 points per game
  • 6.9 rebounds per game
  • 1.5 assists per game
  • .472/.308/.667 shooting splits

Trevon Scott’s turn to lead the Cincinnati Bearcats may be on the horizon. With frontcourt partner Nysier Brooks transferring to Miami (Florida) and Jarron Cumberland mulling over a run at the NBA, Scott could very well be the player the Bearcats build around next season. I guess that means its even more important that he improved so much during his junior season.

Free from the shadow of Gary Clark and Kyle Washington, Scott entered the starting lineup as a junior and quickly became one of Mick Cronin’s most trusted players. He was one of two players on the roster to log more than 1,000 minutes and one of three to start all 35 games. Scott got there by continuing to do what he does best while adding even more layers to his game.

Starting with the first part, Scott maintained his standing as a strong rebounder and a plus defender. Although he primarily defended forwards and centers along with Brooks, Scott showed the versatility he has at defending all over the floor. Since he was asked to play more minutes and defend higher caliber players than when he was a reserve, Scott’s defensive rating slipped some, but he still posted a respectable 97.0 mark, indicating that he was three percent better than average as a defender. He also led the team in defensive win shares (2.0) despite only modest numbers in terms of blocks and steals. Therein lies Scott’s true gift on defense, which comes from applying pressure and forcing his marks to take bad shots or get rid of the ball entirely.

On the boards, nobody was better than Scott on a volume basis. He averaged nearly seven rebounds per game and had seven games with at least 10 boards. A deeper dive might show that a few other players were a bit better, but Scott still had a 13.5 percent rebound rate.

All that defense and rebounding would have been great on its own but Scott wasn’t satisfied by that. One of the most pleasant surprises of the 2018-19 season was how much effort Scott put into becoming a better offensive threat. He was more aggressive and really expanded his range to become a three-point shooter teams had to respect. That opened up the floor for others to get into the paint and made him a tougher matchup for opposing defenders.

Now while being more willing to take shots is great, Scott still wasn’t the most efficient scorer. He shot below 50 percent from the field and had an effective field goal percentage of just 49.4. However, he did make up for that somewhat by displaying advanced play-making skills for a frontcourt operator, ranking fifth on the team in assist rate (9.7 percent) among players with at least 10 games played. Perhaps most promisingly of all was the fact that he posted an average of 13 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists to go with a shooting line of .475/.385/.714 during the final six games of the season.

The Best of the Best

Nov. 16, 2018 vs. Milwaukee

Scott produced his first double-double across 37 minutes of game time, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Nov. 23, 2018 vs. George Mason

Scott made nearly every shot he took, tallying 14 points on 7-of-9 from the floor to go with eight boards.

Dec. 4, 2018 vs. Northern Kentucky

Although he didn’t know he was playing in front of his future head coach at the time, Scott put on a show, racking up 22 points and 10 rebounds. He did most of his damage at the foul line, making 12-of-13 at the stripe. That’s quite the accomplishment for a player who shot 66.7 percent from there all season.

Jan. 10, 2019 at Tulsa

After a tough loss to East Carolina, Scott helped the Bearcats bounce back with 12 points, nine rebounds and a pair of steals.

Jan. 24, 2019 at Tulsa

I imagine the Golden Hurricane grew tired of playing Scott, who had 13 points and 11 rebounds in this matchup.

March 7, 2019 vs. UCF

The Knights may have won this game but not because of Scott, who had 20 points, nine rebounds and three assists.

March 15, 2019 vs. SMU

Scott scored 17 points on a career-high 17 field goals attempts in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament. He also contributed 12 rebounds and two assists.

For Next Year

It’s difficult to say exactly what Scott’s role will be for the Bearcats next season but you can bet that it will be a larger one. Even if Cumberland decides to come back, Scott will be the senior leader in the frontcourt and a key player during John Brannen’s first season as head coach. Scott really picked up his production during March this past season and that could serve as a launching pad to a huge senior year. We’ll just have to wait and see.