March 10, 2004
Valdosta-- Ernest Scott came to Valdosta State University five years ago looking for an opportunity to play college basketball. "That's all I really needed out of high school. I had some injuries and I wasn't really able to do what I wanted to do in high school and have the career I wanted to have," Scott said.
He got that opportunity thanks to a tryout conducted by head coach Jim Yarbrough.
"He did some uncanny things, blocked some shots, made some passes, hit a few mid-range shots. And when there's not that much size in the cupboard you look around and you smile and say, 'Let's see what his situation is like,'" Yarbrough said.
And the rest as they say is history. Since red shirting his freshman year, Scott has steadily improved each season. He currently leads the team in scoring, blocked shots and three pointers made. In fact he had such an impact this year he was recently named a first team all conference selection.
"I was really surprised to find out I made first team. I thought I had a good enough season to get some kind of honors, but first team was really something that was overwhelming for me," Scott added.
"I think the biggest improvement is that he was a decent shooter who didn't shoot that well from the perimeter last year, beyond fifteen feet. And I think he was very dedicated to improving that and now he's the most deadly three point shooter on our team and one of the best in the Gulf South Conference," Yarbrough said.
But perhaps what makes Scott invaluable to the Blazer program is his leadership and know-how to win. While at Marietta high school he helped his team to a state championship, and now as the Blazers get set to tip of the NCAA tournament, he's got another opportunity to do the same.
"We're definitely hungry. I think two years ago (when we made it to the tournament) a lot of us didn't know what to expect, or what was going on. And now having some guys have played in it before and handled that kind of pressure is definitely an advantage for us," Scott said.
Valdosta State will face Montevallo in the first round of the NCAA tournament Saturday night at 8:30 at the VSU Complex.
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