Back in January when Miami faced #1 Duke in the program's biggest game to date, 'Canes senior guard Durand Scott outscored Devils G Seth Curry 25-0 in UM's historic 90-63 victory. Defensively, Scott was in Curry's hip pocket all night long. On the other end of the court he mixed his trademark daring drives to the hoop with picture perfect pull up jumpers and precise passes. All the while smiling and throwing up "three goggles." In a college career filled with great moments and memories, this is the point in time I will remember most.
Scott can be found all over the Miami record books. At the start of the NCAA Tournament Durand was 8th on the All Time points list (1,613), 5th in assists (385), 7th in steals (163), and 1st in games started (123).
He was also named the 2012-13 ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
But the three year captain's importance can not be measured in mere numbers and awards.
Does anyone really believe UM loses to Florida Gulf Coast in November if Scott had played?
Miami Coach Jim Larranaga says it best.
"I think Durand Scott has just been a treasure here. He's such a unique individual. His toughness, he just radiates confidence in himself and brings out confidence in his teammates."
Indeed, over his 4 year career, no player on UM has made more big plays when the team needed them most.
Durand's leadership, unselfish nature, and confidence are evident in his approach. When asked about his teammates looking to him in key spots, Scott responded:
"I can't let them down. I know that at any given moment I have to step up. Have to be there for them in any given way, whichever way they need it. Mentally, physically, just go down for a loose ball, making a shot, making a key defensive stop."
Perhaps no player since Jimmy Graham has collected more floor burns then DScott. And no player in recent ACC memory has absorbed more contact taking the ball to the rim. All a small price to pay to help his team win.
His impact on the team is hard to express in words, but perhaps the player on the team who has been most influenced by Scott, is star PG and back court mate Shane Larkin.
Shane on Durand:
"When a big play happens, he shows his emotions for his teammates. And he's always there to encourage you when bad things happen. Watching him play with the intensity he does, it motivates me. That's probably what I've learned the most from him."
And Shane is surely not alone. When things were going bad in the opening round of the ACC against Boston College, Scott could be seen really getting into his teammates. The team responded. The next day against NC State, when actions were needed more then words, he led the way with a career high 32 points to push Miami into the ACC Championship game.
Whatever this team needs, Durand Scott supplies it. He's been doing ever since he got here.
Has it really been 4 years since the precocious kid from the Bronx was taking the ACC by storm with his fearless takes to the hoop?? Has Miami ever had a more consistent player? A better leader?
Off the court Scott is easygoing, always smiling, and polite. One of 5 siblings, the Business Management major is not big on Social Media and will never give an opponent clipboard material.
On the court though, few in the annals of the Hurricanes Hoops have competed harder. A "treasure" indeed, that Miami fans have enjoyed for 4 years and a huge part of this year's historic season, that is no where near done!
When the magical run does finally end, Durand Scott will be missed but never forgotten by Miami fans.
Lastly, some Durand Scott highlights:
(courtesy Chris Lamber)