When former Virginia forward Mike Scott spoke Monday about his pre-National Basketball Association draft workout experience, he talked about a hectic schedule that included "going to sleep in Portland and waking up in Atlanta the next day."
Though the travel was a drag, it turns out the trip to Atlanta might've been an important one to get him acclimated to a city where he'll be spending some time in the future. Scott, a 6-foot-9, 241-pound native of Chesapeake, was taken Thursday night by the Atlanta Hawks with the 43rd overall pick in the second round of the NBA draft.
In addition to Scott, former Norfolk State center Kyle O'Quinnhad his draft night dreams come to fruition when he was chosen by the Orlando Magic with the 49th overall pick in the second round.
Scott is the first former U.Va. player to get drafted since 2008, when Sean Singletary was taken by the Sacramento Kings with the 42nd overall pick in the second round. A voicemail left for Scott wasn't returned.
"He can just score," said ESPN analyst Jay Bilas during the network's broadcast of the draft. "He's a face up (power forward) that can post, or he can step away. He played at perhaps the slowest pace in the ACC, and one of the slowest paces in the nation at Virginia, but he scored at such a high rate.
"I like the way he can get fouled. He can face up and drive. He was a really tough cover in college, a really good player who has a knack for scoring."
Scott, who is a Deep Creek High alum, averaged 18 points and 8.3 rebounds per game last season while shooting 56.3 percent from the floor and 80.8 percent from the free throw line on his way to earning first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors. He was first in the ACC in field goal percentage, second in scoring, fifth in rebounding and seventh in free throw percentage.
Danny Ferry, who was hired Monday to be Atlanta's president of basketball operations and general manager, said the Hawks were interested in drafting players that will be capable of contributing right away because the team only had six players under contract entering the draft.
With the addition of Scott, who was a fifth-year senior at U.Va., and first round pick John Jenkins, a former Vanderbilt guard who stayed in college through his senior season, Ferry may have achieved his goal.
"(Scott is) a guy who was a very good ACC player (with) ability to score and rebound," said Ferry on the Hawks' official website. "I feel fortunate that he was there when we were picking."
O'Quinn's stock rose in the NCAA tournament, when he led No. 15 seed Norfolk State to an 86-84 win against No. 2 seed Missouri in the second round. He had 26 points and 14 rebounds in the upset. Norfolk State is one of only six No. 15 seeds to win at least one game in the NCAA tournament.
"He's not a big-time athlete, but he's productive," said Bilas regarding O'Quinn.
O'Quinn, a 6-10, 241-pound native of Jamaica, N.Y. whose only scholarship offer coming out of high school was from Norfolk State, went on to earn Most Valuable Player honors in April at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.
He was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conferenceplayer of the year this past season after averaging 15.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. He also earned MEAC defensive player of the year honors for a second straight season.
“This is the ultimate blessing that I’ve been hoping for a long time would come,” said O'Quinn in a statement released by Norfolk State's athletic department. “I want to thank my coaches at NSU for taking a chance on me and getting me to this point. I’m excited to be a member of the Magic.”
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