‘The Bryson Scott story’ at Fort Wayne has been one of growth and success

Fort Wayne's Bryson Scott (1) goes to the hoop against Indiana's Josh Newkirk (2) during a game earlier this season in Bloomington. (By The Associated Press)
Indiana's De'Ron Davis (20) swats the ball from Fort Wayne's Bryson Scot (1) during a game earlier this season in Bloomington. (By The Associated Press)
Fort Wayne men's basketball coach Jon Coffman instructs Mastodon guard Bryson Scott during a practice earlier this season at the Gates Sports Center. (By Tom Davis of News-Sentinel.com)
Kentucky's Nick Richards, left, defends Fort Wayne's Bryson Scott during the second half of a game earlier this season in Lexington, Ky. (By The Associated Press)

There are over 4,500 basketball players at the NCAA Division I level across the country, so when you consider the fact that Fort Wayne guard Bryson Scott ranks among the top 34 student-athletes in eight different categories; it sort of becomes mind-numbing.

In particular, it becomes even more notable when you take into account that those categories (free throws, points scored, steals, shots made, among others) occur at both ends of the floor.

“Where he is elite is that he is elite in steals,” fourth-year Mastodon coach Jon Coffman told News-Sentinel.com recently, “he is elite at scoring, when the game is tailored to it, he is elite at drawing crowds and kicking and that is where he has really improved.”

Scott will lead Fort Wayne (18-13) into the postseason Sunday against North Dakota State (14-16) in the quarterfinals of the Summit League Tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D. at 7 p.m. (ESPN3).

RELATED STORY:By the numbers: Fort Wayne’s Bryson Scott has taken game to new level

When Scott decided three years ago to transfer from Purdue to Fort Wayne, no one questioned his ability to “get his.” However, what was in question was whether or not he was capable of being a part of a successful team, as opposed to carrying a squad to success, as he had done so many times throughout his career.

He has answered that question over the past two seasons with an emphatic “yes.”

“Bryson has been so coachable,” Coffman said, “and he has improved so much in his game. Playing with others and being able to manage crowds and being able to create for others. He is disciplined with details and manages adversity and manages his emotions.

“I could continue on and on and on.”

A year ago, Scott was asked to blend in with a veteran team that already had a ball distributor in Mo Evans (466 career assists). However, this season, he was asked to take on more of the scoring load after Evans, Brent Calhoun and DeAngelo Stewart each graduated.

The result has been an increase in scoring from Scott (from 16.1 points per game to 22.2), but interestingly enough, his passing improved, as well.

Scott has already dished out 84 assists as compared to 76 last year, and the Mastodons aren’t close to being finished playing yet.

“All of basketball follows in line behind the NBA,” Coffman explained. “If you look at the NBA right now, the point guard position is one that you have to be a scoring point guard. Bryson has those skills. He has played with point guard skills within our program.”

The point guard position is one that requires the athlete to be a natural leader. While Scott isn’t the most exuberant person in the world, he has evolved into a great leader by example for the other Mastodons to follow. And that often has little to do with his ability to score the basketball.

“He’s really been good in the community,” Coffman said. “When I say that, I mean to my kids. He has such a big heart, he is great with young people, with the kids that come to get autographs at the games, with the kids at our camps, he is very outgoing in those regards.”

Coffman said that the Northrop High School graduate has grown into a mature young man, whom he believes has not only represented his family, team, city and university well since coming home, but he will continue to do so for the rest of his life.

“You can now reference the Bryson Scott story and how and why he chose us and how he excelled here,” Coffman said. “But the story doesn’t end there though. The reason he came back here was that he loves Fort Wayne and ultimately, he wants to spend his life here when basketball is done.

“He wants to be a businessman in this community. He has built a great name through his three years with us and I think that he’ll be very, very successful.”

He already has been.

For more on college basketball, follow Tom Davis on Twitter at Tom101010 and on Facebook at Thomas Davis.