Some folks consider Marion junior shooting guard Scott Wood the best pure shooter in the state of Indiana. Wood has backed up those claims, but he is currently sidelined with a thigh injury.
"My season is going pretty good," said Wood. "It's been kind of rough here lately for me, but our team is doing good. With me, I've been out with an injury, and I just had surgery on my thigh. I might miss the next game, but I'll probably be back for that one. I'm ready to play."
Wood shares the backcourt with NC State signee Julius Mays, a 6-foot-2 point guard who is in contention for the state's Mr. Basketball honors.
What is it like for Wood to play with Mays?
"It's fun playing with Julius," said Wood. "Of course he's going to NC State and that is one of the schools I'm looking at going to. We have a real good chemistry on the court, and we're great friends when we're not playing basketball.
"Julius is one fo the smartest players I know. He has a high basketball IQ, and he is a great leader. He's going to do what is best for the team. If that means score then he'll score. If he has to pass the ball to a teammate then that is what he's going to do."
Mays has been playing the role of distributor more this season as other players, such as Wood, have emerged. Wood, just a junior, leads the region in scoring, as he is averaging 19 points a game. He chips in five rebounds and a block per game, but his value is his shooting ability.
He is knocking down 50% of his shots from the field and 89% from the free throw line. Wood has also connected on 61-of-125 3-pointers, a strong 48.8% from beyond the arc.
Wood knows that he has the green light when the ball is in his hands.
"My coaches have confidence in me," he said. "I feel like once I cross halfcourt I can take and make a shot. I am pretty much able to shoot from wherever I want on the court. My coaches feel like if I think I can make it, then I need to shoot it and don't hesitate."
At 6-foot-5, Wood weighs 165 pounds and he knows that he needs to gain weight so he can handle the rigors of college basketball.
"I need to work on my driving ability and my strength," he said. "I feel I'm pretty good on the defensive end, and I like to think that I'm athletic. With shooting, I like to come off screens more than just spotting up and waiting on a pass.
"I think I can improve on everything. I like to think that I'm one of the hardest workers on the court. I try during practice to work on things I'm not so good at, but I also try to keep improving the things I do best."
Wood is emerging as a valued commodity. He already holds scholarship offers from NC State, Virginia Tech, Miami (FL), St. Louis, Butler, Western Michigan, and San Jose State. Iowa and Florida have been in contact, and Indiana has checked in.
It appears three teams stand out and an ACC school has emerged as Wood's favorite.
"I'd definitely say NC State is up there," he said. "I also like St. Louis a lot, and I talk to Miami often. Those are probably my main three right now.
"NC State is probably my favorite. Of course Julius is going there, and we're really good friends. He'd like it if I went there to play with him. I also love the coaches, and they have great facilities. They also have my major, civil engineering. They have won two national titles so they have great tradition. It doesn't get much better than that."
NC State remains in constant contact and assistant coach Monte Towe has informed him that he is a priority.
"I'd say they are recruiting me hard," Wood said. "They've offered me a scholarship and they come in probably once a month to check in on me and Julius. I think [coach Towe] is coming back in this week to check in on us.
"The NC State coaches are telling me that they need some shooters."
With scholarships on the table and a narrowed list, Wood admits that he could be closing in on a decision. In fact, it sounds like one could be coming in the near future.
"I'm getting closer," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if I committed really soon. It's just going to be when I get completely comfortable with my choice."