Coach: Wood is a Complete Player

Marion (IN) head coach Joe Luce continues to be impressed with what he sees from junior guard Scott Wood.

"I feel like I've coached and been around a lot of good players, and Scott Wood is the most accurate shooter I've ever been around," said coach Luce. "He has the ability make shots from all over the floor with his range and overall stroke. He's excellent from the free throw line, behind the 3-point line, and he will finish above the rim.

"I think what will surprise people when they see Scott Jr. is he's more athletic than given credit for. He really has the ability to finish above the rim and attacking the basket, and I think he could grow to over 6-foot-8 at some point, and with his ability, he is a great individual talent."

Marion High has produced big-time players. The storied program has the second-most state titles in Indiana state history. James Blackmon, Jay Edwards and Zach Randolph are among the schools notable alums. NC State ventured into the school last year to land current senior guard Julius Mays.

Wood mentioned that playing with Mays was a factor in is decision, but his coach felt that probably played a small role as both chose to attend NC State because it was the best decision for them.

"I think that would make a great storyline, but both felt in the end NC State was the place for them," said coach Luce. "The family atmosphere... that feeling that Sidney Lowe and his staff gives was big. Julius fell in love with NC State on his unofficial visit... it was really the players, the coaches, and the school.

"Julius fell in
love with NC State."

"Their staff is very good over the telephone, and on their recruiting visits they give you an idea of what to expect when you get down there. I think the trust factor really played a big role for both of them. They are really good friends and having the chance to play together probably was some sort of factor for Scott, but I just think he knew that was where he wanted to go."

Wood never hid his affection for NC State. Most close to his recruitment felt that the Wolfpack held a big lead for him and it was likely only a matter of time before he would verbal to the ACC program.

"NC State's interest in Scott never wavered, and I think that was big," said coach Luce. "NC State came through to watch Julius and watching his film they would notice Scott. They would always catch him stroking shots when watching film or watching one of our games.

"He's had a great junior season and I think if he had stayed on the market even more attention would have come his way later this year. He had offers, and just last week Florida called to inquire about him, but Scott has known for a while where his heart was at. We even tried to let coaches know that NC State was at the top for him, and I think a lot of them knew that as well. He really developed a great relationship with coach Towe and coach Lowe."

Wood leads the region in scoring, as he is averaging 19 points a game. He also chips in five rebounds and a block per game.

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.

Yes, Wood is a dynamic shooter, but according to his coach, he's far from a one-trick pony.

"I think a lot of times a great shooter will be labeled a shooter because that is what they do best, but Scott is a complete player," said coach Luce. "The best complement I've heard about Scott Wood from college coaches, it came from two of them and one was Sidney Lowe, is don't let people label him as a shooter because he's a complete basketball player. He's not a catch-and-shoot guy... a 3-point specialist. This is a kid that is leading us in scoring, at the tops in assists, second in rebounding, and a good defender.

"At 6-foot-6 he's a legitimate high-major shooting guard. He is good on his feet, and he moves laterally extremely well. He's grown so much that he's had some trouble putting weight on, but he's lanky, long, and strong for his size. I think he's a kid that will do what's needed. He will end up being able to guard a two or three defensively, but play on the perimeter offensively because he can handle the ball and shoot it. Sometimes when we give Julius a rest we'll slide Scott to point guard... he can handle it and attack the rim where he can get some stuff done."

"He's unconscious
from out there."

With that being said, Wood's biggest asset is his shooting stroke.

"Scott Wood has been bred to be a shooter," coach Luce stated. "At 12 years old he was runner-up in a national shooting contest and that was just the start for him. As a freshman, he played some varsity but a lot of junior varsity, and he hit something like 70+ 3-pointers in under 20 games or something crazy like that.

"He has been hurt here recently, and we're looking to get him back real soon, but he was on fire before he went out. Over the last five games he was averaging right at 26 points a game, and I think he had hit 37 3-pointers. Once he gets going, he's unconscious from out there... and he'll do it in a lot of different ways. He can shoot coming off screens, spotting up on the wing, off the dribble... it doesn't matter for Scott."

With the college 3-point line being moved back, elite shooters are going to be even more valuable over the next few years. Having a deep threat gives post players more room to operate and stretches opposing defenses.

"I can tell you one thing, the 3-point line being moved back won't affect Scott Wood's ability to make shots on the next level," said coach Luce. There are kids who make high school shots and score high school points and there are kids who score college points and make college shots. Scott makes college shots and scores college points.

"I believe he's going to be an unbelievable addition for NC State. With how he can shoot the basketball and attack the rim, I really think he's going to be an offensive weapon and will turn out to be a great recruit for them. He'll prove himself over those four years."

*****

Photos courtesy of the Marion Chronicle-Tribune.


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