Player Analyses - Raymond Felton & Melvin Scott

This is the first of a four-part postseason player analyses of North Carolina's returning basketball players and will feature guards Melvin Scott and Raymond Felton.

Melvin Scott

After playing well in New York during the Preseason NIT, Scott, a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard from Baltimore, went through a terrible shooting slump which affected his overall game. His minutes diminished and he wasn't happy. He eventually got another chance and made the most of UNC's last six games.

Strengths – When in the right frame of mind Scott can be a deadly shooter, although he has provided few glimpses in two seasons. While not the most ideal backup at the point, he isn't bad, and as a shooting guard lends a nice balance to the primary ballhandler. He usually has fun on the floor, gives the team life, and is capable of doing many of the little things.

Finished the season averaging 6.3 points per game, but less than a pair of assists per outing. In his last six games, Scott averaged just over 10 points a night, which included 19 against Maryland and 20 against Wyoming, both wins.

Weaknesses – Too often his confidence appeared commensurate with his shooting success. His shot selection was suspect through stretches as well. He made 38 percent (54-142) of his 3-point attempts, which actually should have been a bit higher; even though he attempted one around every four and a half minutes he was on the floor. Scott must develop a short-range jumper and be more wiling to take it to the hole. He only made 19 non-3s. If defenders are forced to respect his driving and pull-up ability, he will be more potent.

Scott was better defensively than his reputation, especially late in the year. However, he will need to get tougher on D and learn to consistently fight through screens.

2003-04 outlook – Scott figures to get a shot at a lot of playing time, but must improve his man defense, as that's all Williams will play. He also can't let the success or struggles shooting affect the rest of his game.

Raymond Felton

After a mediocre overall first month, Felton began to play at a higher level, but it wasn't until mid-January before he simply took off.

Strengths - He developed into an excellent college point guard despite being just a freshman. He ran the team with a great deal of confidence, played above average defense, and after going back to his old shot began to sink the long ball with regularity. His ballhandling (what a mean crossover) is second to none in the ACC, his penetration ability was impressive, and his passing was as good as anyone in the conference He became a leader on the floor and, along with Jawad Williams, should be a terrific leader next season.

Felton finished at 12.9 points, 6.7 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game. He averaged 14.3 points over his final 18 games despite scoring only five points twice and 9.9 assists in the last six games.

Weaknesses – Committed too many turnovers, although part of the blame is going at a different tempo than his mates at times. Next year's team will likely be more on the same page. His perimeter shot improved when he went back to his old stroke, but still only made 35.8% for the season from 3-point range. He shot an unbecoming (for a point guard) 69.3% from the charity stripe.

2003-04 outlook – Felton has the ability to develop into the best point guard in the nation, which already has speculation for 2004 NBA Draft brewing.

Senior writer Andrew Jones is in his seventh year with Inside Carolina. He also covers the ACC for the Wilmington Star-News/Morning Star and can be reached via e-mail at:

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