In the months leading up to the 2021-’22 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a series called the ‘BTPowerhouse 25,’ which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today's edition will take a brief look at Donta Scott of the Maryland Terrapins, who came in No. 24 in the rankings. The Terps are hoping to rebound this year after last year’s eighth place finish in the Big Ten that ended with a 96-77 second round loss to Alabama in the NCAA Tournament.
'BTPowerhouse 25' - No. 24 Donta Scott:
- Eligibility: Junior
- Career Totals: 62 games, 1,611 minutes, 523 points, 295 rebounds, 80 assists
- 2020-’21 Averages: 30.3 min, 11.0 pts, 5.9 rebs, 2.0 asts, 0.8 blks, 0.7 stls
- Positional Role: Power Forward
Despite this being its eighth season as a member, Maryland at times still feels like it is finding its way in the Big Ten. After finally clinching its first share of a regular season Big Ten Conference title, Maryland fell off a bit last season with a lot of attrition from the roster and struggled in the abridged season. Still feeling like the new kid on the block when discussing them, the Terps will rely on big man Donta Scott to give a feel of belonging in the league this season.
Scott is an above average athlete who can stretch the defense as a power forward. He is listed at 6-foot-7 and 225 pounds, so he can hold his own against a number of small and power forwards in the league with his size. Scott’s shot from deep is what really puts him above the pack as he can hit the ball from outside and draw defenders out against him to keep the defense honest or pay the price.
Scott’s size lets him post up on the smaller players and with the right amount of effort he can battle at the boards with plenty of opponents. He can also score off the dribble as well and is a decent playmaker.
-Areas for Improvement
While Scott can score off the dribble, he lacks both an elite first step off it and can struggle to score in traffic. In Big Ten play, both of those skills are what can set apart the good from the great or elite players. To that end as well, Scott needs to improve his free throw shooting. He averaged just 66.3 percent last season from the charity stripe.
Scott can also struggle to make the play when needed rather than give the ball up at times. While Ayala returns to Maryland, Scott still needs to help step up at times if the Terps want to climb in the conference standings compared to last year’s finish. Finally, he needs to improve his defense as that lack of explosive first step ability can cause problems on the other end guarding quicker players.
Scott looks likely to be a starter for the Terps all season. He quickly worked his way into the starting rotation last season and stayed there all except a March 7 matchup against Penn State and ranked 10th in the league in minutes played. Scott should prove a valuable component on the Terps roster with all those minutes as well.
With a number of elite centers and power forwards having left after last season, Scott can likely climb both the total rebounds (12th) and rebounds per game (19th) list this year as well. Add in his fifth place finish in true shooting percentage (.615) in the league figures from last season, and Scott should prove a matchup headache for a number of teams in league play this season.