Nate Allen is a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Allen is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has authored three books about the Razorbacks.
Time for Scott to show his abilities
Arkansas guard Rickey Scott was told by head coach Mike Anderson that it's his time to step up. Scott started for the first time this season in the Razorbacks' match-up with Alabama A&M on Dec. 22, 2012.
FAYETTEVILLE CBS’ 60 Minutes isn’t all that’s programmed to begin with seconds ticking.
It’s what makes Rickey Scott tick, too. Especially since Mike Anderson set off his alarm.
A timely meeting between the Arkansas Razorbacks coach and his junior guard inspired Scott to make up for lost time.
Scott’s prowess disappeared like a magician’s rabbit during Arkansas’ 1-3 stretch against Arizona State, Wisconsin, Syracuse and Oklahoma.
Then came the hard-fought loss at No. 3 Michigan.
Scott reappeared sensationally, scoring 10 points off the bench in 19 minutes. He continued to impress during his 14, 12 and 17 minutes in victories over Alcorn State, Robert Morris and Alabama A&M.
The 6-3, 205-pound combination guard has six assists and no turnovers in his past three games heading into tonight’s game against Northwestern (La.) State at Walton Arena in Fayetteville. He scored 26 points with 15 rebounds during his last 52 minutes, including 6 rebounds in 12 minutes to help hold off Robert Morris, 79-74.
Scott had only two rebounds and seven points to show for his 47 minutes against Arizona State, Wisconsin, Syracuse and Oklahoma before his coach told him his time is running out
“He told me I’m a junior and my time is ticking,” Scott said. “He told me my time is slipping away, and I have got to show people what I can do. That made me think about it.”
How did Scott take it?
“I took it personally,” he said. “I came out and practiced hard. I think once you practice hard you bring it to the game.”
Anderson wasn’t alone when it came to goading the junior from Irving, Texas.
“My old teammates from high school even called me and asked, ‘Why are you not playing like yourself? You are not normal,’ ” Scott said. “I just wanted to change it around.”
It was time. With Scott, it’s always about time.
As a freshman for John Pelphrey’s 2010-2011 Razorbacks, Scott had too little time. He missed 18 of Arkansas’ 31 games with a stress fracture in his foot.
Last season, Anderson’s first, Scott had too much time. Injuries and defections on a roster already shorthanded because of inherited Academic Progress Rate penalties had Scott playing so much that he wore down.
Now Anderson has the type of guard depth to make time his biggest guard’s biggest motivator.
“Rickey is playing with a lot more passion,” Anderson said. “I expect him to go out and play the game with passion on both ends, be assertive.”
Scott is stouter than Arkansas’ other guards, which allows him to assert himself in ways other Arkansas guards can’t.
“His body is bigger than most guys’ bodies and he’s using it,” fellow junior guard Kikko Haydar said. “He’s been playing really well.”
Guard BJ Young, the team’s leading scorer, concurs.
“Rickey has a high ceiling for our team,” Young said. “I think Rickey is going to be a big key for our team this year.”
Sports, Pages 20 on 12/29/2012