Ole Miss freshman Madison Scott is making her mark

Ole Miss forward named back-to-back Freshman of the Week

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Her college career is only seven games old, but Madison Scott, a 6’1 forward for Ole Miss, already knows what she wants.

She want to help her team win and be the best to ever do it, just like her idols Kobe Bryant and Candace Parker.

“I just want to be great. I want to look back on my career and say since I started playing ball I gave it all I got,” Scott told The Next. “I want to retire with accolades and be proud of what I did. I want my families and loved ones to be proud of what I did.

“I want to help my team. My mindset is, ‘If I get this rebound, I’m helping my team, if I score this basket I’m helping my team.’  I just want to do whatever I can for us to be successful.”

And she’s well on her way.

Scott is already making a major contribution to not only her team but to the SEC as well.

The five-star recruit has been named the SEC Freshman of the Week twice already — winning back-to-back weeks on Dec. 15 and Dec. 23. Scott is now one of five Rebels to have ever earned the honor multiple times in the same season.

She recorded her first career double-double vs. Jackson State on Dec. 15 (15 points, 10 rebounds).  In that game she combined with Shakira Austin to become the first Rebel duo to have concurrent double-doubles in a game since 2018. Scott, an Indian Head, Maryland native, scored a career-high 17 points vs. MVSU on Dec. 12.  In a matchup versus Kansas, she grabbed a game and career-high 10 rebounds.

Scott leads the Rebels in rebounding (7.8 per game) and leads all SEC freshmen in both scoring (12.2 points per game) and rebounding. She also ranks No. 14 among all freshmen nationally in rebounding.

“I told her, she will have an incredible career here,” Ole Miss Head Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin said. “She’s a student of the game, she loves playing. She loves her teammates. She’s extremely passionate about the game and she’s on a mission. I’m really excited about her.”

Scott, Ole Miss’ first McDonald’s All-American, credits the support of the coaching staff and teammates with helping her get out to such a fast and successful early collegiate career.

“What helps me is just the encouragement from my coaches and teammates. They push me every single day to give my best and just being around them,” Scott said. “Every night I go out there on the floor I want to do whatever I can to help my team.”

What makes Scott’s game so special is the freshman phenom’s dedication to her craft.

“Every day she gets on the floor she wants to be great and sometimes she doesn’t know how to be great, but she knows she wants to be,” McPhee-McCuin said. “She’s truly committed and trusting our staff to help her.

“What’s intriguing is you see this kid but there’s so much more she’s going to get better at and for me that’s what scary,” McPhee-McCuin continued. “Even when I see her, I’m like, man, this kid is even better than what we expected her to be from a skill set.

“We are really excited about her future and what we are going to be able to accomplish with her.”

The naturally confident Scott — she gets it from her family, she said — understands the expectations and responsibility she has, even as a freshman and meets the challenge head on.

“I’m used to it but definitely sometimes I’m still nervous and I still have a lot of growing to do,” she acknowledges. “But with the encouragement of my coaches and my teammates, they make it easy for me. They make me want to go out there and give my all. And I just try to do my best and play my game.”

Speaking of playing her game, Scott said the aspects of her game she feels has translated well from high school to college include driving to the basket and finishing which she did a lot of in high school.

“I’m just trying to continue to be confident in my shot, my mid-range shot. I have a lot more to give. The sky’s the limit. I want to work on my physicality, finishing with contact, making shots consistently, working on my 3-shot; I have so far to go and I’m willing to put in the work to get there.

“It’s definitely been a transition but I’m just trying to again, get a hang of things, especially in SEC play, and help my teammates in any way I can.”

Scott said she patterns her mindset and game after NBA and WNBA greats Kobe Bryant and Los Angeles Sparks star Candace Parker.

“Kobe Bryant is my very favorite player. I loved Kobe. I still do,” she said with an excitement in her voice jut mentioning the legendary athlete who died in a helicopter crash last year. “I think he’s the greatest to ever play.

“In the WNBA, Candace Parker is amazing. Just her versatility, how she can do so much with her size. That’s what I want my game to be like.”

And of course, Scott has her eye on playing in both the WNBA and overseas.

So far she’s well on her way. Setting records and raising eyebrows as a freshman and having an intense work ethic that includes “studying” NBA, WNBA and college games, watching how players talk and carry themselves, and texting coaches after games to assess her performance and where she can grow.

“After a game I sit and reflect on my performance, just trying to learn and grow,” she said. “I’ll text coaches and ask what did I do right or wrong and how can I get better.

“No matter what mistake I have, I try to get that next play mentality. I’m trying to be tougher mentally,” she said. “As long as we get the win and I was able to help or contribute in any way possible, that’s a W for me. I’m still growing, my game is still evolving, I’m still growing mentally  and as a person.”

Speaking of growing, Scott said if she could, she’d tell her 10-year-old self to “stay the course.”

“With everything going on, you never know what’s going to happen, if it will be your last time doing what you love and also you never  know  what’s around the corner that may arise.

“So I would tell her to stay the course, no matter what happens, and believe in God and trust in God. Everything will work out.”

Like every other person on the planet, the events of 2020 – now in the rearview mirror – have changed Scott in many ways.

“Just being an athlete and a young Black woman, I tend to take things for granted. We all do,” she admitted. “We tend to take the time we spend with loved ones; the times we get to watch Kobe play or watch him play a big role in women’s sports; we take a lot of things for granted but with everything going on (in 2020) it really taught me to count my blessings.

“It really taught me to tell my loved ones I love them because you never know when it’s going to be the last time,” she continued. “It taught me to completely give it your all. I’m doing what I love and you never know when it’s going to be taken away from you. 

“It’s been an emotional year, heartbreaking. I’m excited for the future and to see what happens in 2021. I will continue do my best and be the best person I can be every single day.”