Coming off their best season since 2011-2012, the LMU men's basketball team surpassed all expectations for 2020-2021. Prior to the start of the season, the Lions were ranked seventh overall in the West Coast Conference (WCC). By the end of the season the Lions had an overall record of 13-9 and a conference record of 7-5, finishing third in the WCC.
In his senior year, Eli Scott finished with his best stat line yet. Scott led the team in points, rebounds, assists and minutes played for the second consecutive season. He averaged 18 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 35.6 minutes per game. On top of that Scott was shooting at an outstanding 49.5% from the field. Scott earned himself first-team All-WCC recognition and was selected for NABC Second-Team All-District.
As a senior, in what could possibly be his final year, receiving such awards was very significant. “It means a lot. It feels like all the hard work has finally paid off,” he said. Scott went on to give credit to his teammates and coaches for helping him. “The assistant coaches have helped me get here. They’re in the gym with us every single day working on our individual development.”
Scott has significantly improved his game in almost every aspect since joining the Lions as a freshman. His points, assists, free throw percentage and more have all gone up. He has also seen the team improve from finishing 5-13 his freshman year to 7-5 his senior year. “With age comes maturity,” he said. “I don’t think we as a team, or myself, could close games out as well as we can now. I think maturity and having the upperclassman leadership of myself, KP and all those guys [has helped].”
As a senior, Scott has to make a choice on what he will do next with his basketball career in the upcoming season. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recently announced that there will be an extra year of eligibility for college players. As there is so much uncertainty due to postponed games and seasons because of the coronavirus pandemic, this gives athletes the opportunity to play another year in the NCAA so that they can take more time to make decisions regarding their career. That being said, Scott will have the opportunity to choose between staying at LMU another year or playing elsewhere.
Although time is ticking, Scott is still unsure about his future. “There’s still pros and cons of coming back and staying,” he said. “I’m sure a decision will be made pretty soon as time is passing.” However, Scott is sure about one thing: he wants to play in the NBA. “Since a kid, the NBA has always been my dream so hopefully one day I’ll be able to get in there.”