ACC Challenge Special for Scott
By Rob Ogden
Growing up, the only kind of basketball Ohio State junior point guard Shannon Scott knew was ACC basketball.
Scott's father, Charles Scott, was a two-time All-American shooting guard for North Carolina from 1967-to-1970.
In 1970, Charles Scott was named ACC Athlete of the Year, an award given to the top player in the conference regardless of sport.
He was a member of the 1971 ABA All-Rookie team and a three-time NBA all-star.
Shannon Scott grew up on the league that his father once dominated, and once dominated college basketball.
Now, as the Buckeyes prepare to face Maryland in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge Wednesday night, he's part of the shift in the balance of power.
Photo by Jim Davidson
"Growing up, I never thought the Big Ten could beat the ACC," Scott said Tuesday. "But then in high school, I saw it happen a lot more. Now it's another challenge for us."
The challenge in front of Scott and his teammates is to help continue the recent success the league has had in the challenge and further cement the Big Ten as one of the nation's most dominate conferences.
After losing in the first 10 challenges from 1999-to-2008, the Big Ten hasn't lost since. It won three straight from 2009-to-2011 and the leagues tied with six wins a piece a year ago.
Ohio State is 6-6 in the challenge all-time and is 3-1 in those past four years.
There isn't a single Big Ten team with a winning record in the challenge. That could change Tuesday and Wednesday night when Illinois, Purdue and Ohio State each get the opportunity to go over .500.
Ohio State senior point guard Aaron Craft has lost just once in the challenge, and said he'll be pulling for the other Big Ten teams over the next couple nights.
"The Big Ten has done a great job over the past few years with great coaches, great recruiting classes and great players," he said. "Anytime we have an opportunity to play another great team, we love to do it. Obviously we try to represent the Big Ten as best as we can."
Photo by Jim Davidson
In their 12 years as part of the challenge, the Buckeyes have never played Maryland, who is 10-4 in such games.
In fact, Ohio State hasn't faced Maryland since 1985 —a year before Buckeyes assistant Dave Dickerson suited up for the Terrapins.
Dickerson served as an assistant at Maryland from 1996-to-2005. He said Tuesday that it will be a little bit weird facing his alma mater for the first time —but with the Terrapins joining the Big Ten next season, he better get used to it.
"I enjoyed my four or five years there as a student athlete," Dickerson said. "My nine years there as an assistant were probably the best nine years of my life, but my ties are to Ohio State now. This is my first time ever coaching against Maryland, but as far as my emotional part of it, it lies with Ohio State."
For the fans, tomorrow night's game will be an opportunity to prove conference supremacy. But for coach Thad Matta, it's just an opportunity to get better.
"We don't have time, and I don't think any of the other teams in the Big Ten or the ACC has time to sit down and say, 'I wonder who will win this game or this game.' When it's all said in done, this is for the fans," he said.
"But for us, it's a high-level basketball game. We have to take care of our part and play our best basketball."
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