Women's Basketball

Scott’s persona keeps Cougars loose

Interim head coach Wade Scott tries to keep his team loose by cracking jokes, but also has a disciplined approach. | Justin Tijerina/The Daily Cougar

Interim head coach Wade Scott tries to keep his team loose by cracking jokes but also has a disciplined approach. | Justin Tijerina/The Daily Cougar

Wade Scott is not someone who seeks a lot of attention or recognition. He likes to label himself as a blue-collar guy who prides himself on just getting the job done, regardless of how arduous the task may be.

“You want to talk about me? There’s not too much to tell,” he said jokingly. “It’s kind of a boring story.”

But everyone has a story.

And he enjoys reading others’, too, preferably nonfiction books that involve life-or-death scenarios. Two of his favorites, “Lone Survivor” and “Service: A Navy SEAL at War,” are stories that entail Navy SEALs who fight not for themselves, but for the others by their side — Scott’s perfect illustration of what he expects from his Cougars.

Scott said he occasionally tells parts of the book to his players to enforce what he wants to see. So far, his Cougars have been unable to come out victorious in their recent battles.

At a loss

The Cougars (4-14, 0-7) have lost seven consecutive games and haven’t won since Scott became interim head coach when Todd Buchanan resigned Dec. 21.

“It wears on you. It wears on everybody,” Scott said. “(The players) are just as stressed about it as we are. One thing I’ll say about the kids is that they won’t quit and will keep fighting. I wouldn’t want anything less.”

The Cougars have come up short a number of times this season. But other than games against Louisville and Connecticut, nine of the team’s 12 losses have been by single digits and have usually been decided on the last few possessions.

“Right now, it’s about the team trying to band together. We’ve just got to make a little bit of better decisions at the end, hold onto the ball and make a few more shots,” Scott said. “Sometimes, we’re playing more not to lose rather than to win. If (the opponent) hits a shot, instead of wiping it out and be like, ‘OK, they just scored, let’s go back and get it,’ we’re being too much, ‘Oh, how did they score.’ Now we’re thinking too much.”

X’s and O’s guy

When he served as associate head coach, his title before interim head coach, Scott was, and still is, the one who draws up the plays on the sideline during practice and timeouts in the game. He is the X’s and O’s guy during critical moments.

Scott said his role was not only different for himself, but for his players as well. As associate head coach, he could be more of the hands-on guy and be a little more positive. But now as the head coach, he’s the one who has to be more vocal toward his players during a game.

“A lot of times, it kind of catches (the players) off guard. It used to be where I can say, ‘That’s OK, that’s OK,’ but now I’m the one who has to say, ‘no, that’s not OK.’ It’s an adjustment; not only for them, but for me as well,” Scott said.

“When we play, I can control certain things. And that’s one thing I’ve got to do a better job with: not losing it when a bad play is made. I’ve got to shake that off a little bit.”

Assistant coach Ravon Justice played for Scott from 2001-02 at Clarendon College and was Western Junior College Athletic Conference Player of the Year. She said Scott will do whatever is necessary to ensure his team will be ready for their next opponent.

“He takes pride in learning the game. He stays up and watches film. Anytime he plays somebody, he’ll watch seven to eight films,” she said. “He’s the type of person who will call other coaches at the NBA level for plays. He loves the game of basketball. It’s his passion.”


Even though the team has a 4-14 record, Scott knows it is important to keep the players with a positive attitude while still always giving their best effort.

“He’s one of those energetic coaches. You need a laugh, he’ll make you laugh. He’ll just talk to you (in a way) that seems to always get you going,” said sophomore guard Alecia Smith.

“He’s a go-getter. He wants the best out of all his players. When we’re tired, and the game is on the line, he’ll be the one to give us that look that’ll fire us up and give us the energy to step up.”

Scott feels he has to keep an upbeat attitude himself.

“My mom has always told me, ‘If you lose your sense of humor, you’ve lost yourself.’ It’s either laugh about something or cry about everything. Part of that is to take a little bit off them and relax a little bit,” Scott said.

Like the military stories he had read, Scott’s philosophy is prided on hard work, accountability and most of all, “being a great teammate.”

Because when you’re competing on the basketball court, it feels like life and death — because in collegiate sports, losing hurts. Everybody has to do their job and look out for their teammate and keep perspective on life, Scott said.

“This is not life and death. It’s a sport. Now we want to excel in that sport, don’t get me wrong, but, in the end, nobody is going to lose their life if you lose a game. You’ve got to chalk up, come back to work and see what you can do better.”

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