Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
By JOSH NEWMANSpecial to ZAGSBLOGNEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – If all the key figures declare for this June’s NBA Draft, there is going to be a whole lot of exceptional talent at the top waiting for David Stern to call their name.
The Draft lottery could be a smorgasbord of talent at the top with the likes of Kentucky freshman forward Anthony Davis, UConn freshman center Andre Drummond, North Carolina sophomore swingman Harrison Barnes and Ohio State sophomore forward Jared Sullinger at the top.
What you won’t find is a pure point guard. The first point guard listed among the “Top 100 Prospects” on DraftExpress.com is Carolina sophomore Kendall Marshall at No. 20.
Iona senior Scott Machado?
He’s listed at No. 71 despite being named among the finalists for the Bob Cousy Award.
The Queens, N.Y. native entered a key MAAC contest against Manhattan on Thursday evening averaging 13.4 points and a gaudy, Division I-best 10.1 assists per game for the Gales.
On Thursday, with representatives from the San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, New Orleans Hornets and Oklahoma City watching Iona’s crop of potential future pros (Machado, Mike Glover, Lamont ‘MoMo’ Jones), Machado gave those four reps something positive to go back to their superiors with.
“My first goal is to win a MAAC championship and to win tonight’s game,” Machado said of the NBA scouts.”If they’re here to watch, they’re here to watch me play. So I’m here to play how I play.”
Before the Gaels coughed up an 18-point lead and fell to Manhattan, 75-72, on Emmy Andujar’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer off the glass at the Hynes Athletic Center, Machado controlled the game with an iron fist, finishing with a season-high 16 assists to go along with eight points. The ridiculous stat of the game that might get lost is that Machado’s 16 assists were against just a single turnover while facing one of the MAAC’s stingiest defenses.
The 16 assists marked Machado’s 10th game of at least 10 assists and fourth game of at least 15.
You know you blew up on some opponent when that team’s head coach, a guy who has been around the block once or twice before, is saying you’re better than guys like Marshall, Myck Kabongo and Marquis Teague despite far less notoriety in this tiny corner of college basketball just north of New York City.
“There is not a better point guard in the country than Scott Machado,” first-year Jaspers head coach Steve Masiello said. “I will say that, I’ll put him up against any pure point guard. He had 16 assists and one turnover. I don’t know anyone that can do that and I think our pressure is decent. He is terrific.”
Surely some NBA franchise is going to give him a shot, whether it comes from Stern’s mouth or the NBA Summer League right after.
“The NBA seemed, not a little far-fetched (at this time last year), but I knew I was going to have to work to get there,” Machado said. “I know I’m going to play professional basketball somewhere. I have that passion for the game and I want this to be my life and I think I’ve begun to take things more seriously.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.