Open Letter to Mike Scott: Don’t Come Back
Wednesday, January 12 2011 by Ben
Dear Mike -
That makes what I’m about to say very difficult: please, please don’t come back. I’m not trying to be a jerk here, eschewing your presence to make room for some freshman. No, no, I’m taking a page from Tom Ziller. I honestly think the best thing for you is to go somewhere and play professionally.
I know you think that you’re “not on anyone’s radar.” I’m also certain your decision will be lauded by Jerry Ratcliffe (or worse, Whitey Reid) for being “true to the school” or some other poppycock. I’m sure you went through the official channels and had Tony Bennett’s staff check on the NBA for you and it came back that no team was looking at you. While I love Bennett as a coach, he’s got no incentive to find new opportunities for you anywhere else.
I realize that ankle surgery is kind of scary. Even more scary is the arduous rehab that you’ll be undergoing. It will suck. It would be nice to rehab with the Virginia trainers, many of whom (in my mind at least) are beautiful co-eds.
Listen to me, though, you’re 22 years old and turn 23 in July. By the time you graduate, you’ll be almost 24. I’d love to explain to you the concept of opportunity cost, but understand that there’s more than just money at stake.
That one year can make a substantial difference in a career. By 24, your skills are basically set. You’ve pretty much become the player you’re going to become. You don’t realize it now, but there are precious few years when you can play basketball at the level where you’re capable of playing. You’re not going to learn any new skill new next year that you didn’t already know this year in college. You need to play against better competition in this critical period, plain and simple.
You were awesome this year, averaging that double-double. I saw you upped your FT% too, no doubt the function of hard work over the summer. You would have dominated Tyler Zeller on Saturday. Everyone would’ve been wowed, declaring that Virginia was back, baby. If you return, you’ll likely be named first or second team ACC.
Don’t get me wrong: from a selfish perspective, I totally want you to come back and make my team relevant, but I also think that you are one of the very few that have come through the ranks in the last two decades that could play professionally overseas and be impactful. Not only that, you can earn some serious dough over there, while having some fun.
So go. Please. Before I get upset.
Dear Old UVa