So this profile is not a happy one, but given the mid-season developments it is not expected. Today's player is one of now three departures from the program, and hopefully the last.
Bryson Scott - Sophomore
3.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.7 spg
When Bryson came to Purdue he was a 4-star recruit and one of the top 40 scorers in Indiana basketball history. He delivered with a very promising freshman campaign where he averaged over 6 points per game. He played in every game and even started a few times, so expectations were pretty high coming into this year.
That's where the problems started. He was supposed to be the man at the point guard position, but the transfer of Jon Octeus and freshman P.J. Thompson pushed him out of the job. He also began to clash with coach painter behind the scenes. His sometimes reckless play continued to be costly, and a short leash meant few chances for redemption.
The first sign of trouble was a DNP - Coach's Decision against North Carolina State after decreased minutes in Maui. He would have three straight double figures games in scoring, but they happened to come in losses to Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, and Gardner-Webb. Still, he was paying dividends. Against Gardner-Webb he was one of the few players that seemed to give a crap Purdue was getting its head kicked in after halftime, and he led a comeback that t least gave the Boilers a chance to tie in the final seconds.
It was then over Christmas break that the rift with coach Painter got larger. He played 12 minutes against Minnesota, but logged only four total minutes in the next six games total without scoring a single point. Coach Painter unleashed him against Indiana and he delivered a great performance. In 22 minutes he had 11 points, 6 rebounds, and two assists against one turnover while hounding Kevin Ferrell defensively. He earned a well-deserved standing ovation after fouling out, and it looked like he may have turned a corner.
Unfortunately, Bryson would score only nine more points and would never approach that amount of playing time again. After logging only two minute against Illinois in the regular season finale, a game in which Thompson was a huge difference maker (almost as much of one as Bryson was against the Hoosiers) Bryson never played again.
Purdue has had a lot of recent transfers, but this is the first one where I really feel like Painter's my way or the highway drove away a potential difference maker of a player. I really like Bryson's game. I love his tenacity and attitude. He brought something to Purdue that no one else on the roster brought, and it was on full display in that Indiana game. Unfortunately, he could play a little out of control at times, leading to a label of being reckless. Once that happened, coach Painter shortened the leash and he was never given much of a chance to redeem himself other than the Indiana game.
Even after the Indiana game, where he played a fantastic game, he only got seven more minutes with one field goal attempt in the next game. Bryson had the ability to jump start a sometimes stagnant offense by either driving to the basket and scoring or by getting to the line. Defensively, he could create have in the form of turnovers that led to transition baskets. To me, these are things that Purdue desperately needed at times, but he ended up in Painter's doghouse and never got the chance to truly get out.
It has to be the Indiana game, where he was fantastic. Bryson fed off of a raucous crowd and hassled them defensively while chipping in a key 11 points. It was a fun night and should have been the night that turned Bryson's career around as a Boilermaker. I was in the building that night and you could feel that Bryson played like a man unleashed. He was in control and making a difference every second he was on the floor. He was one of the few players that matched Indiana's speed and athleticism. They did not have an answer for him.
Final Grade: Incomplete
I am only giving this because he never got the chance to be himself after being sent to the bench in early January. His scoring was down 2.4 points per game, but his shooting improved. Unfortunately, not by enough, as he hit a paltry 38.5% from the field. His minutes also dropped substantially from 15.7 to 10.7 per game. He only played more than 10 minutes in five Big Ten games with eight DNP - Coach's Decisions in the last 21 games. It is hard to make a difference sitting the bench, and that is why Bryson is leaving.
I don't know where Bryson will end up, but Indiana State with his twin brother Brenton is a possible destination. It is a shame that he is not staying in West Lafayette. I felt like he had turned a corner in that Indiana game and he was going to get a lot more playing time next year. I feel he had the work ethic to become a major contributor on both sides of the ball, but given that Painter essentially bought a home win over Indiana with him and then sent him back to the bench it is clear that whatever was between them could not be truly healed.
I do wish Bryson well though. Two years ago I got a chance to interview him after a game at Kokomo and I was impressed with his attitude. He is an excellent young man and I wish him nothing but the best. Unlike other transfers, I think Bryson was willing to put in the work needed to be a Boilermaker, but his differences with Coach Painter were just too much.