Scottie Lindsey Q&A: 'You don’t get many chances to be the first at something'
More Big Ten men’s hoops
The wins just keep on coming for Northwestern, which is one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten as it continues what looks to be an historic season in Evanston. A big reason for that: Scottie Lindsey.
The 6-5 junior guard paces the upstart Wildcats with a 16.4-scoring average. Last year, Lindsey averaged 6.4 points. It’s a huge improvement for a kid from the Chicago suburbs (Hillside, Ill.) and Fenwick High who was part of Chris Collins’ first recruiting class in Evanston along with fellow key cogs Vic Law and Bryant McIntosh. Now, the trio looks primed to lead Northwestern to its first ever NCAA bid. I caught up with Lindsey this week as he prepped to take on the Cornhuskers.
Q: You and Coach Collins had a meeting of the minds after last season. How did that impact your development?
A: Me and Coach Collins met in the spring. He was straight up and honest with me that I wasn’t playing up to my true capabilities and it was time for me to step up. I am not a kid anymore. It was time for me to be a veteran and a leader. I took that meeting personally. I got in the gym with the coaches and worked and watched a lot of film. I got a ton of shots up on my own, too, over the summer. I took it personally.
Q: What skills do you feel like you’ve enhanced the most?
A: Being more of an all-around player and not just being a shooter. I think I’ve stepped up defensively. I have stepped up as a leader and scorer, getting to the line. And being tougher and more confident.
Q: What has been the key to Northwestern’s success so far this season?
A: I think it’s our mind-set and our defense. We are a very confident team. We take our attitude from our coach who is very competitive. We think we can win every game we play. Our confidence is much better than it was last year. And our defense has been incredible. I think everyone has put that first and we have taken pride in stopping the other team’s top players and doing it as a team.
Q: You broke your leg prior to your senior season in high school. How did that impact your recruitment?
A: It meant the world to me that Coach Collins stuck with me. Breaking my leg was a very low point at the time, not being able to walk or play. Seeing my teammates play. I really missed the team. When you break your leg, you don’t know if you still can play D I. Some schools stop recruiting you. Coach Collins still believed in me and wanted me to come. He easily could have let me go like some others did.
Q: You were part of Chris Collins’ first recruiting class with Vic Law and Bryant McIntosh. What’s your relationship like with those two?
A: We are good buddies. Vic was my freshman roommate. I really got close to him. The last two years, B-Mac has been my roommate. We talk all the time and hang out. We communicate consistently and are good friends.
Q: Who was the messier roommate?
A: Me and B-Mac have our own rooms, so it’s hard to tell. I would probably say myself.
Q: What would it mean to bring NU its first NCAA bid?
A: It would mean so much to us to be the first. You don’t get many chances to be the first at something. That is something we have been working for. And one of the reasons we came to the school was to be a winning program. With winning, you get the benefit of playing in big games and in the tournament. We just have to keep going day by day. We hear a lot of the noise right now. We are trying to not let it affect us. Keep doing what we have all year, lean on each other and the coaches. And we will be successful.
Q: The Cubs broke their long World Series drought last year. Is NU next to end a long drought?
A: Hopefully we can do that. I am a Cubs fan. I have been alive 20 years, and it has been only a couple seasons when the Cubs have had really good teams. For them to finally put it together was awesome. It did a lot for the city. I was actually in Wrigleyville when the Cubs won it. It was pandemonium. It was crazy. It was all love. Everyone came together.
Q: When you go out to eat on campus, what’s your go-to spot?
A: My high school coach’s (Rick Malnati) father is Lou Malnati of Lou Malnati’s pizza, so I have to give a shout-out to that. I love it and get it all the time.
Email Tom Dienhart using the form below.