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Scott’s switch sparks Seahawks

Former Bruin now in the post, hoping to lead Sonoma State to playoffs
By: Ray Hacke Journal Sports Correspondent
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Patrick Scott’s versatility on the basketball court has come in quite handy for Sonoma State University’s men’s squad this season. “He can hang with the big boys (inside) and he can guard the quick guards on the perimeter,” Seawolves coach Pat Fuscaldo said. That’s why, with his team short on big men due to injuries, Fuscaldo saw fit to have the Bear River High graduate alternate between the small and power forward spots this season. “I’m setting more screens and playing more of an inside, post-up game,” said Scott, who split time between guard and forward last season. The move has had its positives and negatives. On the plus side, Scott is “becoming a more complete player all around,” Fuscaldo said. On the minus side, the 6-foot-4 sophomore has seen his playing time drop and his statistics suffer due to a variety of factors. First and foremost is the mental challenge of playing two positions. “He’s got to know all our set plays for both positions, and that’s not easy to do,” Fuscaldo said. “Learning the plays for different positions is the hardest part,” Scott said. Scott has also had to battle bigger, more physical players. “I’m stronger than most post players,” Scott said. “It’s been my height that’s been the difference.” There’s also the foul trouble that typically comes with inside play. Scott is third among Sonoma State players with 48 fouls and has sometimes been forced to the bench for long spells. “That’s a frustrating situation for him and me,” Fuscaldo said. “But I don’t have anyone else who can guard bigger players like him. He does so much.” After averaging 9.1 points a game on 42.9 percent field-goal shooting as a freshman, Scott is averaging 7.2 points on 38.3 percent shooting this season. He started 20 games last year but has started in just six this season. Yet despite the adversity Scott has faced this season, his coach heaps praise on him for being willing to embrace his new role and pour himself into it. “One thing about Patrick that I love is that he plays as hard as anyone I’ve ever coached,” Fuscaldo said. “If he makes a mistake, it’s not a hustle mistake — it’s ‘Oh, I forgot to do this.’” Scott has also regained some of his scoring touch. “He’s been finding his outside shot the last few weeks, which is nice to see,” Fuscaldo said. “It went away from him for a little while, but it’s coming back to him.” A criminal justice major, Scott hopes to be a member of a police SWAT team someday. “I always wanted to do something that had some action,” Scott said. “I don’t think I’d be able to do desk work. I’ve always wanted to be a cop, and (being a SWAT team member) is what has the most action, I guess.” For now, however, Scott expects to see plenty of action on the court as he tries to help Sonoma State (6-10, 4-8 California Collegiate Athletic Association) contend for an NCAA Division II tournament berth this season and beyond. “He’s a warrior,” Fuscaldo said. “He’s a battler, he loves to play and he only knows one way, and that’s as hard as he can go. I never have to tell Patrick to go hard — ever. “He only knows how to go all out, and that’s what I respect and love about him more than anything.”