- Last Updated: 3:07 AM, June 27, 2012
- Posted: 2:53 AM, June 27, 2012
The doubts Scott Machado has heard of his NBA prospects as Thursday’s draft approaches is nothing new – he’s heard them his entire life.
He was lightly recruited coming out of high school at New Jersey powerhouse St. Benedict’s Prep, ranked low in his class and passed over for individual showcases, because Machado said he was told, he didn’t score enough and wasn’t an eye-popping athlete.
Now on the eve of the biggest day of his life, there are similar questions, about his shooting ability, strength and quickness, that he comes from a mid-major program.
“I’ve been underrated all my life,” said the 6-foot-2 point guard from Queens, who averaged 13.6 points and a Division I-best 9.9 assists en route to winning the Haggery Award as the area’s top player this year. “It was always a chip on your shoulder, every time I step on the court it was like I have to prove I’m the best one on the court.”
"I feel like I'm either one of the best point guards coming out or the best point guard coming out," he added.
As he has done his entire career, Machado feels he has proven his detractors wrong with his play. He’s won every step of the way, at St. Mary’s of Manhasset and St. Benedict’s in high school and Iona College at the Division I level.
Machado helped turn the Gaels into a winner, leading Iona to the MAAC regular season title and the NCAA Tournament his senior year. He showed his diversity in his four years in New Rochelle, excelling his first two seasons in coach Kevin Willard’s half-court system and thriving in coach Tim Cluess up-tempo style.
“I think he’ll surprise people by how well he runs a team and how well he can pass the ball,” Cluess said
Cluess finds it funny that Machado is getting knocked for where he attended school. Iona, Cluess said, faced high major teams Purdue, Maryland and St. Joseph’s College, and Machado averaged over 20 points and 12 assists in those contests.
“Scott did what he did against everybody,” Cluess said. “That never changed. Take Scott Machado and put him on one of the top teams in the country, how many assists does he have?”
He has worked out for every NBA team based upon requests yet has no idea where he’ll land. It will be an uneasy few days for Machado, though NBA scouting director Ryan Blake thinks Machado will have his name called at some point, likely sometime in the first part of the second round.
“He’s able to really quarterback the system,” Blake said. “He has a great chance to be a backup point guard to start off with until he proves himself. He has the ability to get by defenders, run the pick and roll, which is the NBA system, make passes and knock down shots – all things a point guard has to do to run a team.”
That’s music to Machado’s ears.
“I’ll probably start crying [if I get my name called],” he said. “I just love the fact I know I’m making it and a lot of people didn’t believe I could.”
No matter what happens Thursday night, Machado said he won’t lose his edge.
“I haven’t proven myself yet,” he said. “I don’t want to be a regular player in the NBA. I want to build a name for myself. I want to help a team win a championship.”Follow @NYPostsports