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Draft Interview: Scott Machado Of Iona

Scott Machado spent the past summer playing for Brazil at the World University Games, his senior season as the big man on campus at Iona winning the Haggerty Award as the New York Metropolitan Player of the Year, and is currently training for the NBA Draft.

Machado led the NCAA in assists at just under 10 per game while averaging 13.6 points and five rebounds.

Machado thrives in the open court on the fastbreak thanks to his speed, but can also run a team in halfcourt sets thanks to his superior court vision and ability to penetrate and locate open teammates. Machado has also improved his conditioning level and now has a leaner physique at 6’1” and 195 lbs.

The rise of Machado began this past summer as he played for Brazil at the World University Games, an experience he described as a “privilege”.

Once his time with Brazil was over, Machado gained a new perspective on basketball and life.

“Basketball was on a whole different level," said Machado. "At that point it made me realize that basketball could be so much bigger not only for my life, but it could help me branch off in a lot of things."

An increased competition level against top professional players in Brazil also shaped Machado’s game on the court.

“Learning the game, watching other players. I think that was the biggest thing, learning the game and staying focused every time I stepped on the court,” said Machado.

Upon a return to the U.S., Machado took his new perspective on basketball and life and channeled them together for a new outlook.

“Basketball can relate to life in many ways,” said Machado. “If you’re not working hard on the court getting your game better year-by-year you don’t build the work ethic to work hard in life.”

Machado played the best basketball of his Iona career in his senior season and dominated the MAAC.

Despite putting up career-high numbers across the board, Machado felt overlooked and underrated while at Iona and wants NBA executives to know he has an NBA game and can play well against top competition.

“I did a little bit. It’s been like that my whole life. I’m kind of used to it. I feel like I’m capable of playing at any level,” said Machado. “Being a leader, being able to be vocal on the court and letting people know that you know how to play basketball.”

In a draft that is as deep as we’ve seen in recent years, Machado points out key differences between himself and other top point guard prospects like Kendall Marshall, Marquis Teague, and Damian Lillard.

“I feel like I’m an all around point guard," said Machado. "I feel like I know when to pick and choose my spots at the right time. I know how to run a team very well. I know how to speak to my teammates, how to speak to each teammate directly. I feel like I have more experience than the other guards coming out with me. I feel like I’ll be able to step in right onto a team and help them win some games and be another vocal leader."

When compared to other guards in the draft, scouts questioned Machado’s size after the season, but he has worked hard to improve his strength, quickness, and consistency on his three-point shot.

“My weight is 195 right now. I feel like I’m capable of playing at this size and weight that I am. I use my body and my strength to my advantage. I’ve been working on my speed and athleticism so that I can be quicker with the ball, jump higher, and be more explosive so I can finish at the basket. I’m still working on my range every year just getting my jump shot better so that it gets to a point that when I’m wide open I’m never missing."

In a point guard driven league, Machado is one of the top playmakers in the draft and feels it’s the best skill he can bring to a NBA team, but he can also score depending on the situation.

“I’m just smart with the shots I take. I don’t like to take bad shots,” said Machado. “If I can’t take a good shot I’ve got to be able to make somebody else on my team have a good shot.”

With individual team workouts on the horizon, Machado will attempt to secure a first round selection in the draft and has a warning for those that compete against him on the court.

“I want to beat out whoever comes out there to play against me. To show them that I’m a point guard that they should want or be highly interested in me. Just to show them that I play exactly how I’ve been showing them all year,” said Machado.

During the draft process Machado also wants teams to know that he can make the transition from a college star that was used to having the ball in his hands to a role player that can make be a playmaker off the bench for the better of his future team.

“I would have to make adjustments. It wouldn’t be something that’s new to me. I’ve always grown up as an underrated player and played behind some good players in my past and I always do what I have to do to help the team win. I’d be willing to do that,” said Machado.

Lastly, Machado has a message for NBA scouts and executives that will be evaluating him in the upcoming weeks and determining the future of his basketball career.

“I just want everyone to know that I’m a hard working individual that just wants to get better and help a NBA team become a great team and a contending team,” said Machado.

 

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