RaeQuan Scott likes to play at one speed: Fast.
From his first game as a freshman for the Butler High basketball team – when he scored 24 points and grabbed four rebounds and two steals – Scott has played at a pace difficult for opponents to match.
Scott, now a 5-foot-9, 165-pound junior guard, is off this year to the best start of his career, averaging 22.7 points, four assists and three rebounds through three games for a fast-paced Bulldogs team that already has wins against Mallard Creek and South Mecklenburg.
“At my size, I know I have to play with a lot of confidence and a big heart all the time,” said Scott. “I have always used my size as more of a motivator to play harder. When I’m playing fast in the open court, I always feel like I’m under control. To me, that is regular speed.”
Scott, 16, can a be a blur on the court, often getting to the basket at will, but he also has become a prolific shooter.
Scott hit seven 3-pointers against Mallard Creek, scoring 33 points in a 76-60 win against the Mavericks, a game in which he had a lot of extra motivation.
“Last year, I fouled one of their shooters on a 3-pointer to give them three free throws to win the game by one (66-65) and I haven’t forgotten about that play,” Scott said. “So this was a big game for us, and I really wanted to get this win. When I got on the court, I was just feeling it. The crowd was into it and I just felt like I couldn’t miss.”
Scott also scored 19 points against South Mecklenburg and 16 points against Sweet 16 No. 1 West Charlotte.
Scott’s torrid pace started this summer, according to first-year Butler coach Myron Lowery. The Bulldogs went 21-2 this summer, winning the Cox Mill jamboree and playing well in the N.C. Powerade State Games.
Scott emerged then as a leader.
“We were playing (Pfafftown) Reagan High this summer, who I think is going to be one of the best teams in the state, and we were down one with 5.9 seconds left,” said Lowery, who also has had head-coaching stints at Harding and Providence High. “We didn’t have a lot of plays to run, because I had just gotten hired (at Butler) in May. So I just called a play where we had one screen set for RaeQuan, and he did the rest.
“He went the length of the court and must have blown by four of their guys and made a layup to win it at the buzzer. I knew exactly what kind of player I had right then.”
Scott gets help in the backcourt from classmate and good friend Orlando Robinson, who is averaging 20.7 points per game this season. The two have played together since seventh grade at Crestdale Middle School.
After going their separate ways in high school – with Scott at Butler and Robinson at Queens Grant – they reunited last year in a Bulldogs backcourt that included Southwestern 4A conference Player of the Year Matthew Fisher-Davis (now playing at Vanderbilt) and all-conference point guard Giovanni Mack (Texas Southern University).
“Orlando and I really work well together and that just makes it easier on both of us,” Scott said. “We both learned a lot playing with Giovanni, who was a great point guard and playmaker and taught us a lot of great moves, and also Matthew, who is a great shooter.
“Last year was a great learning year for us, but now we have to step up our games even more.”
Scott said he feels good about the team’s potential after the Bulldogs won 20 games a year ago.
“I have to play a bigger role for this team, just like a lot of guys do,” Scott said. “But it’s not about me; it’s about what we can accomplish together. My main focus is on winning games. I feel like this team can challenge for a conference championship and go deep in the state playoffs.”
Scott also is entering a critical year in the college recruiting process; however, “Right now, I am not worried a lot about recruiting,” Scott said. “If I play well enough, they will come to me.
“I definitely want to keep playing basketball in college, but right now (my) focus is on Butler basketball.”