Working summers with several NBA pre-draft teams, Vanderbilt’s Scottie Pippen Jr. knew he would be asked about his father.
After all, the 21-year-old point guard is the son of a six-time NBA champion and a seven-time All-Star. But when Pippen Jr. is constantly asked about his Hall of Famer dad, he smiles and takes it as a compliment.
“I think people still compare me to my dad,” Pippen Jr. said after training with the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. indystar. “We are completely different. I’m a foot shorter than him and we just have different styles of play. We are still being compared, and there is no problem with that. I think it’s cool for me – my dad played in the NBA and was a legend in this.
His 6’1″ height seems to be the only thing keeping Pippen Jr. from becoming a highly sought-after NBA player. Due to his physical limitations, the junior guard has an average or late second round score from most scouting services.
However, that didn’t stop Pippen Jr. from drawing several people’s attention at the NBA Combine in Chicago in May. A standout during team fights, Pippen Jr. posted 11 points and six assists in the first game with prospects and then scored a game-high 21 points, plus three assists and two steals in the other game.
He also showed a sharper defensive game, playing tighter with opponents and making it harder for them to get into the end lanes while Pippen Jr. guarded them.
“I definitely grew up; I pay tribute to the coaching staff and the players [at Vanderbilt] it helped me develop,” Pippen Jr. said. “Coming out of high school, I wasn’t recruited a lot or anything, and they developed me a lot. I just accept it through hard work and a good support system with my family throughout my career.”
To date, Pippen Jr. has worked with 10 teams over the summer, including the Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks, and Washington Wizards.
Thanks to his performance in the Combine, combined with his experience at last year’s NBA G-League summer camp and a dynamic 2021-2022 season, when he was named All-American Lute Olson and selected to the All-SEC First Team by the league’s coaches and Associated PressPippen Jr. does everything right.
“I’m just trying to show [NBA teams] I can compete on both ends,” he said. “Everyone knows that I can score a ball — I did it in the SEC, which is one of the highest levels in college. I’m just showing them that I’m a playmaker, my strengths, and what I can bring to an NBA team.”
Pippen Jr. was Vanderbilt’s top player last year, leading the team in scoring (20.4 ppg), assists (167) and steals (70), shooting .416 from the field and .325 from three-point range.
There’s no question that Pippen Jr is uplifting the players around him, as evidenced by the Commodores’ improvement over his three years. Vanderbilt won just nine games with zero conference wins the year before he came to campus, but he improved his team to 11-21 in his first season.
While the Dores had a 9–16 record in the 2020 season, they did have three SEC wins and an SEC tournament win. This year, the team has won 19 games, including confidently advancing to the third round of the men’s NIT.
“I went to the worst team in the SEC, which was 0-18, and didn’t win a single game,” Pippen Jr. said. “So it was a difficult start when I first got there, but I think it was the perfect place for me. It helped me to be hungry and work hard, and I think it suited me perfectly.”
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