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May 10, 2012
Scott twins prepared to go separate ways
So what sets them apart? These two siblings currently plan to enroll at separate colleges: Bryson at Purdue and Brenton at Indiana State.
That would make these brothers a bit different from just about every noteworthy set of basketball-playing twins, from the Van Arsdales to the Morrises.
"We talked about it a whole bunch," Bryson Scott said. "That's what we originally wanted to do - go to the same college. That was always our plan."
Plenty of twins couldn't imagine doing it any other way.
Dick and Tom Van Arsdale starred together at Indiana in the early 1960s before going on to make multiple All-Star appearances in the NBA. The Collins twins (Jason and Jarron) and the Lopez twins (Brook and Robin) had successful careers at Stanford before moving on to the pros. Marcus and Markieff Morris were All-America forwards at Kansas who each got selected in the first round of last year's draft.
Or consider the case of current college forwards David and Travis Wear. Not only did they sign to play for the same program (North Carolina) out of high school, when both decided to transfer, they opted for the same school once again (UCLA).
"We definitely always knew, no matter where we were going to go, we'd end up playing together," said David Wear, who said he's never spent more than four days away from his brother. "If we had to compromise or whatever, that's what we were going to do. We knew we were always going to the same schools. We always wanted to play on the same team. We've always dreamed about going to college together."
Two more sets of twins in the high school ranks - San Diego (Calif.) Lincoln juniors Tyree and Tyrell Robinson and Mocksville (N.C.) Davie sophomores Caleb and Cody Martin - also plan to stick together in college.
"We've always played together on every single team," Caleb Martin said. "With that chemistry we've been creating over the years, we're able to feed off each other. We think the better overall decision is to go to the same school.''
But in both of those two situations, the twins have similar ratings and are being pursued by the same schools. Tyree Robinson is ranked 71st and Tyrell is 121st in the 2013 rankings. Caleb Martin is 36th and Cody Martin is 40th in the 2014 class.
That's not the case with the Scotts.
Bryson Scott is ranked 51st in the 2013 class and holds Big Ten offers from Purdue and Indiana. Brenton Scott isn't in the Rivals150 and is considered more of a midmajor prospect.
They could have waited before committing to see if a big summer on the AAU circuit might have earned Brenton Scott some major-conference offers. But they also were concerned that their similar styles actually might hinder their development if they went to the same school. What if the two combo guards ended up battling each other for playing time?
Brenton Scott said Purdue coach Matt Painter mentioned that possibility to each twin.
"He was just saying that colleges, if they were going to take us, they'd just have us competing with each other for minutes," Brenton Scott said. "From then on, I just realized I needed to have my own identity at my own school.''
The differences in their rankings stem from the subtle distinctions between the two siblings.
Bryson Scott always has been an inch or two taller than Brenton. Bryson currently stands about 6-foot-1, while Brenton is 5-11. Bryson, who was born about three minutes after his brother, believes the height discrepancy is a major reason why he has received the major-conference offers that have eluded Brenton thus far.
"I know me and my brother are about the same [as players],'' Bryson Scott said. "Me being taller, I think it helped me a little and gave me an extra edge."
But there's another thing that separates them. Brent Scott, the father of the twins, says Bryson also is the more aggressive of the two siblings. That personality difference apparently started before the twins were even born.
"Bryson was so aggressive in the belly that the doctor warned Wendy [their mother] that she had to lay a certain way,'' Brent Scott said. "Otherwise, Bryson would eat all of Brenton's food.''
That personality difference occasionally shows up on the court.
"If they've got a game in the back yard and Brenton gets the best of him, Bryson wants more," Brent Scott said. "And if Bryson wins, he still wants more. Brenton knows his limits. Bryson doesn't know his limits. Both of them have good motors and good determination, but Bryson's just a little more aggressive in that area.''
Whatever the reason, the two twins haven't received the same levels of attention from college programs. Brenton eventually gravitated to Indiana State, a place where he felt comfortable and believed he could earn immediate playing time as a freshman.
"The family deserves a lot of credit," Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Eric Bossi said. "When Bryson was making his decision, maybe they realized these guys are at different levels right now, and let's not hold up. It seems like twins never split up. They're always a package deal. They saw that with these guys, maybe it was best they split up, and they ended up both getting into pretty good schools out of the deal. Indiana State's nothing to sneeze at.
"If they'd waited, maybe those higher offers wouldn't have been there for Bryson, and maybe he would have had to go down a level for them to play together. Maybe they never would have gotten an offer at the same level. It was good to get Bryson a chance to play at the highest level and hope things fell into place for Brenton. They certainly have.''
Of course, these commitments aren't binding until each junior signs his letter-of-intent. Considering the track record of most twins, it's natural to assume that the Scotts would end up playing together if Purdue decided to hand Brenton a late offer.
When that idea was brought up to Brenton, he insisted that he hadn't really considered the possibility. He's more focused on going his own way. But the thought has crossed Bryson's mind.
"It's been talked about before," Bryson Scott said. "We're not going to make any major moves anytime soon, but there's always a possibility that we could change our minds and end up at the same school if that's the plan."
Their father has a different take on the matter.
Brent Scott admitted he would love to see his sons play at the same college because it would make it easier to see both of them. He just doesn't see it as a realistic scenario.
"I seriously doubt that will happen," Brent Scott said. "I don't see a chance of that happening. I really don't. Not at this stage.''
That means these twins have to prepare for the likelihood that they'll go their separate ways in college. It won't be easy. They consider themselves best friends as well as brothers. Rarely have they played apart, though they do have at least some experience in that regard.
"When we go to national camps or different places, sometimes they'll split us up and we'll have to be on our own team, do our own thing and be by ourselves," Brenton Scott said. "It's not a new thing. We'll be able to compete without each other. But it would be better, I think, if we were with each other.''
They haven't talked to other twins who have gone through a similar situation, but they have received advice from their father.
Brent Scott has a brother who's a year older than him and another brother who's two years younger. The youngest of the three eventually moved to Indianapolis, while the two older siblings remain in Fort Wayne. They've managed to adjust to that separation.
Of course, twins offer have a much greater bond than most other siblings. Brenton and Bryson Scott realize it's going to take time to adjust to playing on different teams and living miles away from each other. Their father's example has given them at least some idea of what they'll eventually face.
"As long as they put the work in - they know they've got to put the work in - they'll be fine," Brent Scott said. "They'll grow to be the men they need to become. I talk to them about it a lot. They see me and my brother living different lives. ... They see good examples of it. I think they'll be able to relate to how to adjust to being away from each other.''
The Scotts can look to the NBA for further guidance.
Even though the Collins twins and Lopez twins played together at Stanford, each had to go their separate ways when they were drafted by different pro teams. The same thing happened last year to the Morrises, as Markieff went to the Phoenix Suns with the 13th overall pick in the draft and the Houston Rockets used the 14th selection on Marcus.
Sooner or later, every basketball-playing twin must forge his own path. The Scotts just might be doing it a little earlier than most.