Northwestern guard Scottie Lindsey will never forget the Wildcats’ Senior Night. On Feb. 22, Lindsey scored 26 points and played all 40 minutes in a 70-64 loss against Wisconsin in the final home game of his collegiate career.
Lindsey’s pre-game focus was to simply leave it all out on the floor. Mission accomplished.
“We truly gave it our all out there,” Lindsey said after the game.
In the Wildcats’ home opener this season, the Fenwick High School grad scored 26 points as well against Loyola University Maryland. Lindsey scored 32 points and made 9 of 11 shots from the 3-point arc in a 77-70 loss at Iowa on Feb. 25.
Against Wisconsin, Lindsey opened the game with a 3-pointer. Throughout the first half, the smooth 6-foot-5 swingman attacked the rim, applying pressure on the Badgers’ defense. Lindsey finished the first half with 15 points as Northwestern trailed 38-32 at the break. In the second half, Lindsey and fellow senior Bryant McIntosh carried the load offensively. They both worked their magic off ball screens and connected on several contested shots.
With about a minute left in the fourth quarter, Wisconsin led 65-62. Lindsey made a hard move off the dribble and elevated to make a clutch jump shot. However, Wisconsin guard Brevin Pritzl answered back with a dagger trey to essentially secure the Badgers’ 70-64 victory and spoil Lindsey’s night.
A reflective Lindsey soaked in the Senior Night ceremony after the game.
Instead of heading for the parking lot, Northwestern fans remained in their seats ready to celebrate the careers of seniors Lindsey, McIntosh and Gavin Skelly. A video tribute was played for all three Wildcats. Lindsey’s family, friends, teammates, coaches and fans watched his top highlights on the big screen. As Lindsey posed for a photo while holding his framed jersey, a fan yelled, “We love you, Scottie.”
Lindsey learned about the value of hard work on and off the court at Northwestern.
“When I first came to Northwestern, I don’t think I knew what it took to be successful. I was just out there,” he said. “Over these four years, Coach (Chris) Collins and the staff have taught me a work ethic that will prepare me for all areas of success in life.”
Like the ending of the Wisconsin game, it’s been a disappointing season for the Wildcats. The team finished the season with a 15-17 overall record and a 6-12 mark in the Big 10. For his part, Lindsey turned in a pretty solid senior season. In 32 games played, he averaged 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 82.9 percent from the free throw line.
“We have not met expectations or performed the way we would have liked this year,” Lindsey said. “But nobody can take away all that we have accomplished.”
The success Lindsey is referring to is the Wildcats’ historic 2016-2017 campaign. Last season, Lindsey led Northwestern to its first NCAA basketball tournament berth in program history. After defeating Vanderbilt in a West Regional first-round matchup of the NCAA tournament, the No. 8 seed Wildcats lost to top-seeded Gonzaga 79-73 in Salt Lake City. Northwestern finished its dream season, which included a trip to the ESPYs for five NU players (including Lindsey), with a 24-12 record. Most importantly, the Wildcats reinvigorated their fan base with an exciting, winning brand of basketball. Lindsey was a major contributor to the team’s success.
“We made history last year,” Lindsey said. “I think it won’t hit us until years down the road. When future Northwestern teams are atop the league, we’ll be able to say we were the ones that started it.”
While Lindsey has flourished during his time in Evanston, the groundwork for his success was built as a student-athlete at Fenwick. He follows the team closely.
“I’ve been to multiple Fenwick games this year,” Lindsey said. “They’re a young team with a lot of talent. I’m still in touch with the school and all of my former teammates which is special.”
Coming out of Fenwick, Lindsey was ranked the No. 42 shooting guard in the country and a three-star recruit by ESPN.com. It’s fair to say his collegiate career exceeded his recruiting assessment.
In addition to his unmistakable work ethic, Lindsey has dealt with his fair share of adversity. He missed a significant portion of his senior season at Fenwick due to a leg injury. He also missed a handful of games his junior year at Northwestern due to mononucleosis.
Lindsey has cherished playing hoops at Northwestern and Fenwick due to their proximity to his hometown Hillside.
“I love playing in front of my family,” he said. “I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to put on for my city and represent where I’m from. It has meant a lot to play well in front of the people I love.”
Lindsey hopes his days on the hardwood aren’t done. He would love an opportunity to play in the NBA or perhaps even internationally.
“I’ll be doing plenty of workouts and pre-draft stuff in the offseason,” Lindsey said. “Hopefully I get invited to the combine. We’ll see what happens.”