The record books will show that Scottie Lindsey led the 2017-18 Northwestern basketball team in scoring with 15.2 points per game, capping a two-year run as a high-volume, often low-efficiency shot creator and three-point shooter. But Lindsey’s senior year wasn’t that simple. His production ebbed and flowed, with extremes on both ends of the spectrum. Good Scottie made 9 of 11 threes for 32 points in the regular season finale, dropped 25 with 8 boards against DePaul, and overall had ten games with an ORating of 130 or higher. Bad Scottie, on the other hand, shot 1 for 15 against Indiana, 1 for 12 against Oklahoma, 3 for 17 against Penn State, and 0 for 8 against Georgia Tech. He scored a combined 11 points in those four games, all of which were losses. It was a frustrating senior season for Lindsey, as it was for the team as a whole, but he deserves to be remembered for both the moments of brilliance and his shot-making that was essential to the 2017 Tournament team.
As Lindsey’s minutes and usage leapt to career highs, his efficiency dropped slightly from his two previous seasons. His shooting percentage numbers don’t look great, but considering the volume with which he was operating, they aren’t all that bad.
For the third time in four seasons, over half of Lindsey’s attempts came from beyond the arc. He finished effectively around the rim, but really struggled on two-point jumpers.
With all due respect to Bryant McIntosh, Lindsey was Northwestern’s most talented scorer this past season. His three-point shooting kept the Wildcats in numerous games, as did his ability to create his own shot, something no one outside of him and McIntosh was remotely capable of. When he got to the free throw line — which didn’t happen as much as it should’ve — Lindsey was lights out. Over his career, he developed into a much stronger finisher at the rim and an at least competent defender. He never missed a game all season, and played at least 34 minutes in all but four conference games. Without Lindsey, this ugly season would’ve been even uglier.
For everything he brought to the team the past two seasons, I can’t help but think Northwestern fans will remember Lindsey as a guy who could’ve done a little bit more. He obviously greatly exceeded his recruiting status, but may not have completely fulfilled his true potential. As a long, athletic wing with a beautiful shooting stroke, Lindsey’s Tre Demps-esque tendency to shoot his team out of games was perplexing. Too often, he settled for tough floaters and contested jump shots instead of using his size and quickness to get to the rim. Also baffling was the rarity in which Lindsey affected games in other ways. He had zero assists twice as many times (6) as he did four or more (3). His rebounding average topped out at 3.8. Yes, he came a long way defensively from his first couple seasons, but Lindsey didn’t record nearly as many steals or blocks as it seemed like he should have.
Lindsey’s scoring ability will earn him good money as a professional basketball player somewhere in the world. First, he’ll compete in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament with other top college seniors this week. I’m not entirely sure what that is, but it sounds cool and has a bunch of really good players in it.
Another stud coming to play in next week’s tournament out of the Big 10! Hot off a career high in points per game, we are ecstatic to announce Northwestern’s Scottie Lindsey (15.2ppg) is coming to next week’s events! #PIT2k18 @ScottieLindsey pic.twitter.com/k2pCuNE6rG— P.I.T. (@PITourney) April 8, 2018
Lindsey will not be drafted, but could very well find a roster spot for the NBA Summer League. Maybe if he showed out there, he could keep the dream alive in the G-League, but I think the more likely scenario is that he heads overseas this fall. Lindsey previously interned with Big Ten Network, so maybe he’ll end up in the media after his playing career is over.
The Bottom Line:
Scottie Lindsey will go down in Northwestern history as a history-maker; he was a crucial member of the 2016-17 team that will never be forgotten. Overlooked by many big programs at Fenwick High School because of a major leg injury, Lindsey grew into one of the better scorers in the Big Ten as an upperclassman. When on, his three-point shot was a thing of beauty. This is just a sampling of our dumb in-game tweets about his long-range splashes, several of which I definitely typed:
Lindsey had a great career as a Wildcat, finishing in the top 20 in program history in scoring and the top 10 in threes made and games played. Yet he was an imperfect player. His shot was streaky, his non-scoring contributions often limited. For those reasons, he never became a true star.