When Jaylon Scott was coming out of Allen High outside of Dallas, it wasn’t much of a surprise that the D-I programs didn’t take notice. He averaged about four points per game as a defensive specialist and undersized big man while playing in the shadow of current Colorado State point guard Isaiah Stevens.
“I wasn’t that athletic, wasn’t the greatest scorer, my numbers weren’t great,” Scott said. “I did the little stuff to help us win.”
Scott had two offers: Temple College in Texas and Bethel College, an NAIA program in North Newton, Kansas.
He chose Bethel and became a two-time NAIA First-Team All-American and averaged 19.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 5.7 assists as a senior. He also helped take the program from a 7-22 campaign to a 28-8 season in his final year. Scott figured he had played his last game of college hoops on March 17, 2022, when he scored 21 points and grabbed 18 boards in Bethel’s Round of 16 loss to Arizona Christian.
But he still had another year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 waiver, and his name started to surface after TCU came to watch one of his games late in the season.
He entered his name in the portal, and that’s when Charleston, Towson, North Dakota State, The Citadel and D-II’s Dallas Baptist all came calling. Scott took visits to The Citadel and Charleston.
“Charleston blew me away,” he said. “It was too good to pass up.”
After evolving into an offensive threat as a point forward at Bethel, Scott has gone back to the defensive role that he had in high school — and completely bought into it. He’s become a lock-down defender, and that was on display when he made the defensive play of the game, a huge block in the final seconds, to preserve a win at UNCW on Jan. 11.
“Jaylon may not be a great shooter, but he gets to the line, he’s got a good assist-turnover ratio, and he’s an elite defender,” Pat Kelsey said. “He’s the best defender I’ve ever coached.”
“I want to win so, so much,” Scott added. “I’ve always been about winning. It overtakes everything else. When we win, we all look good. I don’t care what my stat sheet looks like.”