Morrison continues to attract attention while coaching in Maine

Hugh Mullally
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While Scott Morrison was making inroads with the Maine Red Claws' and Boston Celtics' organization, his fans in Prince Edward Island, Thunder Bay, Ont., and across Canada witnessed his ascent from humble beginnings to balling on Broadway.

His efforts haven't gone unnoticed with USA Today featuring him in a Dec 17 article.

In his freshman campaign in the NBA Development League, he was coach of the year and made an appearance at the D-league's all-star game coach in Brooklyn, N.Y., while setting a record for best start to a season (16-4).

"I'm starting to notice him more," said NBA analyst Leo Rautins. "I'm a big fan of Scott's, he's a tremendous coach and has done a lot of great work to get where he is.

"As is the case with a lot of great coaches, sometimes the path you take isn't out there for everybody to see, he's had a quieter path. I talk with NBA people, people around the Celtics... everybody speaks extremely highly of him. Everybody."

A proud Canadian and Prince Edward Islander, Morrison played a part on the world stage with some of the most talented Canadian players. As an assistant with the junior national team, Morrison coached the likes of Trey Lyles (Utah Jazz) and Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota T-Wolves).

"I think he's proven himself to be a quality young coach, and that better days are ahead for him and for Canadian basketball," said Raptors' commentator Jack Armstrong.

While Morrison, who coached the Lakehead Thunderwolves university basketball team in Thunder Bay, Ont., before the Red Claws, continues to succeed in Maine, one has to wonder, when might Scott get his own call-up to the NBA?

"I wouldn't be surprised to see him on an NBA bench in the near future," Rautins said.

"Why wouldn't he get a chance?" offered Armstrong. "The opportunities are there, it's whether you're willing to pay the price, and coach Morrison's an obvious example of someone who's willing to do that."

Morrison has enjoyed success so far in a league that can drive a coach crazy with the ever-changing rosters that are rarely the same week-to-week.

Morrison's Red Claws were victorious in the first ever D-league game played on Canadian soil, 109-104 over the Raptors 905 on Nov. 19.

"That game certainly had some significance for Canada and the Toronto franchise, and it was nice to stick it to them a little bit and get the win," said Morrison. "We still had to play them five more times, so you can't get too excited, but it was nice."

Morrison has continued to get the better of the 905 this season, splitting a pair of games in Portland, Me., and squeaking out a 96-95 win on Dec. 11 at the Air Canada Centre. The sample size is small, but Morrison is undefeated on Canadian soil, with his one remaining game north of the border slated for March 5 in Mississauga.

Organizations: NBA Development League, Boston Celtics, USA Today Utah Jazz Lakehead Thunderwolves university Air Canada Centre

Geographic location: Maine, Thunder Bay, Canada Prince Edward Island Broadway Brooklyn Prince Edward Islander Minnesota Toronto Portland, Me. Mississauga

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