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Maroon Madness: No. 4 Byron Scott vs. No. 5 Mike Leake

An amazing professional career vs. an outstanding collegiate career

Photos by Harry How & Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

The Matchup: A key piece for the Lakers during the “Showtime” Era in Byron Scott verse one of the greatest college pitchers the Sun Devils have ever seen in Mike Leake: Both athletes only played at ASU for three years before leaving early and becoming top-10 selections in their respective drafts.

No. 4 Byron Scott

Basic info: Born: March 28, 1961 in Ogden, Utah. Tangibles: 6-foot-3, 195 lbs. High School: Morningside (Inglewood, CA). ASU career: 1979-1983, NBA career: 1983-1993 (Lakers), 1993-1995 (Pacers), 1995-1996 (Vancouver Grizzlies), 1996-1997 (Lakers).

Notables: Scott won three NBA championships in his 10-years with the Lakers, lining up alongside Hall of Famers such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy. In 1984, Scott made the All-Rookie team and led the NBA in three-point percentage the next year. After his career as a player, Scott would go on to coach for the Kings (as an assistant), Nets, Hornets, Cavaliers and Lakers. He coached in the All-Star Game twice and took home Coach of the Year honors in 2008 with the Hornets.

What you don’t know: After finishing up his playing career in the NBA, Scott went overseas to play in the Greek Basketball League for Panathinaikos for one season. While in the Greek league, Scott led his team to the championship, averaging 17.6 points in 34 games played.

Scott’s Resume

ASU Career

  • Pac-10 Freshman of the Year (1979-1980)
  • Holds record for made field-goals in a season (283,1982-1983)
  • Second-team All-American (1982-1983)
  • First-team All-Pac-10 (1982-1983)

NBA Career

  • Drafted fourth overall to the San Diego Clippers in 1983 NBA draft before being traded to the Lakers during contract negotiations
  • Three-time NBA champion (1985, 1987, 1988)
  • FIBA EuroStar and Greek Basket League Champion (1997-1998)

Coaching Career

NBA Coach of the Year (2008)

No. 5 Mike Leake

Basic Info: Born: November 12, 1987 in San Diego, California. Tangibles: 5-foot-10, 175 pounds. Attended Valley Center High School, before transferring to Fallbrook High School after his sophomore year. ASU Career: 2007-2009. MLB Career: 2010-2015 (Reds), 2015 (Giants), 2016-2017 (Cardinals), 2017-present (Mariners).

Notables: Leake was drafted in the seventh round by the Athletics out of High School, before deciding to go to Arizona State. After his junior year at ASU, he was drafted again, this time eighth overall by the Reds. He posted a 40-6 career record at ASU and became the first pitcher since Jim Abbott in 1989 to go directly from the draft to the Majors. Leake Led team USA to a Gold Medal in the World University Championships. Career MLB record to date is 87-80 with a 4.04 ERA and 1,022 career Strikeouts.

What you don’t know: In 2011, Leake was arrested for shoplifting six shirts worth $60 at a Macy’s in Cincinnati. He was charged with theft after trying to make an exchange without telling store employees. He pled guilty to a reduced charge and completed 30 hours of community service.

Leake’s Resume

ASU Career

  • Freshman record for innings pitched (127) and strikeouts (94) in 2007
  • First-team All-Pac-10, First-team Freshman All-American, Third-team All-American in 2007
  • First-team All-Pac-10, Second-team All-American in 2008
  • First pitcher to take home Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year in back-to-back years (2008 & 2009)
  • First-team All-Pac 10, Unanimous First-team All-American, two time National Pitcher of the Week, National Player of the Year, Academic All-American Player of the Year in 2009

USA Collegiate National Team

  • Gold Medalist at Haarlem Baseball Week (Netherlands) and the World University Baseball Championship (Czech Republic) in 2008

MLB Career

  • Drafted Eighth Overall by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2009 MLB draft
  • MLB Career: First starting pitcher since 1989 to go directly from the draft to the Majors