The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

BREAKING: Scotty Pippen Jr. declares for NBA Draft, will sign with an agent

After three record-setting seasons as a Commodore, Scotty Pippen Jr. will leave Vanderbilt and pursue professional basketball.
Vanderbilt junior Scotty Pippen Jr. driving through the lane against Missouri in the Commodores’ matchup on Feb. 8, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Mattigan Kelly)

Vanderbilt guard Scotty Pippen Jr. announced today that after three impressive seasons on West End, he will be entering the NBA Draft and forgoing his college eligibility by signing with an agent. He announced his intentions to do so via his Twitter page.

After setting a Vanderbilt record for points per game for a sophomore and earning All-SEC First Team honors in 2020-21, Pippen Jr. previously declared for the NBA Draft on April 10, 2021, but maintained his collegiate eligibility. The California native went through the draft process and competed at the G League Elite Camp in June 2021 but elected to return to Vanderbilt for his junior year after the process.

In his return, he helped guide Vanderbilt to its best season since 2016-2017. The Commodores finished the season 19-17 and went 2-1 in the National Invitation Tournament, the program’s first postseason action in head coach Jerry Stackhouse’s tenure. Following the season, he earned his second consecutive All-SEC First Team acknowledgment and capped the year by setting a Vanderbilt single-season record for total points with 736.

“He has done everything that we’ve asked for him, and if this is his last game, he has had a hell of a career here for us and been a big part of what we have been able to accomplish to this point,” Stackhouse said after Vanderbilt’s season-ending loss to Xavier. “I think if he comes back, he has a chance to become the most decorated player in Vanderbilt basketball history. And that says a lot.”

Pippen Jr. will leave Vanderbilt 12th on its all-time scoring list with 1,577 points, just 434 from Shan Foster’s 2,011 that are a program record. He also leaves ninth all-time in steals with 144, just 70 shy from Drew Maddux’s record of 214.

“I don’t know if it’s my last game,” Pippen Jr. said after his junior season finale. “This isn’t the way I wanted to go out, but when you look back at it, there’s a lot of good things I did myself as well as this team. I just want to thank all the fans that supported me, the coaching staff and everyone that has been a part of my journey here. It has been a great ride, but we’ll see.”

A former three-star recruit with only one other Power Five offer, Pippen Jr. made his impact known early in his Vanderbilt career. As a freshman he started 31 games at point guard and was named to the 2020 SEC All-Freshman Team and showed marked improvement during both his sophomore and junior seasons. 

With his departure and the transfer commitment of former UC Davis guard Ezra Manjon, Vanderbilt now has one open scholarship to fill. Pippen Jr. will depart, as will seniors Drew Weikert and Rodney Chatman. Earlier in the offseason rising juniors Terren Frank and Jamaine Mann and rising sophomore Shane Dezonie all entered the transfer portal. With freshmen taking up four of those six departing spots, and Manjon taking up one other, one scholarship remains for potential transfers.

Rising senior Jordan Wright, rising juniors Tyrin Lawrence, Myles Stute and Trey Thomas, rising sophomore Gabe Dorsey, soon-to-be graduate Quentin Millora-Brown and graduate student Liam Robbins are all expected back for the Commodores next season. Pippen Jr. accounted for nearly 29% of Vanderbilt’s total points last season, but with his returnees, Stackhouse should still have seven of his top ten scorers back for the 2022-23 season.

If drafted, Pippen Jr. would become Vanderbilt’s third draftee under Stackhouse, joining Aaron Nesmith and Saben Lee who were both selected in the 2020 NBA Draft.

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About the Contributor
Justin Hershey
Justin Hershey, Former Sports Editor
Justin Hershey ('22) was Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He has been on staff since freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Deputy Sports Editor and Lead Sports Analyst. He majored in human and organizational development with minors in business and economics. In addition to writing, he hosts The Hustler Sports 30 Podcast, enjoys playing golf and is waiting for his hometown Philadelphia 76ers to complete The Process. For tips and comments, feel free to reach out to: [email protected]    
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