It doesn't get any bigger than this in the biggest basketball city in the country. Rice and St. Raymond's, the two powerhouses in New York City, square off against each other on Friday night and Rice junior Durand Scott is hoping to have an impact on the outcome of the battle.
All eyes in New York City will be focused on Fordham's Rose Hill gym as Rice, the No. 7 ranked team nationally by Student Sports, will take on St. Raymond's, the No. 11 nationally ranked team by Student Sports, in the a much anticipated rematch.
Rice beat St. Raymond's in the first game in overtime. For Scott, Friday night's game has a little extra meaning as he fouled out of the previous meeting. The 6-foot-4 junior wing hopes to put his stamp on the contest.
Scott, a top 65 national prospect, said the game goes beyond the records, too.
"It's our biggest rivalry every year. It's the biggest rivalry ever since I could remember," Scott said.
"We have to come out ready to play and do what we've been doing. If we do that, then there is no way of stopping us if we do it correctly. We haven't really changed our game plan around. We have to come out working hard and play defense."
With seniors Kemba Walker, Chris Fouch and Dorvell Carter on the floor with him, Scott, a versatile scorer that puts up nearly a dozen points a game this year, said he finds ways to help his club come through in the clutch.
"I feel like I'm the hype man for my team. If things are going wrong, I try to put our team back on the right track. There are times we need that kind of motivation and spirit. I feel like I can be that guy."
There will certainly be plenty of time for hype in tonight's game that will be beyond standing-room only. Fouch said his team's chemistry, which has been built from years of playing together on the Gauchos AAU team has come into play this season.
"It helps us a lot. We connect, we talk a lot, we see the same things happening at the same time," Scott said. "When we are on the court, we know where people are going to be at and we know how to set people up in order to get their shots off."
Like his senior teammates, Scott is a highly recruited prospect. He is holding offers Memphis, Miami, UConn, Xavier, Seton Hall and others. Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Clemson, West Virginia and Virginia are also in the picture.
Scott said keeping up with the calls and letters does become a bit taxing.
"It's becoming hectic and getting annoying also but I understand why. That's their job. But sometimes it is pretty cool," he said. "It shows how much interest a school has in me and how my hard work has paid off."
Scott has unofficially visited Memphis, Miami and Xavier. He maintains that no one is standing out at the moment.
"I'm open right about now. I'll watch just about any school because I want to see how they play and what my style matches up with the best," Scott said. "But there isn't a particular school that I look at the most or that I'm leaning to. Everybody is equal.
"The first thing is always going to be about education. Then environment. Environment can change a person so you want to find a good place for yourself. I don't want that to be a problem for me so I always look at that. Then it is about basketball. What is their style of play? What is their coaching staff like? Stuff like that…I haven't really looked at it all that deep though."
He doesn't have time to look at it. He's been too busy looking at St. Raymond's.