Then & Now: Trent Scarlett
Compiled By Dave Brandon (Photo Courtesy NU Media
Scarlett played at Nebraska from 1982-1983, and was part
of the first NIT team that Moe Iba coached in 1983.
forward from Las Vegas, Nevada, Scarlett saw his teams
go a combined 38-22 (.633) while in Lincoln.
is our latest guest in this Sunday's edition of "Then &
HHC: Thanks for taking the time to chat. Have
you been back to Lincoln since leaving in 1983?
TS: I’ve only been back once, and I came
back the next fall when I was driving with a friend of
mine to a school in Missouri.
HHC: When is the last time you saw
Nebraska play, and do you follow them at all?
TS: Oh yeah. Follow them all the time.
healthy do you think the program is as compared to when
TS: I think when Coach (Danny) Nee was
there it was higher than when I played. I think it’s
probably taken a couple of steps back since then, and
that’s from me not being real close to it, but from
reading and watching, that’s what I think.
Actually, it might even be very similar as to when I got
there. They hadn’t and haven’t been to the tournament in
awhile. I remember prior to my sophomore year that there
were quite a few local kids that were very highly
recruited, too, and that we ended up only getting one of
them, which I think was kind of disappointing to
HHC: That actually does sound pretty
similar. Now, let’s get back to you. You came to
Nebraska from Bonanza High School (Las Vegas), where you
started all four years in basketball and averaged 22.0
PPG and 10.0 RPG as a senior (1981). Who else besides
Nebraska was recruiting you?
TS: I was being recruited by Weber State,
Washington State, and Brown University.
HHC: And what made you choose to play
basketball at Nebraska?
TS: Actually, I liked the people a lot.
Coach Tom Baack was the one who recruited me the most,
and he was probably the most influential. Coach
(Charlie) Spoonhour, when I got there, was great too.
I’ve stayed in contact with him, actually. He’s coached
here in Vegas the last few years at UNLV, and while he’s
not anymore, I’ve run into him a few times and we’ve had
HHC: What was the perception of Nebraska
basketball at that time to a kid in Las Vegas?
TS: I didn’t know a whole lot about it.
But it was Big 8 at that time, so perception wise, I was
going to a really good conference and to a program that
I thought was in the building mode.
HHC: How was your relationship with Moe
TS: Well, I didn’t have a very close
relationship with him. Probably, I would say he was a
distant coach. My close relationships were with Coach
Baack and Spoonhour, as I mentioned before. But Iba was
very, very knowledgeable about basketball, but kind of
distant as a person.
HHC: 1981-1982 was your first year at
Nebraska, and the team went 16-12 (7-7, T-4th). One of
the highlights of that season was beating #1 and 19-0
Missouri on their home court by a score of 67-51. What
do you remember about that game?
TS: I remember that game quite vividly,
actually. It was at Missouri, and we jumped on them
early and never looked back.
Actually, if I’m not mistaken, first time down the court
they went into Steve Stipanovich and he tried a little
jump hook, and I think Terry Moore blocked the shot
right back in his face. We never looked back.
a close game with them earlier in the year at our place
(44-42 loss), so going down there and winning was pretty
fun and definitely a highlight.
HHC: And what else sticks out about your
TS: Of course our first game in college,
when we went to Wyoming and got beat pretty badly
(62-48). But they had a really good team that year, so
that game sticks out. Playing Arkansas was a game that
sticks out as well (51-50 Home Loss). Just traveling in
general, really. We had a pretty brutal Christmas trip
that year, I’ll never forget that (at Penn State,
Colorado State, Air Force, Northern Iowa).
Moore was a senior that year and earned the Naismith
Award while also earning First Team All-Big 8 and Third
Team All-American honors. How would you describe him as
both a player and person?
TS: Unbelievable competitor. Jack was 5’9”
and just tough as nails. He was probably another big
reason why I came to Nebraska. When I went on my visit,
I spent some time with him and his wife Dorothy, and I
really enjoyed him as a person. And as a player, he was
pretty outstanding too, with what he was able to
accomplish with the physical tools he had.
HHC: 1982-1983 was your sophomore and last
season at Nebraska, and the team finished 22-10 (9-5,
T-3rd) while reaching the semifinals of the NIT. Before
we talk about the NIT run, tell us what you remember
about playing in the Hoosier Classic that year, where
you guys played #1 Indiana (67-50 loss) and #11 Arkansas
TS: I remember
meeting Coach (Bob) Knight; that was pretty cool. We got
beat pretty badly by Indiana, as you said, but I
remember Market Square Arena, where we played at. That
was a fun experience.
HHC: And what sticks out about that NIT
TS: Just going to New York was new and
amazing because I’d never been there before. I’ve been
back a couple times since.
remember the city was kind of dirty (Laughs). It wasn’t
quite what I was expecting, as where I grew up and lived
in Las Vegas was relatively new. I remember the hotel we
stayed in was supposed to be this beautiful hotel, and I
thought it was a dump. But it was a fun trip.
HHC: What made
you choose to leave the program at the end of that
TS: I wasn’t happy with the opportunities.
And I also missed home, and wanted to get back closer. I
didn’t see a future for me there that I would be happy
with, so that’s why I left.
that, I went to Weber State for a year, and redshirted a
year there for Coach Neil McCarthy, and I ended up
leaving there the next year and going down and finishing
up at the time, an NAIA school, Southern Utah. I played
there for two years before finishing up.
HHC: Any regrets about leaving Nebraska?
TS: All in all, I’m very happy with where I’m at
in my life. However, if I had to do it over again, I
probably wouldn’t have left. Probably would have stuck
out, but I don’t have any regrets in leaving, if that
makes any sense.
I met my
wife up in Cedar City, and we have three children and
things are going well.
HHC: Were you
and Moe Iba able to leave on good terms?
TS: Yeah, I don’t know. I never had any run-ins
with him; he was just kind of distant. And I wasn’t
really outgoing at that time of my life, so basically, I
just walked in there and told him I was going to leave,
and at the time, I didn’t even know where I was going, I
just knew I wasn’t going to be there. So, there wasn’t a
whole lot of conversation. I probably talked to Coach
Baack first and then Coach Iba.
HHC: In your
opinion, what was the biggest shot or play that you made
while in a Nebraska uniform?
TS: We went down to Kansas State my
sophomore year and I played quite a bit and got into the
game late, scoring I think 8 points. It was fun, and
while it was only a couple of minutes and nothing earth
shattering, just a fun experience.
HHC: And what are your favorite memories
of your times in Lincoln, both on and off the court?
TS: Just the people there are great. At
the time, we had Lincoln parents, which were a home away
from home you could go to, and that was really neat.
Richard and Juanita Campus were my Lincoln parents, and
that was great. Everybody from the fans to the staff to
the administration were really good people.
HHC: Do you stay in touch with any of your
TS: My roommate was Brett Hughes, but I
haven’t talked to him in 5 or 6 years. We stayed in
touch quite a bit for the first 15 or 20 years, but it’s
been awhile. Other than that, I haven’t spoken with
anybody. Of course Jack passed away, but he died when I
was at Weber State.
HHC: At the time you left in 1983, was the
fan base already starting to whine about Moe Iba's style
of play, and did you get the feeling he was on the hot
seat at all or starting to get forced out?
TS: Yeah, I didn’t think they were real
happy when I got there or when I left. They have such
high expectations for their athletic program at
Nebraska, whether its football or whatever. And I didn’t
feel like they were happy.
what are you up to today, and what have you been doing
the last 20 years?
TS: Well I live in Las Vegas, and I moved
back here after I graduated from Southern Utah. I work
for an underground utility company and am an operations
manager there. I’ve got a wife, and we are raising three
great kids. We just had a 20th anniversary,
actually, and I have a son who is going to be a junior
in college, while my other son is going to be a
sophomore in high school and my daughter will be in 8th
Basically what we’re doing is being married and raising
HHC: Are you
still playing any basketball?
TS: I play about once a year, that’s all
(Laughs). I’ve had operations on both knees. But I do
softball, bowling, golf, and some of those low impact
HHC: Very nice! And would you be willing
to take some e-mails from our readers if we set you up
an account at
[email protected] and tell you
how to check it?
TS: Sure, that’d be great.
HHC: Awesome! Thanks a lot for your time,
and anything else you'd like to say or add?
TS: No, not really. Just that I appreciate