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    Then & Now: Trent Scarlett

    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.

    A 6'6"

    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.

    HHC: How

    healthy do you think the program is as compared to when

    you played?

    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

    some conversations. 

    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.

    We’d had

    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

    freshman season?

    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).

    HHC: Jack

    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

    (64-58 loss)?

    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

    old teammates?

    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.

    HHC: Finally,

    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

    our kids.

    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

    the call.<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">

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