You don't have to go far back into the history of Chicago Maroons basketball to understand the impact that senior forward Scott Fisher had on the program. In the Maroons' last game of the season, the much-hated Washington University Bears came to Chicago ranked 23rd in the nation and looking for one last victory to secure their trip to the postseason.
Fisher and his fellow Maroon teammates, however, were to have none of that as they stormed to an early lead and held on to it for the entire game, as Chicago pulled off its best victory in recent years in the 79--64 win. The upset effectively crushed Wash U's postseason dreams and sent them on a long bus ride home on I-55.
Fisher, as he had done all season, led the way on the court, scoring 19 points, most of them coming in the second half. It was the 18th time in Chicago's 25 games that he had led the team in scoring.
"That was the most impressive game that I have seen Scott play in his four years here," head coach Mike McGrath said. "Scott absolutely willed this team to victory over the last four games and I only wished that this season could have lasted longer because who knows what would have happened."
Third-year Mike Dolezal echoed those sentiments, saying, "this season, Scott stepped out of his shell to lead this team vocally." Dolezal and his teammates felt they were "one of the toughest teams in our region because of Fisher."
"I think that we started to play well as a team when we decided to get past the losses that had already occurred and just enjoy the game. Perhaps some of that came from the seniors on the team, who felt that, if nothing else, we were going to have fun and play hard for our last few weeks of organized basketball," Fisher said. "We did, and we won a few big games and came together as a team."
For his senior season, Fisher averaged 17.0 points per game, shooting 49.3 percent along with 5.9 rebounds at the power forward position. Fisher was named to the first team All-UAA squad this season, but it was not only his game on the court that was crucial for the team this season.
Dolezal said the most impressive part of Fisher's game was "his work ethic. Even in areas where he lacked natural ability, like his jump shot, he was able to work harder than anyone and get better to help the team."
Fisher, a product of Bloomington, Indiana, suffered from injuries early in his career, but he was completely healthy this season and had a monster year because of it. Noting Fisher's improvements, McGrath puts Fisher's name amongst the school's all-time greats despite those injuries, citing Fisher's talents and his outstanding fourth-year performance.
"I just wanted to help this team any way I could," said the reserved Fisher, who is quick to deflect praise to his teammates. "I never felt the need to vocally lead this team before, because it wasn't my place. But I knew this team needed a lift down the stretch and I was just happy that I could do it."
Make no mistake: This team will severely miss Fisher's presence in the low post next season. The almost-automatic two points that Fisher provided when he received a solid entry pass in the block will be tough to replace.
Fisher will continue to live in Chicago next year and will work as an assistant trader downtown. He is currently also applying to medical schools and keeping his options open.