Around the Hall: Scruggs leaves Southport for Prolific Prep

  • 09/07/2016 8:38 am in

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall staff.

Gregg Doyel of The Indianapolis Star has a serious question: Why did Paul Scruggs choose prep school over Southport?

For one thing, Scruggs is transferring to a school that didn’t exist three years ago. For another, Prolific Prep isn’t a school at all. It’s a basketball team that sends its players to a Catholic school in Napa, Justin-Siena High School.

Prolific Prep has a website and a Twitter page, but no physical address.

You hear me? Paul Scruggs just transferred to a P.O. box. examines the challenge facing each preseason top 25 team and wrote this about Indiana:

11. Indiana Hoosiers
Thomas Bryant had a chance to secure a first-round, guaranteed contract in last summer’s NBA draft. He returned, however, to elevate his stock and work on his defensive edge and rebounding. Few freshmen rivaled his production in his first season in Bloomington. He made 70.7 percent of his shots inside the arc, seventh in the country. He finished 35th in’s efficiency rankings. Still, the 6-foot-10 forward lacked the frame and, at times, the desire to make the same impact as a defender and rebounder. He finished outside the top 150 in offensive rebounding rate (153rd), defensive rebounding rate (289th) and block percentage (276th) last season. He’s capable of evolving into one of the nation’s most complete players, a great force on both sides of the floor. Some of that depends on the muscle he added to his body since last season. And part of that is attitude. The guy who put up 19 points, five rebounds, two steals and a block during Indiana’s win over Kentucky in the Sweet 16 needs to show up every night for Tom Crean’s team. He has that potential.

Indiana junior James Blackmon Jr. has been cleared to practice, according to Mike Miller of The Herald-Times:

IU coach Tom Crean told The Herald-Times that Blackmon is a full participant in the team’s current conditioning and strength training regimines. That puts Blackmon on course to be ready for preseason practice next month, and ultimately IU’s season opener against Kansas on Nov. 11 at Pearl Harbor.

“He is cleared and we mix his workouts up with small group work that isolates his skills and improvement,” Crean said. “He’s played one-on-one and some four-on-four.”

Class of 2017 five-star prospect Mohamed Bamba took an unofficial visit to Harvard on Tuesday, writes:

Mohamed Bamba, the 7-footer from the PSA Cardinals and the Westtown (Pa.) School, took an unofficial visit to Harvard on Tuesday, a source told

Bamba took his first official visit to Michigan over the weekend.

The No. 2-ranked power forward in the Class of 2017, Bamba holds offers from virtually every high-major, including Duke, Kentucky, Arizona, UConn and more.

“Harvard is really close to home and Harvard obviously has a very strong alumni base,” he told me earlier this year. “You can go into any job interview and say, ‘I’m a Harvard grad.'” asked each IU player for their favorite home cooked meal and here were the results:

OG Anunoby — Spaghetti
James Blackmon, Jr. – Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus
Thomas Bryant – Fried Chicken, Mac-n-Cheese, Fresh Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Collard Greens and a nice Pound Cake cooked by Grandma.
De’Ron Davis – Spaghetti with Garlic Bread
Grant Gelon – Ribs and Sweet Potatoes
Devonte Green – Steak and Mac-n-cheese
Collin Hartman – Beef Stroganoff
Johnny Jager – Steak and Potatoes
Robert Johnson – Crab Cakes, Shrimp, Mac-n-Cheese, and Mashed Potatoes
Curtis Jones – Fried Chicken, Mac-n-Cheese, Mashed Potatoes and Lemonade
Zach McRoberts – Chicken and Noodles with Mashed Potatoes
Freddie McSwain, Jr. – Meat Loaf, Corn, Mashed Potatoes, Mac-n-Cheese, homemade Pie.
Juwan Morgan – Ham, Greens, Cabbage and Potato Salad.
Josh Newkirk – Spaghetti with Garlic Bread
Tim Priller – Chicken Fried Chicken, Mac-n-Cheese, Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Quentin Taylor – Thanksgiving meal: Turkey, Stuffing, Sweet Potatoes, Rolls and Collard Greens updated its class of 2017 rankings on Tuesday and 64 of the top 150 have already made commitments:

Sixty-four members of the Rivals150 have already made their college decisions. Of those who have already committed only six are five-star prospects and only 15 are ranked in the top 50. Auburn, Washington, Illinois and Xavier each have three ranked players committed while Creighton, UCLA, Louisville, Arkansas, Villanova, Florida, TCU, California, Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida State each have a pair of Rivals150 commitments.

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  • And One

    I want to have supper at the Bryants.

  • Lance76

    Only a WAG, but IF Scruggs is leaning toward another school not named IU then maybe he wants out of the area before he takes heat for choosing against the IU nation.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    not sure if that’s it, but still what an odd choice. and what an odd school! certainly doesn’t seem legit does it?

    i’m curious how this will effect IU’s interest level going forward. if he’s going to a prep school that seemingly doesn’t exist, wouldn’t that bring his gradeseligibility into question?

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    IU’s newest recruiting tool: Mac-n-Cheese. The Mop Lady has been promoted to Head Chef during all official visits and is using her family’s secret recipe.

  • N71

    It would seem he needs to “up his game” with either grades or his play and there’s an AAU connection with Prolific, my guess is grades. I’m not sure if Paul would catch too much flack for choosing Xavier or Butler over IU. Kentucky on the other hand…

  • Ole Man

    I want some of those collard greens that Quentin talks about!

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    Just my gut feeling, but the whole Scruggs situation just smells fishy. How can Prolific be called “Prep” if it doesn’t even have a school, teachers, classes, not to mention a physical address? Are there any other prep “schools” that do this? If I’m a coach, this move may make me quit pursuing him. I understand the recruiting world is changing, but there’s other fish in the sea (Waters). And if I’m a parent, I just don’t see how this move is going to change the end product that much. Would changing any of your HS senior classes drastically change your college academic performance? Maybe, but probably not. Would changing your basketball coach for a couple months drastically change your performance on the court? Maybe, maybe not…hard to tell with young people and how much they absorb. It just seems like a lot of change for the amount of benefit, which leads me to believe there’s something else going on. Again, this is just my gut feeling. I’m not trying to demonize the guy or accuse him of any wrongdoing, but when the knowns of the situation don’t exactly add up, the unknowns can be scary. I just think there’s more to the story…

  • FKIM01

    I can see that I’d get along well with RoJo at the seafood buffet…oh, and pass the mac-n-cheese…

  • Cracks me up… TB: “…and a nice Pound Cake cooked by Grandma.”

    Oh, and: I only wish I could eat the way these kids can. I suppose burning calories the way they do doesn’t hurt.

  • It’s not often that an ITH story makes us all hungry.

  • Rob

    ITH stories often leave me hungry for a national championship

  • N71

    Looking at the workout videos I wouldn’t even get to the point of burning the calories, I’d puke first.

  • bleeding crimson

    I think I could put on a great party for the team as I have cooked all the above but TB’s Grand’ma’s pound cake could be a problem.

  • I _knew_ someone was gonna say that. 🙂

  • I think I would just spontaneously combust.

  • If she’s like most Grandma’s, I’m sure she’d be happy to help out.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Josh Jackson, now a Kansas Jayhawk, was at Prolific Prep and he’s eligible for the upcoming season so I guess it’s “on the level” just enough to get the job done for these prospects. I hope it works out for him…it has been months since I thought Scruggs was coming to IU (and I’ve often posted I think Waters is a much better fit) and my opinion has only strengthened with this move.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    yeah, i don’t know anything about that place other than what i’ve read today. course, i wouldn’t be surprised if IU’s academic standards differ from those of jerKS.

    100% with you that TW would be a better fit.

  • JB07

    Findlay Prep in Las Vegas is the same thing. A loosely organized “school” where highly ranked basketball players travel the country participating in tournaments and attend their classes at another school.

  • MGDC

    How do you figure that Waters is a better option than a physical, defensive oriented big guard who can also take it the hole? He sounds like just what we need going forward.

  • Kwang

    I heard that his HS coach and his AAU coach got into it and he decides out of that mess. Nothing confirmed, just word of mouth.

  • Arch Puddington

    Haven’t seen Waters in person, but I have seen Scruggs, and I think Waters is a better player and a better fit by a wide margin. He’s a true PG who drives and dishes naturally, and can shoot from deep. Scruggs is a combo guard who can’t shoot from outside. Scruggs would surely be a better rebounder, but Waters is a natural facilitator who can play at high speed on offense, and (seemingly) a tenacious on-ball defender who forces turnovers. Don’t get me wrong, I think Scruggs is a beast, but If we were picking sides I’d take Waters without thinking.

  • marcusgresham

    His grades will be coming from the Catholic school mentioned in the story. Assuming that’s a legitimate school, as long as he isn’t playing professionally I don’t know that his eligibility would be affected.

  • marcusgresham

    You wanna fight TB for seconds? Good luck.

  • marcusgresham

    I just heard this entire list read in the voice of Radio.

    “Spaghetti. Oooh, I like spaghetti.”
    “We got mac & cheese. We got mac & cheese? Oooh, I like mac & cheese”….

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I smell RAT with Paul Scruggs transferring. Not on his part but someone on the coaching staff with one of the universities on his final list convinced him to do this. I can’t see anyone on IU’s staff being involved which makes me think we lost him. I hope this works out well for him. I really hope I am wrong about this.

  • Bill Graham

    Scruggs leaving could be a great thing for us…then again it could be terrible.

    He could…get to Napa and get homesick that makes IU look like a good target.


    he could get to Napa and realize that being away from home isn’t such a big deal…and then he’s Kevin Ollie’s for the pickin.

    ….on a sidenote it appears by these fav foods that getting rid of the Btown Waffle House was a bad idea…

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Kevin Ollie is whom I am suspecting is behind this. This move seems to dramatic for Scruggs on his own.

  • Kyl470

    I was thinking the same thing. Findlay Prep is literally just the basketball team. They attend class at an existing school in Vegas.

  • Ole Man