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Silencing The Noise

  • John A. Logan College sophomore Jay Scrubb has a who's who in terms of Division 1 college offers. Now Scrubb, the reigning Region 24 Player of the Year and First Team All-American is projected to go in the first round of next year's NBA Draft.

    John A. Logan College sophomore Jay Scrubb has a who's who in terms of Division 1 college offers. Now Scrubb, the reigning Region 24 Player of the Year and First Team All-American is projected to go in the first round of next year's NBA Draft.
    SPYDER DANN | mdann@dailyregister.com

 
BY SPYDER DANN mdann@dailyregister.com
updated: 8/1/2019 10:00 AM

Having to decide amongst the who's who of college basketball might not be the hardest decision for John A. Logan College sophomore Jay Scrubb at the end of this season.

Scrubb has college offers from top universities like Louisville, Cincinnati, Kansas State, West Virginia and Oklahoma State, just to name a few.

But they all pale in comparison to the latest offer shoved in front of Scrubb.

Last week, the Louisville native found his name among those that would be potential first round selections in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft as it was predicted that Scrubb would be selected 27th by the Denver Nuggets by the website www.nbadraft.net.

The decision is one for the future, but in the present time, JALC head coach Kyle Smithpeters said Scrubbs history is why he has been able to put himself in this position.

"He's worked extremely hard and he's put himself in position to be noticed for his hard work," Smithpeters said. "I think the most important thing with this though is Jay's mentality of understanding that just because someone has an opinion of you doesn't mean you're where you need to be. I think Jay understands that he has a lot of work still to do to get better to where he wants to be and what his expectation is."

En route to taking home First Team All-American and Region 24 Player Of The Year last year, Scrubb also averaged 19.5 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 46% from 3-point range, Smithpeters said it would be easy for Scrubb to be satisfied and accept his accolades, instead the eighth-year head coach said there is a fire still burning inside the 6-foot-6, 220-pound guard.

"If anything, I've seen the fire burn a little bit hotter. Thinking from the standpoint, maybe I should be a little higher on that list. You have to give a lot of credit to a guy like that with that mentality. Hopefully that mentality will continue to stay that way as the season goes along."

Scrubb will be one of top junior college prospects when Logan tips off the season November 1st and should he make the jump to the NBA, he would be the first JUCO player since Southeastern Illinois College's Donta Smith who was picked by the Atlanta Hawks with the 34th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft.

Distractions are a part of the college basketball game and despite the road blocks this year, Smithpeters knows the best way to navigate the terrain is strength in numbers. It just so happens that not only does the Harrisburg native have numbers, but he has mature numbers.

"You're never going to silence (distraction)," Smithpeters said. "That's not what it's there for. The white noise is going to be there because it's probably deserved of the hard work he's put in. You have to rely on the maturity of 1) the player and 2) the maturity of the team. It's every team every year. There's always noise around a team program. I think it is up to the coaches to be able to understand the emotional level of the team and understand the mentality of the team in order to help fixate some of those things.

"If you have a very mature group, it just makes it easier on the coaches. It's one of those things where you just kind of keep your head down and keep moving forward because it's more or less going to take over your group then there is not much else you're going to be able to do about it. I do feel we have a mature enough group with a very common goal across the board and I think that's gonna be the main focus throughout the season."

Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois Local Media News Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.