Everything You Need To Know About Jay Scrubb

Jay Scrubb will be a bit of a project, but his scoring versatility and athleticism give him a great foundation to develop into a quality rotation wing.

Since the NBA instituted the decision that players must wait one year after high school before entering the NBA, we have seen more and more players find different ways to circumvent the NCAA. Some prospects go abroad while others take the full year off to train. Historically, the junior college route has been a stepping stone to more prominent college programs. This year, however, one of the 2020 NBA Draft’s biggest sleepers, Jay Scrubb, is coming out of the JUCO system.

Scrubb is likely relatively unknown to most people outside of the draft deep divers. Scrubb had initially committed to play for Louisville, but after a very impressive season that drew interest from NBA scouts, he decided to hire an agent and stay in the draft.

While Scrubb is an incredibly enticing prospect, it is crucial to know that he will be a project. With that said, he already has an excellent foundation to build on and skills that are easy to see translating to the NBA.

One of the most apparent traits of Scrubb’s game is his combination of size and athleticism. At 6’5 202 pounds, Scrubb is an excellent athlete who oozes 3-and-D potential. In his two seasons at John A. Logan College, Scrubb averaged 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals on 52/39/75 shooting splits.

These numbers are highly encouraging, but there are still some glaring issues regarding the fundamentals and the cerebral aspects of the game. He is in desperate need of high-level coaching to iron out the kinks.

Scrubb’s most significant area for growth is on defense. His size and athleticism should make him a competent defender, at worst, eventually, but his awareness and fundamentals are far too inconsistent.

One of Scrubb’s most significant defensive issues has been his overall effort level. There are long stretches where he stops caring. These lapses lead to him dying on screens, getting back cut, and being blown past on drives.

Some players are just bad defensively and never show any signs of promise. That characterization doesn’t apply to Scrubb, though, which makes his defensive inefficiencies all the more frustrating.

Since his fundamentals and effort waivers, his defensive upside early in his career will come when he is defending off-ball, as we can see below. As the pick-and-roll yields no positive options for the offense, the ball-handler looks to rotate the ball. Scrubb is initially slow to rotate to the wing with his man, which goes back to his inconsistent awareness, but this delayed reaction ends up working in his favor. Due to the gap between Scrubb and his man, the ball-handler throws a lazy pass. Scrubb uses his athleticism and burst to close the gap in an instant, steal the pass, and finish with an emphatic dunk at the other end.

Another encouraging facet where Scrubb can utilize his athleticism on defense is with rim protection. I’ll stop you there; I’m not saying he’s going to be an elite shot blocker. What he can do, though, is be a disruptor from the weak side and in transition.

Here, Scrubb does an excellent job of not giving up on the play and cutting across the lane to deny the layup. The ball-handler initially makes a quality pocket pass to his big man on the opposing block. A simple shot fake sends the first defender flying out of the play, leaving the big man with what he expects to be an easy layup. Instead, Scrubb rotates from the opposite side of the lane, times his jump correctly, and blocks the layup.

Unfortunately, Scrubb doesn’t make these impactful plays enough yet to justify playing time. However, with NBA level coaching, I fully expect Scrubb’s defensive fundamentals to rise to a level where he is at least passable.

While the defensive end is important, if a team drafts Scrubb, and someone should, it will be based on his offensive upside. Scrubb is an excellent three-level scorer who can score out of nearly any situation. He can get to the rim with ease; he can slam on the breaks and pull up in the mid-range; he can knock down threes off the catch or dribble.

Even though he saw a dip in his three-point accuracy this season, he knocked down over 46 percent of his threes the prior season, on similar volume. Scrubb ending up as a high 30 percent shooter from outside is not difficult to imagine.

Scrubb is a decent shooter off the catch, but he is extremely comfortable with the ball, as we can see below. Scrubb lulls his defender to sleep with a series of crossovers before utilizing a lightning-quick jab step, freezing the defender. Off of the jab step, Scrubb steps back behind the line and knocks down the three.

Creating in isolation is a valuable trait, but Scrubb’s ability to score out of the pick-and-roll is equally impressive. Here, Scrubb makes the opponents pay for lazy defense. Once Scrubb dribbles off the screen, he knows he is going to pull up. His initial defender dies on the screen, and the drop defender is sagging too far off to have any impact. Once he gets into the open pocket on the wing, Scrubb pulls up and knocks down the three.

Srubb’s threat of outside shooting is a valuable skill on its own, but its more significant impact is that it allows him to attack the rim. With his size and athleticism, Scrubb is an excellent driver. He can finish over, through, or around defenders at the rim. His outside shooting forces opponents to close out on him, but Scrubb’s ability to attack closeouts and finish at the rim is an essential weapon in his arsenal.

Here, Scrubb receives the dribble handoff and feigns a shot. This subtle fake is enough to freeze the defender who Scrubb proceeds to fly past. Scrubb now has a clear runway for takeoff. Scrubb elevates and finishes with a devastating dunk over the late rotating defender.

Scrubb doesn’t purely rely on power when it comes to finishing at the rim. He also has excellent touch and agility to avoid contact and score with a bit of flair, as we can see here. Scrubb initially blows past his primary defender with a simple hang dribble. The at rim defender does an excellent job of staying vertical, but Scrubb hangs in the air, double clutches, avoids the contact and finishes with the layup.

Side note, if you’re going to slap the floor as a team, don’t immediately give up a layup. It’s just a terrible look.

Even though it has gone out of style, Scrubb is also a threat from the mid-range. Here, Scrubb is running in transition. The defense is slow to pick him up, sagging too deep in the lane, so Scrubb effortlessly pulls up and knocks down the jumper.

Similarly, Scrubb can take advantage of mismatches, as we can see below. Against the smaller guard, Scrubb takes one power dribble towards the lane. By getting into the defender’s chest, Scrubb creates a cushion. Scrubb then elevates over the defender and finishes with a lefty hook shot.

Scrubb has a very enticing scoring upside. Unfortunately, this has led to a questionable shot selection. He will force bad shots and recklessly drive.

Scrubb has also shown flashes of active off-ball movement, but in general, he becomes rather passive when he doesn’t have the ball. In the NBA, Scrubb will mostly be an off-ball player. While these flashes are encouraging, he still has a long way to go to be a legitimate off-ball threat.

Additionally, Scrubb has minimal playmaking upside. He will occasionally make an impressive pass out of the drive to a shooter or the dunker’s spot. However, Scrubb usually has blinders on as he is focused on creating for himself.

Going forward, Jay Scrubb has an excellent foundation to develop into a productive wing. He has an encouraging scoring upside to go along with NBA ready athleticism. He will massively benefit from NBA level coaching, especially on defense. He will need to adjust his mindset from being the clear number one option to being a useful role player.

In the 2020 NBA Draft, Jay Scrubb has the talent to get drafted in the second round. He will be a bit of a project, but a team with a quality development system and patience can turn him into a rotation wing.

Like what you've read? Share it with your friends on      or  

Go ad-free by supporing Hashtag Basketball on Patreon for $2/mo

More Information

Premium Fantasy Basketball Tools

Import Yahoo & Fantrax leagues and analyze them with our free tools.

More information

2020 NBA Draft Prospects

Meet the top 60 prospects of the 2020 NBA Draft.

More information