One of the main targets for the 2017 recruiting class, 4-star PG and Indianapolis-product Paul Scruggs, will be transferring from Southport High School to Prolific Prep in Napa, California for his senior year.
Aside from the obvious Napa vs Indianapolis comparisons, this move raises a lot of questions. First off, not even his high school coach was aware of this as a possibility, per this tweet from IndyStar's Kyle Neddenriep:
Talked to Southport coach Kyle Simpson over weekend. He said he wasn't aware of possibility of a Scruggs' transfer until last week.— Kyle Neddenriep (@KyleNeddenriep) September 6, 2016
In this day and age, for a coach to be blindsided like this is pretty unheard of. A lot of players have taken the prep school route, but usually it's a long, drawn-out decision that has input from not only a player's family, but his high school and AAU coaching staff, as well. It does not appear that this was the process for Scruggs.
Scruggs stayed in California, location of Prolific Prep, after weekend visit. Withdrawing from Southport today.— Kyle Neddenriep (@KyleNeddenriep) September 6, 2016
Second, although Scruggs has received major interest from programs all over the country, basically every single recruiting analyst has been pretty much convinced that Scruggs is essentially down to two schools, Xavier and Indiana. For those who aren't so geographically-inclined, Xavier and IU are very much not near Napa.
Most likely, this is a purely basketball move for the 4-star prospect. After establishing himself as an elite prospect in Indiana, the appeal of playing against consistently high-end competition in a place where he can completely focus on his game both physically and mentally was probably extremely enticing, especially before he heads off for the rigors of high-major D1 college basketball. It should be noted that Prolific Prep has had some very big names walk through its doors in recent years, like Kansas super-freshman Josh Jackson, who the Hoosiers will get a taste of later this year in Hawaii.
Also, currently on Prolific Prep's roster is 5-star 2017 SG Gary Trent, who has a relationship with Scruggs that goes back many years. But, for any super-team conspiracy theorists out there, Trent is seen as nearly a lock to head to Duke (95% on Crystal Ball), and his other suitors don't seem to match any schools even remotely still in the running for Scruggs (Note: I reserve the right to rescind this statement because this is still high school boys making decisions, after all.)
At the very least, this is a major blow to the Indianapolis high school basketball scene, as Scruggs becomes the latest 2017 talent to leave Indy for a change of scenery, following Jaren Jackson Jr. (La Lumiere, IN) and Justin Roberts (Findlay Prep, NV).