ACC Basketball Recruiting: Impact of Patrick Tape and Jay Scrubb’s decisions

The impact of Patrick Tape’s decision to select Duke as well as Louisville commit Jay Scrubb’s choice to head to the NBA will be discussed in the second edition of the ACC Basketball Recruiting Notebook, as well as several other recruiting happening.

Several things have occurred around ACC Basketball teams the past couple of days with the two items being the decisions of Columbia big man Patrick Tape choosing to transfer to Duke and Louisville’s top 2020 recruit Jay Scrubb ultimately deciding to bypass college basketball and head to the NBA.

Patrick Tape picks Duke

Six-foot-10 center Patrick Tape tabbed the Duke Blue Devils as the team that he will finish his career with on March 24. Tape sat out this past season after tearing a ligament in his toe over the summer and then aggravated the injury before the season began. The Charlotte (NC) native is eligible immediately eligible as a grad transfer. He chose Duke over his other three finalists who were Syracuse, USC, and Ohio State.

“[It was] really just being close to home and having my family come see me, the excellent tradition they have there and the opportunity to play for the best coach of all time,” Tape told Jeff Borzello of ESPN.

Ranked as the No. 10 grad transfer by ESPN, Tape produced three double-doubles and averaged 11.3 points and 5.9 rebounds along with 1.3 blocks a game while shooting 66.7% from the field for Columbia in 2018-19. He scored in double figures 16 times and hauled down double-digit rebounds on four occasions.

The 6-10, 232-pound athletic big man, who is highly efficient, is an excellent finisher around the rim with either hand. He is outstanding at diving to the basket and is very good at getting position in the low-post. Tape also has range out to 15 feet though he is at his best getting to the hoop off the dribble. Tape is a staunch defender who excels at blocking shots and rebounding the ball on the defensive end.

Tape is expected to come in and contribute immediately for the Blue Devils as well as serve as a mentor for incoming freshmen big men Jaemyn Brakefield, Henry Coleman, and Mark Williams. Tape will likely start at center with Javin DeLaurier exhausting his eligibility and Vernon Carey Jr., expected to enter the 2020 NBA Draft.

With Tape in the mix, the Blue Devils have 14 players on scholarship following Tre Jones’ departure. However, Carey and possibly Cassius Stanley, as well as several other players, could depart.  The only thing that indeed is known that Joey Baker and possibly Wendell Moore will return, in addition to the six freshmen coming in.

 Jay Scrubb bypasses Louisville

Louisville’s top 2020 recruit and the No. 1 JUCO player Jay Scrubb has decided to enter the upcoming NBA Draft instead of playing for the Cardinals this year, which is not unexpected.  Scrubb, who signed with Louisville back in November, has been considering bypassing college for quite some time. The 6-6 wing averaged 21.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists a game this past season at John A. Logan College (Ill.). He connected on 41 of his 123 (33.3%)three-point attempts this past season.

Losing Scrubb hurts Louisville, but it does not devastate them unless Jordan Nwora decides to bolt for the NBA Draft. While the Cardinals lost Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble, Ryan McMahon, and Dwyane Sutton to gradation, as well as, Darius Perry (transfer), they will have talented freshmen David Johnson along with Samuel Williamson and Josh Nickelberry. Plus, the Cards have already signed four-star shooting guard D’Andre Davis and Jae’lyn Withers — who took a redshirt this past season –will be available. With Scrubb entering the NBA Draft, it opens up another scholarship, meaning that the UofL will have three remaining. Louisville is reportedly in the mix for Tallahassee CC point guard Elbert Ellis.

In other news, Louisville lost out on four-star 2021 point guard Zion Harmon to Western Kentucky on March 24. The Cardinals also offered 2021 four-star Jalen Warley (Philadelphia, PA) and Hunter Sallis (Omaha, NE).

North Carolina State offers Santa Clara transfer, Trey Wertz

Santa Clara transfer Trey Wertz has heard from over 30 programs since entering the NCAA transfer portal. NC State became one of the latest schools to make the overture when they offered the Charlotte (NC) native on March 25. Wertz, who will have two years of eligibility left, improved his efficiency improve in his sophomore campaign as he produced 1.37 points per shot and an effective field goal percentage of 58%, which was up from 1.25 points per shot and an EFG% of 51% in his first collegiate season.

The 6-4 shooting guard averaged 11.9 points along with 3.5 rebounds, 1.6 3-pointers, and 3.9 assists while shooting 48.9% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc. The All-WCC Honorable Mention selection scored in double-figures on 17 occasions and doled out at least five assists 15 times. He also topped the 20-point mark three times, which includes tallying 31 points against Pacific (Jan. 18) as he made 10 of 12 shots from the field and 2 of 3 from long-distance.

Several ACC programs pursuing 2021 4-star Dontrez Styles

North Carolina became the latest ACC program to offer Kinston (NC) small forward Dontrez Styles a scholarship. The consensus 2021 top-70 prospect received his offer from coach Roy Williams via a telephone call on Monday night.

“It’s a great feeling, Carolina is a historic program,” Styles said in an interview with HighSchoolOT. “Coach Roy called me, and that’s kinda big to have someone like Coach Williams call your phone.”

Styles averaged 19.7 points per game and 11 rebounds (5.2 OREB) per game this past season while shooting 76% from the field and 51% (30-59) from the 3-point line. He led Kingston High School (26-4) to the fourth round of the 2A playoffs.

The four-star recruit is ranked as the 58th prospect in the class by Rivals and ESPN. Meanwhile, 247Sports composite has him at No. 57, and 247Sports lists him at No. 68.

Clemson, Maryland, NC State, Pittsburgh, and Wake Forest are among the 13 other schools that have offered Styles a scholarship.

More news

  • Georgia transfer center Rodney Howard announced that he was transferring to Georgia Tech on March 25. Howard averaged  1.3 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks in 7.3 minutes per game over 24 games for the Bulldogs, which included two starts. The 6-11 big man fills a huge need at the 5 position as senior James Banks graduates this year. GT has also signed three-star center Saba Gigiberia and has received a pair of visits from 7-1 four-star Philippine national Kai Sotto. The Jackets have two scholarships remaining to use this upcoming season.
  • Miami offered three-plus star 2021 point guard Bensley Joseph (Arlington, MA) a scholarship on March 23. The Hurricanes are the latest to offer Joseph, who currently holds ten overtures.
  • Virginia Tech filled out its 2020 recruiting class with a verbal commitment from three-star small forward David N’Guessan (Baltimore) on March 19. The Hokies also offered 6-8 forward Cesare Edwards (Hartsville, SC) on March 25. Edwards, who is ranked as a three-star forward by 247Sports, holds eight offers, which include an offer from Clemson.