The Right Guard
Published by Gabe Lee on April 13, 2010
The students of Vancouver College adore their star 6-foot-3 guard Philip Scrubb.
Exhibit A: In anticipation of the BC AAA provincials, the school held a pep rally; a big component of the matinee was father and son three point competition between Phil and his father, Lloyd. As Phil began his three point barrage; the crowd counted along with each three he made. In total he was able to connect on sixteen in a minute, edging out his father’s score of twelve. “The better shooter won the competition, although I think I could’ve made it a bit more difficult for him on that day. Maybe the pressure just got to me”. Mr. Lloyd Scrubb jokes.
Exhibit B: During College’s pivotal match up against 2009 BC champions, the St. George’s Saints, giddy pro-Phil chants engulfed the gymnasium whenever he touched the ball. “I don’t hear that stuff, I’m just in a zone”. Phil reflects. His stoic demeanor, resembling Brandon Roy’s, is a big reason he’s able to stay cool and collected during crunch time. While he conducts himself similar to Brandon Roy, his game is akin to Kevin Durant (even though a guard) giving the defense fits with his length and God-given ability to score the basketball.
His play at Vancouver College has been nothing short of sensational. Phil finishes his career shattering the Fighting Irish’s provincial tournament scoring total at 202 points over eight games (this year and last), eclipsing Alex Lando’s previous record of 185 points over thirteen games. His average over his career at the tournament is 25.5, second in the Irish’s history (behind Anthony Lao’s 28.5 averages). In case you were wondering, he finished the season with averages of 23.7 ppg, 6 rpg, and 4.8 apg, all the while shooting 52 percent from the field (extremely proficient for a guard).
Unfortunately his high school career did not conclude in a fairytale ending, bowing out 53-51 to the White Rock Christian Academy Warriors in the semi-finals. However, Phil is pleased with the Season College had. “Going into the season we thought the only way this year could be considered a success is if we won the championship, but, our team grew so close during the season and we accomplished so much, so overall I would say we had a successful year as a team”.
This year’s edition of the Fighting Irish revolved more around team play, a slew of solid role players surrounding Phil. Yet at times, Phil had to carry the team for extended stretches in order to win.
Vancouver College’s modest leader is deadly on the drive, nearly unstoppable once he beats his man. Upon finding the seams of a defense, Phil operates like a surgeon unleashing his repertoire of finishes that range from the free throw line floater to the two handed lay in Assistant Coach Scott Wright raves as a shot “I’ve never seen him miss “. His long range game is more consistent than last year, able to hit when given daylight. Perhaps the greatest testament of Phil’s selflessness; he is able to perfectly balance when to score and when to distribute to keep his supporting cast content (think Derrick Rose at Memphis, with a host of players filling the shoes of Chris Douglas-Roberts).
The main thing he’s improved on is his leadership, realizing the team would only go as far as he’d take them.
It seems as soon as Phil was able to make a name for himself, his time at Vancouver College is coming to an abrupt end. In September Phil will be packing his bags to join Ottawa’s Carleton Ravens.
Phil will be pursuing business degree at Carleton.
Considering Phil’s primary business is to win, Carleton was a clear choice for him and his family. Other programs that expressed interest in Phil include the likes of UBC, SFU, Trinity Western, UVic, Windsor, Ryerson, Waterloo, Portland, Sacramento State, and New Mexico State.
“Carleton is the just the best fit for me personally. Their program has been so successful over the past few years and they do a great job of developing their players. The opportunity to play with my brother also influenced my decision”.
Successful is an understatement. Carleton has dominated the CIS over the last decade, winning six of the ten national championships. Albeit a slip up in this year’s championships to eventual champions, the Saskatchewan Huskies, the Ravens’ track record mirrors Bill Russell’s stranglehold of the NBA championship in the 1960’s.
Besides the opportunity to win, Phil admits the appeal of playing with his brother once again also swayed his decision. “I loved playing with him last year and I look forward to playing with him again”.
His brother, Thomas, concurs “it will be nice to play together again. We both play better when we are together. I will enjoy my time here more since my brother is with me”.
Thomas predicts Phil may get some minutes because of his advantage of being a taller point guard. The Ravens only lost one guard to graduation, thus it will be difficult for any rookie to obtain major minutes immediately.
“There are also some good recruits coming in and they could have an impact. We work extremely hard so we will always be improving regardless”. Thomas adds.
Phil is aware of the challenges that lay in front of him, he’s also aware variables such as playing time are out of his control and the one thing he can control is how hard he works leading up to the season.
Working hard is an attribute he acquired since a very young age from his father. And Mr. Lloyd Scrubb expects his work ethic to continue to determine his success rate.
“I think they’ve (Phil and Thomas) both seen through high school how hard work and focus can lead to success. They’ll need to build on that at the university level to try and match or exceed their high school accomplishments.”
So far so good. Phil’s penchant to work on and off the court recently earned him a scholarship from TELUS (official sponsor of the provincials).
Last year CROWN published an article about Phil, titled “A Work in Progress”. Phil has used the last twelve months to further develop his game.
“Both last year and this year I just tried to do whatever my team needed to win, but this year I’m more aggressive attacking the basket and a little bit more under control”.
A year later, he’s the closest thing to a “Finished Product” as you’ll find on the Canadian high school basketball scene.