Amy Scullion, the third player to join Ohio State’s women’s basketball recruiting class of 2010, broke down the conclusion of her recruiting in a relatively simple manner.
“It wasn’t a tough decision to become a Buckeye,” Scullion said. “It was a harder decision to play basketball, but I love Ohio State and I can’t wait. I mean who doesn't want to go play with the team they have now?”
Given the momentum that seems to be building for head coach Jim Foster’s program, the question is fair to ask.
Scullion, a 6-0 forward from Salem, Ohio, gave her commitment in the spring, making her one of five girls to pick Ohio State as a college basketball destination since the young duo of Jantel Lavender and Samantha Prahalis headlined the Buckeyes’ fifth Big Ten title team in a row and the first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2005.
Lavender, a center who led the Big Ten in scoring, rebounding and shooting percentage en route to being named player of the year for the second time, will be a senior when Scullion first dons scarlet and gray, while Prahalis, who led the Big Ten in assists last season and was named Big Ten freshman of the year after pushing the Buckeyes to a new, higher-scoring pace, will be a junior.
In April, highly regarded guard Tayler Hill of Minneapolis picked the Buckeyes after a long recruiting battle with Texas and Minnesota, telling local reporters at the time she saw a chance to be the third star who could push the team over the top and into the national title picture. Within a week, Foster accepted a 2010 verbal commitment from shooting forward Martina Ellerbe of Teaneck, N.J., and in May, the 2009 recruiting effort came to a close with the announcement of the signing of 6-5 Serbian center Aleksandra Dobranic.
Also in May, Toledo Start point guard Maleeka Kynard became the first player to verbally commit to Ohio State’s 2011 class.
When decision time came around for Scullion, the question was not which school she would pick but rather what sport she would continue after high school.
She was a third-team All-Ohio selection after averaging 17.1 points per game last basketball season, but that was only after she picked up her second first-team All-Ohio honor in volleyball the previous fall.
“I love volleyball. It’s been my life for six years now. I’m going to miss it a ton."
She added with a laugh, “I’ll probably sneak a couple games in here and there."
Her club volleyball coach, Curt Conser, indicated his sport would miss her, too. He said there are some who believe she possesses a set of skills that would allow her to play professionally in a league overseas after college if she so desired. There are no domestic professional volleyball leagues.
“Volleyball is going pretty specialized,” he said. “You’re either quick and have great ball control or big and can really thump the ball. She’s one of a small percentage of players who can do both on the court.”
An outside hitter for Conser, Scullion has the ability to play every front row position on the volleyball court because of her quickness and leaping ability.
Of course, those skills make her an attractive addition to Foster’s front line, too, and her AAU coach, Jim Clayton, expects her to fit right in at Ohio State, both in terms of skill and culture.
With parents who hold degrees from Ohio State and a sister already there, doubting Scullion’s Buckeye roots is hard to do, and she has the type of athleticism some of Foster’s earlier Ohio State teams lacked, successful though they were.
“Being an Ohio player with the type of recognition she has and the type of athletic player she is and the style they play, she kind of fits right in that,” said Clayton, who coaches for the Sports City U program based out of Teays Valley, W. Va.
He believes she can play shooting guard or either forward position because she has a little bit of everything in her game.
“She’s the kind of player who can go up and snap the rebound and come right out of there with it,” Clayton said. “Forget the point guard. She can get it and go coast to coast because she can pull up on anybody. She just goes up and over people, and now that she’s locked into playing basketball, she’s going to work that much harder on her basketball game and that will take her even higher.”
NCAA rules prohibit Foster from commenting on unsigned players, but Scullion said she thinks he sees her as a small forward on his team.
“So hopefully I can be more of a mismatch being 6-0, which is kind of tall for that position,” she said. “He just wants me to get in gym and work on my shot so I can just get the feed from Prahalis.”
Scullion is the second player from Ohio and the second member of her AAU team to commit to Foster for 2010. She joins forward/center Darryce Moore of Youngstown Boardman, who committed last fall.