Thoughts on the 2nd Combine Scrimmage Game, and More

May 17, 2018

by Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch the 2nd combine scrimmage game between Team 3 White and Team 4 Gray.  In this game, Team 3 White eventually cruised to a blowout victory, and the top performers of this game in my opinion were Melvin Frazier, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Josh Okogie, and Sagaba Konate.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared in this contest, as well as some of the other notes of what happened on May 17th at this event.  For those that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link.

Tulane’s junior guard, Melvin Frazier had a strong showing, as he had a solid all-around game, and he showed off versatile scoring skills as well as great athletic gifts to help Team 3 White to a double-digit victory.  Frazier did a great job of scoring on hustle plays.  In this game, he caught a lob pass to score on a thrilling alley-oop dunk, and he also intercepted a pass and drove in to score on a high-flying windmill jam on the break.  He excelled at getting scores in transition, as he would often beat his man down the court, and he can finish plays above the rim.

He also did a good job of scoring on smooth drives to the basket, as he can finish plays with either hand.  He also shot the ball well, and he was able to make a pull-up three to show off his shooting skills.  Also, he displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Frazier is an unselfish player that will move the basketball, and he can throw outlet passes to set up scores for his teammates in transition.  But he also committed his fair share of turnovers, as he had a ball ripped away from him on a drive, and he also threw a low pass to a roll man, as his teammate was unable to catch the ball.

Frazier also played very good defense.  He would actively play passing lanes, and showed very good athleticism, footwork, and instincts.  In this game, he showed a knack for intercepting passes to get steals.  He did commit a foul when defending in the post off the ball, but generally Frazier excelled defensively when he was on the floor.

In general, Melvin Frazier played very well, as he was able to help his team in many different ways in this game.  He is a very athletic swingman that can shoot and score the basketball, and he also showed off some good passing and defensive skills.  He also tested very well in the athletic testing and measurements’ portion, as he is a 6-6 guard that has almost a 7-2 wingspan, and he had a max vertical leap of 40.5 inches.  With the way he’s played here at the combine, Frazier could be a solid value pick for an NBA team in the mid to late first round range of the upcoming draft.

Kansas’ 6-8 senior forward, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk shot the ball really well for Team 4 Gray, as he scored 20 points and made 6 three-pointers in his team’s loss to the opposition.  He undoubtedly showed off strong shooting skills, and he also played good defense in this game.  Mykhailiuk really excelled at knocking down three-point shots to space the floor for his team.  He can deftly make them off the catch, dribble, and he can also run off screens to make quick threes from beyond the arc.

He also used a pump fake as he drove in to score on a pull-up, mid-range jumper.  However, he struggled more to score when he would take shots that were inside the arc.  Sometimes, he had trouble finishing plays around the basket, as he had a couple of his shots blocked, and he also missed an acrobatic reverse layup on a fast break drive another time.  Also, he ended up missing a fadeaway jumper when attempting to score in the high post.

He also struggled with turnovers in this game.  Mykhailiuk did throw a solid, sharp pass to man that ran out ahead on the break to set up a scoring chance for him due to possessing good court vision.  But Mykhailiuk also committed numerous turnovers, as he threw a couple of inaccurate passes, and he also called for a clear out when trying to get past his man when handling the basketball.  Another time, he used a quick pump fake to drive to the hoop, but he had accidentally stepped out of bounds.

Also, Mykhailiuk played good defense.  He managed to block a shot off of a drive to force a miss.  On a separate play, he deflected pass to nearly get a steal for his team.  In summary, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the floor, and he also defended fairly well.  He did commit too many turnovers, but overall he had a good showing on this day.  In terms of athletic testing and measurements, he tested to be 6-8, but he only measured to have roughly a 6-5 wingspan, and he did not do the running or jumping drills.  Still, with his solid play in this scrimmage, Mykhailiuk could be a second round pick that could provide value to NBA teams as a sharpshooter on offense.

Georgia Tech’s sophomore guard, Josh Okogie also played very well, as he played well on both ends of the floor to help Team 3 White get a win over Team 4 Gray.  Okogie excelled at scoring on aggressive drives to the basket.  He often would make strong moves to the hoop, and he would tend to draw many free throws to help his team on offense.

He also excelled as a scorer in transition, and he can throw down powerful dunks on the break.  Plus, he also showed off good shooting skills, as he managed to use a step-back move to make a pull-up three from beyond the arc.  Also, Okogie passed and handled the ball well.  He managed to throw a dump off pass off of a drive to get an assist, and Okogie showed good court vision as he played unselfishly to get his teammates good scoring chances.

Plus, Okogie also played good defense.  He managed to poke a ball away to get a steal, and he also fought through a screen quickly when defending an opposing ball handler due to possessing solid lateral quickness and footwork.  In this game, Josh Okogie played very well, as he played well in many different areas to help get his team the win.  He also tested well in the athletic testing as well as in measurements.  He measured to have a 7-0 wingspan, and he ended up being tied for first in having the highest max vertical leap at 42 inches this year so far.  All in all, Okogie has really helped himself today, and he could end up being a solid pick for an NBA team in the late first round of the upcoming draft.

West Virginia’s 6-8 sophomore big man, Sagaba Konate also played well in this game, especially early on, and he showed off good low post scoring skills, and he is a strong interior defender that exhibited a terrific shot blocking prowess that could make him one of the more underrated players among prospects in this year’s draft class.

Konate showed off good low post scoring skills.  He was able to score on a turnaround jumper, and he also did a good job of finishing plays around the basket, as he also scored after catching a lob pass.  He also used an overhead ball fake to draw free throws after hoisting up a jumper from the block.  He also was able to score on a patient drive to the hoop.  Plus, Konate also ran the floor to score on a powerful dunk on the break.  However, he had trouble consistently knocking down jumpers, as he had more trouble trying to score when he was outside of the paint area.

He also passed the ball well.  After grabbing an offensive rebound, Konate found a teammate on a cut to notch an assist.  Plus, he was quite active at crashing the glass, and he would leap up to haul in plenty of defensive boards when he was on the floor.  The most impressive thing is how well he played on the defensive end in this game.  Konate showed off tremendous defensive skills, as he would consistently block shots emphatically off of drives, and he also swatted a shot off of a roll to help his team protect the paint.  He also managed to get a steal, and he is an athletic big man that has great timing and instincts, as he can force a wealth of misses due to his strong defensive skills.

In summary, Sagaba Konate had a very good showing, as he is a high motor player that could be one of the best defensive players to come out of this year’s draft class.  He is a terrific shot blocker that could project into being a very good rim protector in the NBA, as he could be this year’s version of Golden State Warriors’ rookie big man, Jordan Bell.  With the way he’s played today, he could end up being a solid value pick for a team in the second round of the upcoming draft.

Duke’s 6-5 freshman guard, Gary Trent Jr. put forth a good performance, as he played very well in the second half to help lead Team 3 White to a double-digit win on this day.  He excelled at scoring on drives to the hoop, and he showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also played good defense in this game.  He did a good job of scoring on smooth drives to the basket.  He excelled at drawing free throws as he would make strong moves to the hoop, and he also managed to throw down an emphatic dunk to score on a drive in transition. 

Trent also scored on a turnaround, fadeaway jumper after posting up once, and he also was able to make a pull-up three.  However, he had more trouble making spot-up threes, and he also struggled to knock down pull-up, mid-range jumpers.  Also, Trent managed to throw a lob pass to a big man to set up a score for his teammate.  However, there was one play where he had a ball knocked off of him on a drive to lose the basketball, leading him to commit a turnover.

He also displayed above average defensive skills.  In this game, he was able to intercept a pass to get a steal.  In summary, Gary Trent Jr. played fairly well, as he showed versatile scoring skills as well as solid athletic gifts to help his team on offense.  He also tested well athletically, as he recorded a 39.5 inch max vertical leap.  Overall, he had a good day at the combine, and he could end up being a good value pick for an NBA team in the late first round this year.

Kentucky’s 6-8 freshman combination forward, P.J. Washington put forth a solid performance to help get Team 3 White the win on this day, as he ended up scoring 14 points and collecting 13 rebounds in this game.  Washington did a terrific job of drawing free throws, as he would do so on drives, when he would be in the post, when he would run the floor, and he also used a step back move to draw a shooting foul after hoisting a pull-up, mid-range jumper.

He did a very good job of finishing plays around the basket, and he managed to throw down a dunk after being left open underneath the hoop.  Also, Washington excelled at scoring off of offensive rebounds, as he scored on a quick tip-in, and he also scored on a strong put back another time.  Also, Washington did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He would frequently leap up to collect defensive boards, and he also did a good job of scoring on second chance points to help his team on offense.

Plus, he played good defense.  Washington managed to block a shot off of a roll, and he also poked a ball to teammate to help his team get a steal another time.  In general, Washington had a strong showing in today’s game, as he was active on both ends of the court, as he would play energetically to help his team when he was on the court.  Also, he did fairly well in the athletic testing and measurements, as he has a 7-2 ½ wingspan, and he also recorded a 34 inch max vertical leap.  There still may be concerns about his perimeter skills on offense, and if he can defend quicker players out on the perimeter, but Washington is an athletic, high-motor player that seems to have a good feel for the game, and he could be a good value pick for an NBA team in the second round of the upcoming draft.

Other Notes:

However, some of the players that were at the NBA Draft Combine did not play well in the scrimmages.

One potential first round pick, SMU’s 6-6 junior guard, Shake Milton was unable to score in roughly 21 minutes of playing time for Team 4 Gray, and he also committed 4 turnovers and personal fouls apiece.  He did show off some shot blocking skills, as he has good leaping ability and timing to swat shots, but he really struggled to connect on his jumpers. 

Perhaps the only good thing that came his way was that he measured to have almost a 7-1 wingspan.  However, that did not wash away his scoreless performance or the fact that he did not do any of the running or jumping drills in the athletic testing, either.  It’s possible and perhaps likely that Milton’s stock could drop further, as he may end up being looked squarely as a second round prospect than as a player that could potentially go in the mid to late first round.  Right now, he’ll need to shake off today’s bad performance, as a good scrimmage game tomorrow could help him bounce right back after having a rough go so far at this year’s combine.

It was also not a great day for Virginia’s 6-5 senior guard, Devon Hall, either.  Earlier today, he had tested to be tied for having the lowest standing vertical leap at 25 inches, as well as being tied for having the lowest max vertical leap at 31 inches.  He did collect an assist and blocked a shot in the scrimmage game, but Hall went 1 for 6 from the field, and he missed both of his threes, as he only scored 2 points for Team 3 White.  Hall tended to have trouble scoring off the dribble in traffic, but he was able to make a turnaround, pull-up, mid-range jumper. 

However, he did not shoot the ball very well today, and he did not fare nearly as well as some of his peers at the athletic testing portion of this event.  Devon Hall will need to bounce back to have a better scrimmage game tomorrow, but even still, his draft range looks to be in the second round to undrafted range, as his ability to shoot the basketball could be crucial for him to make it to the NBA and succeed at the next level.

It was also a disappointing day for Syracuse’s 6-6 sophomore swingman, Tyus Battle.  Thought to be a potential first round pick, he only made 1 of 5 of his shots, and scored just 2 points for Team 4 Gray.  He generally had trouble knocking down shots, and he also generally struggled to score off the dribble.  He did show some passing skills, as he threw a nice dump off pass off of a drive to set up a scoring chance for his teammate, and he also managed to get a steal.

However, Battle did not play nearly as well as he could have, and he played a lackluster 18+ minutes, as he generally looked to be a non-factor on both ends of the floor.  He also did not do any of the running or jumping drills in the athletic testing, so Battle did not help himself today.  Most likely, he will slide to the second round range, and he will need to bounce back by having a good game tomorrow to get back into the first round conversation.

Other Notes, Part II:

UPDATE: The NBA.com boxscore for game 1 has not been very reliable, as their fluctuations on players’ statistics have varied too much today, so this part of the write-up has now been deleted, as another article will come in to detail how players fared in the earlier game.

Other Notes, Part III:

For those that want the information on the measurements and athletic testing, the link to the anthropometrics is here, and the link to the running and jumping numbers is here.

Texas’ freshman center, Mohamed Bamba really helped himself today, as he measured to be nearly 7-1 in shoes, and he was measured to have a 7-10 wingspan, which is one and a half inches longer than Rudy Gobert’s reported wingspan in 2013.  Bamba also had the highest standing reach at 9’7.5”, and Bamba’s tremendous size and length can help explain why he’s been a tremendous interior defender, which could make him well positioned to end up being a top 5 pick in this year’s NBA draft.

Georgia Tech’s Josh Okogie and Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo really helped themselves by both being tied for first in posting a 42 inch max vertical leap at the combine.  Okogie also had the best three quarter sprint time at 3.04 seconds, and he had the 2nd best shuttle run at 3.03 seconds, while Donte DiVincenzo had the best standing vertical leap at 34.5 inches.

In addition, Maryland’s Kevin Huerter had the best shuttle run at 2.96 seconds, and he also posted a solid 38 inch max vertical leap.  Also, he managed to score 11 points as he made two threes, as he could end up going in the late first to the second round range on draft day.

Duke’s Grayson Allen also helped himself as he tested well athletically today.  He had the best lane agility time at 10.31 seconds, he had the third best shuttle run at 3.04 seconds, and Allen tested to have a very good, 40.5 inch max vertical leap.