Analyzing the 2023 NTX Combine Games, and Picks for the 2023 All-NTX Combine Teams

May 12th, 2023

By Alan Lu

SMU’s 6-9 forward, Efe Odigie played tremendous basketball and was a standout performer at the 2023 NTX Combine that was held in early May this year.
(Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Recently, I decided to watch several games that were played at the 2023 NTX Combine. Last year, Drake Jeffries was a standout performer from this event and he ended up playing for the Orlando Magic’s summer league team in Las Vegas. I decided to watch it this time around to see who could potentially be the sleeper prospects for the 2023 draft.

Game 1: Team 1 vs. Team 2, Team 1 wins 84-79

I took the top to watch the first game of the 2023 NTX Combine that was played on May 3rd, with thanks to YouTube via NTX International Combine.  It was a very close game, but Team 1 was able to edge out Team 2 to get the victory.  In my opinion, the standout performers were Team 1’s Craig Porter Jr. and Ahmad Rand, as well as Team 2’s Rudi Williams.  Here are my thoughts on how they and other top performers fared.

Craig Porter Jr. is a very athletic, energetic playmaker that really thrived at making aggressive plays to help his team on the court.  He also was able to make an impressive number of athletic plays by scoring on high-flying dunks above the rim.

Porter thrived at scoring on hustle plays.  He was able to score on a powerful, two-handed, double-pump dunk off of a cut to the hoop.  He also would sprint hard and get the ball down court, which enabled him to score on athletic, two-handed dunks.  He struggled more to score on half-court drives or on outside shots, but Porter did a good job of moving off the ball to score, and definitely was one of the most athletic players on the court.

He also showed off solid playmaking skills in this game.  Porter can make an assortment of passes to set up scores for his teammates.  He showed a knack for throwing very long, accurate outlet passes to get the ball to his teammates on the break, and he also can make passes off the dribble.  He did a good job of finding them on the move.  Every once in a while he would throw hasty passes, as he had one that was intercepted, and another that sailed out of bounds, but generally Porter did a good job of making plays with the ball in his hands.

Also, Porter did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He was able to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he especially showed a penchant for grabbing defensive rebounds, in which he would usually push the pace afterwards.  He also defended very well in this game.  Porter would get his hands on passes and poke balls away to get steals, and his ability to pressure opponents would make it very difficult for them to operate on offense.  Porter also was able to hustle back to block a shot to prevent an opponent from scoring on fast breaks.  He also would close out on shooters to force misses, and he would stay in front of opposing ball handlers and cut off penetration to get stops.

In general, Craig Porter Jr. played very well, and he was one of the standout performers in the first game of the 2023 NTX Combine.  He is a very athletic point guard that can pass, rebound, and defend, and he also can finish plays above the rim.  He’ll need to be a more consistent outside shooter, but his ability to reliably run the point and defend could enable him to be an effective role player in the NBA.

Rudi Williams had a strong showing to help Team 2 in this game.  He is an athletic, skilled point guard that really excelled as a scorer, and he also rebounded and defended well when he was on the court.  He had a terrific second half, and he played really well down the stretch to keep his team in it for most of the way.

Williams showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  He did a very good job of scoring on fast breaks.  He also managed to score on a back cut, as well as on a tip-in off of an offensive rebound.  He is a very athletic guard that especially excelled at scoring in transition to help his team on the court.

Also, Williams excelled as a scorer off the dribble.  He would consistently drive hard to the hoop to score, and he also can take on the contact to get to the free throw line.  Plus, he also was able to drive in to score on a high-flying, two-handed dunk.  Williams has a quick, strong first step, and he was able to consistently score in traffic.  He struggled more to score on outside shots, as he had some trouble making threes or jumpers just inside the arc, but Williams was able to use a pump fake to score on a pull-up three while getting fouled late in the game.

He also showcased adequate playmaking skills.  Williams is an aggressive playmaker that can make an assortment of passes at the point of attack, and he showed that he can get the ball to his teammates off the dribble and in transition.  Sometimes though, he would get the ball poked away from him when handling it to commit turnovers.  Another time, he tried to throw a quick, fancy pass, but it got intercepted instead.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Williams would crash the glass to haul in boards on both ends of the floor, and he would sometimes push the ball up the court off of defensive rebounds.  He also defended well.  Williams would jump passes and poke balls away to get steals, and he also would contest outside shots to force misses.  On one play though, he shaded too far to his right and got beat off the dribble baseline, which led his team to allow a score around the basket.

Overall, Rudi Williams had a very good game, and he was one of the standout performers on Day 1 of the 2023 NTX Combine.  He is an athletic, skilled guard that showed off versatile scoring skills, and his ability to score as a downhill driver was impressive.  He was a bit too turnover prone at times, but his ability to make shots and plays as the lead ball handler combined with having solid athletic gifts could enable him to be an effective role player in the NBA.

Ahmad Rand also played well to help Team 1 get the win in this game over Team 2.  He is a very athletic combo forward that thrived at making hustle plays, and he made a big impact as an interior player when he was on the court. Moreover, he threw down some highlight reel-worthy dunks and made some terrific shot blocks, and he is a great athlete that looked to be the most athletic player of this event.

Rand thrived at scoring on hustle plays.  He showed a knack for catching lobs off of backdoor cuts to score on alley-oop dunks.  He also ran in to score on a powerful tip slam off of an offensive rebound.  He also ran the floor to score on a magnetic dunk on the break.  While he didn’t shoot the ball nearly as much as the other players, Rand was able to knock down an open long two to show a promising outside shooting touch.

He also was able to make a drive and kick pass to notch an assist, and Rand is an unselfish player that showed that he was willing to make the extra pass to find the open man.  He also showed that he can get the ball as the roll man on the move.  However, sometimes he would throw hasty passes that would lead to turnovers.

Also, Rand showed a satisfactory ability to rebound the basketball.  He was especially active at crashing the offensive glass, and he was able to get an offensive board in traffic once.  Plus, he also defended well.  Rand has solid lateral quickness that allows him to stay in front of opposing ball handlers when defending out on the perimeter, and he was able to block a couple of shots due to possessing very good athleticism and timing.  He also used his length and anticipation skills to intercept an entry pass to force a miss.  He also showed a knack for contesting shots off of drives and in the post to force misses.  On the downside, he would sometimes get beat off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls.  Other times, he would sometimes sag too far off of shooters, which would lead him to give up open jumpers.

Overall, Ahmad Rand played very well, and he did a great job of making hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.  He’s still kind of an undersized big man that is of small forward size, and he didn’t seem to show much shooting range or ball handling skills, which could make it very difficult for him to make the transition to the NBA game, but his athleticism, defensive skills, and motor could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA someday.

Cameron Smith had a decent showing to help Team 1 get the win in this game.  He’s a 6-8 forward that showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also was very active defensively.  He was a bit streaky with his jump shot, but he showed plenty of versatility that helped him on both ends of the floor.

Smith did a good job of making threes from beyond the arc.  He was able to make an open three off of a pick and pop play, and he also used a subtle ball fake to score on a corner three off the dribble another time.  He also was able to use a crafty Euro-step move to score on a baseline drive while getting fouled.  While he struggled to score in the post, Smith was able to score on a strong move once.  On the downside, he struggled to consistently score out of the post or on mid-range jumpers, and he seemed to operate better when facing up rather than looking to score with his back to the basket.

He also showed off fairly average playmaking skills.  Smith is an athletic forward that can handle the basketball, and he showed that he can throw interior passes and find teammates on the move to set up scoring chances for them.  On the downside, he would sometimes telegraph his hands, which would lead him to get them deflected and intercepted by his opponents.

He also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  Smith was especially active at crashing the offensive glass, and he has a very good motor that would allow him to chase down balls to get many offensive rebounds.  Also, Smith played satisfactory defense.  He excelled at rotating to swipe balls in from opposing ball handlers to get steals and deflections.  He also would apply significant ball pressure, and he was able to successfully draw a charge once.  On the downside, there would be times where he wouldn’t effectively communicate to his teammates in screen situations, and they would end up giving up open shots as a result.  He also would get beat off the dribble, which would lead his teammates to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Smith showed that he can score in a variety of ways, and he also generally rebounded and defended well.  He will need to take better care of the basketball and show that he can be a consistent outside shooter on a regular basis, but Smith played fairly well overall, and he could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA.

Latrell Jones also had a satisfactory showing to help Team 1 get the win in this game.  He excelled a a three-point shooter early on, and he also showed the ability to score out of the post and on fast breaks.  He was at his best as a spot-up shooter from deep, but he also showed off solid footwork to be able to score in one-on-one situations.  He excelled as a three-point shooter, especially in the first half, and he also was able to score in a variety of ways.

He also was able to get his fair share of rebounds to help chip in on the glass, and Jones was especially active at crashing the glass to get offensive boards.  He also played satisfactory defense.  Jones was able to get his hands on a pass to help his team get a steal, and he would contest threes to force misses.

Overall, Jones is an athletic, skilled swingman that can shoot and score the basketball.  He’ll need to show NBA teams that he can shoot well at higher levels, but he played well overall in this game, and he could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA.

Everette Hammond had a solid showing to help Team 1 get the win in this game.  He quietly had a solid, all-around game, and he played well on both ends of the floor.  Hammond showed a decent ability to score off the dribble as well as to make outside shots.  He showed good body control to score in traffic a couple of times, but would also miss on tough shots on drives in transition.  He also was able to make a long two off the dribble, as well as an open, spot-up three.  Also, Hammond was able to score on a backdoor cut later on.

He also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills.  He’s an unselfish player that can find teammates on the move, and he did a good job of making drive and kick passes as well as on give and go situations to get assists.  However, sometimes he would throw inaccurate passes that would lead to turnovers, and he also had a ball that was stolen away when handling it another time.

Also, Hammond did a good job of rebounding the basketball, especially on the defensive end, and he would tend to push the ball quickly up the court afterwards.  He also played satisfactory defense.  He was able to rotate to the post to block a shot to himself due to good athleticism and timing, and he also would jump on loose balls to help his team get steals.  However, sometimes he would get beat off the dribble, which would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Hammond played well in this game, and he showed off a solid set of all-around skills.  He didn’t really do any one thing to particularly stand out, but he played well overall. Though he doesn’t possess the ideal physical tools, he is a versatile combo guard that could end up finding his way to the NBA one day.

Marquis Godwin played fairly well for Team 2 in his team’s loss to Team 1.  He shot the ball well, especially in the first half, and he showed that he can make threes and mid-range jumpers both off the catch and dribble.  On the downside, he seemed to cool off in the second half, but he generally showed that he can knock down jumpers on offense.

On the downside, he was quite turnover prone, though.  He tended to commit careless ball-handling turnovers, and he will need to tighten his handles and show better on-court awareness to limit turnovers in the future.

Godwin also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball, and he was able to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  He also defended well.  He would intercepted passes to get steals, and he also showed that he can defend both in the post and out on the perimeter.  On one play though, he bit on a pump fake and trailed his man on a cut, which led his team to give up a dunk to the opposition.

Overall, Marquis Godwin had a decent showing, and he is a fairly athletic swingman that can shoot and defend on the court.  He’ll need to show that he can consistently play well against upper-echelon opponents, but he is a skilled player that could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA.

Other Notes: 

Isaiah Sanders is a very athletic swingman that can make energetic, hustle plays on both ends of the floor, and he was able to run in to score on a thunderous tip slam in this game.  Jaren Holmes also was able to go coast to coast and drive up court to score on a thunderous dunk on the break while getting an extra free throw afterwards.  It was an extraordinary play from Holmes, but he didn’t seem to shoot or defend very well in other moments of this game.  Dexter Dennis is an athletic swingman that showed some solid passing and playmaking skills, but he didn’t shoot very much and struggled to consistently score despite making an open corner 3 and a strong dunk on the break, as he struggled to score off the dribble, especially from the mid-range.

Those are my observations for how the first game of the 2023 NTX Combine went and how the top performers fared.  Thanks for reading.

Game 2: Team 3 vs. Team 4 (Team 3 wins, 85-81)

Recently, I took the time to watch the second game of the 2023 NTX Combine that took place between Team 3 and Team 4, with thanks to YouTube via NTX International Combine.  Team 3 was able to hold on to get a narrow victory, and in my opinion, there were plenty of strong performances, most notably from Brendan Adams, Kong Kong, and Efe Odigie.  Here are my thoughts on how the top performers fared in this game.

Brendan Adams is an agile, skilled playmaker that had a strong showing to lead Team 3 to get the win in this game.  He turned in a strong, all-around performance to help his team get the victory. Adams did a good job of knocking down threes, as he showed that he can make them both off the catch and dribble.  He especially showed a knack for making spot-up threes off the catch, especially from the corners.  He also really excelled at scoring on strong, quick drives to the hoop.

Plus, he also showcased satisfactory playmaking skills in this game.  Adams is an unselfish player that will consistently find the open man, and he can quickly push the pace and find teammates on the move to set up scoring chances for them.  However, sometimes he would telegraph his passes as a couple of them got intercepted, and other times, he would struggle to handle the ball when heavily pressured that led to other turnovers.

He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  Adams has a good motor, and he was able to get boards on both ends of the floor.  Plus, he also defended well.  Adams showed a knack for getting his hands on passes to get steals, and he also has good agility that would enable him to close out on shooters and contest shots to force misses.  Every once in a while though, he wouldn’t cut off penetration when defending opposing ball handlers off the dribble, which would lead him to allow scores.

Overall, Brendan Adams played very well, and he especially excelled as a shooter, scorer, and defender in this game.  He also was a taller point guard than most players that played this position at this event, so he was able to use that to hound opposing ball handlers.  He was a bit turnover prone though, but his ability to make shots and plays on both ends of the floor could allow him to make it to the NBA someday.

Efe Odigie is a strong, skilled big man that did a great job of making shots and rebounding the basketball to help Team 3 get the win.  Odigie did a very good job of knocking down spot-up jumpers, as he was able to make them from both the mid-range and beyond the arc.  He excelled at scoring out of the post as well as on hustle plays, and he showed a good shooting touch from the block.  He also showed that he can score either as a roll man or as a shooter on pick-on-pop plays after setting screens for his teammates.

He also showed off fairly average playmaking skills.  He is a willing passer that was able to swing the ball to an open man to notch an assist once.  However, there was one play where he had a ball poked away from him when posting up that led to a turnover.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Odigie especially excelled at grabbing defensive boards, and he was able to leap up to get a key offensive board late in this game.  He also played adequate defense in this game.  Odigie was able to jump on a loose ball to help his team get a steal.  He also was fairly active in contesting shots around the basket to force some misses.  On the downside, there was one play where he didn’t effectively communicate a screen to a teammate and ended up being late to get back to a roll man, which led their team to give up a dunk.  Another time, he gave up deep position when defending in the post to allow a score on that occasion.

Overall, Efe Odigie played very well to help lead his team to a win in this game.  He dominated as a scorer around the basket, but he also was able to knock down a couple of outside shots to show his shooting touch and range.  He is a strong, skilled big man that played very well, especially in the second half, and he could end up being an effective role player in the NBA.

Kong Kong is an athletic, skilled swingman that excelled as a sharpshooter to help Team 4 when he was on the court, especially in the first half.  He looked to be Team 4’s best player in the first half in this game, and he turned in a solid all-around game overall.

Kong did a good job of knocking down outside shots, especially from downtown.  He especially excelled at making spot-up threes off the catch.  He also showed a solid ability to move off the ball to get open, and he was able to use off-ball movement to make corner threes.  Kong also showed a knack for dribbling off screens to make pull-up, mid-range jumpers.  On the downside, he struggled to finish plays in traffic when he would attempt to score around the basket, as he missed on a couple of put backs, and he also missed on an off-balanced runner off of a drive another time.

He also displayed satisfactory playmaking skills.  Kong is a skilled player that can pass and handle the basketball, and he showed a knack for throwing sharp interior passes to find cutters to notch assists. He also was able to use a crafty, behind-the-back, dribble move to do so once.  Kong did a good job of finding open teammates on the move, and he showed off solid court vision.  On one play though, he threw a rushed, inaccurate pass that sailed out of bounds.

Also, he did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  Kong was able to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and he was able to push the ball up the court off of a defensive board late in this game.  He also defended very well.  Kong was able to poke a ball away to help force a turnover, and he would make solid rotations and contest shots to force misses.  He also was able to draw a charge when defending on the break due to being in good position.

Overall, Kong played very well in this game, and he is an athletic, skilled sharpshooter that turned in a strong, all-around performance in his team’s loss to Team 3.  He especially shot the ball well, and he is an intriguing prospect that could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA.

Desi Sills is an athletic, skilled combo guard that played very well in this game.  He did a very good job of shooting and scoring the basketball.  He thrived at making spot-up threes off the catch, and he also ran off the ball to knock one down from beyond the arc.  Sills also showed that he can score off of cuts and in transition, and he also scored on a strong, left-handed drive in the half-court once.  Sometimes though, he can be prone to rushing, which can lead to misses.

He also showcased decent playmaking skills.  Sills is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving, and he also showed that he can make passes off the dribble.  He also did a good job of limiting turnovers on offense.

Also, Sills was able to chase down a pair of offensive boards to help his team on the glass.  He also played adequate defense.  He would jump passes to get steals, and he was quite active on the defensive end.  On the downside, he would tend to get overpowered when defending opponents off the dribble, and he had a tendency to commit reach-in fouls that would cause his team to give up scores in addition.

Overall, Desi Sills had a solid showing in this game, and he is an agile, skilled combo guard that can score the basketball in a variety of ways.  He’ll need to show that he can reliably run the point at higher levels, but his ability to make shots and defend could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA in the future.

Sage Tolbert III had a solid showing for Team 4 in his team’s loss to Team 3.  He is an athletic, energetic forward that showed off a variety of skills in this game, and he especially excelled at making hustle plays. Tolbert showed a knack for scoring off of rolls, cuts, put backs, and on fast breaks.  He often use off-ball motion to score on powerful dunks.  He also showed a satisfactory ability to score on quick drives in transition.  He also showed good body control and athleticism to score off of cuts.  He generally excelled at scoring on the move, but sometimes he would miss on quick shots in traffic. 

He also was able to drive to the hoop to score on a turnaround, mid-range jumper.  When posting up, Tolbert utilized a strong drop step move and a pump fake to score on a tough jumper while getting fouled.  However, he didn’t shoot the ball nearly as well from the outside, and he had trouble knocking down threes in this game.

He looked to be about average at best as a playmaker in this game.  Tolbert is a willing passer that can make interior passes to find the open man.  However, sometimes he would throw inaccurate passes that would go astray, and he had a couple of them get intercepted by defenders.

Also, Tolbert showed a satisfactory ability to rebound the basketball, and he was able to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  He also played decent defense in this game.  Tolbert is a rangy defender that can make numerous plays on the ball.  He was able to jump a pass and poke a ball away to get steals for his team.  He also rotated to block a shot from behind to help his team protect the paint.  He also was active in contesting shots both out on the perimeter and in the paint to force misses.  On the downside, he had some trouble defending in the post, and he would sometimes take bad gambles that would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Other times, he would be late on his rotations, which would lead his team to give up open shots to opponents.

Overall, Sage Tolbert III had a fairly solid showing, and he is an athletic forward that excelled at making hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.  He’ll need to improve his outside shot and be a more disciplined defender in games, but he is an intriguing prospect that could end up competing for a roster spot in the NBA in the future.

Seneca Knight also played well for Team 3 in this game.  He is an athletic, skilled swingman that excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor.  He showed that he can ably score out of the post as well as off the dribble, and he was able to score on a tough, fadeaway jumper out of the post.  He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays, and he would go up strong to do so.  He also was able to move off the ball to make a mid-range jumper and a three-pointer, but he struggled to make outside shots consistently.

On the downside, he was quiet turnover prone.  He would tend to commit careless ball-handling turnovers, and he was called for a couple of traveling violations.  He also threw a ball away that sailed out of bounds another time.

Also, Knight did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball, and he would sometimes push the pace afterwards.  He also played adequate defense.  Knight did a good job of rotating to block shots to help his team protect the paint, and he also would contest shots inside and out to force misses.  On the downside, he would sometimes be late to rotate, which would lead his team to give up open shots.  Other times, he would give up too much space to shooters and allow them to score on open threes.  

Overall, Knight played fairly well, and he is an agile, skilled swingman that showed off a versatile skill set in this game.  He’ll need to be a more consistent outside shooter and will need to tighten up his handles, but he could be an intriguing prospect that could end up competing for a roster spot in the NBA.

Isaih Moore also played fairly well to help Team 3 get the win in this game.  He is an athletic forward that showed off a versatile skill set, and he excelled at making hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.  Moore showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays, as he would often score on fast breaks, rolls, cuts, and put backs.  He would throw down powerful dunks, and he generally excelled at scoring on the move.  Plus, he also was able to make an open, spot-up three off the catch.  On the downside, he was a bit streaky with his outside shot, and he struggled more to score in one-on-one situations.

Also, he was fairly turnover prone on offense.  On one good play, Moore was able to make a drive and dish pass to find a teammate in transition to set up a score for him, and he is a willing passer that can find the open man.  He also managed to set an on-ball screen to help his teammate get free for an open jump shot another time.  However, he threw a bad dribble handoff pass that got intercepted.  After getting the ball on a roll another time, he ended up committing a charging foul that led him to commit an offensive foul and a turnover.  He also was able to get the ball on a short roll, but then quickly had it stolen away from him on a separate possession.

Plus, Moore did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was quite active at crashing the glass to help his team get boards, and he especially excelled as a defensive rebounder.  He also would sometimes bring the ball up off of defensive boards.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  For the positives, Moore is an athletic forward that can cover plenty of ground.  He was able to block a three-pointer to a teammate, and he would contest outside shots to force misses.  He also would use his length to get his hands on passes to get steals and deflections.  However, he would tend to sag too far off his man and give up too much space, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on open jumpers.  Other times, he wouldn’t communicate effectively to his teammates on screens, and he would tend to give up wide-open outside shots to his opponents.

Overall, Moore had a decent showing in his team’s win in this game.  He is an athletic, energetic forward that generally can make energetic plays to give his team a boost, but he will need to continue to work on his jump shot and be a more disciplined defender in games.  He will need to continue to work on and hone his game, but he could end up making his way to the NBA in the future.

All in all, those are my thoughts on how the top performers fared in this game.  Thanks for reading.

Game 3: Team 1 vs. Team 4 (Team 1 won 93-87)

Fortunately, there was a box score that was posted on Twitter by XCCELERATED Sports Metrics (@XCCELERATEDSM). Without further ado, here is a look at how the top performers fared in that game.

Former Wichita State and Texas A&M’s 6-5 swingman, Dexter Dennis really impressed as he scored 28 points on 11 of 15 shooting, and made 4 threes to get Team 1 the win. He really took over the game, and he was extremely efficient as a shooter and scorer on offense. He also grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 4 assists, and he put out quite the show, as he turned in a terrific performance to help get his team the victory.

Cameron Smith had 14 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals in this game. He showed off a solid set of all-around skills, and he especially thrived as a rebounder, facilitator, and defender, but he didn’t shoot the ball well, as he went 6 of 16 from the field and missed all of his threes.

Everette Hammond had 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists in this game. He showed off solid all-around skills, and he especially thrived as a facilitator and rebounder, but he didn’t shoot the ball well fro the outside as he went just one of six from three-point land.

Ahmad Rand scored 12 points on 6 of 8 shooting, and he also put his shot blocking prowess on display by blocking a couple of shots in this game. Day 1 standout, Craig Porter Jr. scored just 7 points on 2 of 6 shooting, and he had 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block in this game.

For Team 4, Markise Davis had 12 points on 5 of 9 shooting, made a couple of threes, and he shot the ball well on offense. He also grabbed 7 rebounds. Sage Tolbert III scored 14 points on 6 of 11 shooting, had 14 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals, and he had a solid all-around game. Umoja Gibson scored 18 points, but only had 1 assist, and went just 2 of 7 on threes. Day 1 standout, Kong Kong really cooled off in this game, as he scored just 4 points on 1 of 4 shooting, and he was much more passive in this game than in the previous one. Desi Sills did not shoot the ball well, but did collect 8 assists in this game.

Game 4: Team 2 vs. Team 3 (Team 3 wins, 102-93)

Recently, I took the time to watch Team 2 play against Team 3 in the last game that was played in the 2023 NTX Combine, with thanks to YouTube via NTX International Combine.  It was a very fast paced game in which Team 3 was able to hold on to get the win.  In my opinion, the standout performers of this game were Efe Odigie, Seneca Knight, Isaih Moore, Jalen Moore, and Brendan Adams.  Here are my thoughts on how the top performers played in this game.

Efe Odigie had a tremendous showing in this game.  He did a great job of shooting and scoring the basketball.  He really excelled at making mid-range jumpers and threes, and he showed off the ability to be a stretch big on the floor.  He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays, and he was able to go coast to coast and use a ball fake to score on a powerful dunk.  He struggled more to score out of the post, and he had some trouble getting his shots to fall when he would look to score from the block.

He also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  He would contest shots both out on the perimeter and in the paint to force misses.  However, he had a tendency to sag too far off his man and give up too much space, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on three-point shots.

Overall, Efe Odigie played very well, and he was able to reliably make spot-up threes in addition to generally excelling as a scorer on hustle plays around the basket.  He did a very good job of making shots and grabbing rebounds, and helping his team get wins in this tournament.  Though he may be a bit undersized to play inside and doesn’t have ideal physical tools, he is a skilled big man that consistently made shots, rebounded well, and played with a high motor, and he may have what it takes to make it to the NBA.

Seneca Knight also played very well for Team 3 in this game.  He is a very athletic, skilled swingman that showed off a solid set of all-around skills, and he played well on both ends of the floor.  He showed a knack for making threes both off the catch and dribble, and he also ran off a ball screen to make a quick corner three once.  He also excelled at scoring on quick drives to the hoop, and he also scored on a thunderous dunk on the break once.  On the downside, he had trouble trying to make mid-range jumpers or scoring out of the post in this game.

He also showed off solid playmaking skills in this game.  Knight sees the floor well, and he can make an assortment of passes off the dribble and in transition.  He was able to consistently find the open man to notch assists.  However, he would sometimes try to do too much when looking to make plays off the dribble, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers.

He also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  Knight looked to be fairly average defensively.  For the positives, he was able to rotate to poke a ball away to get a steal, and he would contest outside shots to force some misses.  However, sometimes he would get beat off the dribble by quicker players, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Other times, he would be late to rotate and give up too much space to shooters, which would lead him to allow them to score on open shots.

Overall, Seneca Knight played very well, and he especially excelled as an offensive player in this game.  He will need to improve his defense, but he could is a skilled marksman that could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA.

Isaih Moore had a very good game to help Team 3 get the win.  He is a very athletic big man that thrived at making plays to help shore up his team’s interior, and he also showed off an improved jump shot.  Moore thrived at scoring on hustle plays, and he was able to throw down highlight reel-worthy dunks off of cuts.  He also was able to make an open three off of a pick and pop play to showcase his range.  He generally excelled as a finisher around the basket, and he showed that he can finish plays above the rim.

Also, Moore displayed decent playmaking skills.  He also is an unselfish player that can pass out of the post as well as on fast breaks.  Sometimes though, he would try to do too much, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers.  He also rebounded the ball well.  He was able to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he would sometimes push the ball quickly up the floor.

Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  He did a good job of blocking shots hard to help his team protect the paint due to possessing very good length and athleticism, as well as solid timing.  He also would use his length and position to stay with opposing ball handlers, and he would force misses and also make it difficult for them to handle the basketball.  However, he would sometimes be late to rotate, which would put his team in scramble situations.  Other times, he would take bad gambles, which would lead their rotations to being out of whack.  He also would sometimes get beat off the dribble and overcompensate by being too aggressive on the contest, which would lead him to commit fouls.

Overall, Isaih Moore played very well, and he excelled as an interior player while also showed an improved outside shot in this game.  He’ll need to be a more disciplined defender in games, but his athleticism and skill set could enable him to make his way to the NBA someday.

Jalen Moore is an agile, skilled playmaker that played very well for Team 2 in this game.  He is a fleet-footed guard that showed off very good court vision, and he showed a knack for making good passes both off the dribble and in transition, and he was able to rack up assists.  On the other hand, he would sometimes over-dribble, which would lead him to commit some ball-handling turnovers.  He also showed a knack for scoring on cuts and in transition, but he didn’t shoot the ball well from the outside.

He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  He also looked to be average at best defensively.  Moore was able to jump on a loose ball to help his team get a steal, and he also hustled to deflect a pass another time.  He also would contest outside shots to force misses.  However, he would tend to get beat off the dribble to allow scores to his opponents.  Other times, he would not be in the right spots defensively, which would lead him to give up open shots.

Overall, Moore is a crafty, skilled playmaker that passed the ball well.  He’ll need to improve his outside shot and defense, but he is a high IQ point guard that could compete for a roster spot in the NBA someday.

Brendan Adams also had a solid showing in this game.  He is an athletic point guard that excelled at making plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.  He didn’t quite shoot the ball nearly as well as he did in the previous game, but he passed and defended well, and his size at the point allowed him to contest shots and disrupt his opponents’ field of vision to force misses and turnovers.  He also was able to drive to the hoop to score on a late game dunk.  Overall, he had a solid tournament.  He will need to be show teams that he can be more consistent in games and reliably run the point at higher levels, but his versatility and ability to make plays on both ends of the floor could enable him to make a team’s roster in the NBA someday.

Gerald Lindell also played very well in this game.  He is an athletic forward that was very efficient in making shots in the limited touches he had on offense, and he excelled at making outside shots as well as finishing plays around the basket.  He also did a good job of finding teammates on the move to notch assists, and he also rebounded the ball well.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  He was active in getting his hands on balls and contesting shots in the paint to get stops.  On the downside, he would be late on his rotations and give up too much space to shooters, which would lead his team to allow scores.  Overall, Liddell had a solid showing here, and he could end up competing for a roster spot in the NBA.

Mikell Cooper also played well in this game.  He turned in a much better showing this time around, and he excelled as a shooter, scorer, and facilitator on the court.  He struggled defensively, as he had trouble staying in front of his man and being in position to get stops, but he generally shot and passed much better.  Overall, he is an athletic, skilled playmaker that excelled as a shooter and passer in this game.  He didn’t play well in the first game, but he played well in this one, and he could project into a backup point guard role in the NBA.

Jaren Holmes had a decent showing in this game.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he excelled at scoring out of the post as well as off the dribble.  He also was more active in looking to score on hustle plays.  However, despite making a pair of open threes, he struggled to make his outside shots consistently, and he also sometimes would miss shots around the basket due to rushing.

He also showcased satisfactory playmaking skills.  He can make patient passes to find the open man.  On one play though, he took too long to make a play while dribbling around, and was called for a shot clock violation.

Also, Holmes rebounded the ball very well, and he was active at crashing the glass to get boards on both ends of the floor.  He would sometimes push the pace off of defensive boards.  He also played adequate defense.  He was able to swat a shot on a put back, and he also would contest shots inside and out to force misses.  Sometimes though, he would be caught ball watching and lose track of his man, which would lead his opponents to score on open shots.

Overall, Jaren Holmes played fairly well in this game, and he showed more of an ability to create his own shot, and he also really excelled as a rebounder.  He’ll need to be a more consistent shooter and have more focus defensively, but he is a strong, skilled combo guard that could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA.

Rudi Williams had a decent showing in this game.  He is an athletic combo guard was able to score in a variety of ways, and he especially excelled at scoring on speedy drives in transition.  He also was able to make a pair of open corner threes.  However, he was a bit streaky with his jump shot, and would sometimes miss tough shots due to rushing.

Williams also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  He also was able to find open teammates on the move to notch assists.  However, he also would sometimes try to do too much on offense, which would lead him to commit turnovers.  Plus, he also rebounded the ball well, and he would sometimes push the ball up the floor off of defensive boards.  He struggled defensively in this game, though.  His lack of size would make it tough for him to defend in the post, and he would often get overpowered by taller, stronger opponents, which would cause him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Williams played fairly well, as he excelled as a scorer in this game.  He’ll need to do a better job of running the point, and he’ll need to show that he can passably guard taller players on defense, but he is a very athletic combo guard that could end up making it as a backup point guard in the NBA.

Jayden Gardner also had a decent showing in this game.  He excelled at scoring out of the post and in transition.  He did a good job of scoring on strong drop step moves when posting up, and he also was able to use a nice behind-the-back dribble move to score smoothly on the break.  He showed a much improved mid-range jump shot and made a couple of those, but he still struggled to make threes despite being wide-open to take them.

On the downside, Gardner was still turnover prone, and he would sometimes go in too wildly and out of control when driving to the hoop, which would lead him to commit reckless ball-handling turnovers.  He also showed a satisfactory ability to rebound the basketball.  Gardner also defended well, and he would contest shots and get his hands in passing lanes to help his team defensively.

Overall, Gardner played fairly well, and he excelled as a shot maker and energy player in this game.  He’ll still need to add a three-point shot to his arsenal and add more passing skills, but his ability to score inside the arc and compete could enable him to carve out a long playing career in professional basketball.

Marquis Godwin played well in the first half of this game.  He shot the ball well early on, but he was streaky with his jump shot as time elapsed.  He is an agile, skilled swingman that can knock down outside shots, and he is a shot maker that can really score from the outside. He will need to be more consistent at making them, but he could project into a 3 and D role at the NBA level.

Ricky Lindo, Jr. played very well in the first half, but cooled off in the second half.  He is an athletic, high-motor big man that shot the ball well early on, and he did a great job of blocking shots.  He showed off a fairly solid face-up game, he was able to score on drop step moves out of the post, and he also made an open three-pointer off of a pick and pop play.  On the downside, he struggled to make his outside shots consistently.  He also set solid screens to help his teammates get open jump shots.  However, he also had trouble protecting the ball and was a bit turnover prone.

He showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball, and he was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  He also played perhaps adequate defense.  He did a great job of blocking shots, and he also was able to poke a ball away to get a steal.  He also would contest shots to help force misses.  On the downside, he tended to sag too far off of his man to allow opponents to score on open jumpers.  He also would sometimes take bad gambles and wind up out of position, which would allow opponents to score on open shots at the rim.

Overall, Ricky Lindo, Jr. played much better in the final game of the 2023 NTX Combine.  He will need to be a more consistent performer in games, but with some more hard work and seasoning, he could end up competing for a roster spot in the NBA someday.

Our Picks for the 2023 All-NTX Combine 1st Team:

C Efe Odigie, Team 3 (Our Pick for the 2023 NTX Combine MVP)
F Isaih Moore, Team 3
F Seneca Knight, Team 3
G Dexter Dennis, Team 1
G Brendan Adams, Team 3

Our Picks for the 2023 All-NTX Combine 2nd Team:
F Ahmad Rand, Team 1
F Sage Tolbert III, Team 4
F Kong Kong, Team 4
G Everette Hammond, Team 1
G Craig Porter Jr., Team 1

Honorable Mention:
Rudi Williams, G, Team 2, Cameron Smith, F, Team 1, Jaren Holmes, G-F, Team 2, Jalen Moore, G, Team 2, Desi Sills, G, Team 4

That is our write-up for how the games went and our picks for the 2023 All-NTX Combine teams. Thanks for reading.

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