Assessing Players in the Fourth 2018 Combine Scrimmage Game

May 18, 2018

by Alan Lu

I took the time to watch the fourth scrimmage game of the 2018 NBA Draft Combine, as this match was between Team 1 White and Team 4 Gray.  Many players at this event have been jockeying for draft position, and some may have helped themselves considerably more so than others.  In this game, Team 1 White cruised to a blowout victory, and the top players of this contest looked to be Arizona’s Rawle Alkins, USC’s De’Anthony Melton, Missouri State’s Alize Johnson, and Syracuse’s Tyus Battle, while plenty of others also played well.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared on this day.  For those that are looking to find the box score of this game, click here.

Arizona’s sophomore guard, Rawle Alkins had a solid all-around game, as he played well in all areas to help his team get a double-digit victory.  He excelled at attacking the basket to garner scores, and he also played terrific defense when he was on the court.  Alkins did a very good job of scoring on hustle plays.  He showed a knack for running the floor to score on fast breaks, and he was able to throw down an emphatic, double pump dunk in transition once.  He also can score fast break drives, and he has good speed, strength, and body control to finish plays around the basket.

He also excelled at scoring on half-court drives to the hoop.  He has a solid first step off the dribble, and he also showed a good shooting touch another time to score on a floater.  Plus, he also shot the ball well when he would elect to hoist up jumpers.  Alkins was able to make an open spot-up three off the catch, as he was able to help his team space the floor.  But sometimes, he can be prone to rushing, which can lead to misses, as he also had his shot blocked off of a cut and in the post in this game.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills.  Alkins played unselfishly as he would look to move the basketball, and he was able to kick it out to a shooter off the dribble to set up a score for his teammate.  Also, Alkins showed a good ability to rebound the basketball.  He possesses a very good motor, and he would frequently go in to crash the glass to help his team out on the boards.

He also showed off tremendous defensive skills in this contest.  He did an outstanding job of blocking shots to prevent opponents from scoring on fast breaks, and he also managed to swat a shot when defending a bigger player in the post.  Alkins also managed to deflect a pass to a teammate to help his team get a steal, and he played shut-down defense as he really excelled at getting stops for his team.

In general, Rawle Alkins had a terrific showing to help lead Team 1 White to a blowout win over Team 4 Gray.  He is a very athletic swingman that will compete on every possession, and he could develop into being a defensive stopper in the NBA, a he could end up being a good value pick for a team in the late first to the second round range of the upcoming draft.

USC’s De’Anthony Melton also played very well for Team 1 White, as he excelled at getting scores off the dribble, and he also played solid defense to help get his team the win on this day.  Melton did a good job of getting scores off the dribble.  He excelled at scoring on smooth drives to the hoop, as he managed to score on a floater, and he also used a pivot move to score on a turnaround jumper.  He also did a good job of scoring on fast break drives.  Plus, he also managed to make a pull-up, mid-range jumper.  But sometimes he can rush his shots, which can lead to misses.  Also, he had more trouble when he would attempt mid-range jumpers, as he struggled more on offense when he would take shots when he would be further away from the paint.

Also, Melton played unselfishly as he would look to move the basketball, and he also handled the ball well.  Plus, he was active on the glass, and he would help his team get boards on both ends of the floor.  He also played solid defense.  Melton managed to block a shot off of a drive due to possessing good leaping ability, timing, and instincts.  He also managed to deflect an inbounds pass out of bounds, and he also poked a ball away from an opposing ball handler to nearly force turnovers on those occasions.

In summary, De’Anthony Melton had a solid game today, as he excelled as a scorer and defender when he was on the court.  He is an athletic, skilled combo guard that can provide an NBA team with some much needed versatility, and he could be a late first to a second round pick in this year’s draft.

Missouri State’s 6-9 senior forward, Alize Johnson also played well, as he was able to contribute in plenty of ways to help Team 1 White get a double digit victory over Team 4 Gray.  Johnson excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He showed a knack for scoring in transition, as he managed to score on an acrobatic, reverse layup once after running the floor to beat his man down court, and he also threw down a dunk on a fast break.  Also, he managed to score on a put back.

Plus, he also used a step back move to score on a pull-up, mid-range jumper.  But Johnson occasionally struggled to score in the post, as he had some trouble finishing plays in traffic.  Also, he displayed very good playmaking skills.  Johnson can make an assortment of passes to get assists, as he threw a lob pass to set up a score on the break, and he also can get the ball to shooters.  Plus, he also set a good screen to help get a teammate open for a jump shot another time.  He did commit one turnover as he had a ball ripped away from him once.

In addition, Johnson did a very good job of rebounding the basketball, as he would actively crash the glass to haul in boards on both ends of the floor.  But occasionally he would commit fouls when defending in the post, as he can give up deep position when defending down low when he is matched up against stronger opponents.  Overall, Alize Johnson had another solid game at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine, and he played well in both matches at this event.  He has certainly helped himself with strong showings in these past couple of days, and he could be a solid value pick for a team in the second round of the upcoming draft.

Syracuse’s 6-6 sophomore guard, Tyus Battle excelled as a scorer for his team, as he excelled at driving to the hoop to get scores on half-court drives as well as in transition.  He would consistently get to the free throw line, and he showed a solid ball handling skills and a quick first step to the hoop off the dribble.  Plus, he also played unselfishly as he would get the ball to his teammates to set up scoring chances.  In general, he played much better today, as he could be a good pick for a team in the second round this year.

Kansas’ sophomore center, Udoka Azubuike continued to play well, as he excelled as an inside scorer and interior defender to help Team 1 White get another win at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine.  He often would throw down powerful dunks, as he would run the floor to get open for transition scoring opportunities, he would get the ball on rolls to the rim, and he also would get the ball in the post to score down low. 

Also, Azubuike showed off decent low post scoring skills, as he lowered his shoulder to score on a strong jump hook, and he also used a drop step to draw free throws on a dunk attempt.  Plus, he also managed to score on a quick put back.  But sometimes, he would not always find his shooting touch when attempting jump hooks, as he ended up missing shots on occasion.  Plus, he played adequate defense.  Azubuike was able to rotate to block a shot emphatically when defending in the post, as he ended up swatting the ball out of bounds.  But another time, he hedged onto an opposing ball handler, but ended up committing a foul as he tripped up his opponent.

In general, Udoka Azubuike had a good showing to help his team get the win, and he has played very well at the NBA Draft Combine.  It’s uncertain if it will be enough for him to get into the first round, as he will still need to improve his perimeter skills, but Azubuike is a player that can finish plays around the basket, rebound, and defend, as he could project to be a solid rim protector at the next level.  With his skill set, he could end up being a solid pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round of the upcoming draft.

West Virginia’s senior point guard, Jevon Carter played fairly well, as he especially had a strong first half to help pave the way for Team 1 White get the win today.  In this game, he showed a knack for knocking down mid-range jumpers, particularly off the dribble.  He also excelled as a scorer in transition, and he also would draw non-shooting fouls on quick drives to the basket.  Though he was able to make a quick three, Carter was inconsistent at knocking down long-range jumpers from beyond the arc.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills.  Carter can find teammates off the dribble, and he can throw good interior passes to set up scores.  However, sometimes he can also be inaccurate with his passes, which can lead him to commit turnovers.  Plus, he also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would frequently crash the glass, as he was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor.

Carter also played adequate defense.  He was adept at picking off passes to get steals, as he has very good quickness, anticipation skills, and instincts.  However, sometimes he may play too aggressively, which can lead him to commit fouls as a result.  In general, Jevon Carter had a decent combine, as he did a good job of setting the table to get scores for his teammates, and he also played solid defense in both games.  While he may not be the most dynamic playmaker, he is a smart player that will compete on every possession, and he could be a sound pick for an NBA team in the second round of this year’s draft.

Colorado’s George King showed off versatile scoring skills in this game.  He would score on smooth drives to the basket, and he also ran the floor to score on a thunderous dunk in transition.  He also was able to knock down an open, spot-up three off the catch.  Plus, he also was able to kick the ball to a teammate off the dribble to get an assist.  King had a fairly good showing to help Team 1 White get the win over Team 4 Gray, and he could be a solid find for an NBA team on draft day.

UCLA’s freshman point guard, Jaylen Hands also had some good moments in Team 4 Gray’s loss to the opposition.  He excelled as a finisher around the basket, as he managed to throw down a reverse dunk.  On another play, he also ran the floor to score on a thunderous jam on the break while drawing an extra free throw simultaneously.

Plus, he was able to use a side step move to knock down a nifty, pull-up three.  Hands showed an adequate ability to knock down jumpers and score off the dribble, and he also showed very good athletic gifts when he was on the floor.  In summary, he will need to improve his playmaking skills and be a more consistent player in games, but Hands is a talented player that could end up going in the mid to late second round if he decides to stay in this draft.

Arizona’s Allonzo Trier showed a knack for scoring on pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he would often draw free throws on strong drives to the hoop.  He also ran the floor to score on a nice dunk on the break.  Plus, he played unselfishly, as he was able to throw an accurate interior pass to get an assist.  In summary, Trier had a better game today than yesterday, and he is an athletic, skilled scorer that could potentially end up being a second round pick this year.

Maryland’s 6-10 freshman big man, Bruno Fernando excelled as a finisher around the basket, as he managed to score on a powerful put back slam, and he showed a knack for scoring off of offensive rebounds.  He also would draw free throws after looking to score off of energetic, off-ball motion plays.  He also used a spin move to score on a step-through move off the glass after posting up another time.

In addition, he also did a good job of blocking shots to protect the paint defensively.  But sometimes, he would commit fouls when defending opposing ball handlers.  In summary, Bruno Fernando had a fairly good game as he made solid plays on both ends of the floor, and he is a very athletic big man that could project to be a defensive specialist in the NBA.

Dayton’s 6-10 freshman forward, Kostas Antetokounmpo had a good showing for Team 4 Gray, as he especially played well in the second half in this contest.  He showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays, as he would throw down dunks on fast breaks, and he also threw down a jam off of a hard roll to the rim.  Another time, he also managed to draw free throws off of a left-handed drive to the basket.  He also played good defense.  He showed a knack for blocking shots to prevent opponents from getting easy shots up, and Kostas also was able to get a loose ball to obtain a steal for his team.

Overall, Kostas Antetokounmpo played well when he was on the floor, and he is a very athletic combination forward that may have the skills and upside to end up being drafted by an NBA team this year.  If he stays in the draft, he could potentially be a second round pick, as he may project into being a defensive specialist that may have emerging offensive skills.

Villanova’s 6-5 redshirt sophomore guard, Donte DiVincenzo struggled to make jumpers consistently, but he was able to do everything else pretty well.  He did a good job of passing the basketball, as he would consistently find the open man to rack up assists.  Plus, he was able to come away with plenty of rebounds, and he even was able to leap up to get an impressive, one-handed offensive rebound due to possessing a great motor.  Also, he played very good defense.  He often would pick off passes to obtain steals, as he excelled at playing passing lanes.  He also displayed good footwork, as he would often be able to stay in front of his man when defending drives.

DiVincenzo also was able to do a good job of scoring off the dribble, as he played well when he would not look to take threes in this game, even though normally he is a very good shooter.  He also managed to score on a crafty, flip shot off of an offensive rebound another time.  In summary, Donte DiVincenzo had a decent game, and he is an athletic, skilled basketball player that can play multiple positions.  He is a talented player, and he could end up being a potential first round pick if he stays in this year’s draft.

Georgia’s 6-8 senior forward, Yante Maten would often draw free throws, as he would barrel his way to the basket.  He showed a knack for doing so after posting up as well as after when he would drive the ball to the hoop.  He also played good defense, as he managed to get a steal off of a long pass that was thrown his way.  In summary, he played fairly well, though he did not seem to take enough shots on offense.  He will need to show teams that he consistently knock down jumpers and defend upper echelon players, but he is a tough, physical combination forward that could be a potential second round pick this year.