Evaluating the Third Combine Scrimmage Game

May 19, 2019

by Alan Lu

I took the opportunity to watch the third combine scrimmage game that took place on May 17th, as it featured various prospects that could end up getting selected in the NBA draft this year.  It was a fast-paced, tightly contested game that was close all the way to the end, but Team 3 was able to edge out Team 2 to get the victory.  The standout performers were Terence Davis, Dewan Hernandez, Cody Martin, and Devon Dotson in this game.  Here are my thoughts on they fared, as well as how the other various prospects played on this day, as well as where they may stack up as prospects for the NBA.  Also, for those that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link.

Ole Miss’ 6-4 senior guard, Terence Davis played very well to help Team 3 get a narrow win over Team 2.  He excelled as a shooter and scorer on offense, and he showed off solid all-around skills when he was on the floor.  Davis did a very good job of knocking down jumpers to space the floor for his team.  He can make quick spot-up threes off the catch, and he can run off curls and use jab step moves prior to making them from beyond the arc.  He also excelled as a scorer off of drives as well as in transition, and he can score on floaters, layups, and after using dribble moves to get past defenders.

As a playmaker, he looked to be about average at best.  He will occasionally look to find the open man to set up scoring chances for his teammates, but sometimes, he would drop passes, which would lead to turnovers, and he also had a ball poked away that led to another one.  Though he didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, he was able to get boards on both ends of the court.  Davis also played decent defense.  He was able to run back to contest a shot on a drive in transition to help force a miss, and he also successfully challenged a three-point shot another time.  But he was called for fouling an opponent on a mid-range shot once in this game.

In general, Davis had a solid showing in this game, and he is an athletic combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball.  He will likely need to improve his playmaking skills and show that he can guard upper echelon players, but he is a skilled offensive player that could end up being a potential second round pick in the upcoming draft.

Miami’s 6-10 big man, Dewan Hernandez put forth a strong performance to help Team 2 stay in this game all the way until the end.  He showed off solid scoring and rebounding skills, and he really helped himself by playing well in the scrimmage games in Chicago.  Hernandez did a very good job of scoring on strong drives to the hoop as well as in transition.  He has a quick first step off the dribble as he would tend to score with his right hand, and he also managed to score on a powerful dunk on the break.  He also showed a fairly good ability to score on hustle plays, and he also flashed the ability to score in the post.  He also was able to make a long two-point shot from just inside the arc.  But sometimes, Hernandez would rush his moves, which would lead him to miss shots around the basket.

However, he was quite turnover prone in this game.  Hernandez did make one good pass as he was able to find a roll man to help set up a score for a teammate, but he had some trouble protecting the basketball after getting balls on rolls to the rim, which would lead him to commit some turnovers.  He also threw a pass that sailed away once, and he also was called for traveling after shuffling his feet when attempting to make a move in the post.  Hernandez did a great job of hauling in rebounds to help his team on the glass.  He showed a knack for getting boards on both ends of the floor, as he would frequently leap up to collect them to help his team.

He also played adequate defense.  Hernandez did a good job of blocking shots off of drives in transition, as he would swat them to his teammates to help his team get stops.  He also was able to jump on a loose ball, and he also poked a ball away out of bounds another time to almost force a turnover.  He also was active in contesting jumpers to force his opponents to miss shots.  On the downside, sometimes he would struggle to defend opponents off the dribble, which would cause him to allow them to get scores in the paint.  He also gave up too much space another time when defending a shooter on a switch, as he allowed his man to score on a pull-up three-point shot.

Overall, Hernandez has played very well in the NBA Draft Combine scrimmage games, and he is an athletic, high-motor big man that could project well into a backup role at the next level.  He is a solid finisher around the basket, he handles the ball well for a player his size, and he is also a good rebounder.  If he can continue to play well in workouts, he could end up being a second round pick in this year’s draft.

Nevada’s senior swingman, Cody Martin had a strong showing to help Team 2 in this game, as he played well in virtually all facets of this contest.  Martin did a very good job of scoring on drives as well as in transition, and he was able to score on multiple dunks on offense.  He ran the floor to catch a lob pass to score on an alley-oop dunk once, and he also scored on an emphatic jam on the break another time.  Martin also showed an adequate ability to knock down mid-range jumpers.  However, he also ended up missing both of his three-point attempts from the corner, despite being open on both of those occasions.

He also showed off solid playmaking skills.  Martin threw crisp, accurate interior passes to set up a wealth of scores for his teammates, and he showed a knack for finding them on the move to notch assists.  He tended to make sound decisions with the ball in his hands due to possessing very good court vision, and he also did not commit many turnovers.  His lone turnover came when he was handling the ball once, but had it poked away by a defender that time due to carelessness.  Martin also rebounded the ball well, and he would tend to leap up to get defensive boards for his team.  He also showed off decent defensive skills.  He was able to contest a three to force a miss, and he also would run back hard on defense to help his team try to get stops in transition.

Overall, Cody Martin played very well, and he is a skilled, versatile player who possesses very good basketball IQ, which could enable him to thrive as a role player in the NBA.  He will still need to improve his jump shot, but even so, his versatility and ability to make plays on both ends of the floor could make him an intriguing option for NBA teams to consider in the second round range of the upcoming draft.

Kansas’ freshman point guard, Devon Dotson had a solid showing to help Team 3 get a narrow victory over Team 2.  He is a speedy, agile playmaker that can quickly get to the rim, and he continually passed and defended well to help his team on both ends of the floor.  Dotson tended to score on quick drives to the hoop, as he has very good speed and acceleration to routinely get past his man, and he would tend to get scores inside the paint.  Sometimes he would miss shots at the rim, as he would rush his shots and try to be too fancy in trying to finish plays at times.  Dotson also missed all of his three-point shots, as he was unable to make a jumper from beyond the arc.

He also displayed solid playmaking skills.  Dotson did a good job of finding open teammates to set up scores for them, and he can throw accurate passes off the dribble to rack up assists, but sometimes he would lose the ball while handling it due to carelessness, and he would occasionally struggle to protect the basketball every once in a while.  Dotson also rebounded the ball very well.  He would hustle to get offensive rebounds off of his own misses due to possessing good athleticism, motor, and instincts to do so.  He also would get defensive rebounds, and sometimes he would push the ball up the floor afterwards.

He also played very good defense.  Dotson was active in the passing lanes, as he would get his hands on balls to get deflections, and he also ran in to tie up an opponent on a drive to force a jump ball.  He also would contest threes to force misses.  He did commit one foul early on though, as he was called for incidentally shoving a screener aside in an attempt to get around him.

In summary, Devon Dotson played well to help get Team 3 the narrow win in this game.  He excelled in many different facets of this game, and he also showed an improved ability to get his teammates involved on offense, as he was able to notch 9 assists in this contest.  He is a fleet-footed playmaker that may have considerable upside as a prospect for the NBA, and he could end up being a second round pick in this year’s draft.

Other Notes:

Jalen McDaniels played well, as he excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor to help get Team 3 the win.  McDaniels excelled at scoring on hustle plays, as he would run the floor to get scores on fast breaks, and he even caught a long pass to score on a two-handed dunk in transition.  He also would tend to finish plays around the basket, and he also made an open spot-up three off of a pick and pop play.  However, he would sometimes miss shots wildly around the basket, and he also struggled to knock down mid-range jumpers in this game.

He also was quite turnover prone, as he would can tend to be too careless on offense at times.  He did a good job of rebounding and defending in this game, and he was quite active in getting rebounds and steals for his team.  McDaniels was able to jump on a loose ball to get a steal, and he also blocked a shot in the post another time.  He also will play passing lanes, and he also will contest threes to force misses.  He also showed adequate footwork when defending out on the perimeter, but sometimes, he would sag too far off his man, which would cause his team to commit fouls and allow scores.  He also can get beat off the dribble or down the court, and he committed a foul once by colliding into the back of his opponent while trying to recover after defending on a drive once.

Overall, Jalen McDaniels is an athletic, combo forward that plays hard on both ends of the floor, and he could likely project into a defensive specialist role in the NBA.  On talent alone, he could be slated to go in the late first to the mid second round range in this year’s draft.  However, there are questions concerning an incident that he may have been involved in, as he is also embroiled in a lawsuit that alleges him to have secretly recorded and shared a video without the plaintiffs’ consent.  McDaniels may have some character concerns, but if he can put that behind him, he is a talented player who could end up thriving as a Larry Nance Jr. type of player in the NBA.

Syracuse’s sophomore forward, O’Shae Brissett also played very well in this game for Team 2, as he made some very solid plays on both ends of the floor.  He excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game, as he would tend to make spot-up threes, long two-point shots off the dribble, and he also would draw free throws on strong drives to the basket.  Brissett also managed to score on a powerful, two-handed dunk after being left open around the basket once.

He was a bit turnover prone though, as he was called for stepping out of bounds on one play, and he also threw an inaccurate pass that his teammate dropped another time.  Brissett was able to collect his fair share of boards on both ends of the floor.  Plus, he also defended well when he was on the court.  Brissett was able to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he would tend to contest shots off of drives and jumpers to force misses, but he also ended up getting beat off the dribble to allow a score once after shading to far to his left.  On a separate play, he over-helped on a drive, and left his own man, which led his team to allow his man to score around the basket.

In summary, O’Shae Brissett has played well in the G-League Elite Camp and in the NBA Draft Combine scrimmage games, and he is a talented combo forward that has a good set of all-around skills if he can put them together.  He really struggled to make shots efficiently this year at Syracuse, as he had a down sophomore season, but he has played better since recently.  He is an athletic, energetic player that could end up being a potential second round pick, and if he can consistently shoot and defend well, he could improve his odds to succeed as a role player in the NBA.

Quinndary Weatherspoon played fairly well in this game.  He generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays, especially on cuts and quick put backs after getting offensive rebounds, and he also managed to score on an alley-oop layup in transition.  He struggled to knock down jumpers, and he ended up missing all of his three-point shots from beyond the arc.  Weatherspoon threw solid interior passes, and he passes well off the dribble to set up scores due to possessing good court vision.

He also was very active in getting rebounds and steals, and he played good defense in this game.  Weatherspoon would poke balls away and intercept passes to force a plethora of turnovers, and he has fairly good lateral agility and footwork to stay in front of his man when guarding opponents out on the perimeter.  But also would tend to have lapses defensively, as he would sometimes get beat off the dribble or off of cuts, and he also would over-rotate on occasion.  He also would sometimes commit fouls due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Weatherspoon had an adequate showing in this game, as he made a lot of hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor, but he also struggled with his jump shot and position defense against Team 2.  Still, Weatherspoon has had a very good season this year, and he is a second round prospect that could project into a shooting specialist role at the next level.

Tremont Waters showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also was very active defensively, as he would poke balls away and jump on loose balls to get steals and deflections for his team.  He didn’t look to pass enough sometimes, as he did not pick up enough assists, and he did not rebound the ball well, but Waters is a skilled, agile playmaker that could be a potential second round pick on draft day.

Jaylen Nowell excelled as a shooter, and he also managed to score on a couple of hustle plays, as he was able to make shots in a variety of ways.  He also threw some nice passes off the dribble due to possessing good court vision, but he also committed some turnovers due to carelessness.   Overall, Nowell is a quick, skilled combo guard that could project into a shooting specialist role in the NBA, as he could be a potential second round pick in the upcoming draft.

Grant Williams had an adequate showing in this game, as he excelled as a scorer, facilitator, and defender in this game.  He generally excelled as a scorer in the paint, as he can score in the post as well as off the dribble, and he is a generally solid finisher around the basket.  He came back strong in this contest after struggling previously in his first combine scrimmage game, and he was able to score on a one-legged turnaround jumper in the post.  He was unable to connect on any of his threes, but he did score on a mid-range shot off of a pick and pop play once.

He also passed the ball very well, and Williams is an unselfish player that can throw long passes as well as pass from the post to set up scores for his teammates.  He also defended fairly well, as he was quite active on that side of the ball.  Williams was able to rotate to block a shot off of a drive to a teammate, and he also would poke balls away and jump passes to get steals.  He also was active in contesting shots to force misses, and he generally would tend to be in good position defensively, but sometimes, he can struggle to guard quicker players, which would sometimes lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Overall, Grant Williams has had a very good season this year, and he is a smart, skilled combo forward that could end up being a likely second round pick this year, as he could end up being like a poor man’s version of Miami Heat’s forward, James Johnson in the NBA.