Thoughts on Game 2 of the 2022 Tampa Bay Pro Combine

May 6th, 2022

By Alan Lu

Today, I decided to take the time to watch the second game of the 2022 Tampa Bay Pro Combine that took place on April 29th, with thanks to YouTube via BasketballNews.com.  It was a fast paced game, but Team 3 was able to take control of the game early on, and they ended up running away with the victory over Team 4.  In this match, the standout performers looked to be Malik Curry, Ronaldo Segu, Justyn Mutts, and Taze Moore.  Here are my thoughts on how Curry fared in this game, as well as my thoughts on the other performers that I felt stood out from the rest of the pack.  For those that are interested in the box score of this game, the link is here.

Malik Curry scored 24 points, and had 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks to lead Team 3 to a win over Team 4 at the 2022 Tampa Bay Pro Combine.
(Photo:
Nelson Chenault/USA Today Sports, via WVSports)

Malik Curry had a strong showing to help lead Team 3 to a win in this game.  He is an athletic, skilled combo guard that played well on both sides of the ball, and he especially excelled at making plays in the second half of this contest.

Curry did a great job of knocking down mid-range jumpers.  He showed a knack for making pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he also was able to make one off the catch.  He also did a good job of scoring on hustle plays.  He would often go hard to the hoop to draw numerous free throws on drives in transition.  He has solid foot speed to get to the hoop, and he would throw his body around to enable himself to get many free throws.  He also managed to score on a strong put back while getting fouled, and he also scored on an athletic tip-in another time.  Plus, he also managed to score on a fadeaway jumper out of the post.

He also was able to use a pump fake from the high post to score another time.  However, Curry would tend to drive to his left too often, and his tendency to be too predictable with his moves combined with trying to force up difficult shots in traffic would lead to misses, especially when he wouldn’t get foul calls.  He also was unable to make any of the threes he hoisted up from beyond the arc.

Also, he displayed fairly average playmaking skills.  Curry was able to get the ball out to shooters, and he also threw a bounce pass to set up a score for a teammate on the break.  However, he also had trouble handling the ball when pressured, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers.  He would sometimes get balls poked away from him.  Another time, he struggled to deal with a trap when doubled, and after crossing half court with the ball, he backed up while dribbling, and ended up committing an over and back violation.  He also threw a lazy pass that got intercepted another time.

Plus, Curry also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would chase down balls to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and sometimes he would push the ball up the court afterwards.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Curry did a great job of blocking shots to help his team protect the paint due to possessing solid athleticism, timing, and instincts, and he also made a terrific chase down block late in this match.  He also would jump passes, poke balls away, and jump on loose balls to help his team get steals.  He also would hold his ground when defending in the post and contest shots to force misses.  He also managed to successfully draw a charge to prevent an opponent from scoring on the break.  However, he would sometimes be late on his rotations, and he would not always actively contest shots, which would lead him to allow scores.  He also would sometimes play too aggressively, which would lead him to commit fouls.  Other times, he would struggle to defend quicker opponents off the dribble, which would also leave him foul prone.

In general, Malik Curry played very well to help Team 3 get the win in this contest.  He is an athletic, agile combo guard that played a solid all-around game, and he is a shifty playmaker that changes speeds well to score the basketball.  He will need to improve his three-point shot and show that he can reliably run the point on a consistent basis, but his athleticism and ability to make plays could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA someday.

Ronaldo Segu also played very well for Team 4 in this game.  He is an agile, skilled point guard that showed off versatile scoring skills, and he put forth a solid, all-around performance to help his team when he was on the court.

Segu did a great job of knocking down jumpers, especially from beyond the arc.  He thrived at making threes both off the catch and dribble, and Segu showed that he can effortlessly knock down step-back threes to space the floor for his team.  He also was able to make a smooth, turnaround mid-range jumper off the dribble.  Plus, he also did a good job of scoring on quick drives to the hoop, and he can finish plays using either hand.

Also, he displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Segu is a good ball handler that was able to make solid passes off the dribble and in transition to set up plenty of scoring chances for his teammates.  He did a good job of throwing interior passes to find his teammates on the move.  On one play though, he brought the ball up past half court, but carelessly passed the ball back to a teammate that didn’t cross half court, which led to an over and back violation.  Another time, he dribbled to the post, but picked up his dribble, and he ended up getting the ball stolen away from him.

Though he didn’t grab many rebounds, Segu was able to leap up to get a defensive board, and he then pushed the ball up the court.  Another time though, he was caught ball watching as he didn’t box out his man, and his team allowed a tip-in score to an opponent.  Also, Segu played satisfactory defense in this game.  He was able to stay in front of an opposing ball handler in order to emphatically block a three-point shot to a teammate.  He also rotated to poke a ball away to a teammate to get a steal.  Also, he was able to help trap and double an opposing ball handler to force an over and back violation late in this game.  He also would contest threes to force misses.  Sometimes though, he would get caught on screens, which would put his team in scramble situations.  There was another time where he sagged too far off of a mid-range shooter, which led him to give up the basket on that occasion.

In summary, Ronaldo Segu had a good showing, and he did a good job of making shots and defending throughout this contest.  He will need to show that he can consistently play well at higher levels, but his skill set and competitiveness could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA someday.

Justyn Mutts also had a strong showing to help Team 3 in this game.  He is a strong, athletic combo forward that thrived at making hustle plays on both ends of the floor.  Mutts was able to throw down powerful dunks off of a roll and on a fast break.  He also ran in to score on a tip-in due to making a good hustle play that time.  He also showed off solid face-up skills.  Mutts shot the ball very well from beyond the arc, and he excelled at making open, spot-up threes off the catch.  Plus, he also drew free throws on a left-handed drive on a separate possession.  He didn’t take many shots overall, but he was extremely efficient at scoring the basketball.

Mutts also showed off solid playmaking skills.  He passed the ball very well, as he was able to make an assortment of passes, both off the dribble and out of the post to set up scores for his teammates.  He also would set on-ball screens to help his teammates get open driving lanes and jump shots to create scoring chances for them.

Plus, he also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  Mutts was especially active at crashing the glass to get offensive boards, and he also was able to push the ball up the court off of a defensive rebound once.  Plus, Mutts played good defense in this game.  He rotated to block a shot to a teammate to help his team protect the paint.  He also jumped on a loose ball to help his team get a steal, and he also poked a ball away another time.  He also was able to draw a charge when defending in the post to get a stop for his team.  Mutts also would contest shots both out on the perimeter and in the paint to force plenty of misses.  On the downside, when defending in the post once, he got beat on a spin move, which led him to commit a foul and allow the basket that time.

Overall, Mutts played very well throughout this contest.  He is an athletic, high-motor player that consistently played well, and he also made sound decisions on the court.  He is a player that could project to be a versatile role player in the NBA, and his ability to make hustle plays on both ends of the floor could definitely help him at higher levels.

Taze Moore also had a solid showing for Team 3 to help them get the win in this game.  Moore may be the most athletic player at this event, and he showed off his tremendous athleticism by making a slew of hustle plays on both ends of the floor to help his team get the victory.

Moore showed a knack for scoring on fast breaks.  He caught a long pass to score on a high-flying dunk early on.  He also ran the floor to get the ball, and he drove aggressively along the baseline to score.  Late in this game, he caught a pass off the glass to score on another spectacularly, magnetic jam.

He also showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  Moore drove along the baseline to score on a high-flying dunk while drawing an extra free throw afterwards.  He also utilized a crossover to make a smooth, pull-up mid-range jumper.  Moore did a good job of making pull-up jumpers, and he was able to make a pull-up three late in this contest.  However, he had trouble making spot-up threes off the catch, and he threw up some ugly misses from beyond the arc.

However, Moore was quite turnover prone on offense, especially early in this game.  For the positives, he is an unselfish player that can throw sharp interior passes to find open teammates on the move.  However, he tended to throw inaccurate passes that would get intercepted.  His passes tended to be off-target, as some of them would be thrown too hard, and others would be thrown too softly.  There was another time when he tried to handle the basketball, but an opponent ended up taking the ball away from him that time.

Also, Moore did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He showed a knack for hauling in numerous boards due to possessing good athleticism, motor, and instincts, and sometimes he would push the ball off of defensive boards afterwards.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Moore was able to hustle back to make a very athletic, two-handed chase-down block to prevent an opponent from scoring on the break.  He also recovered to contest a shot off of a cut to force a miss.  He also would contest outside shots to force misses.  Sometimes though, he can tend to be undisciplined defensively.  On one play, he missed on a steal attempt when defending in the post, which led his teammate to rotate to foul afterwards.  He also got beat off the dribble to allow a score another time.  On a separate possession, he lost track of a cutter, which put his team in a scramble situation before later giving up a three-point basket to an opponent.

Overall, Taze Moore is a very athletic, energetic swingman that excelled at making hustle plays to help his team in this game.  He will need to improve his jump shot and decision-making skills, but his athleticism and motor, and ability to make plays on both ends of the floor could enable him to make his way to the NBA someday.

SMU’s sixth-year senior, Marcus Weathers is a strong, fairly athletic swingman that had a solid showing for Team 4 in his team’s loss in this game.  He excelled at making hustle plays, and he seemed to play better as the game progressed.

Weathers is a physical, post-up guard that thrived at scoring on the block.  He was able to use a hop step move to score on a strong, turnaround jumper.  He also would crash into defenders and throw his body around to draw plenty of free throws after posting up.  He also showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  He tended to go to his right, and he would use subtly dribble moves to score at the rim. 

He also was active at scoring on hustle plays, and he also managed to score on a thunderous dunk off of a cut.  However, he would tend to miss in traffic when he wouldn’t get foul calls.  Weathers also didn’t look to take many outside shots, and he missed his only three-point attempt, despite being open to take it off the catch that time.

On the other hand, he was a bit turnover prone.  On one good play, Weathers was able to throw a long outlet pass to help get the ball to a teammate on the break.  However, he tended to throw inaccurate passes that would go astray.  He also decided to throw a skip pass rather than take a shot with the shot clock winding down, which led his team to commit a shot clock violation.  He also dropped a pass that went to an opponent another time.

Also, Weathers did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  He was active at crashing the glass, and he also pushed the ball up the court off of a defensive board once.  He also played adequate defense.  He would use his length and instincts to intercept passes to get numerous steals, and he also managed to block a shot.  He also would contest shots both out on the perimeter and in the paint to force misses.  Sometimes though, he would play too aggressively, which would lead him to foul shooters and ball-handlers, and there was one play where he fouled a three-point shooter as he prevented an opponent from getting to his landing spot.  He also can tend to be late on his rotations, which would lead him to be out of position and put his team in scramble situations.

Overall, Marcus Weathers is a strong, fairly athletic swingman that played fairly well on both ends of the floor.  He will need to improve his jump shot and be less mistake prone on both ends of the floor, but his athleticism, motor, and compete level could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA someday.

Clemson’s fifth-year senior point guard, David Collins put forth a solid showing to help Team 4 in this game.  He is a fairly athletic point guard that excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor.  Though he didn’t take a single three-point shot, he excelled at attacking the hoop to score the basketball. 

Collins especially thrived at scoring on hustle plays.  He managed to throw down a powerful dunk off of a drive in transition.  He also was able to score off of a cut while getting fouled simultaneously.  He would drive hard to the hoop to draw numerous free throws to showcase a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble.  He also managed to use a spin move to score on a turnaround jumper in the post.  Sometimes though, he would take tough shots in traffic, which would lead to misses when he wouldn’t get foul calls.

He also showed off good playmaking skills.  He showed a knack for throwing interior passes to set up scores for his teammates.  He also made a quick backdoor cut and then quickly found an open shooter to notch an assist.  Collins did a very good job of passing off the dribble and out of the post, and he also was able to improvise to make accurate passes to his teammates.  On one play though when posting up, he got tied up, which led to a team turnover.  He also threw a rushed outlet pass that got intercepted.

Also, Collins did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He showed a knack for hauling in boards on both ends of the floor.  Sometimes he would push the pace after getting defensive rebounds.  On one play though, he didn’t box out his man, which led him to allow a tip-in score.  He also played adequate defense.  Collins would poke balls away to get steals and deflections.  He also closed out aggressively on a shooter that took a long two to force a miss late in this match.  On the downside, sometimes he would play too aggressively, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, David Collins played well on both ends of the floor.  He will need to show a better jump shot moving forward, but he is a skilled point guard whose ability to run the point could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA.

UAB’s sixth-year senior guard, Quan Jackson played fairly well for Team 3 in this game.  He is a very athletic, combo guard that was able to make some solid plays on both ends of the floor, especially on the defensive end, and he, Mutts, and Moore looked to be three of the most athletic players that participated at the 2022 Tampa Bay Pro Combine this year.

Jackson thrived at scoring on hustle plays.  He would tend to score on speedy drives in transition, and he also would take on the contact to draw fouls to get to the free throw line.  He also did a good job of scoring in the post, and he also was able to throw down a dunk in this game.  He also managed to score on a fadeaway, mid-range jumper off the dribble.  On the other hand, he didn’t take any threes, and he also missed on a tip slam another time due to rushing.

He also showcased satisfactory playmaking skills.  Jackson passed and handled the ball well, and he was able to make a variety of passes off the dribble and out of the post to set up plenty of scoring chances for his teammates.  He is an unselfish player that would make the extra pass to keep the ball moving, though he would sometimes play too unselfishly, as he would go for stretches without taking shots at times.

Also, Jackson was able to haul in his fair share of boards on both ends of the floor, and sometimes he would bring the ball up after getting defensive boards.  Jackson also played adequate defense.  He would use his length and athleticism to pressure opponents in the backcourt, and he would intercept passes to get steals.  He also was able to poke balls away to get additional steals and deflections.  On the downside, sometimes he wouldn’t always stay in front of his man, as he would get beat off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Another time, he got outmuscled when defending in the post, which led him to commit the foul that time.

Overall, Quan Jackson had a solid showing in this game.  He showed off great athleticism in this game, and he was able to make plays on both sides of the ball.  He will need to show that he can knock down outside shots and improve his on-ball defense, but if so, he could end up finding his way to the NBA someday.

Michael Flowers had a solid showing to help Team 3 get the win in this game.  He generally excelled as a scorer when he was on the floor, but he also showed some playmaking and defensive skills in this contest.

Flowers showed a knack for scoring on fast breaks.  He would use subtle, Euro-step moves to swiftly score on quick drives in transition.  He sprinted down court to get the ball to score on the break later on.  He also did a great job of making pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and Flowers showed that he was comfortable at knocking down mid-range shots in this game.  He struggled to knock down threes, especially off the dribble, but Flowers was able to make an open spot-up three, and he also drew three free throws on a pull-up three another time.

Flowers showed off fairly average playmaking skills in this match.  He generally threw solid interior passes to find his teammates on the move to set up scores for them.  He also showed that he can make drive and kick passes.  However, he had trouble handling the ball when facing significant ball pressure, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers.  He also threw an inaccurate, low interior pass once that ended up getting dropped out of bounds.

Though he didn’t grab many rebounds, Flowers was able to leap up to get a defensive board, and he then pushed the ball up the court afterwards.  He also played decent defense in this game.  Flowers was able to poke balls away to get steals and deflections, and he also jumped on loose balls to help his team get other steals.  He also ran in to intercept a pass to collect another steal.  However, he tended to sag too far off of shooters, and sometimes he would not actively contest shots, which would lead him to allow scores to his opponents.  He also had some trouble defending opponents off the dribble, as he would sometimes play too aggressively and commit fouls, or get beat off the dribble, which would put his team in scramble situations.

Overall, Michael Flowers played fairly well in this game.  He thrived as a scorer when he was on the floor, but he will need to continue to improve in the finer points of the game.  He will need to be a more consistent shooter and facilitator when he is on the floor, but his ability to make plays could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA.

Other Notes:

In watching both of the games that were played at the 2022 Tampa Bay Pro Combine, there were several things that stood out to me compared to last year.  One, there were considerably less games that were played this year at this event than last year overall.  Two, fewer players were invited to participate compared to the year before.  Three, the basketball court looked to be much shorter, and while they may have used an NBA three-point line, the half court looked to be of much shorter distance, and visually it looks like the court might have been closer to 80 feet rather than the full 94 feet.  Four, there were no athletic testing or measurements that were conducted for the 2022 TBPC players this year, which is extremely disappointing to me. 

It seems the stakes feel much lower at this event compared to last year, and that seems genuinely disappointing.  The lack of athletic testing and considerably fewer basketball games at this event seem to give off the impression that they weren’t as willing to make the prospects compete as hard as the ones that participated last year.  In addition, it seemed that there weren’t as many skilled swingmen, and the second game at this event this year especially just seemed to be mostly ball-handling guards that were trying to outscore each other rather than show that they can compete, play in a cohesive team offense, and play an NBA style out there. Anyways, the NBA playoffs will resume today, and it will be interesting to see which teams will advance.  Thanks for reading.

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