Thoughts on the 2024 NTX Combine Scrimmage Games

May 23rd, 2024

By Alan Lu

I was able to watch two NTX Combine scrimmage games that took place between May 8th to the 10th this year, with thanks to Vimeo via the NTX Combine and Globestream Media.  In their inaugural tournament two years ago, Drake Jeffries was the standout performer, and it landed him a chance to play in the NBA Summer League, and he was able to land an opportunity to play in the G-League. Last year, there were some standout performers at this event, and Craig Porter Jr. and Dexter Dennis would later play in the NBA, and Porter was one of the better rookies in the league this past season. This tournament has helped find underrated prospects that have been having very good careers both in the NBA and in professional basketball. This year, I set out to watch this tournament to see who might be the next in line to follow their footsteps.

As for the viewing experience on the livestream itself, it was a little hard to follow at times, as the video didn’t list all of the players or jersey numbers in a neatly arranged graphic, and some of the players wore the same jersey in the first game.  At times, I had to rely on the announcers, captions, and transcript to track down some of the key information in order to figure out who some of the players were in these games.  Anyways, here are the standouts in the first game of this event.

Avery Anderson was fantastic in this game in which his team won by double digits.
(Photo: DeLauren Washington/NTX Combine)

Here is my review of the NTX Combine Scrimmage game in which the blue team won 111-88. I saw this game with thanks to Vimeo via GlobeStream Media.

Avery Anderson had a strong showing to help his team get a blowout win in the first scrimmage game.  He is a very athletic combo guard that excelled as a downhill driver and scorer on the floor, and he showed that he can distribute the basketball and defend well when he was on the court.

He showed a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble.  He has a blindingly quick first step, and he also can use ball-handling moves to maneuver around defenders to score the basketball.  Plus, he also thrived at scoring on fast breaks, and he also was able to drive up court to throw down a magnetic dunk.  He also managed to score on a quick backdoor cut on another play.  Every once in a while though, he would take tough shots that would lead to some misses due to rushing.

Also, Anderson showcased solid playmaking skills.  He showed a knack for making passes in transition and finding open teammates on the move to set up scores for them, and he showed off solid court vision.  He did seem to throw a hasty pass that got intercepted once, but generally Anderson excelled as the lead guard and playmaker on the court.

Plus, he also did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball, and sometimes Anderson would the push pace after getting defensive boards.  In addition, Anderson played terrific defense.  He is a rangy defender that made a lot of plays on the ball to help get stops for his team. He would get his hands on passes to help his team get steals, and he also swiped a ball in the backcourt to get another steal.  When defending an opposing ball handler, Anderson managed to block a mid-range shot and swat it to a teammate.  He also contested a three-pointer to force a miss another time.

In general, Anderson played very well, as he excelled as a scorer, facilitator, and defender to help his team get the victory.  It was a little tough to discern who he was on the court at times, as he wore the same number as another player on his team, Chris Martin, and they were roughly about the same size.  Still, Anderson is a high-flyer that made a tremendous impact on the court. The TCU point guard showed that he can be a very good player on the court when dialed in, and he certainly was so in this game.  He’ll still need to be a more reliable outside shooter in games, but his athleticism and two-way potential could enable him to make an NBA team’s summer league roster this year or in the future. 

Langston Wilson also played very well to help his team get the win in this game.  He played for the NTX Blue Team, and the 6-9 forward from Milwaukee showed off his solid all-around play, as he primarily excelled as a scorer and facilitator when he was on the floor.

Wilson is a very athletic big man that generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He showed a knack for running the floor to get the ball down court, which would enable him to score on fast breaks.  He would throw down some very powerful dunks, one of which was a double pump, reverse dunk.  He also used a ball fake to score on a left-handed drive in transition.  On the downside, sometimes he would miss due to rushing, but he generally excelled as a finisher around the basket.

He also showed an adequate ability to score out of the post.  Wilson was able to use a shoulder fake to score on a baseline turnaround jumper.  He also managed to score off of a broken play.  However, sometimes he would miss on tough, contested shots, despite showing good footwork and balance to get his shots off.  He also was able to stretch the defenses and space the floor, and Wilson was able to make an open, pick-and-pop three to showcase his developing outside shot.

Plus, Wilson also showcased good playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that can pass and handle the basketball, and he would make an assortment of accurate passes to rack up assists.  He also handles the ball well for a player his size, and can handle it in the open court.  Sometimes though, he would occasionally struggle to protect the basketball, and he had a ball ripped away from him to commit a turnover once.

He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  Wilson was able to leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor, and sometimes he would push the pace after grabbing defensive boards.  He also seemed to play adequate defense.  Wilson would contest shots both inside and out to force misses.  Sometimes though, he would be caught ball watching and would over help and be out of position, which would lead him to give up scores around the basket.

In summary, Langston Wilson had a solid showing, and he is a very athletic big man that showed off versatile scoring skills as well as a good ability to pass and handle the basketball.  He didn’t play nearly as much as expected this year and he will likely have to play in the G-League or overseas to fine tune his game, but he has the talent to make an NBA summer league roster in the future.

Anthony Roberts had a solid showing to help his team get a double-digit win in this game.  Fort Wayne’s 6-4 guard is a very athletic specimen that showed a knack for making shots to score the basketball. He also turned in a solid all-around performance to help his team get the victory.

Roberts didn’t take many shots, but he made the most of it to help his team score on offense.  He was able to move quickly off the ball to make an open three-pointer off the catch.  He also pulled up to make a mid-range another time.  Plus, Roberts also thrived at scoring on fast breaks.  He drove hard to the rim to score on a powerful dunk in transition.  He also drove up court to score on a thunderous windmill jam.

Plus, he also passed the ball well.  Roberts showed a solid ability to make passes in transition and to throw accurate outlet passes, which would enable him to set up scores for his teammates.  Also, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball.

He also defended very well in this game.  Roberts was able to rotate to poke a ball away to help his team get a steal.  He also rotated to block a shot off of a drive out of bounds another time.  He also showed the ability to defend in the post as well as out on the three-point line to force misses.

Overall, Anthony Roberts is a very athletic combo guard that played very well on both ends of the floor.  He can finish plays well above the rim, and he is a rangy help defender that can also pester opposing ball handlers.  He will need to be a more consistent outside shooter and will need to show that he can capably run the point at higher levels, but his athleticism and ability to make high motor plays could enable him to carve out a solid playing career in professional basketball.

Darweshi Hunter also played well to help the NTX Blue team get the win in this game.  Miami (OH)’s 6-5 guard generally shot the ball well, and he is a fairly athletic, physical swingman that can score the basketball in a variety ways.  Hunter generally shot the ball well, as he showed a knack for making threes and mid-range jumpers, particularly off the dribble.  He also was able to utilize a pump fake to score on a quick drive to the hoop.

He also decent playmaking skills, and he showed off a solid ability to throw outlet passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates on the break.  He also was able to chip in to help his team grab a few defensive boards.  He also played adequate defense.  Hunter was able to intercept a pass and jump on a loose ball to help his team get steals.  He also managed to contest a three to force a miss.  On one play though, he fouled a three-point shooter on a corner three.  Another time, he and his team struggled to accurately pick up their assignments and it led them to allow an opponent to score on a wide-open three-pointer towards the end of the third quarter.

Overall, Darweshi Hunter had a solid showing to help his team get the win over the NXT White team.  He excelled as a floor spacer and scorer in this game, and he also can move the ball and defend.  He’ll need to prove that he can consistently play well against upper-echelon opponents, but if so, he could project into a 3 and D role at the NBA level.

Ismael Massoud also had a solid showing in his team’s loss in this game.  Though he may not be an elite athlete, he is a skilled combo forward that excelled as a floor spacer and defender when he was on the court. Massoud showed a knack for making open, spot-up threes off the catch.  He also was able to draw free throws after running the floor to get the ball in transition.  He struggled to make pull-up, mid-range jumpers, but generally Massoud excelled as a floor spacer on offense.  He also displayed decent playmaking skills.  He also did a good job of making passes on the break to set up scoring chances for his teammates.   On one play though, he looked to post up, but had a ball ripped away from him to turn the ball over.

Also, Massoud was able to chase down balls to get his fair share of boards.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  He was able to poke a ball away to nearly get a steal.  He also would contest threes to force misses.  On one play though, he appeared to poke a ball away from a roll man, but was called for committing an incidental reach-in foul instead.

Overall, Massoud excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor.  He is a tall forward that can space the floor, and he also would be in solid defensive position to help get stops for his team.  This season, he didn’t get enough playing time nor shoot the ball as well as expected, so he will likely have to hone his game in the G-League or overseas in the meantime.  With some more seasoning, he could end up playing his way onto an NBA summer league roster sometime down the road.

Chris Maidoh had a solid showing in his team’s loss to the NTX Blue team.  He is a strong, athletic big man that excelled as a low post scorer when he was on the floor.  Maidoh showed a knack for scoring out of the post.  He would score on powerful dunks, and he also managed to score on a jump hook while getting fouled once.  He excelled as a finisher around the basket, but he also showed good shooting touch by scoring on a smooth, fadeaway jumper another time.  Maidoh also attempted an open mid-range jumper from the baseline but missed.

He also showcased fairly average playmaking skills.  Maidoh was able to throw a very long outlet pass to get the ball to a teammate down court.  He also was able to make a drive and kick pass.  He is a willing passer and can handle the basketball in short stretches.  On the downside, he would sometimes be inaccurate with his passes, and he threw an inaccurate pass off the dribble that sailed out of bounds once.

Also, Maidoh was able to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he was able to get his fair share of boards in this game.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  For the positives, Maidoh was able to jump on a loose ball to get a steal.  He also was able to deflect a pass another time, and he also contested a three to force a miss.  However, he would sometimes get beat off the dribble when defending opposing ball handlers, which would lead his team to give up baskets.  Other times, he would over-rotate and be out of position, which would lead him to late to get back to his man and lead him to allow opponents to score on open jump shots.

Overall, Chris Maidoh played fairly well in this game, and he is an athletic big man that excelled as a low post scorer on offense.  He will need to add a reliable outside shot as well as improve his rebounding and discipline on the defensive end, but his size, athleticism, and motor could enable him to make an NBA team’s summer leaguer roster either later this year or sometime down the road.

Hunter Dean had a solid showing to help the blue team get the win in this game.  He is a 6-10 big man from LSU that thrived as a finisher around the basket.  He excelled as a scorer out of the post, and he was able to utilize a shoulder fake and rise up to score on a turnaround jump hook.  He also generally excelled at scoring as the roll man, and he would throw down dunks off of hard rolls to the rim.  He also was able to score on a tip-in.  He’ll still need to add a reliable outside shot to his arsenal, but he excelled at making shots in the paint.

Dean also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills.  He is a good passing big man, and he can find teammates on the move to set up scoring chances for them.  He was able to find a cutter to notch an assist, and he generally excelled at finding the open man.  There was one play where he threw a lazy pass that got intercepted, but he generally passed the ball well.

He also was able to get boards on both ends of the floor to get his fair share of rebounds.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  For the positives, he rotated to alter a shot off of a drive to a teammate.  He also managed to jump on a loose ball to help his team get a steal.  He also contested a three to force a miss.  On the downside, he would tend to have lapses defensively, as he would be out of position and not always actively contest shots, which would lead his team to give up baskets.  Another time, he got beat off the dribble to allow a score.

Overall, Hunter Dean played fairly well in his team’s win in this game.  Though he doesn’t possess elite athleticism, he is a high-motor big man that can score out of the post.  He will need to add a reliable jump shot to his arsenal as well as improve his rebounding and defense, but his ability to make shots efficiently and pass the basketball should enable him to carve out a solid playing career in professional basketball.

Seattle’s 6-3 guard, Cameron Tyson had a decent showing to help the blue team get the win in this game.  He showed off a decent outside shot, as well as some scoring and defensive skills in this game.

Tyson took a lot of threes, and while he was rather streaky with his outside shot, he showed that he can make them both off the catch and dribble.  He showed that he can make quick threes in transition, and he also was able to dribble off of a screen to make a smooth pull-up three another time.  He struggled more to make outside shots off the dribble or spot-up threes in half-court sets, but he was more comfortable at making threes in transition.

He also did an adequate job of scoring off the dribble.  Tyson showed that he can finish plays using either hand, and while he doesn’t have elite blow-by speed, he showed that he can finish plays around the basket when he would get to the rim.  On the downside, he would tend to take tough shots that would hurt his shooting percentages.

He’s not a pure point guard and he didn’t look to pass nearly as often as the other guards, but Tyson was able to swing the ball to notch an assist once.  Tyson also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was able to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he also showed that he can leap up to get a handful of defensive rebounds.

Plus, he also defended well.  Tyson was able to poke a ball away in the post to help his team get a steal, and he also deflected a pass to nearly get another.  He also was able to contest a mid-range shot to force a miss.  On one play though, he rotated to the post but was called for a reach-in foul due to over-aggressiveness.

Overall, Cameron Tyson is a skilled combo guard that showed that he can knock down jumpers and score in a variety of ways.  He’ll need to improve his shot selection and show that he can reliably run the point at higher levels, but his ability to make shots could enable him to carve out a solid playing career in professional basketball.

Butler’s 6-10 senior center, Jalen Thomas was said to have scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in this game according to the information I received through the NTX Combine, but it was difficult to identify him, as I don’t recall the announcers ever mentioning his name one time in the telecast. 

Here is my review of the other NTX Combine Scrimmage game in which the blue team won 104-96. I saw this game, with thanks to Vimeo via Globestream Media.

The top performers in this game looked to be Rob Perry, Dajuan Gordon, Tae Williams, and Will McNair Jr.  Here are my thoughts on how they and other top performers fared in this match.

Rob Perry had a superb showing to help lead the blue team to a win in this game.  He turned in a strong, all-around performance, and he put on a dominant display to help his team get the victory.

He did a very good job of knocking down jumpers to provide floor spacing, especially from the mid-range.  Perry showed a knack for making pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he also was able to make a crafty, step-back mid-range jumper early on.  Perry also showed a satisfactory ability to knock down threes, as he was able to do so both off the catch and dribble.  He was a bit streaky with his three-point shot, but he showed that he can make threes from well beyond the arc.  Perry also thrived at scoring on fast breaks.  He was able to drive down court to score on a powerful dunk.  He also caught a very long pass to score while getting fouled.  Every once in a while though, he would attempt to score on a quick drive, but would miss due to rushing.

Also, Perry showcased satisfactory playmaking skills in this game.  He showed that he can throw an assortment of passes to find teammates on the move, and he also was able to make a drive and dish pass to set up a score for a teammate.  His ability to create his own shot and for others made it difficult for opponents to guard him.  On the downside, he can sometimes be inaccurate with his passes, which would sometimes lead to turnovers.

Plus, he also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was quite active at crashing the glass, and Perry was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor.  Perry also defended well.  He was active at contesting outside shots, which enabled him to force plenty of misses.

Overall, Murray State’s 6-4 guard, Rob Perry is an athletic combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball, and he had a very good showing in the NTX Combine scrimmage games.  He didn’t quite shoot as well on the season and he will need to show that he can reliably run the point well on a consistent basis, but his athleticism, shot making ability, and intangibles could enable him to make his way to an NBA summer league roster this year.

Dajuan Gordon also had a strong showing to help lead the blue team to a win in this game.  He is an athletic, physical swingman that especially excelled as a shooter, scorer, and rebounder, and he is a high-motor player that would make hustle plays on both ends of the floor.

Gordon shot the ball well to space the floor for his team.  He showed a knack for making corner threes off the catch, and he would also use dribble moves and pull up to score on mid-range jumpers. He also thrived at scoring on hustle plays, particularly in transition and off tip-ins.  He would catch long passes to score on the break, and he also managed to score on a thunderous dunk late in the game. He also would fly in to score on athletic tip-ins.  Plus, Gordon showed that he can occasionally score on a strong drive to the hoop.  On the downside, he would sometimes miss shots off of cuts due to rushing.

On the downside, sometimes Gordon would be prone to over-dribbling, which would lead him to getting the ball poked away to turn the ball over.  In this game, Gordon did a tremendous job of rebounding the basketball, and he was excellent at hauling in boards on both ends of the floor.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  For the positives, he would get his hands on passes to get steals and deflections.  He also was able to hustle back to contest a drive in transition to force a miss.  On the downside, he had some trouble defending opposing ball handlers, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  He also would sometimes bite on pump fakes, which would lead him to be out of position.  Another time, he was caught ball watching as he lost track of his man on a cut to allow a score.

Overall, Dajuan Gordon played very well to help lead his team to a win in this game.  He is a 6-5 guard from Texas-Arlington that made some impressive plays as he is an explosive leader that can finish plays above the rim, and he is a terrific rebounder for his size.  He’ll need to be a more consistent outside shooter and improve his decision making on offense, but his ability to make shots, rebound, and make energetic plays could enable him to make an NBA summer league roster this year.

Tae Williams had a solid showing to help the NTX White Team in this game.  He is a 6-7 point forward that showed that he can stuff the stat sheet, and he is a very athletic playmaker that thrived as a scorer, facilitator, and rebounder. When he would look to take shots on offense, Williams looked to be at his best when he would look to score on hustle plays.  He thrived at scoring off of cuts and put backs, and he was able to score on a thunderous dunk off of a cut.  On the downside, he struggled more to score off the dribble or from the outside, and he really struggled to knock down mid-range jumpers or threes.

He also displayed solid playmaking skills.  Williams is an athletic, fleet-footed guard that can quickly push the pace, and he excelled at making passes off the dribble and in transition to set up scores for his teammates.  He can find teammates on the move, and he showed a penchant for making quick drive and kick passes.  Every once in a while, he would try to do too much, which would lead him to commit some turnovers.

Also, Williams did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  He was able to contest a three to force a miss. On one play though, he fouled a mid-range shooter.  Another time, he gave up too much space to a three-point shooter and ended up giving up the basket.

Overall, Tae Williams is a very athletic point forward that was very comfortable at running the offense, and he has solid court vision and the ability to make plays in the open court.  He’ll need to improve his jump shot and defense, but with continued development, he could end up competing for a roster spot in the NBA in the future.

Will McNair Jr. also had a solid showing in his team’s loss to the blue team in this game.  He is a strong, athletic big man that showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also defended well when he was on the court.  McNair showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  He excelled at scoring on rolls, cuts, and in transition.  He also showed some post-up skills, and he was able to utilize a quick rip move to dribble around an opponent to score on a reverse layup.  On the downside, he tended to take tough, rushed shots when posting up that would lead to misses.

He also was able to space the floor, and McNair was able to make an open spot-up three off the catch.  He missed two other threes quite badly, but the one three he made suggested that he could maybe develop this outside shot in the future.

He also displayed perhaps adequate playmaking skills.  McNair would throw accurate passes, as he can find the open man, and he was able to throw a touch pass to a cutter once.  On the downside, there was one play where he was called for setting a moving screen.

Also, McNair was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor to get his fair share of rebounds.  Plus, he also defended very well.  McNair would rotate to block shots off of drives to help his team protect the paint.  He also would jump on loose balls to help his team get steals.  He also was able to use his length to contest an outside shot to force an airball. 

Overall, McNair played well in this game.  He is a strong, high-motor big man and he’s shown an emerging skill set recently.  He’ll need to continue to expand his game offensively, but his ability to make plays in the paint combined with his developing jump shot could enable him to make an NBA summer league roster this year or sometime down the road.

Kevon Voyles played fairly well in his team’s loss in this game.  Voyles shot the three-ball well, and he excelled at making both corner threes and open, spot-up threes off the catch.  He also was able to run the floor to catch a long pass to score on the break.  He also managed to score on a put back as well as off of a cut.   He struggled to score off the dribble, but Voyles excelled in situations where he could catch-and-shoot or catch-and-finish.  Though he primarily looked to score, Voyles was able to throw a bounce pass to a cutter to notch an assist.  On another play though, he threw a bad crosscourt pass that got intercepted.

Also, Voyles was able to get a few defensive boards, and he was able to push the pace off of a defensive rebound once.  He also played adequate defense.  Voyles was able to get his hands on passes to get steals, and he also back-tapped a ball handler to get another steal.  He also would contest threes to force misses.  On the downside, sometimes he would struggle to stay in front of opposing ball handlers, which would lead him to commit reach-in fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Voyles is an athletic combo guard that can shoot and defend, but he will need to improve his shot selection and discipline on the defensive end, and he will need to show teams that he can reliably run the point.  He will likely need to spend some time in the G-League or overseas to hone his game, but he could carve out a fairly solid playing career in professional basketball.

All in all, those are my thoughts on who played well in the two combine scrimmage games. 

Without further ado, here are my picks for the All-NTX Combine first and second teams.

My Picks for the All-2024 NTX Combine Scrimmage First Team:

F Jalen Thomas
F Langston Wilson
G Dajuan Gordon
G Rob Perry
G Avery Anderson

My Picks for the All-2024 NTX Combine Scrimmage Second Team:
C Will McNair Jr.
F Tae Williams
F Ismael Massoud
G Darweshi Hunter
G Anthony Roberts

There were other players that played well, but these were the ten players that I felt that seemed most deserving based on a combination of what I saw and the box score of these games.

Avery Anderson’s strong scoring skills, defensive prowess, and ability to be the lead guard combined with making some really athletic plays impressed NBA scouts at the 2024 NTX Combine, and he took home the MVP honors at this event.
(Source:
Twitter/@GirimonteNicky)

Congratulations to TCU’s Avery Anderson for winning the MVP of the 2024 NTX Combine!  Thanks to the NTX Combine, Globestream Media, DeLauren Washington, and to those that participated in this event. That’s all for now, and thanks for reading.

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