2015 NBA Draft Combine: Athleticism Test Analysis
Terry Rozier, Louisville: 33” no-step vert, 38” max vert, 10.88 lane agility, 3.15 ¾ sprint
Word has spread that Rozier really helped himself at the Combine and while his vertical numbers are not eye popping, he posted great speed times. His lane agility was strong, with the 4th fastest sprint and 3rd fastest short shuttle at 2.84 seconds. His year was a bit inconsistent, but he does display some flashes of quick jumping ability, speed to penetrate the defense and strong physical attributes for a PG. His decision making and shooting will both be scrutinized, but he certainly has helped his cause with a strong showing in Chicago, including his performance in the scrimmages.
Justin Anderson, Virginia: 38” no-step vert, 43” max vert, 11.10 lane agility, 3.22 ¾ sprint
Anderson was always known as a very strong athlete, with his junior year giving a glimpse at his vastly improved shooting. His numbers at the combine are all world in the no-step and maximum vertical leap, with decent running numbers as well. With his tough perimeter defense, backed up with his otherworldly athleticism, Anderson has solidified himself in the mid-to-late first round.
Pat Connaughton, Notre Dame: 37.5’ no-step vert, 44” max vert, 10.74 lane agility, 3.20 ¾ sprint
We must preface his vertical numbers by saying that his 8’0” standing reach seems to be inaccurate, especially considering that Connaughton measured with an 8’3.5” mark when measured at Portsmouth. So, seeing that the vertical measurement is calculated by taking the highest point of impact (In Connaughton’s case an 11’8” max vert reach and 11’1.5” no-step vert reach) and subtracting his standing reach.
Even when subtracting 3.5” from his vertical, Connaughton still showed big time athleticism, which he did show at Notre Dame through his big time rebounding numbers and his ability to block shots. Shooting 42.3% from long range, it is clear that there is more than just a shooter, which he showed in big ways through his impressive athletic testing.
Richaun Holmes, Bowling Green: 32.5” no-step vert, 36” max vert, 11.37 lane agility, 3.32 ¾ sprint
Another one of the top performers at Portsmouth relayed his success there into a strong Combine showing. Holmes was a bit of an under the radar big man, he put up strong numbers his last two years in the MAC and was known for his ability to bring energy, contest shots. Holmes measured taller than he was listed in college and hit the 12’0” on his max vert reach. Seems to be shooting up draft boards and is a strong 2nd round candidate.
Norman Powell, UCLA: 32.5” no-step vert, 40.5” max vert, 10.76 lane agility, 3.20 ¾ sprint
One of the big winners during the player measurements with great length and reach, Powell showed that he certainly possesses the strong athleticism that could make him translate as an NBA SG. Powell did not have an ideal senior season, struggling with his long range shooting and not always being an assertive go-to option. His combination of near prototype size and impressive athleticism, along with a reputation for being quite coachable, Powell had a nice showing athletically.
Rondae Hollis Jefferson, Arizona: 32” no-step vert, 38” max vert, 10.51 lane agility, 3.12 ¾ sprint
Hollis-Jefferson brings fantastic length (7’2” wingspan) on the perimeter to go along with impressive lateral quickness and leaping ability. If he were a more consistent outside shooter, he would be a lock for the mid-first round, but what he brings in intangibles still makes him unlikely to slip too the 2nd. He did make some nice strides as a sophomore, while providing the versatile defensive ability and rebounding ability at the wing.
JP Tokoto, North Carolina: 34.5” no-step vert, 40” max vert, 11.01 lane agility, 3.27 ¾ sprint
A somewhat surprising early entry, Tokoto was known for his ability to play above the rim. During his junior year, he showed more ability as a passer while showing the versatility to guard close guard three positions. His offensive repertoire is a tad limited; he needs to improve as a FT shooter, much less his shooting past that point. It was always a bit of a wonder that a player blessed with his athleticism was so limited on that side of the floor. What his numbers here still make him an intriguing 2nd rounder as a defensive specialist who has a bit more to offer in terms of vision and rebounding.
Marcus Thornton WM, William & Mary: 34.5” no-step vert, 43” max vert, 10.96 lane agility, 3.02 ¾ sprint
The William & Mary product gained a combine invite after intriguing scouts at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. The reigning CAA Player of the Year more than earned the invite by posting serious leaping ability, a sub 11 second lane agility and the fastest sprint time by a full millisecond. Known as a great scorer and shooter, Thornton should gain a lot of workouts from his pre-draft performance. If he shows some more PG skills than he was able to during his time in college, he seems to be a potential draftee.
Keifer Sykes, Wisconsin-Green Bay: 34” no-step vert, 43” max vert, 10.50 lane agility, 3.13 ¾ sprint
Well known as a big time athlete and one of the more exciting smaller guards in college, Sykes certainly lived up to the hype with his big time explosive athleticism. He was perhaps asked to do a bit too much for UWGB, struggling with his outside shooting and maybe succumbing to the major expectations thrust upon him after a star turn junior season. His cat like quickness and top-notch speed should still have in the conversation as a late 2nd round spark plug.
Joseph Young, Oregon: 34.5” no-step vert, 40.5” max vert, 10.74 lane agility, 3.25 ¾ sprint
The 2015 Pac-12 Player-of-the-Year is a talented shot creator, long-range shooter and shot 92.5% from the free throw stripe. He was not exactly known for his explosive athleticism, so his numbers here show he is no slouch in this area. Young showed leadership and toughness during his time in college, while showing more PG abilities during his final season. He will still have to prove that he is more than an undersized SG at the NBA level, though his results here put a small dent into doing that.
Chasson Randle, Stanford: 33.5” no-step vert, 39.5” max vert, 10.61 lane agility, 3.20 ¾ sprint
Similar to Young, Randle showed he has high level athleticism to go along with his long range shooting ability. Always seen as more of a small shooting guard, Randle also showed more ability to run a team while winning a 2nd NIT Championship, taking him the MVP of the tournament. With a very solid 6’7” wingspan, Randle plays bigger than his listed size and his results here can attest to that.
Tyler Harvey, Eastern Washington: 26” no-step vert, 28.5” max vert, 10.52 lane agility, 3.44 ¾ sprint
The nation’s leading scorer at the D1 level was this big time shooter from Eastern Washington. Harvey averaged 23.1 ppg while shooting 43.1% 3PT (on 9.3 attempts per game) and over 85% FT. He gave up his final two years of eligibility having showcased his ability to shoot at a high level from long distance. He clearly seems to lack the explosive ability and straight-line speed of most NBA guards.
The one bright spot was his lane agility score, which may highlight his ability to develop defensively and in looking for shots off of screens. He was dealt a blow here as far as his athleticism, after not measuring very well, although his role in the NBA is not necessarily predicated on his leaping ability.
Delon Wright, Utah: 29.5” no-step vert, 31” max vert, 11.21 lane agility, 3.29 ¾ sprint
The brother of 11-year NBA veteran Dorrell Wright showed the ability to play the point and stuff the stat sheet during his time at Utah. With great size for the position and an above 2.5:1 assist-to-turnover ratio as a senior, he is battling with few players to be ranked as the 3rd best PG after D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay on the point guard Big Board.
He has shown the ability to penetrate and help out on the boards a great deal. His numbers here still leave something to be desired, as he did not necessarily show the athleticism one might have expected given the dynamic ability he showed in college. It should not affect his stock much, as he generally looked more athletic in games than his numbers showed.
Dakari Johnson, Kentucky: 22.5” no-step vert, 25” max vert, 11.50 lane agility, 3.62 ¾ sprint
Johnson is kind of known as a below the rim big man, with the combine showing some of the reason why this may be. The young UK big man finished last in both vertical leap tests and in the ¾ sprint. He certainly is an imposing presence and has some low-post scoring ability with good hands as well. Even though it was obvious that athletic testing would not be something Johnson would excel at, these numbers could make teams very apprehensive to draft him to early, as he could sink to the early to mid 2nd round.
Bobby Portis, Arkansas: 25” no-step vert, 31.5” max vert, 11.71 lane agility, 3.56 ¾ sprint
Portis was awarded SEC Player of the Year, showing an improved ability in the post while further improving his face-up ability. Portis can shoot well from mid-range, which made him a very difficult match-up in college at 6’11”. His body also made a pretty big transformation, as his lateral ability seems to have decreased some. The testing here shows that Portis may need some conditioning work to regain the athleticism he showed coming into college, even if he has shown added facets to his game.
Branden Dawson, Michigan State: 28.5” no-step vert, 34.5” max vert, 12.37 lane agility, 3.20 ¾ sprint
A big time spark plug throughout his college career, Dawson’s energy and rebounding helped propel Michigan State to an improbable Final Four run. Always more of an undersized PF than a wing, defensive versatility will be the key to his showing he has a place in the NBA. His numbers in the vertical and sprint are not necessarily terrible, it was just quite surprising for him to finish with the slowest lateral agility drill by 3 milli-seconds. It could be that it was just not Dawson’s drill, but he will now have to do more to convince a team to spend a pick on him as a pick-and-roll defender.
Tyus Jones, Duke: 26.5” no-step vert, 32.5” max vert, 11.89 lane agility, 3.32 ¾ sprint
It was pretty obvious that Tyus Jones was not going to blow people away with his athleticism, as he and backcourt mateQuinn Cook (who might have been here had he not reportedly had 15 bench press lifts at 185 lbs) both figured near the bottom of most categories for PG’s. Jones ability to run a team, see the floor and his intangible qualities are what makes him a likely 1st round draftee. What may shift him into the late first would be presumptions regarding his potential as a defender, with his lack of lateral quickness being somewhat of a concern. His ability to change speeds and keep turnovers to a minimum are desirable qualities, but his lack of athleticism and speed forces many to question his long term potential.
Top 5 No-Step Vert
Top 5 Max Vert
1.Pat Connaughton: 44” (read above, as it could be 40.5”)
2.Justin Anderson, Keifer Sykes, Marcus Thornton WM: 43”
3.Ryan Boatright: 41”
4.Norman Powell, Joseph Young: 40.5”
5.JP Tokoto: 40”
Top 3 Positional Lane Agility
PG Keifer Sykes 10.50, Chasson Randle 10.61, Joseph Young 10.74
SG Devin Booker 10.22, Tyler Harvey 10.52, Pat Connaughton 10.74
SF Rondae Hollis Jefferson 10.51, Sam Dekker 10.71, Terran Petteway 10.96
PF Larry Nance Jr 10.89, Jonathan Holmes 10.97, Jarell Martin 11.12
C Dakari Johnson 11.50, Rakeem Christmas 11.57, Mouhammadou Jaiteh 12.05 (yes, there were only three “centers” who did athletic testing)
Top 3 Positional ¾ Sprint
PG Marcus Thornton WM 3.02, Keifer Sykes 3.13, Terry Rozier 3.15
SG Dez Wells 3.20, Norman Powell 3.20, Pat Connaughton 3.20
SF Rondae Hollis Jefferson 3.12, Anthony Brown 3.18, Branden Dawson 3.20
PF Larry Nance Jr 3.25, Vince Hunter 3.26, Jarell Martin
C [Player: Mouhammadou Jaiteh: 3.38], Rakeem Christmas 3.47, Dakari Johnson 3.62