I stumbled across a list of results of the 2012 NBA Draft Combine, and I must say, there are some weird pieces of information on it that I think more people should know. Combine results don't tell the whole story about athleticism, as reputations are built on how the players have put these abilities into action over their college careers.
Players don't necessarily perform the same in combines as they do in games. But more people should know about the following data.
I didn't realize that all these players would be so close in speed.
The difference in best and worst times for the 3/4 court sprint was only an elapsed time of .65 seconds—not even two-thirds of a second! I know the distance was small, but I'd expect there to be more of a difference between a speedy guard and a lumbering seven-footer.
Interestingly enough, the slowest time wasn't by a seven-footer. Technically, Georgetown center Henry Sims, who posted a time of 3.81 seconds, is only 6'11". But perhaps his relatively slow time was the reason that he went undrafted, which was to the surprise of many. Jared Sullinger, who is 6'9", shared this time with Sims.
And the fastest time? Not even a guard. Not even a guy considered to be that athletic. Small forward Harrison Barnes ran 3/4 of the court in 3.16 seconds.
That's only .02 seconds slower than John Wall's time of 3.14 seconds. This is great news for Warriors fans like me!
But it gets weirder. The second best time? Thomas Robinson!
Another rough time for Jared Sullinger, who posted a time of 12.77 seconds—the worst time by over .4 seconds! Second to last was Festus Ezeli, with 12.35 seconds, and right after him came, again, Henry Sims, with 12.33 seconds.
This is where things get really weird. In second place and third place were Jordan Taylor and Kim English, with times of 10.57 and 10.59 seconds. After them: two big men! JaMychal Green, of Alabama, and somehow, Miles Plumlee. The guy with the fastest overall time of 10.48 seconds- Quincy Acy.
This you may have heard about. One guy had a standing vertical of 38 inches. The runner-up's jump was 34.5 inches. The runner-up was Damian Lillard. The winner? Once again, Harrison Barnes.
You have to believe that Barnes has just been busting it since his poor showing in the NCAA semifinals against Kansas. Besides his poor ball-handling skills, the primary knock on Barnes' game is his athleticism. So much for that.
The best max vertical went to Darius Johnson-Odom, when he jumped 41.5 inches into the air. After him came, again, Miles Plumlee, who was an inch behind. (Now we know how he snuck into the first round.)
Other players that jumped 40 inches were Marcus Denmon, Jeffery Taylor, Tony Mitchell of Alabama and Marquis Teague.
Only four players couldn't post a max vert of 30 over inches. They were (surprise, surprise) Henry Sims, J'Covan Brown (which is unacceptable for a guard), Robbie Hummel and John Henson. I'm actually more surprised about Henson's jump than Brown's. Henson is in the NBA because of his shot-blocking ability, and I'm pretty sure you usually jump when you do that.
When it came to benching 185 pounds, players were at the top when they bench pressed it 15 times or more.
Jae Crowder was the only person who managed it 20 times.
Other guys who pulled off the feat without surprising anyone were Kevin Jones, Festus Ezeli, Miles Plumlee, Thomas Robinson and Jeffery Taylor.
The list in general, however, was not what most would expect, as guards and thin post players usually can't quite get to fifteen. The rest of the victors: JaMychal Green, Darius Johnson-Odom, Meyers Leonard, Scott Machado, Tyler Zeller and—you guessed it—Harrison Barnes.
While his score was average at best, I'm pretty impressed that Will Barton could do one rep, let alone eight.
Not everybody was so impressive.
Anthony Davis was held back from doing it, but I'd be surprised if he could bench press said amount. Maurice Harkless, John Henson, and Jeremy Lamb only succeeded five times. Jared Cunningham and Khris Middleton only did four reps, J'Covan Brown only did three. Doron Lamb and Terrence Ross only succeeded twice, but at the end of the day, the runt of the pack was Austin Rivers, who only bench pressed 185 pounds one time.
Harrison Barnes gets the gold medal for the combine Olympics, because while his scores were slightly inferior to Darius Johnson-Odom's, he completely changed his reputation. Johnson-Odom and Miles Plumlee can share the silver, Marquis Teague gets bronze, and Thomas Robinson, Quincy Acy, and Marcus Denmon each get a participation ribbon.
John Henson posted a horrible vertical for a shot-blocker, a bad bench press for a post player. He also chose not to participate in the speed/quickness tests, which may have been out of fear.
Andrew Nicholson also had a rough day. His max vertical was only 30.5 inches, and his sprint and lane agility scores were pretty far back too.
Jared Sullinger looked just awful, but we expected that.
Compared to a normal center, Andre Drummond was excellent, but his reputation demanded better, and I bet his underwhelming performance is why he slipped to nine.
Tied for last are Henry Sims and J'Covan Brown. After a combine like that, I wouldn't have drafted them either.