The second day of the NBA Combine offered far more action than the first day. While we always have to take the totals that come from these events with a grain of salt, a few players' performances were of note.
The biggest story on Friday was the plethora of 40-inch max-vertical leaps registered. Victor Oladipo, Peyton Siva, Shane Larkin and Ben McLemore were among the standouts who leaped 40-plus inches.
Most of the top healthy players participated, so we got an opportunity to see the best compete.
The drills that were done on Friday were the following:
- Three-Quarter Sprint
- Max-Vertical Leap
- Standing Vertical Leap
- Bench Press
- Lane Agility
- Modified Lane Agility
Why Are They Measuring Basketball Players' Bench Press?
How much stock do NBA general managers put in this drill? ESPN's Chad Ford was tweeting official totals during the event; he says not too much:
Nope. RT @paulmontesanti: Do any GMs/Scouts actually care about the bench press?— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 17, 2013
NBA Guru gives us the top-five performers in the four major drills.
The Biggest Leapers
Top 5 Max Verts (Final): 1- S. Larkin (44"); T2- V. Oladipo (42); T2- B. McLemore (42); 4- P. Siva (41.5); 5- M. Carter-Williams (41)— NBA Guru (@NBAGuru) May 17, 2013
Top 5 Standing Verts (Final): 1- C. Zeller (35.5"); 2- S. Larkin (34.5); 3- A. Thomas (34.5); 4- K. Kadji (34); 5- T. Mitchell (33.5)— NBA Guru (@NBAGuru) May 17, 2013
The point guard from Miami showed explosive leaping ability on Friday. While max-vertical leap isn't the most important physical trait for a point guard, 44 inches is still impressive.
There has never been a question about Mitchell's athletic ability. One look at highlights of him from North Texas and you'll see his explosion.
On Friday, his combine numbers only supported the consensus on him.
Tony Mitchell. 33.5" standing vert. 38" max vert. Great numbers for a power forward. That + solid measurements help his 1st rd cause.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 17, 2013
When you think of Zeller, you may not immediately think about his leaping ability. The seven-footer from Indiana did some things to change that on Friday.
His standing vertical leap was the highest of any player 6'9" or taller in the history of the combine.
Cody Zeller's standing vert of 35.5" was highest ever recorded for player 6-9 or taller in last decade.#NBADraftCombine— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 17, 2013
Ben McLemore vs. Victor Oladipo
These two seemed to be locked in a battle to determine the top shooting guard prospect in the draft.
McLemore reaffirmed the belief that he is an elite athlete with his leaping numbers.
He also addressed a bit of the controversy that has recently surrounded him. There are allegations that an AAU coach took money to influence McLemore's decision to go to the NBA. Derek Page of Hoopsworld tweeted McLemore's response:
McLemore says the allegations from former coach Darius Cobb are a "personal attack" against both he and his family.— Derek Page (@DPageNBA) May 17, 2013
For what it's worth, Oladipo's strength totals were quite impressive.
Victor Oladipo told us he bench pressed 185lbs 15 times.Great number for a guard.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 17, 2013
His leaping numbers were even more noteworthy. Though he only measured at 6'4" in shoes, his athleticism should make up for his height.
No one will call MCW a great shooter, but no one will be able to criticize his athletic ability either. the 6'6" point guard's explosion was evident on Friday.
There were 10 players who measured with a vertical of 40 inches or better. Per Ford's tweets, here are some of the other standouts.
CJ Leslie. 32.5" standing vert. 40.5" max vert. #NBACombine— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 17, 2013
Glen Rice Jr.33" standing vert. 40.5" max vert. #NBACombine— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 17, 2013
Isaiah Canaan: 33" standing vert. 40.5" max vert. GREAT numbers and day for Isaiah. #NBACombine— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 17, 2013
Adonis Thomas.34.5" standing vert. 40.5 max vert. That's 10!!!! Players with a 40+ inch vert today. #NBACombine— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 17, 2013
The Speed and Agility Guys
Top 5 3/4 Court Sprint Times: 1- S. Larkin (3.08); 2- C. Leslie (3.10); 3- K. Caldwell-Pope (3.12); 4- P. Pressey (3.13); 5- V. Blue (3.14)— NBA Guru (@NBAGuru) May 17, 2013
Top 5 Lane Agility Times: 1- C. Leslie (10.19); 2. T. Snell (10.36); 3- V. Blue (10.40); 4- P. Siva 10.59; 5- K. Caldwell-Pope (10.60)— NBA Guru (@NBAGuru) May 17, 2013
As a player already known for his feel for the game, the raw athleticism is a plus. Larkin had already blown away the field with his leaping ability, but he also shined in the more position-relevant speed drills.
Hoopsworld's Steve Kyler tweets:
RT @jwquick: Miami PG Shane Larkin testing very well. Just ran the fastest 3/4 court sprint of the combine— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) May 17, 2013
McLemore vs. Oladipo Part Two
The battle continues as the two shooting guards' speed totals are compared here.
Oladipo 3.25 sec & McLemore 3.27 similar sprint scores. Oladipo 10.69 much better than McLemore 11.87 on agility drill #NBACombine— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 17, 2013
It may depend on what a team is looking for, but the duel between these two players will continue until the NBA draft.
Whether Leslie is a small forward or a power forward is still a bit up in the air—he worked out with the small forwards on Friday. What is certain is that he is an elite-level athlete.
CJ Leslie just recorded a ridiculous 10.19 sec lane agility drill. Top score at Combine and he's 6-9. #NBACombine— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 17, 2013
A 6'9" player with a lane agility time below 11 seconds is absurd.
The Georgia product didn't impress with his leaping numbers...
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. 29" standing vert. 34.5" max vert.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 17, 2013
...but he showed good quickness and agility. Overall, he still has to look like a solid wing player for a team in the middle of the first round.
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