The 2014 NBA Draft Combine saw a mix of performances from some of the country's top basketball prospects, which caused several of their stocks to rise last week while others plummeted.
While the combine saw impressive numbers from players such as Kentucky's Julius Randle and UCLA's Zach LaVine, for the sake of this article, we'll be focusing on some of the players who had less favorable outcomes following their showings in Chicago, as well as analyzing if it ultimately ended up hurting their draft positions.
C.J. Fair, SF, Syracuse
After spending four years at Syracuse and leading the team the last two seasons in scoring, one would think that C.J. Fair would have been one of the top prospects coming into the combine; however, that may not be the case. As ESPN basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla put it, "It's the old story about the guy who's been around so long we've picked him apart."
Fair came into the combine with much to prove to scouts who believed that they had already seen everything from him, but he failed to raise his stock following his performance.
As a small forward at Syracuse who is projected to play the same position at the next level, Fair needed to excel in strength and conditioning drills but only posted average numbers. His standing vertical leap was one of the lowest recorded at 27 inches, and his three-quarter-court sprint was also near the bottom at 3.32 seconds.
His shooting numbers were also mostly unremarkable. His percentage from the NBA top of the key was 80 percent. However, his break left and break right numbers were much lower, at 40 percent and 20 percent respectively.
Unfortunately, Fair's numbers didn't do much to help raise his draft stock, and he will more than likely end up a late second-round pick or an undrafted free agent.
Jerami Grant, SF/PF, Syracuse
Another Syracuse player who didn't fair so well was Jerami Grant, who posted some of the worst shooting numbers in the combine. According to Bleacher Report columnist Kenny DeJohn, Grant's an excellent athlete, but he needed to show that he could shoot consistently as a wing to raise his draft stock, and he fell far short of that.
ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla gave a nod to his athleticism but also said, "The thing that worried me on tape, and then I checked the numbers, he wasn't in the top 100 in offensive or defensive rebounding ratio."
Though his combine numbers weren't the best, Grant may still have a good chance of getting picked early, with ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required) predicting that he will be taken by Toronto with the No. 20 pick in his mock draft.
LaQuinton Ross, F, Ohio State
Though LaQuinton Ross posted decent shooting numbers during his combine performance, he showed up to Chicago in poor shape, weighing 19 pounds more than he did last season when he checked in at 220 pounds, according to Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports.
His lane agility time was on the slow side, clocking at 11.97 seconds, and the added weight may have hurt his draft potential further, considering that he was never a lock to be a draft pick to begin with, according to Eisenberg.
Ross will need to show some discipline and determination to shed some weight leading up to the draft if he wants to join an NBA team come June.
Breaking it Down
Though these three players all had their own positives and negatives at the combine, there is a chance that all of them will end up being drafted, or at the very least selected by a team through free agency with the possibility of making the rosters through training camps.
Out of these three, Grant is most likely to be drafted earliest, even considering his inconsistency when shooting the ball during his combine performance. Grant will most likely get picked in the mid to late first round, with the futures of Fair and Ross being more uncertain.
Though ESPN analysts Ford and Jay Williams both thought that Fair is very talented, Syracuse Basketball's Twitter account tweeted the following message during the combine.
CJ Fair must be a 3 in the NBA, but he doesn't have a lot of 3 skills right now, said Chad Ford, Jay Williams:: "He's very talented."— Syracuse Basketball (@syrbasketball) May 16, 2014
In the case of Ross, his chances of making a roster depend heavily on him showing some dedication and hard work to earn his place on a team.
What are your thoughts? Do you think that Fair or Ross will be drafted in the second round or at all?
Please feel free to share your comments below to get the debate started.
Stats obtained from NBA.com