Combine results: Best athletesposted: Friday, June 16, 2006 | Feedback | Print Entry
While the height and weight measurements from the NBA predraft camp are interesting and relevant, NBA GMs and scouts also spend a lot of time dissecting the results of the NBA physical combine.
Last year Joey Graham (Raptors) rated as the top athlete in the draft, boosting his draft stock. Rashad McCants (Timberwolves) and Luther Head (Rockets) also finished in the top 10 and saw a nice little bump to their stock, too.
Players are asked to bench press 185 pounds as many times as they can, test their vertical jump two ways (no step and maximum) and run several drills to measure speed and lateral quickness.
For the fourth straight year Insider has obtained this confidential report from a league source.
North Carolina's David Noel tested as the top athlete in the draft. He was followed by Arkansas' Ronnie Brewer, Louisiana Lafayette's Dwyane Mitchell, Michigan's Daniel Horton, Memphis' Rodney Carney, Villanova's Randy Foye, Louisville's Taquan Dean, Georgetown's Brandon Bowman, Maryland's Nik Caner-Medley and UNLV's Louis Amundson.
St. Louis' Ian Vouyoukas, Denver's Yemi Nicholson, Bradley's Patrick O'Bryant, Oklahoma State's Frans Steyn and Texas' Brad Buckman tested as the worst athletes in the draft.
UCLA's Jordan Farmar shocked everyone by recording the biggest maximum vertical with a whopping 42 inches. Five other players jumped 40 or more inches in the maximum vertical jump: Mitchell (41.5), Brewer (41), UConn's Rudy Gay (40.5), Washington's Brandon Roy (40.5) and Iowa State's Will Blalock (40). Nicholson (26) and UConn's Marcus Williams (28) had the two worst scores in the camp.
Hartford's Kenny Adeleke and Gonzaga's J.P. Batista tested as the strongest athletes in the camp. They both bench pressed a 185-pound bar 26 times. Three other players got the bar up 20 or more times: Duke's Shelden Williams (25), Bowman (24) and Cincinnati's Eric Hicks (20). Memphis' Shawne Williams tested the worst with zero reps.
In the lane agility testing, Horton had the best score, finishing the drill in 10.35 seconds. Foye and Dean tied for second at 10.53 seconds. Noel and Illinois' James Augustine (10.54) also tested very fast. Nicholson had the worst score (13.7 seconds).
In the three-quarter-court sprints, Carney led the way in a blinding 3.06 seconds. Noel (3.07), George Washington's Danilo Pinnock (3.08) and Charlotte's Curtis Withers (3.1) also tested well. Nicholson came in last again (3.72).
Here's a look at how the top players in the draft performed in every category:
Player Rank No step
Maurice Ager 37 29.5 35 11 11.73 3.22
LaMarcus Aldridge 68 26.5 34 8 12.02 3.43
Hilton Armstrong 67 28.5 31.5 13 12.28 3.53
Ronnie Brewer 2 35 41 19 11.32 3.14
Rodney Carney 5 32 38.5 10 10.57 3.06
Mardy Collins 33 31.5 37.5 9 12 3.27
Jordan Farmar 12 33.5 42 11 11.07 3.17
Randy Foye 6 32 38 14 10.53 3.23
Rudy Gay 26 33 40.5 9 11.03 3.32
Aaron Gray 75 26.5 30.5 17 12.63 3.71
Adam Morrison 59 25.5 30.5 11 11.46 3.37
Patrick O'Bryant 79 26.5 30 13 12.68 3.63
J.J. Redick 51 27.5 33 6 10.94 3.29
Brandon Roy 30 34 40.5 6 11.13 3.27
Saer Sene 72 28.5 31 7 12.52 3.38
Cedric Simmons 20 30.5 35 15 11.05 3.31
Tyrus Thomas 21 34 39.5 8 11.36 3.2
Marcus Williams 73 24.5 28 4 11.3 3.4
Shawne Williams 57 32 31 0 10.69 3.3
Shelden Williams 31 29 33.25 25 11.53 3.59
Analysis: The big winner here is obviously Brewer, who tested much better than expected in the vertical jump and strength categories. Combine that with his excellent measurements, and it looks like Brewer could move up in the draft. You don't find that combination of size, strength and athleticism in a guard very often. His so-so lane agility test was the only thing that hurt him, but given his size the score isn't bad.
Farmar also should get a big boost from his combine results. No one -- and I mean no one -- expected him to top out the vertical jump testing. He also tested well in the strength department. His speed scores were a little on the average side for a point guard, but given the type of game that he plays, this was a win for Farmar.
People have been saying Foye is a poor man's Dwyane Wade. How does the tale of the tape between the two compare athletically? Here's a look at Foye compared to Wade's 2003 testing:
TALE OF THE TAPE: WADE VS. FOYE
Height Weight Wingspan Standing
reach Max vert Bench Lane agility Sprint
Wade 6-5 212 6' 10¾" 8' 6" 35 9 10.56 3.08
Foye 6-3½ 212 6' 6¼" 8' 1" 38 14 10.53 3.23
Wade is considerably bigger when you add wingspan and standing reach to the equation. Foye jumps higher and is stronger. Both have similar lateral quickness, but where Wade really shines is in the sprint. That score would've been good for third place in this draft class.
Gay, Thomas and Carney have been billed as the best athletes in the draft, and their scores certainly verified that. What was a little more surprising was Roy. He's been billed as an average athlete, but he tested better than expected -- especially his 40.5-inch vertical.
As we reported earlier, Redick tested better than you'd think in just about every category except strength. He is by no means a great athlete, but he's not a bad one, either.
Five top players really took a huge hit in the testing.
Marcus Williams tested dead last among all guards in the draft. Guys like Gerry McNamara, Carl Krauser and even Mardy Collins tested better. When several GMs called him a below-average NBA athlete, they weren't kidding.
Collins didn't fare so well himself. The lane agility score of 12 seconds is awful for a guy trying to play guard.
O'Bryant also tested poorly for a guy who looks so athletic out there. He tested as the 18th-best center at his position. That's not good. His vertical jump, lane agility and sprint were all poor. That was a major surprise.
Texas' LaMarcus Aldridge is athletic but he pales in comparison to LSU's Tyrus Thomas in almost every category. Aldridge ended up being ranked 28th out of 33 power forwards in the draft.
Gonzaga's Adam Morrison also didn't do anything to dispel talk that he's not a great athlete. Only one true small forward, Marquette's Steve Novak, tested worse. The only thing that saved Morrison from sinking to last place was a good showing in the bench press.
One note: A number of potential first-rounders were either not invited to the combine or were unable to attend, so we don't have their scores. They include Italy's Andrea Bargnani, Kentucky's Rajon Rondo, Villanova's Kyle Lowry, Michigan State's Shannon Brown, Switzerland's Thabo Sefolosha, Ukraine's Olexsiy Pecherov, Florida State's Alexander Johnson, Miami's Guillermo Diaz, Rutgers' Quincy Douby, Cincinnati's James White, UConn's Josh Boone, Colorado's Richard Roby and Texas' Daniel Gibson.