Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats NBA scouting combine notes: Day Two


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Stanley Johnson told NBA. com that he wants to emulate Paul George the most in the NBA because George is a shooting guard with size at 6’9″ (NBA.com video capture)

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WHEN ARE THE FORMER WILDCATS PLAYING?
All games will be televised on ESPN2. All times are Tucson time.
Brandon Ashley: Today at 12:30 p.m./Friday at 2:30 p.m.
T.J. McConnell: Today at 2:30 p.m./Friday at 2:30 p.m.

Former Arizona Wildcats Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, both projected to go in the first round of the NBA draft, have opted to not play in the 5-on-5 portion of the NBA scouting combine but they will partake in the medical and physical training portions.

Brandon Ashley and T.J. McConnell, the other two Arizona Wildcats in the NBA scouting combine, will participate in the 5-on-5 games that begin today on ESPN2.

Stanley Johnson wanted to play on the court in the court in the NBA scouting combine but mentioned to NBA.com that his agent (Bill Duffy) “shut all that down”.

“If it was up to me, I’d be playing,” Johnson said. “I love playing basketball. I’ve been playing it for a long time. … It is what it is. It’s the business side of things now.”

In the interview with NBA.com, Johnson did not make the cliche pick of LeBron James as a player he wants to emulate at the next level.

“The person I can learn the most from by watching is Paul George (of the Indiana Pacers),” Johnson said. “I think what he brings on the offensive end and the potential he has on the defensive end, I think I can do that one day.

“I think he can really guard and he plays the 2 (shooting guard at his position). … I know one of the guys I work out with says, ‘Big guys rule.’ So being a big guard like that in the league is awesome.”

Johnson reportedly interviewed with Philadelphia yesterday.

*****

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was measured at 6-foot-7 (with his shoes on) with an incredible 7’2″ wingspan. CBSSports.com reported that not only gives him excellent size to play the wing on the next level, but also gives him a lot of positional versatility defensively by the time they grow into his body.

“It wouldn’t be a surprise to see either of them (Kansas’ Kelly Oubre also) guard both wing guard positions as well as some small-ball-4s on the next level,” Sam Vecenie of CBSSports.com writes. “Hollis-Jefferson particularly was an elite collegiate defender, and it’s not hard to see why with these dimensions. His energy is superb, and these measurements could even swallow up most NBA wings.

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The NBA has released the teams participating in this week’s scouting combine.
Bold: Pac-12 players
Team 1:
Brandon Ashley
Ryan Boatright
Anthony Brown
Rakeem Christmas
George de Paula
Olivier Hanlan
Corey Hawkins
J.P. Tokoto
Aaron White
Games: Thursday at 12:30 (vs Team 2), Friday at 2:30 (vs Team 4)
Team 2:
Pat Connaughton
Quinn Cook
Treveon Graham
Richaun Holmes
Mouhammadou Jaiteh
Larry Nance
Terran Petteway
Terry Rozier
Dez Wells
Games: Thursday, 12:30 (vs Team 1), Friday, 12:30 (vs Team 3)
Team 3:
Branden Dawson
Michael Frazier II
Aaron Harrison
Jordan Mickey
Michael Qualls
Keifer Sykes
TaShawn Thomas
Marcus Thornton
Joseph Young
Games: Thursday, 2:30 (vs Team 4), Friday, 12:30 (vs Team 2)
Team 4:
TJ McConnell
Andrew Harrison
Tyler Harvey
Jonathan Holmes
Vince Hunter
Norman Powell
Chasson Randle
Chris Walker
Alan Williams
Games: Thursday, 2:30 (vs Team 3), Friday, 2:30 (vs Team 1)
Note: All games will be televised on ESPN2. All times are Tucson time.

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ARIZONA WILDCATS NBA SCOUTING COMBINE DRAFT MEASUREMENTS

Player Pos Body Fat% Hand Length (in.) Hand Width (in.) Ht. no shoes Ht. w/shoes Stand reach Weight Wingspan
Brandon Ashley PF 8.80% 9.00 9.50 6'7.25" 6'8.5" 8'9" 228.0 7'3.75"
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson SF 5.00% 8.75 9.75 6'5.5" 6'7" 8' 8" 210.8 7'2"
Stanley Johnson SF 7.50% 9.00 9.00 6'5" 6'6.5" 8'6" 241.8 6'11.5"
TJ McConnell PG 7.30% 7.50 7.00 6'0.5" 6'2" 8'0.5" 187.8 6'2"

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“Oubre is more of a blank canvas on that end, but he showed good energy under Bill Self and certainly is a better offensive prospect than his long-armed cohort. Both also profile to test well athletically tomorrow, and will do themselves well here.”

Also incredible about Hollis-Jefferson’s measurements: He only has a 5 percent body-fat percentage and his his wingspan is 2.5 inches longer than Johnson’s (6’11.5″) although they roughly are the same size.

Ashley stands to benefit from rigorous training the most at the next level with his body fat at 8.8 percent. He needs to trim that down to become stronger and more resilient against the big bodies down low of the NBA.

Tweet by a former ASU player at the combine:

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Interesting that McConnell is paired with Stanford’s Chasson Randle on Team 4 of the 5-on-5 competition. Those two had some heated games this season when the Wildcats faced the Cardinal. Randle fouled out at McKale Center in the second meeting in March when Arizona won 91-69. Randle, who scored only two points in the second half, fouled out with 5 minutes remaining when he pushed McConnell away from the ball.

McConnell and Randle are on the same team with UCLA’s Norman Powell.

*****

The Phoenix Suns’ SB Nation site “Bright Side of the Sun” mentioned in a report to keep an eye this week on Ashley, a potential steal in the second round.

“Brandon Ashley out of Arizona … is going to soar up draft boards if he can hit threes this week. He’s a terrific team defender who had a huge performance individually at Madison Square Garden in 2013 when he was the main contributor to shutting down Jabari Parker. He’s a long guy who rebounds well and has an underrated scoring game that is juiced by a great touch around the rim. … If he can prove that he can shoot he’s a guy that projects to help you just about anywhere on the floor.”

My take: The biggest question mark with Ashley is his footwork, and lack of quickness as far as that is concerned. That will hurt him the most on defense, especially as he begins his NBA career going up against more imposing and athletic power forwards.

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Players who opted to not participate in the 5-on-5 games:
Bold: Pac-12 players

GROUP 1

Justin Anderson
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Stanley Johnson
Frank Kaminsky
Cameron Payne
Myles Turner
Rashad Vaughn
Justise Winslow
Christian Wood

GROUP 2

Sam Dekker
Jerian Grant
R.J. Hunter
Tyus Jones
Kelly Oubre
Delon Wright

GROUP 3

Cliff Alexander
Devin Booker
Willie Cauley-Stein
Dakari Johnson
Jarell Martin
Bobby Portis
Robert Upshaw

GROUP 4

Montrezl Harrell
Trey Lyles
Chris McCullough
D’Angelo Russell
Kevon Looney

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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