NBA Combine Competitive Action Recap: Day Two

NBA Combine Competitive Action Recap: Day Two
May 13, 2017, 11:16 am
Recapping the ten most impressive performances from day two of the competitive action at the NBA Combine, including Jonathan Jeanne, Derrick WhiteSemi OjeleyeP.J. DozierTyler DorseyJustin Jackson (Canada), Frank Mason, Omer YurtsevenKennedy Meeks and Damyean Dotson.
Jonathan Jeanne, International, Center, Nancy

14 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, 7-9 2P, 26 minutes

Arguably the biggest winner of any 2017 NBA Combine participant, Jonathan Jeanne finished off the event in style, with a strong 14 point, 9 rebound, 3 block performance. Caught between a rock and a hard place due to the politics of the sneaker company events, Jeanne took a major leap of faith flying all the way over from France despite his team being in the midst of their season, and was rewarded for his efforts with an impactful few days.

Despite being one of the youngest players to compete at the five on five, Jeanne showed a level of craftiness and budding skill that is extremely intriguing considering his youth (19 years old) and physical tools. He measured 7'2 in shoes, with a 7'6 ½ wingspan and 9'5 ½ standing reach that put him in elite company relative to NBA players, and is also highly fluid and mobile on top of that. While still painfully thin at just 207 pounds, Jeanne has added 20 pounds to his frame in the past year, and will undoubtedly continue to fill out in time.

Jeanne did a great job all Combine long of setting screens and rolling to the basket. Despite not having much bulk, he has great timing and knows how to use his body to create space and give his guards the right angle to penetrate and deliver the ball around the rim. His freakish length gives him the ability to finish around the basket without barely needing to jump, as evidenced by the 71% he shot from 2-point range in Chicago. He has reliable hands, strong footwork, and excellent body control maneuvering around the paint, to go along with soft touch and the ability to use both hands around the basket. He ran the floor hard both days, made some interesting passes, and even knocked down a handful of mid-range jumpers, including one impressive pull-up, demonstrating a much higher level of skill than you typically see from a 19-year old 7-footer.

Defensively, Jeanne doesn't really know what he's doing, but was extremely effective nevertheless by virtue of his mobility and freakish reach, changing everything around the basket in rim-protection situations, and being impossible to shoot over in the post. He struggles to hold his ground at times versus older players, and posted a sky high ten fouls in 47 minutes of total action, something that will likely always be an issue until his frame continues to fill out.

Jeanne is likely a few years away from being able to hold his own effectively at the NBA level, but showed quite a bit of talent that makes him a prospect worth investing in long-term. He was having an up and down season up until this point in France, and was bafflingly snubbed from an invite to the Nike Hoop Summit, but was able to make up plenty of ground in just two days in Chicago. NBA scouts were disappointed to learn that the adidas EuroCamp had elected not to invite him to their camp for political reasons, but Jeanne probably doesn't need to show himself against the late second round and undrafted types they will choose to bring in now. The fact that he was willing to put himself out there and show exactly where he stands against some of the best players college basketball has to offer was duly noted by NBA executives, and he will very likely be rewarded for it on draft night. Jeanne will be staying in the US now for the next six weeks or so, and will be a popular figure for teams to get a more extended look at on the private workout circuit.

Derrick White, Senior, Point Guard, Colorado

9 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 blocks, 3-5 2P, 1-3 3P, 26 minutes

Derrick White wrapped up a strong NBA Combine showing with a solid second game, particularly in an extended first half stretch in which he proved to be arguably the most talented guard prospect competing in the five on five portion of the event. White didn't post gaudy stats, but nevertheless impressed mightily with his outstanding combination of size, footwork, creativity and court vision, which allowed him to control the tempo of the game.

White was particularly effective in the open floor, where he has an extra gear he can get to in conjunction with his natural ability to change speeds and keep defenders on their heels. He does a great job of using his body to create space and see over the top of the defense, and has excellent timing on his passes, which gets his teammates plenty of easy baskets. The fact that White can hit both pull-up and spot-up jumpers, with range out to the 3-point line, as well as finish with soft touch on his floaters layups, gives him a pretty complete arsenal of offensive skills for a 6'4 guard.

He made some highlight plays on defense, finishing the Combine with four blocks in two games, but wasn't quite as effective on that end of the floor. White still lacks a degree of strength, toughness and urgency at times, as he was scored on a few times by bigger guards and wings like Tyler Dorsey (in the first game) and Dillon Brooks in the second. He's likely best suited defending point guards for that reason, and seemed to get lost in the shuffle a bit in the second half when asked to operate off the ball offensively as well.

All in all, White is in the midst of a very strong pre-draft process, demonstrating his talent quite vividly at both the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament and the NBA Combine, and is in turn likely to start getting some looks at the end of the first round.

Semi Ojeleye, Senior, Power Forward, SMU

10 points, 3 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks, 2-3 2P, 1-4 3P, 22 minutes

The 22-year-old Ojeleye had a bit of an up and down Combine in terms of his 5-on-5 play, showing NBA teams both his strengths and drawbacks as a prospect. On one hand, the SMU forward is a unique physical specimen, with the height and length of an NBA starting two guard - 6' 6.75 in shoes and a 6' 9.75 wingspan - yet the body type of a modern four/five, sporting a shredded 241-pound frame, with a remarkable 5.5 body fat percentage. Even while carrying so much bulk, Ojeleye certainly showed that he has value as a one-on-one perimeter defender thanks to his strong base, deep stance, quick feet (excellent agility scores), and effort level. He had no problem sliding with perimeter players and will be able to switch everything at the next level while having the strength to bang on the interior, although his 8'6 standing reach really limits him around the rim.

Offensively, Ojeleye showed his warts as he's so used to being able to rely on his superior strength at the AAC level, which was very unsuccessful vs NBA-caliber talent. His lack of extension around the rim was evident, and his struggles creating much space from the perimeter given his body type hurt him at times. With that said, Ojeleye knocked down 3-of-8 threes, looked comfortable with time and space, and also knocked down a back shoulder fadeaway in the post.

Despite being extremely intelligent off the court, thinking the game at a high level on the court and reacting to defensive coverages is still a work in progress for Ojeleye. While he didn't solidify a first-round look with his play and less than ideal measurements, Ojeleye tested exceptionally athletically, and still showed that he's competitive, capable of defending the perimeter and knocking down enough spot threes to keep the defense honest as he continues to add more finesse to his game.

P.J. Dozier, Sophomore, Shooting Guard, Soth Carolina

15 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steal, 1 block, 6-7 2P, 1-5 3P, 30 minutes

South Carolina 20-year-old utility guard PJ Dozier skied off of two feet, caught a lob well behind his head with one hand and hammered it home with force near the end of his final game at the 2017 NBA Combine, leaving scouts and executives with a taste of what makes him an intriguing second-round prospect. Measuring 6' 6.75 in shoes with a 6' 11 wingspan and a projectable 201-pound frame, Dozier resembles a young Andre Iguodala physically, despite not being the same caliber of prospect. He has the physical tools to guard up to three positions at the NBA and the athleticism to have an impact on both ends despite an unpolished skill set and shaky jumper. After a somewhat forgettable first day, Dozier found a way to have an impact on the offensive glass and around the rim while also flashing solid vision (even though it only yielded one assist) and posting a game-high plus-16. Dozier's loose mechanics (1-for-10 from three in two combine games and a career 27.6 3P% and 56.7 free throw percentage), high handle and sometimes questionable decision making certainly need work, but his defensive versatility, physical profile, explosiveness and budding passing ability make him an interesting second-round flyer a NBA team might look to develop.

Tyler Dorsey, Senior, Shooting Guard, Oregon

18 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 turnovers, 2 steals, 3-5 2P, 2-4 3P, 35 minutes

Tyler Dorsey showed many of the same things we wrote about in day one of the NBA Combine, posting another efficient stat-line of 18 points on just eight shots. He helped himself by demonstrating his scoring prowess in both half-court and transition situations, both as a driver and shooter, as well as moving the ball, competing defensively, and playing under control for the most part. Shot-makers who can come off the bench and light it up are very much en vogue in today's NBA, and Dorsey's solid measurements (6'5 in shoes, albeit with just a 6'5 wingspan) and outstanding production this past season in helping Oregon make the Final Four make a strong candidate to hear his name called in the second round.

Justin Jackson, Freshman, Combo Forward, Maryland

11 points, 4 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 blocks, 4-9 2P, 1-4 3P, 28 minutes

From a sheer physical perspective, 20-year-old Canadian forward Justin Jackson was one  of the most intriguing long-term prospects to compete in the 5-on-5 portion of the 2017 NBA Combine. At 6'7 in shoes, with a 219-pound frame that could easily get to 240 pounds in no time, and a freakish 7'3.25 wingspan and 8'11 standing reach, Jackson has the tools to play full-time at the power forward position and even a fair amount of small-ball five at the NBA level. His offensive game is very much still a work in progress but he proved how valuable his physical gifts can be defensively, as he racked up eight steals and three blocks in only 45 total minutes. He met multiple opponents at the rim on Friday and showcased decent timing despite an average overall feel for the game.

Jackson's shooting potential, when paired with his defensive versatility, is what makes him an interesting fit in today's NBA. He knocked down only 1-of-4 threes, but the ball comes out cleanly, as evident by his 44.1 3P% during his freshman season. The rest of Jackson's game is very rigid. He's limited with the ball, doesn't think the game at a high level, and he often tends to leave you wanting more from a toughness and physicality standpoint. Jackson can be a bit of a tease' to NBA scouts at times, but there's so much there from a physical perspective that if he were to remain in this year's draft (currently testing the waters), he would likely receive interest in the 25-45 range, and could solidify his standing there with strong workouts.

Frank Mason, Senior, Point Guard, Kansas

21 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers,, 7-10 2P, 1-2 3P, 21 minutes

Frank Mason made our writeup yesterday despite a ho-hum stat-line, and showed even more in the second day with a 21 point in 21 minute effort. He proved to be one of the better pure basketball players at the Combine, despite his average measurements, and is likely a safe bet to find himself on an NBA roster next season.

Omer Yurtseven, Freshman, Center, N.C. State

12 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers, 5-6 2P, 22 minutes

N.C. State's Omer Yurtseven had a productive NBA Combine from a statistical standpoint, posting a highly efficient 26 points and 13 rebounds in just 41 minutes of action, shooting 11/14 from the field. He has added 20 pounds to his now 248 pound frame in the past two years, but is still fairly mobile for a 7-footer, even if his 7'1 wingspan isn't ideal. Yurtseven is very skilled for an 18-year old big man, with outstanding hands, touch and footwork operating inside the post. Teams would likely want to see him extend his range out to the 3-point line, but he may be able to do that in time. The biggest downside for Yurtseven at the moment, and it's a big one, is how much of a liability he's proven to be defensively both at the college level and here at the Combine. He got lit up time after time in the pick and roll, as he lacks a degree of length, toughness, lateral quickness and urgency, something he'll have to improve on substantially to see minutes at the NBA level. He doesn't block shots, rarely finds a body on the defensive glass, and lacks the quick twitch you'd like to see from a modern day NBA center. Yurtseven's best bet is to return to college and become a much more fundamentally sound defender who can rely on awareness, timing and smarts to help overcome his shortcomings. Playing with a higher degree of urgency and becoming a lot more physical will help him significantly in time. He's a likely candidate for a two-way contract who could elect to develop in the D-League (or back in Turkey) should he decide to keep his name in the draft.

Kennedy Meeks, Senior, Center, North Carolina

19 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, 0 turnovers, 7-10 2P, 29 minutes

Meeks had a monster stat-line in a winning effort, scoring at will around the basket on the likes of Eric Mika, Yurtseven and Cam Oliver. His combination of strength, footwork, touch and instincts is very difficult for big men like that to contain in this type of setting, and his team did a great job of getting him the ball again and again in post-up, pick and roll and cutting situations, while also finding quite a few touches via the offensive glass. The problem is that Meeks proved to be a huge liability defensively in virtually every minute he played, as opposing teams just put him in pick and rolls repeatedly and were able to carve him up at will. His inability to step outside the paint, change directions of the fly and cover ground is a huge drawback in today's NBA, especially with his infrequently the ball gets thrown into the post offensively. Meeks' average length (7'1) and reach (8'10) for a NBA center, combined with his lack of quickness and explosiveness, will likely make it difficult for him to translate his gaudy production to NBA settings, barring significant improvement defensively.

Damyean Dotson, Senior, Shooting Guard, Houston

17 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 4 turnovers, 2-3 2P, 3-7 3P, 25 minutes

After a forgettable game one peformance (3 points in 22 minutes on 1-for-4 shooting), Dotson reminded scouts why he earned Portsmouth Invitational MVP honors, with a 17-point game two on 5-of-10 shooting. Primarily a spot shooter in Chicago, Dotson also did a nice job of operating within his role, making the simple play out of ball screens and taking advantage of clean looks off the catch when they presented themselves. At 6' 5.5 with a 6' 9 wingspan and a solid 205-pound frame, the Houston native has nice size and length for an NBA off guard and projects as a sound one-to-two-position defender versus bench units.

More of a straight-line slasher early in his career, Dotson is still working to become a consistent knockdown shooter from NBA range (lifetime 37.4% from three on 677 attempts), even if he's made major strides in that area. He also isn't overly shifty with the ball in shot creation situations or creative around the rim as a finisher. All in all, however, Dotson can shoot off the bounce, make the simple play out of pick and roll, and hold his own defensively with solid NBA tools to boot. He's not a lock to hear his name called on draft night, but Dotson is a prime candidate for a two-way contract and could play his way onto a roster with a strong showing in the D-League and continued development.

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