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How mid-major alumni performed at the 2021 NBA Draft Combine

Highlights below

NBA: NBA:Combine David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 NBA Draft Combine took place in Chicago from June 21-27 with a total of 69 players invited and eight from mid-major schools (or seven + Gonzaga). Here is how they did:

Max Abmas, G, Oral Roberts (sophomore)

Abmas helped Oral Roberts make a Cinderella run during the NCAA Tournament and led the country in scoring, averaging 24.5 points per game last season. However, his performance during the combine left some analysts saying his stock might have dropped.

Abmas was the shortest player at the combine, measuring 5’10.5’’ without shoes. He played 22 minutes during game two and went 1-of-8 from the field, collecting a total of five points, five rebounds and one assist. His performance didn’t improve much during game four, when he went 2-of-10 and picked up seven points along with two assists.

Not ideal stats for the nation’s leading scorer, but he did get to talk to some NBA teams, per Forbes Sports writer Chris Grenham. One of those teams was the Boston Celtics.

Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (junior)

Bassey averaged a double-double of 17.6 points and 11.6 rebounds last season, along with 3.1 blocks in 28 games. He pulled out of the five-on-five scrimmages, but the combine overall seemed beneficial to him.

Stats compared to other centers:

  • Standing reach: 8’11.5” (4th, same as Luka Garza)
  • Height without shoes: 6’9.25” (5th)
  • Wingspan: 7’3”, (3rd)
  • Standing vertical leap: 33.00 (2nd)
  • Max vertical leap: 36.00 (3rd)
  • Shuttle run: 3.33 (3rd)
  • Lane agility: 11.59 (1st)
  • Three quarter spring: 3.05 (1st)

Kessler Edwards, F, Pepperdine (junior)

During his junior year at Pepperdine, Edwards averaged 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.0 steal per game. At the combine he did not shine offensively but he did impress as a defender through two scrimmages.

During his first game, Edwards did not make any of his four shot attempts, but he collected four defensive rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 20 minutes. In his second, the forward picked up six points, making 2-of-4 shots while registering seven rebounds, one steal and three blocks in 21 minutes.

Per Jon Rothstein, Edwards will sign with an agent and remain in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Nah’Shon Hyland, G, VCU (sophomore)

We didn’t get to watch Hyland and the rest of the Rams in the NCAA Tournament due to multiple Covid-19 cases in the program. An unfortunate ending to their season, but Hyland, who averaged 19.2 points per game during his 2020-21 campaign, took advantage of the combine to impress NBA scouts.

The reigning A-10 Player of the Year played in one scrimmage, and it seems like that was more than enough to potentially crack the first round. He led all scorers in that game with 17 points by shooting at 63.6% from the field, including going 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. He also added six rebounds, four assists, one steal and two blocks to his stat sheet. Hyland showed he can read defenders and finish around the rim.

He also looked good on Monday’s pro day.

Corey Kispert, F, Gonzaga (senior)

Kispert went through the draft process last year and used the advice he got to improve his chances this year.

While he opted out of the scrimmages, the sharpshooter still had a productive combine. He posted a 30” standing vertical and a solid 37.5” max vertical. He also had the second best shuttle run overall at 2.99 seconds.

On June 24, Kispert said he had talked to 11 NBA teams: Boston, New Orleans, San Antonio, Minnesota, Cleveland, Golden State, Chicago, New York, Lakers, Clippers and Oklahoma City.

Makur Maker, C, Howard (freshman)

Maker only played two games as a Howard Bison due to a groin injury. In the 40 minutes he played, he averaged 11.5 points, six rebounds and two assists. Without much recent film, the combine was important for him and he showed he was one of the most versatile bigs there.

Stats compared to other centers:

  • Standing reach: 9’4.0” (2nd)
  • Height without shoes: 6’10.25” (3rd)
  • Wingspan: 7’1.75” (5th)
  • Standing vertical leap: 25.50 (5th)
  • Shuttle run: 3.28 (1st)
  • Lane agility: 11.87 (4th)

Maker played in two scrimmages. During the first, he recorded nine points shooting at 42.9% from the field. He also got four rebounds and one assist. His second-game stats looked better with 10 points on 60.0% shooting, six rebounds and one block.

Jason Preston, G, Ohio (junior)

Preston played in two scrimmages and impressed early on. He played active defense and facilitated his team’s offense with his passing ability. In his first game, he scored 10 points shooting at 66.7% from the field while adding four rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block.

In his second game, he shot at 40% from the field and only recorded four points. However, he helped his team with by contributing three rebounds and seven assists.

Stats compared to other guards:

  • Shuttle run: 3.08 (4th, same as Johnny Juzang)
  • Lane agility: 10.82 (3rd)

Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (junior)

NBA Draft Analyst Chad Ford said Queta’s energy was impressive and he could have a shot at sneaking into the first round.

The 2021 Bleacher Report National Defensive Player of the Year came on strong right away and collected 15 points on 66.7% shooting in his first scrimmage. He also picked up eight rebounds, one steal and one block. In game four, He shot 60% from the field while recording seven points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal.

Queta was the tallest of all 69 players and showed a good level of agility among the centers:

  • Standing reach: 9’4.5” (1st overall)
  • Height without shoes: 6’11.25” (1st overall)
  • Wingspan: 7’4.0” (1st overall)
  • Lane agility: 11.85 (3rd among centers)
  • Three quarter sprint: 3.29 (5th among centers)