Tampa Bay Pro Combine
The Tampa Bay Pro Combine was created to serve as a resource for prospects who may be flying under the radars of NBA Teams. In hopes of presenting an opportunity for players to showcase individual skill work, athletic testing, and highly competitive games throughout the weekend. Between the Line Sports, LLC had the chance to cover this newly formed combine event to give NBA hopefuls a shot at being seen by NBA executives and scouts. The combine was hosted at the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus in Wesley Chapel, FL.
Here are some of the players that stuck out while covering the event:
Troy Baxter: 6'9 Wing – Morgan State *All-Tournament Team*
Baxter immediately stood out among attendees due to his good size and NBA-level athleticism during the games. He gets up effortlessly due to his explosive attributes and has great energy on both ends of the floor. He consistently finishes above the rim and over defenders that dare to jump with him. He is a versatile player that can play multiple positions on the perimeter, and, with added strength, I could see him playing inside on a small-ball lineup at the next level.
Jordan Goodwin: 6'3 Guard – Saint Louis *All-Tournament Team*
The first thing that jumps out while watching Jordan is his competitiveness. He plays with a chip on his shoulder like he is trying to prove the world wrong. He is a tough guard who can create tough buckets and is fearless when attacking the rim. He plays with a giant chip on his shoulder and does not back down from the competition. And at only 6'3, his best attribute might be his rebounding skills.
Javhon Blair: 6'4 Guard – Georgetown
A lefty shooter who was one of the better shooters throughout the weekend. He is a shifty guard who can create off the dribble for himself or for his teammates on drives and kick opportunities. He knocked down several big in-game shots for his Team. Blair also won the 3-point competition.
D'Mitrik Trice: 6'0 Point Guard – Wisconsin *All-Tournament Team*
Trice is the true definition of a traditional point guard whose play sticks out due to his ability to stay composed. He does not let heavy ball pressure dictate what he is trying to do and does a nice job of getting to his spots. Trice played at his own pace and scores well in pick-and-roll situations and did good at creating good shots for his teammates. He is a rhythm player who shown he can score in a variety of ways.
Micah Potter: 6'10 Forward – Wisconsin *All-Tournament Team*
Potter is a modern-day big who can rebound & stretch the floor from 3. He thrives in pick and pop situations but is also not afraid to mix it up in traffic. He has an exceptionally good shooting touch and is always shot-ready. He is also an underrated rebounder because of the amount of time spent on the perimeter.
Mitch Ballock: 6'5 Shooting Guard – Creighton
Ballock was a better shooter in the combine; he is a lefty with a quick release and great follow-through on his jump shots. He lit up a game from beyond the distance and hit a game-winning shot for his Team. Ballock only needs to see one shot go in to get going and has deep range. An underrated skill of his is his shot preparation. He has a valuable skill that translates, and I would not be surprised to see him on a training camp roster.
Quade Green: 6'0 Point Guard – Washington *All-Tournament Team*
The former McDonalds All-American had an exceptional weekend during the combine. He is another highly competitive guard that looks forward to challenges. Quade is a commanding point guard who is great in the pick and roll action; he also does a great job of controlling the flow of the game, which is necessary as a lead guard. His best attribute was his ability to see the floor and even pass his teammates open for easier scoring opportunities. He is crafty when attacking the basket and can absorb contact while finishing.
Justin Gorham: 6'7 Forward – Houston *All-Tournament Team*
Justin was one of the more intriguing prospects out of all the players that participated. Because of his versatility, I believe that Gorham projects to be a 3 and D type of player on the next level. He has great positional size playing on the perimeter and did a good job on catch and shoot possessions. He showed that he can score in pick-and-roll situations and can even use floaters over bigger defenders. He was able to post up smaller defenders and showed explosiveness in fast-break situations. He is an experienced player that will be able to contribute immediately.
Cameron Krutwig: 6'7 Forward – Loyola University Chicago
Cameron is a very skilled big man who loves to get his teammates involved. He runs the floor hard and is not going to force anything and will let the flow of the game come to him. He has an old-school feel to his game and can use his size to create space around the rim. In the games I saw, he was initiating the offense out of the high post and even had a few plays where he threaded the needle to his cutting teammates.
DJ Funderburk: 6'10 Center – NC State *All-Tournament Team*
Funderburk is an active big man with a high motor. He is athletic with all his moves & finishes, which were almost all dunks. And even showed he has good perimeter skills and can shoot it off the catch in Pick and Pop or trail situations. Defensively he was able to stay with quicker players because he slides his feet well.
Joel Ntambwe: 6'8 Forward – Texas Tech *All-Tournament Team*
An explosive scorer who is not afraid to take and make contested shots. Ntambwe showed off his ability to attack the paint and draw fouls to end up at the FT line. He is also physical enough and can finish through contact. A confident 3-level type scorer throughout the combine.
Obadiah Noel: 6'4 Guard – UMass Lowell *All-Tournament Team*
Noel is a big strong guard that can create space for himself off the dribble due to his size and physicality. He has a very solid mid-range game and is also able to finish at the rim. He can play both guard positions because of his playmaking and scoring ability.
Terry Taylor: 6'5 Forward – Austin Peay *All-Tournament Team*
Physically imposing forward that likes to use his frame to shed defender as he drives to the basket. He has the ability to take over a game ability and is confident in his skillset. Taylor scores and basket and is very tough to stop when driving left. Another very freakish, athletic, explosive player in the combine was very productive over the weekend.
Ryan Daly: 6'5 Guard – St. Joseph's *All-Tournament Team*
A tough physical guard who does not back down from competition. At one point, it looked like he was on the floor every offensive possession because of his relentless attack to the basket. He is a lot stronger than he looks and played with physicality. He has a solid game and is a scoring threat from distance.
Jayvon Graves: 6'3 Combo Guard – Buffalo
An explosive guard who displayed his athleticism all weekend. He drives it strong to the basket and can finish above or at the rim most of the time. He has a quick first step which enables him to get past the initial line of defense.
Overall, the first time Tampa Bay Pro Combine was a great success and is guaranteed to be a yearly thing. Numerous players from the combine have already received workout invitations from various NBA teams, including the Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies, and the Minnesota Timberwolves. All 30 teams in the association were said to have been watching via streams.
We would like to thank Darryl Hepburn, Rashaad Ubah, Carolynn Smith, Matt Babcock, and Fran Fraschilla for creating a fantastic event and allowing us to cover it.