NBA G-League Elite Camp Recap: Day 1

Day 1 of the NBA’s revamped G-League Elite Camp concluded in Chicago, Illinois today. 40 of the most talented players not selected for the NBA Draft Combine (May 16th-19th) gathered on the campus of Illinois-Chicago, running the same drills expected lottery picks and other top-end draft hopefuls will complete later this week. Looking at the box scores from the two camp scrimmages, here are some players who may have improved or hurt their stock.

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The Bigs Show Out on Day 1! (Stock Up) – West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate was one of the more impressive players on the day. The shot-blocking center only played 8 games this season before getting hurt and this was the first live scrimmage many scouts have seen him play since then. He racked up 11 points (5-14 shooting) with 12 rebounds and a steal. It was a great sign to see Konate return to a highly productive form.

Another name looking to rise up draft boards was Central Florida’s Tacko Fall. The 7’6” center was a consistent offensive producer for the Golden Knights, but rarely had huge scoring totals. However, he dropped 17 points in his game (8-11 shooting) to have the second-highest score for the day. Fall also had 6 rebounds, 5 of which were on the offensive end, showing a valuable aspect to his height and wingspan.

Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ and Oregon’s Kenny Wooten did not have the best scoring games, but the pair showed a ton of versatility to impact the game in other ways. Happ had quite the complete stat line in scrimmage #1: 5 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and a block! The big man from Madison was literally all over the place today.

Wooten on the other hand started his day with a display of extreme athleticism. On his first attempt measuring a running vertical, the Ducks center cleared all of the rungs on the jump tester. The camp staff was forced to place the device on a chair to raise the bar (literally) and accurately measure Wooten’s true vertical.  During his scrimmage, the rangy post player tallied 4 points, 4 rebounds, an assist and 3 blocks. His scoring ceiling likely isn’t expected to be that high, but teams are likely to be drawn to his rim-protecting abilities.

A Storm is Brewing (Stock Up) – The Miami Hurricanes didn’t have the best season and the same can be said for forward Dewan Hernandez. The Junior was set to play a big role for Jim Larranaga this season, before he was ruled ineligible for the whole year by the NCAA. Hernandez made up for lost time by scoring 15 points on 5-6 shooting and 4-6 at the free throw line. He added 8 rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block. This is just what the doctor ordered for his return!

Scoring Slumps (Stock Down) – Several guards in this year’s draft enter the process trying to prove they can do more than just shoot the ball well. Hofstra’s Justin Wright-Foreman, DePaul’s Max Strus and Villanova’s Phil Booth did not have the best performances to bolster those opinions. The trio combined for 4-20 from the field and 1-14 from the perimeter. It wasn’t a great day for the ‘pure shooters.’

Little Guys in the House (Stock Up) – Not many players outside of Division I college basketball are given a shot at the NBA ranks. However, D2 Shaw player Amir Hinton is getting the opportunity of a lifetime to prove everything he can to the scout’s ahead of next month’s draft. Hinton accumulated 6 points, 3 rebounds, an assist, a block and 5 steals! He showed great versatility and was obviously impactful on the defensive end of the floor. More points will be beneficial to his chances at making it on the next level, BUT not many players finish with that many steals very often.

Another small program player, Chris Clemons, made some noise in today’s games. Clemons, from Campbell University, became the all-time leading scorer in D1 history this season, despite being at a disadvantageous height of 5’9”. He has been trying to prove people wrong throughout his career and continues to take steps towards the next opportunity. On 5-7 shooting and 3-5 from 3, Clemons had 17 points, 2 assists and 3 steals.

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