NBA pre-draft combine list comes out

May, 15, 2009
Getting invited to the NBA's pre-draft camp doesn't mean a player is a lock to be selected in the first round or even the top of the second.

But it usually means the player is at least in the discussion for those spots. The league has the participant list for its first NFL-style combine. It will take place May 27-29 at the Attack Athletics facility on the west side of Chicago and will be run by famed trainer Tim Grover. The combine will have drills, agility, athletic and medical testing and plenty of interviews with teams. But it won't have any games. That had been the norm in previous years at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and then at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The hope is that without the games, the NBA can involve the top players in the draft as well as add potential first-round and high second-round picks. While it's unclear what the league and teams will get out of the drills, they do appear to have landed everyone of note in the draft.

The combine list is as follows:
Jeff Adrien, Connecticut
Rodrigue Beaubois, Cholet (France)
DeJuan Blair, Pitt
Jon Brockman, Washington
Derrick Brown, Xavier*
Chase Budinger, Arizona
Nick Calathes, Florida*
DeMarre Carroll, Missouri
Omri Casspi, Maccabi Elite (Israel)
Dionte Christmas, Temple
Earl Clark, Louisville
Darren Collison, UCLA
Dante Cunningham, Villanova
Stephen Curry, Davidson
Austin Daye, Gonzaga*
DeMar DeRozan, USC
Toney Douglas, Florida State
Wayne Ellington, North Carolina
Tyreke Evans, Memphis
Jonny Flynn, Syracuse
Taj Gibson, USC*
Danny Green, North Carolina
Blake Griffin, Oklahoma
Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame*
James Harden, Arizona State
Gerald Henderson, Duke
Josh Heytvelt, Gonzaga
Jordan Hill, Arizona
Jrue Holiday, UCLA*
Joe Ingles, Melbourne South Dragons (Australia)
Damion James, Texas*
James Johnson, Wake Forest
Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech*
Ty Lawson, North Carolina
Eric Maynor, VCU
Jack McClinton, Miami
Jerel McNeal, Marquette
Jodie Meeks, Kentucky*
Patrick Mills, Saint Mary's*
B.J. Mullens, Ohio State
Jeff Pendergraph, Arizona State
A.J. Price, Connecticut
Tyler Smith, Tennessee*
DaJuan Summers, Georgetown
Jermaine Taylor, Central Florida
Jeff Teague, Wake Forest*
Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut
Marcus Thornton, LSU
Greivis Vasquez, Maryland*
Terrence Williams, Louisville
Sam Young, Pitt

*Still hasn't signed with an agent.

For the players who still can go back to school, the camp won't be a deciding factor. However, it could push a few fringe first- and second-round picks (Vasquez, Harangody, Meeks and Smith) back before more formal workouts begin with individual teams in June.

NBA sources expect James to stay in the draft, although Texas shouldn't be too hurt by his departure with the arrival of freshman Avery Bradley. Maryland, Notre Dame, Kentucky and Tennessee will be markedly improved if their respective players return.

Expect Teague, Lawal, Holiday, Mills, Gibson, Calathes and Brown to stretch out their draft processes. All of them are potential first-round picks with Holiday, Teague and Mills the most likely to stay in based on their ability to push the lottery. Calathes has an option to play overseas since he played in Greece last summer. Brown and Gibson are possible first-round talents and might be tempted to stay (especially Gibson, based on the turmoil going on at USC).

• A John Wall decision could come as early as this weekend, with Miami and Kentucky the two likeliest destinations for the top point guard in the Class of 2009. The Word of God Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) playmaker could elevate either one of these programs to the NCAA tournament. But Wall does not have to sign by the end of the spring signing period Wednesday.

If Kentucky lands him, the drama was unnecessary (based on his original destination being Memphis when John Calipari was the coach). If Miami gets Wall, you can chalk this down as one of the top recruiting coups of the past 10 years. Hurricanes coach Frank Haith will have pulled off quite a feat if he gets Wall to replace Jack McClinton, making the Canes an NCAA team and ensuring Miami is a must-see destination for hoops for the next 10 months.

• West Virginia coach Bob Huggins isn't dealing with early entry draft anxiety after Da'Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks didn't consider declaring. The Mountaineers are one of the few Big East teams without any kind of draft drama. "They're really level-headed,'' Huggins said. The Mountaineers do lose senior Alex Ruoff, and they might not have Joe Mazzulla, who played in only seven games this past season due to a shoulder injury and now is indefinitely suspended after being arrested for domestic assault. Mazzulla can't participate in any basketball-related activities, but the Mountaineers did fine without him, reaching the first round of the NCAA tournament before losing to Dayton.

The recruiting class, as is the norm for Huggins, is expected to provide impact players (led by forwards Deniz Kilicli and Dan Jennings and JC guard Casey Mitchell). Huggins is at 15 scholarships with Mazzulla and will need to get down to 13 by August, something the school said it fully expects to be worked out soon (i.e., some attrition could be on the way).

Huggins said he expects WVU to be a top-10 or top-15 team, and it's hard to argue, based on who else is and is not returning in the conference. The Mountaineers should be picked second behind Villanova in the Big East. A year ago, they had to wait while Joe Alexander decided to stay in the draft. Huggins said he knew Alexander would but technically didn't let it be known until June. Ebanks was penciled in as a one-year player when he arrived but that wasn't the case after he averaged only 10.5 points a game. Butler easily could have tested the process as a junior. He averaged a team-high 17.1 points a game.

• Georgetown is on lockdown regarding information on assistant coach Robert Burke. Multiple sources have said Burke is out as an assistant coach, despite being close friends with head coach John Thompson III (the two went to high school together in the D.C. area). But Thompson isn't returning calls or text messages, and the Georgetown sports information staff won't confirm or deny Burke's employment status. Calls to Burke weren't returned, either.

• Quick correction to Thursday's Daily Word: Due to renovations, UCLA will need to find a home other than Pauley Pavilion for the 2011-12 season, not 2010-11. Also, UCLA coach Ben Howland is thrilled with the Pauley facelift, but did say he likes practicing in the same gym where games are played rather than building a practice facility. The project doesn't include a new practice facility.

Andy Katz | email

ESPN Senior Writer


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