By Max Rosenberg


Welcome back to our recap coverage of the NBA Draft Combine from Chicago. Today we’re going to take a look at Game 2 and find some risers or potential fallers from this group to keep on your draft radar and decide if you want to get this players jersey if your team drafts him. After a Game 1 blowout, Game 2 offered up a much closer matchup that ended with a 74-73 win for Team Erman over Team Johnson. We saw only 5 lead changes throughout the entire game though this time around. Let’s start with the winning team and who stood out from this contest. 

Ron Harper Jr. continued to show different dimensions to his game and continued growth season over season and it was all on display here. Playing only 24 minutes, he was the steady hand guiding his team. He was tied with Alondes Williams with 4 assists as they paced their team. Harper also had 11 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. He is active defensively and was able to disrupt the offensive player he was matched up with. The downside is, for a 6’6” guard, who is as active and uses his frame and skill to be a great defensive player, he needs to rebound better. He will find his place in the league with his defensive skills first and earn minutes that way. Harper showed his mechanically sound jumper but shots just were not falling. Last season at Rutgers though he connected on close to 40% from deep, after starting his career below 30% during his freshman campaign. Harper Jr. is coachable and willing to learn and grow if it leads to his further success. He’s all but solidified a spot in the 2nd round of the draft. This showing probably will have him somewhere in the middle of the round depending on a given teams needs and where he slots on their draft board.

Game 1 saw us take a closer look at NC State freshman sensation Terquavion Smith and Game 2 gives us a chance to see his running mate Dereon Seabron. The leading scorer for the game, Seabron dropped 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and a block. He showed a knack for getting to the line and converting as he shot almost 88% from the stripe. Seabron did all of his damage from inside the 3-point line as well, going 5-8 from the field in 26 minutes. His body control and ability to break down his defender and finish strong at the cup were certainly on display. Dereon needs to get more confidence in his 3-point shot and get up more shots to feel begin to ingrain that consistency as he only shot 25% from deep this last season at NC State. There were at least 2 instances where Seabron rebounded, blitzed out full court, made the right read and found a cutting teammate or took it all the way himself off a screen that developed late in the possession. He can rebound and go coast-to-coast all by himself, run through the contact and finish. The fact that he also can shoot from the free-throw line does offer some glimmer of hope that he can develop a consistent three point shot as his career progresses. Dereon will be another player drafted somewhere in the early 50s I’d wager. A team like New Orleans or Dallas may like his game and defensive ability to pair with the pieces they already have in place. 

Now, from Team Johnson, even though he wasn’t the player with the most points or rebounds on his team, Christian Braun showed exactly the type of play front office executives covet in those late first round/early second round type picks. Finding a player who can do all of those little things effectively and within the flow of the game are the glue that helps those playoff teams continue to be consistently in the conversation. Braun finished the game with 6 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals. His shot selection could have been better, but one would assume at the next level, he may end up camped in the corner on offense at times ready to knock in a 3 or flashing through the paint in perpetual motion to run off a screen and operate from that look. Christian showed what most would expect from a Kansas player who they’ve seen over the years now. He has his niche on offense and makes the pass or begins the motion around that sets up the open player. Can also defend well with his frame. Makes effective off ball reads to disrupt the offense and take advantage of turnovers. Braun may have moved himself into the top 35 with his showing at the combine. I can see him going anywhere between 25-35 right now as there are also many teams rumored to be looking to move out of the late first round and other teams wanting an early 2nd rounder. 

The last featured player from Scrimmage 2 has already announced he is headed back to Gonzaga. Drew Timme came out to show what he can do, get feedback on how to improve and will try and bring a banner to Spokane next season while improving his selection status. Timme’s footwork and ability to utilize a number of up fakes and misdirection moves in the post makes him a formidable player down low at the college level. The real question is how effective will all of this be at the next level. Timme did show the ability to convert effectively in the pivot, which was never really in question, and he rebounded well in 20 minutes of game time. Surprisingly enough, he did not have an offensive rebound in the game. To go with his 13 points, he had 5 rebounds and 3 assists, as well as 3 turnovers. Timme has to be more cognizant of making the correct read out of the post or double team as the second player converges on him to find the open man and not turn it over. Going back to school and hopefully showcasing what he can do for another year may help Drew move up in the 2023 draft but at the moment, in our way too early mock draft, he probably still would be a mid to late second round pick. 

Check back in Friday for our Game 3 coverage as we get closer and closer to draft night. Make sure you’re with us for continued coverage of everything basketball with our podcasts and new articles leading up to these marquee events this summer kicking off June 23rd with the draft and running through free agency and the Summer League.