Every year, hundreds of players put their names up for consideration for the NBA Draft, but only a select few are invited to participate in the annual NBA Combine. This year, there will be three Vols attending the week-long event.
Tennessee junior point guard Jordan Bone tweeted out that he had been invited to participate in the 2019 NBA Combine late Friday night, and star junior forward Grant Williams did the same on Saturday afternoon. Now, graduated senior wing Admiral Schofield also has an invite and will participate in the combine.
The 2019 combine will begin on May 14th — the same day as the NBA Draft Lottery — and will run through May 19th. The combine takes place in Chicago.
There are typically only about 60 or so players invited to participate in the combine every year. Last year, 69 participants were invited to the combine. This year’s class figures to be about the same size, and three of those players will be Vols.
Much like with the NFL Combine, players will go through several drills and will be measured and evaluated by scouts and representatives from NBA teams. All players at the combine can be tested in the following events or measured with the following criteria:
- Standing reach
- Height without shoes
- Standing vertical leap
- Max vertical leap
- Shuttle run
- Lane agility
- Three quarter sprint
- NBA break left shooting %
- NBA break right shooting %
- NBA corner left shooting %
- NBA corner right shooting %
- NBA top key shooting %
- On the move fifteen shooting %
Grant Williams and Jordan Bone, along with all the other underclassmen participants at the combine, can go through the drills and be evaluated and still withdraw their names from the draft pool. They both have until May 29th to remove their names from consideration if they choose to return to Tennessee for their senior season. Schofield has already graduated and isn’t eligible to return to UT.
Tennessee may not have had any football players selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, but the men’s basketball team looks like they’ll have at least one player taken in the 2019 NBA Draft and could have multiple draftees depending on what Williams and Bone decide.
As a junior, Jordan Bone averaged 13.5 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 46.5 percent overall, 35.5 percent from three, and 83.5 percent from the free throw line. The 6-foot-3 point guard from Nashville was pivotal in Tennessee’s offensive success this season, and he was a huge reason that the Vols were able to tie a school record with 31 wins and make it to their first Sweet Sixteen since 2014. Bone finished with the Vols’ single season record for best assist-to-turnover ratio (2.91), and his 215 assists this season were the third-most in a single season in school history.
This past season saw Grant Williams rise to new heights with the Vols. Williams was named the SEC Player of the year as a sophomore, and he repeated as a junior this season, becoming a two-time winner of the award. Not only that, but Williams was also voted a consensus First-Team All-American and a First-Team All-SEC performer for his junior campaign.
The 6-foot-7, 236-pound forward from Charlotte, North Carolina led the Vols in points per game and rebounds per game and was second on the team in blocks per game. Williams finished his 2018-19 season averaging 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.5 blocks while shooting 56.5 percent overall, 32.6 percent from three, and 81.9 percent from the free throw line.
As a senior, Admiral Schofield came into his own, earning First-Team All-SEC honors from the SEC coaches and Second-Team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press. He was also voted an AP All-American honorable mention.
The 6-foot-5, 241-pound wing from Zion, Illinois averaged 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists while shooting 47.4 percent from the floor, 41.8 percent from three, and 69.8 percent from the free throw line.
The full participant list for the 2019 NBA Combine hasn’t been released yet, but it’s likely the Vols will have one of the largest collection of players of any collegiate school at the event.