NBA Draft Combine Recap Day One

The NBA Combine is not going to significantly increase or decrease a prospects draft stock but it is part of the process and the interviews with team personnel can be very important in this day in age.

The workouts began Thursday in Chicago with the addition of the 5-on-5 scrimmage for the first time since 2008.

There were multiple players who stood out, not just to the viewers but NBA scouts.

Here’s a few players who stood out for me on Day One:

J.P. Tokoto (UNC):

Tokoto’s athleticism is off the charts and it was absolutely evident in the 5-on-5 scrimmage, where the North Carolina product was flashing some impressive dunks. The 6’5″ forward, who surprisingly entered the draft after his junior year, is a terrific defender but still must work on his outside shot (and show it in the private workouts) if he is going to have any shot of being a high second round pick.

Larry Nance Jr. (Wyoming): 

Nance Jr. was all over the place and jumped off my screen. Not only did he grab rebounds, get to the rim and finish around the cup, but he blocked shots and was discipline on the defensive end.

The Wyoming star is projected as a possible second round pick after leading the Cowboys to the NCAA Tournament last year.

Rakeem Christmas (Syracuse):

Christmas was very impressive as he crashed the boards, showed a solid mid-range jumper, showed his strong post moves and finished with authority. He also played aggressively in the pick-and-roll, something that will certainly translate to the NBA level.

Vince Hunter (UTEP):

Hunter also stuck out like a sore thumb on Thursday. He was very active inside, received an ally-oop slam off an out-of-bounds play and was able to make his way to the free throw line (and he hit those freebees).

Hunter, like Nance Jr., did not play in front of a national audience nightly during college so he didn’t get the recognition that some of other big men in this class have received.

The Miner is making a name for himself in ChiTown though.

Patt Connaughton (ND)

Connaughton is a knock down shooter out of Notre Dame (four years) but his athleticism is what stood out on Thursday. In the vertical jump, Connaughton finished with the second highest score in Combine history with 44″.

Some scouts are going to love that and it could inch him closer to being selected.

Other quick notes:

-Former Florida forward Chris Walker suffered an injury (reported as a concussion) and only played five minutes during his team’s 5-on-5 scrimmage. He’s going to need to participate on Friday in order to boost his stock as he is projected to go undrafted.

-Andrew Harrison had a brilliant second half in his 5-on-5 session. He distributed the ball with ease, showed his improved decision making and impressive court vision.

-Justin Anderson’s measurements were great. He should be a 1st round lock because of his outside shooting ability, first team all defense and athleticism.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Video: Best dunks of the 2014-15 college basketball season
Video: Best dunks of the 2014-15 college basketball season