Brad Simmons

NBA combine numbers don't add up.

Posted June 11, 2009

I recently read a column on whose stock is rising and whose is falling after the NBA draft combine. In it, one of the risers was UNC’s Wayne Ellington and one of the fallers was Duke’s Gerald Henderson.

The NBA combine is much like the NFL combine, a meat market where they test things like vertical leap and bench press as well as interviews with NBA brass.

Ellington brought his “A” game to Chicago, registering a 38-inch vertical leap and bench pressing 185 lbs. 13 times. That got some NBA big wigs’ attention.
His stock is labeled as a riser and rightfully so. Take that and his run through the NCAA tournament and you’ve got yourself a mid to late first rounder. I can buy this assessment.

Gerald Henderson by contrast only registered a mere mortal 35-inch vertical leap and 8 reps in the bench press. Apparently not what a lot of NBA people had in mind for the 6’4” guard. The column stated that Stephen Curry bettered Henderson in both categories. So his stock is marked as falling despite a pretty good body of work at Duke.

I was fortunate enough to see many Duke games in person and on television, and I just don’t see how one day in Chicago, barring a 30 pound weight gain, can make or break a draft prospect. Henderson’s All-ACC performance last season allowed him to forgo his senior season for the NBA.

I don’t think anyone doubts Henderson’s athletic ability and his high wire, looking down on the rim dunks. He can bring it athletically and has a real nasty streak on the court. So I doubt any NBA General Manager worth his salt would put any stock in his combine numbers.

Regardless of whether his stock is rising or falling, he still has individual workouts with teams to show the player that he really is.

Here’s to former high school teammates, Ellington and Henderson, succeeding at the next level.


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  • tarheelskier Jun 18, 12:07 p.m.

    I never went to the 'we won this many games' arguement. You said that Hansbrough got his clock cleaned by Henderthug and I was simply saying that Hansbrough got the best of that matchup (via wins). If this was all about individuals at the draft why did you bring up Hansbrough and the incident that happened two yrs ago?

    Seems to me you brought it up..... Scheyer was recruited by Duke, Illinois, and Arizona.... Singler was recruited by Duke, Kansas, UCLA, and Arizona.... and Paulus was recruited by Duke, Florida, Georgetown, UNC, Notre Dame, and Syracuse. So Paulus was recruited by UNC, I am sure glad the way things turned out there.

    Where is the elementary trash talk.... I am stating FACTS. G cannot jump as high as SCurry and/or WEllington. G cannot bench 185lbs. as many times as SCurry and/or WEllington. Those are FACTS. How much more substantial does it get than actual statistical data?? And yes our jerseys are way cooler than yours. The Carolina blue jersey is an iconic symbol of college basketball, and it always will be, deal with it.

  • packfn321 Jun 18, 1:45 a.m.

    tarheel, its funny how fans like you always end up on "we won this many games" and "we that blah blah blah"...first off, what number we're you when you played for UNC? since youre taking ownership of some of the victories then obviously you suited up for them...

    yeah, thats what i thought...

    secondly, we werent talking about teams...we were talking about players entering the draft. It had zero to do with Duke and UNC.

    Why dont you go ask Ol Roy, since you played for him and all, if he recruited the same players you are calling slow, pasty unathletic prepschool wimps? Im sure he did just like every other major school in America.

    Im all for people having opinions, but if you choose to share yours, at least come with some substance, not this elementry school trash talk. I guess next you're going to tell us how "your" uniforms are so much cooler than everybody elses.

  • tarheelskier Jun 17, 12:54 p.m.

    No actually it is impossible for G to jump that high, without weights. Why argue statistical data??.....Stephen Curry on the other hand probably could hit 35 inches with the weights on..

  • golfnturf2 Jun 17, 5:53 a.m.

    No Gerald Henderson was by far the best athlete in the conference. Acrobatic dunks and blocks showed this, unreal he would have a 35 inch vertical with 15 lb ankle weights on.

  • tarheelskier Jun 16, 12:52 p.m.

    All I know is gerald henderson was higher than 35 inches off the ground when he cleaned Hansbrough's clock.

    That was two years ago and obviously, given the numbers he posted at the combine, he was not higher than 35 inches off the ground. And for the record we count wins in the ACC and I think it is fair to say Hansbrough cleaned Henderthug's clock. Everyone thinks Henderson is some fantastic athlete, it's easy to look fast and agile when you are surrounded by Jon Scheyer Singler and Paulus. All I am saying is if he is such a great athlete why did he not test higher than everyone else????


  • packfn321 Jun 14, 10:29 p.m.

    tarheelskier, i dont know what league you were watching, but gerald henderson was probably the best athlete in the conference. But maybe you have the insight since you personally trianed stephen curry or maybe you're his agent. As a matter of fact i didnt see anywhere in the article that says any one is a better athlete than anybody. All I know is gerald henderson was higher than 35 inches off the ground when he cleaned Hansbrough's clock. Maybe you should take off your carolina blue sunglasses and view the world like everyone else.

  • tarheelskier Jun 14, 3:41 p.m.

    Little Stephen Curry is stronger than Henderson and can jump higher. That is a fact. How can some photographer think that his stock is NOT falling when people who were actually in Chicago and talked to scouts think his stock IS falling. Just because you saw him several times this year and he made his teammates look like the slow, pasty, unathletic, prepschool wimps they are does not mean that he is some athletic wonder. Like I stated before it is a fact that Stephen Curry, and Wayne Ellington for that matter are more athletic.

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