NBA draft experts are in agreement: Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame elevated his stock, and therefore his chances of staying in the draft and being selected, with his performance at the NBA Draft Combine last week.
Initially selected as an alternate for the combine, Blossomgame received a late invitation to the event, and he took full advantage.
With talent evaluators from all 30 NBA teams on hand, Blossomgame had official measurements taken, went through a full set of athletic testing and also participated in a pair of five-on-five scrimmages.
Blossomgame measured in with a height of 6 feet, 6.25 inches (without shoes), a weight of 213.6 pounds, a 6-foot-10 wingspan and 10-inch hands with 5.25 percent body fat.
In athletic testing, Blossomgame achieved a max vertical leap of 41 inches, the fifth-highest among all combine participants, and a standing vertical jump of 35 inches, sixth-best among combine participants.
Blossomgame completed the three-quarter-court sprint in 3.20 seconds, which tied him for eighth-fastest. His shuttle run time of 3.26 seconds, however, was the fourth-slowest among all combine participants. Blossomgame was one of three combine participants to have a slower time in the shuttle run, which tests lateral agility and ability to change directions, than the three-quarter sprint, which tests straight-line speed.
While Blossomgame’s testing numbers demonstrated impressive leaping ability and speed, the five-on-five games were where Blossomgame truly helped himself. In his first scrimmage, Blossomgame scored 11 points. In his second scrimmage, Blossomgame recorded a double-double, as he shot 5-of-6 from the field in scoring 16 points.
Between his two games combined, Blossomgame scored 27 points, which tied for the eighth-most among scrimmage participants, and notched 15 rebounds, the fourth-most among scrimmage participants.
Blossomgame was one of five players who improved their NBA draft stocks most at the combine, according to an assessment for USA TODAY Sports by draft analyst Derek Bodner.
“The one question has always been whether Blossomgame could shoot well enough from the perimeter to succeed at the next level,” Bodner wrote. “In many respects, he went a long way toward answering those questions as a junior (at Clemson) … Blossomgame reinforced that improvement in Chicago, going 4-of-4 from three-point range over his two games, while also putting up strong numbers in the shooting drills.”
CBSSports.com’s Sam Vecenie listed Blossomgame as one of six “winners” from the combine.
“The 6-7 forward showed off superb athleticism and solid size in athletic testing, then played well in the 5-on-5,” Vecenie wrote.
Blossomgame, who has not hired an agent, has until May 25 to decide whether he will stay in the draft or return to Clemson for his redshirt senior season. Tigers coach Brad Brownell has said he is not pushing Blossomgame to make a decision any sooner than the deadline.
According to multiple reports, Blossomgame plans to remain in the draft if projected to be a top-40 pick, but return to Clemson if projected to come off the board later than that.
His performance at the combine might have been enough to propel him into the draft range he covets.