Yesterday's live blog was a rousing success on multiple levels, so we're back for day 2 from the University of Illinois-Chicago campus!
We saw the players divided into positions to participate in various dribbling, shooting, passing, and defending drills during yesterday's activities. I don't expect to see the same thing today, but I also don't know what else we will get to see. It's all going to be a surprise being broadcast live on ESPNU, so hit the jump for my comments and the comments section for yours!
8:45 am Central: The broadcast hasn't started yet, but we can lead off with the news (as reported by CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman) that Syracuse's Dion Waiters has left the combine. As Goodman points out, it seems safe to say that a lottery team has made him a guarantee that he's happy with.
9:04: ESPNU opens with a discussion of guys who impressed yesterday (Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard, Moe Harkless), guys who didn't (Quincy Miller), and why someone probably gave Waiters a guarantee. Jae Crowder is visible warming up on the court behind the announcing crew.
9:08: Anthony Davis, the presumed #1 pick, will not be participating today, even though that he was expected to as late as yesterday.
9:16: Chad Ford posted pictures of the NBA's official measurements of all the combine participants on his Twitter account. Here's page 1 with Jae and Darius Johnson-Odom's measurements and here's page 2, which is worth looking at just for Kyle O'Quinn's standing reach.
9:23: Small forwards continue to go through drills. They were playing a bit of 4 on 4, and Jae drained a 17 footer with a hand in his face and got a now traditional block from behind on defense as well.
9:25: HOLY CRAP, Purdue head coach Matt Painter is TOWERING over Andy Katz.
9:32: SFs are doing a "fight through a defender to get open and shoot a jumper" drill. Unsurprisingly, Jae is shoving around the assistant coaches who are running the drills fairly easily.
9:38: We're really concerned with how Harrison Barnes does in the shuttle run to determine if he's good at basketball?
9:40: Jae takes a nice first step and beats his man off the dribble from the NBA 3 point line in a 2 on 2 drill. Hard to say how serious the defense was, but the intention is what matters in Jae's case.
9:42: Jae plays some nice help defense in the same 2 on 2 drill and - SURPRISE - comes up with a steal deep in the lane. Meanwhile, Fran Fraschilla tells a story that Skip Prosser told him about Chris Paul being aware that there were shoe company/agents/runners hanging out in hotels on all of his road trips during his last year in college. CP3 kept telling Prosser that these guys were his cousins. Ryen Rusillo follows up the story with a joke about his family growing and everyone laughs. Yes. NCAA eligibility violations are HILARIOUS.
9:55: Centers are running drills on the floor, and the small forwards have moved over to the physical agility testing. Of course, they have to point out that the agility testing is largely ridiculous, as Kevin Durant had one of the worst testing sessions in known history at his combine.
10:00: Pretty sure I didn't want to hear Tom Penn talk about Andre Drummond's girth.
10:01: They show a list of the 5 highest drafted Connecticut players ever: Hasheem Thabeet, Emeka Okafor, Ben Gordon, Donyell Marshall, and Ray Allen. That is not an outstanding group.
10:08: It turns out watching guys doing a standing vertical leap test is not exciting television. The running vertical leap is not much better.
10:11: Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo denies that the Raptors have given Waiters a promise. LIVE BREAKING NEWS!
10:22: Jae goes through the lane agility drill. Looks pretty good. The announcing team has a discussion of 1) Jae's measurements 2) how they're slightly different than back at the combine event in New Jersey (Jae's suddenly an inch taller), and 3) how they oddly compare with William Buford, who's roughly the same height as Jae without shoes on.
10:31: Here's a question, actually let's make it two questions: 1) Why do they use 3/4 court sprint as a physical agility test? Why not full court? Is it just because you rarely have to run the full length of the court for any reason during a game? 2) Why doesn't the NBA let all of the agility test data out? The announcing crew has made a big deal about how Chad Ford will have it up on NBA Insider next week because unlike the NFL, the NBA doesn't officially release the testing numbers.
10:36: Chad Ford raises another question about the 3/4 court sprint: Why aren't they dribbling a basketball while they do this? And he follows that up by telling us that Andre Drummond thinks that he can be similar to Kevin Durant in the NBA. Sure thing, kid.
10:50: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was not present to start the day with the rest of the small forwards because he was working out somewhere else because he was told that he didn't have to be at the combine until 10:45am. So whose fault is this, because I'm pretty sure that it's not MKG's fault.
10:53: Florida State big man Bernard James did THREE tours in Iraq with the Air Force? WHAT? How did I not hear this story until right this second?
10:56: Jay Williams trashes the work ethic of both Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler from back when all three guys played for the Bulls. I'm going to need a moment to compose myself.
11:14: Andy Katz goes through a rundown of all the guys who have had timing/arriving/availability questions today. How is this a problem? Why are there questions?
11:40: I was really hoping there'd be something interesting going on here today. Without the NBA releasing the agility test numbers as these things happen, there's just running and jumping. There are players on the other court at UIC, but ESPNU isn't showing any of the drills that are going on over there.
11:54: The upside of focusing on the agility tests? No close ups of Sam Cassell.
12:00: I'm sorry, I forgot one thing that they showed on the other court. They showed Damian Lillard make a dunk in traffic while they were playing 3 on 3 that Chad Ford lost his mind about. Lillard's 6'2", so I don't know how big of a deal that really is, especially since the rest of the announcing crew immediately made fun of Ford for being impressed about it.
12:15: So the power forwards are wrapping up the testing now, with the point guards about to move from drills to testing. That leaves the shooting guards to start drills, which means with just 45 minutes left in the broadcast, I don't expect we'll see a lot of DJO today.
12:29: With the expectation that we won't be seeing DJO in the next 31 minutes, I'm shutting down the live blog here and taking Rubie's advice and switching to the Greece-Poland Euro 2012 match, as Poland's keeper just got sent off and the replacement managed to come off the bench and immediately make a penalty kick save with the match tied at 1. Thanks for reading, everyone!