Basketball’s First Ever High School Incoming Senior Combine

Why a combine?

Staying true to our mission, Top Dawg is out in front providing vision and leadership to the basketball world.  The Senior Combine is part of an innovative plan to make college basketball more compelling and improve its product on the court. Top Dawg’s Combine also helps the NBA and the high school athletes that may be ready to play pro. It can also reassure other athletes who may not test out for the pro level at this stage and will save them from skipping college and trying to go pro before they are ready.

The purpose of this groundbreaking event is to help measure the top-rated athletes and evaluate them to see if they are ready for the NBA but it will also better prepare them for college and a potential professional career.

“The players and the families need to know. Here are the ones who should be thinking about the NBA and here are the ones who should not. That’s why you need a combine.”

– Kentucky Basketball Coach John Calipari calling for a Combine

A combine is an eye test

It’s impossible to blow anybody away running a 3-on-1 fast break. Recruiters, coaches, and NBA General Managers aren’t sitting there documenting and analyzing how many layups are made and missed, or if a rebound is grabbed at its highest point.

The combine is a litmus test. Big men should showcase their athleticism, physique, and skills. Guards want to look fluid, quick and decisive.

High School athletes want to turn heads just by showing up and participating. Sometimes, a player’s appearance and the level of fluidity he operates with can grab attention.

The only exception to the litmus test is jump shooting. A strong performance during a shooting drill can help move the needle, or at least make College/NBA scouts want to see more.

A combine can help single out a promising shooter and expose others based on rhythm and mechanics. Just watching a players release is enough for some scouts.

Many big men in high school don’t have the freedom to shoot from the outside, Top Dawg wants to change that.  Many high school athletes can only play college or beyond if they can play smaller positions.  A 6’7″ player in high school may have to play post but if they want to play in the NBA they would need to play guard.  Practicing and getting comfortable with guard instincts is what Top Dawg strives for.  Outside shooting is a required skill for big men who have aspirations of playing in the NBA. A power forward or center can increase his appeal by looking comfortable and confident during shooting drills at the combine.

Again, it’s not going to make or break it, but it could eliminate a potential suitor who got turned off by the failed test.

Day 1

The players are divided up by position. The point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, power forwards and centers all separated into groups.
Within each group, instructors run specific drills that correspond with the responsibilities of each position. They practice many of the same drills that you might expect. Three-man weaves, two-on-one fast breaks, stop-and-pop at the cone—drills that test players’ comfort levels in different areas of the game.
later, there will be some half-court three-on-three, but you won’t find any full-court scrimmaging going on at the combine.

Day 2

The second half of the combine is perhaps the most important part of the combine it’s the athletic requirements and physical measurements.

Athletic Testing and Physical Measurements

The athletic testing consists of:

The physical testing measures:

  • No Step Vertical Jump
  • Max Vertical Jump
  • Bench Press
  • Lane Agility (lateral movement, stop-start acceleration, etc.)
  • 3/4 Court Sprint