KeVaughn Allen (And Kerry Blackshear) Take Part In Professional Basketball Combine

KeVaughn Allen was at the Professional Basketball Combine this past week putting his skills to the test against other veteran college players looking to prove their pro potential. A Gator who played a ton of minutes over the last 4 years seeing how he fairs professionally would say a lot about the program and Coach White’s ability to develop talent and get players where they want to go—the next level.

First off, here were Allen’s measurements and athletic testing numbers.

Height: 6’2.5”
Wingspan: 6’6”
Hand (length/width): 8.75/9.25
Standing Reach: 8’2.75”
Standing Vertical: 31”
Max Vertical: 37”
Shuttle (Hand Timed): 2.37
Lane Agility: 11.76
¾ Court Sprint: 3.29

Perhaps the thing I was most interested to see about Allen was his vertical leap and he didn’t disappoint. Both his standing and max vertical leaps would have had him in the upper-middle pack of the NBA Combine and those numbers displaying his explosiveness will help make up for the fact that he isn’t that tall.

An area Allen struggled was in the lane agility testing. The 11.76 number is more in the range of what you’d expect from a forward and I expected him to be a lot quicker. If you’re not aware of the lane agility test that has been made popular at the NBA Combine it’s essentially a side-to-side movement drill where players have to shuffle their feet around the key, changing directions and demonstrating their agility. Showing poorly here might suggest to a scout that he isn’t as elite of a perimeter defender as some would suggest and while it’s just a number from a single test this doesn’t help Allen.

The ¾ court sprint also wasn’t as kind to Allen as I would have expected as he was near the middle of the pack for the Professional Basketball Combine but if you were to put him up against the NBA Combine participants he would have been one of the slowest guards.

Potentially it’s unfair for me to be comparing Allen to the NBA Combine participants because they’re expected to be NBA talents and quite frankly Allen is not but I thought given a lot of the athleticism he displayed in college it would be interesting to compare him to the best of the best.

One area Allen absolutely shined in was the shooting drill which is pivotal to whatever his next step in basketball is. He went 20-25 from the NBA 3-point line and that 80% put him third highest at the event. Allen just never seemed to be able to find shooting consistency at the college level but he looked as comfortable as ever putting up shots from behind the NBA line. He’s never had a problem with getting enough legs under his jump shot and playing from a deeper line, whether the NBA or FIBA line, shouldn’t affect him much. Showing he can shoot from range will really help him when he tries to find some work next.

In the scrimmage portion of the combine Allen looked comfortable and defended well, something that should have made up for anyone questioning whether the lane agility testing would hurt his defensive stock. He wasn’t particularly assertive offensively and didn’t take a ton of shots but quite frankly that’s what I wanted to see. If he’s going to get an opportunity in a good league it probably won’t be as a primary option, it will be as a defender and a floor spacer. For him to give teams a bit of a look at that element of his game is wise and I think helped him out.

The final element of the Professional Basketball Combine is an interview portion where the players get face to face with scouts from NBA squads. Interviewing has become one of the most important aspects of the NBA pre-draft process and I think it was a good experience for Allen to get to go through. I asked a source who got to be around Allen’s interview and, shockingly, he said Allen was pretty quiet. Obviously I don’t know any specifics from the interview or anything like that but I’m sure this was a good experience for Allen and I hope he endeared himself to some front offices.

I would be surprised if KeVaughn Allen didn’t get an invitation to play for some team in the NBA Summer League. As a uniquely built guard at a muscular 6’2” and a half he’ll offer some intrigue if he can keep making shots and I think the Summer League will be his next opportunity. There he’ll have prove he can be a plus defender and he’ll have to drill shots when given the opportunity. If he can do that, maybe he’ll get a G League contract.

KeVaughn Allen wasn’t the only player of interest to Gator fans at the Professional Basketball Combine as Kerry Blackshear was also in attendance.

You didn’t think I’d go without talking about him, did you?

Since many of us are waiting to see if he decides to go pro or not his performance at this event was pretty important. Here’s how he measured up in the testing.

Height: 6’11”
Wingspan: 7’0”
Hand (length/width): 9.5”/10”
Standing Reach: 8’9.5”
Standing Vertical: 27”
Max Vertical: 32”
Lane Agility: 12.52
¾ Court Sprint: 3.81

The first thing I noted was that he measured at 6’11”, an inch taller than the 6’10” he was listed at by Virginia Tech.

Since I compared KeVaugn Allen to the players at the NBA Combine I’ll do the same with Blackshear.

His vertical leaps would have landed himself near the bottom of the pack and that’s something I expected from Blackshear given the fact that he’s not a supreme athlete. I actually thought he may have jumped even less so I’d say the results were actually good for him.

When it came to the athletic testing… things did not go so well for Blackshear.

His lane agility would have been 3rd last in the NBA Combine, and what I thought was most curious is that after the lane agility performance he chose not to do the shuttle run, something I think was a tactical decision as to not register a bad number.

His ¾ court sprint would have finished last in the NBA combine, behind even 7’7” behemoth Tacko Fall.

This isn’t really surprising because Blackshear really isn’t an elite athlete and most of the players at the combine are there because of his athleticism. It’s Blackshear’s intelligence that makes him such a productive player and any team interested in him from a professional standpoint would be aware of his physical limitations but know he makes up for some of them with his IQ.

One thing that was great for Blackshear was his performance in the NBA shooting drill where he hit 56% of his shots. Yes, these are uncontested jumpers in an empty gym but the ball left his hand nicely and that number can’t hurt him.

For Blackshear I would say this event was not a success. He didn’t dispel any criticisms of his athleticism and with that being one of his major detractors when it comes to his pro stock I don’t think this event particularly helped him.

If Florida has the chance to speak to Blackshear about him potentially returning to college as a Gator I think they really need to sell him on their strength and conditioning and if they want to go the extra mile in the recruitment, have a plan already made up for what they plan on doing with him. They can point to the criticisms people have of his physical tools and point to how they can make those things better and help him improve on the numbers that didn’t test well at this combine. Simply bettering his agility and leaping would really help Blackshear’s pro position and the Gators need to sell him on how they can practically help him.

With some Gator interests involved in the Professional Basketball Combine it was an interesting event to keep an eye on and I think I speak for all of us when I say I want to wish KeVaughn Allen the best in whatever comes next for him now that he’s entering the pro realm. Once a Gator, always a Gator.

Eric Fawcett
Eric hails from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His blend of sports and comedy has landed his words on ESPN, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, Lindy's and others. He loves zone defenses, the extra pass, and a 30 second shot clock. Growing up in Canada, an American channel showing SEC basketball games was his first exposure to Gator hoops, and he has been hooked ever since. You can follow him on Twitter at @Efawcett7.