Penn State Basketball: Shaky NBA Combine leaves Tony Carr’s draft projection in question


Tony Carr certainly didn’t have the performance he would have liked at the NBA Combine, so now what?

Penn State Basketball doesn’t exactly have a history of sending players to the NBA. In fact, the last time a Penn State basketball player was drafted was Calvin Booth in 1999.

Furthermore, the Nittany Lions have never had a player taken in the first round of the NBA Draft. This all had the opportunity to change with Tony Carr participating in the NBA Combine last week.

Did I mention that he’s the first Penn State basketball player ever to participate in the NBA Combine?

The projection that everyone kept hearing for Tony Carr was picks 25-40. When you don’t come from a basketball school, the combine is huge for you, because it’s one of the first times everyone is watching you. I thought Carr had a real chance at cementing himself into the late first round or early second round, depending on how he performed at the combine.

The struggles for Tony Carr at the combine began in the first five-on-five scrimmage of the week. He was guarded by one of the best defenders in the draft, West Virginia’s Jevon Carter, who was pressing Carr as soon as the game started.

Carr played 11 minutes, and scored 0 points on 0-4 shooting from the field. He hurt his ankle in the game, so he didn’t play in the scrimmage the next day. Obviously this is an extremely small sample size, but a first impression is huge and that something that Carr didn’t do well on.

Also that day, Carr struggled with agility testing. He finished toward the middle to bottom of the lane agility time, shuttle run, three quarter sprint, standing vertical, and vertical leap.

The good thing that came out of this day was that Tony Carr demolished the shooting drills, as he shot 80 percent from the left break, 60 percent from the right break, 100 percent from the left corner, 80 percent from the right corner, and 80 percent from the top of the key.

Unfortunately, I think scouts likely focus more on athletic testing and scrimmages than the shooting drills.

Obviously, the NBA Combine was a huge missed opportunity for Tony Carr. He got injured, which is something you can’t control, but the numbers when healthy weren’t pretty.

If the draft were today, I think Tony Carr will be drafted in the range of picks 40-60, but with a whole month left before the NBA Draft, and lots of workouts and interviews left, a lot can change.