“The Memphis Tigers are excited to invite NBA teams to our 2019 pro day,” Hardaway said. “They will find a wide range of players with different specialties. We would like for front offices to get a first-hand look at our student-athletes before the season to become familiar with our roster and track their improvements throughout the 2019-20 season.”
The pro day will be held at The Tigers’ practice facility, with a format similar to the NBA draft combine, including measurements, athletic testing, shooting drills and an hour of live 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 scrimmages. Memphis will also open practice the following day for NBA scouts.
The Tigers have one of the most attractive teams in college basketball for NBA scouting purposes, featuring two players currently projected as top-10 draft picks in freshmen James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa. ESPN recruiting experts ranked Memphis’ incoming class as No. 1 in college basketball, as it also features D.J. Jeffries (No. 25 in the ESPN 100), Boogie Ellis (No. 39), Lester Quinones (No. 84) and four star point guard Damian Baugh, who impressed during the team’s trip to the Bahamas last week.
This will be NBA scouts’ first look at Memphis’ projected lottery picks, as WISeman did not play in the Bahamas due to a minor shoulder injury and Achiuwa did not make the trip due to visa complications. Scouts will want to take a close look at the development both players have undergone physically and skill-WISe since they last saw them in April at the Nike Hoop Summit.
Getting an opportunity to see both players in drills and scrimmages should allow scouts to get a better feel for how to project their perimeter shooting ability, a key point of interest for both prospects long-term. Achiuwa and WISeman are versatile defenders who boast good size, impressive physiques, long wingspans and strong athleticism for their respective positions, but their ability to make outside shots, create for teammates and make good decisions with the ball will be major keys to their NBA draft stock.
The Tigers’ pro day on Oct. 7 will coincide with a large group of NBA executives descending on the city for the Memphis Grizzlies’ preseason game on Oct. 8 against RJ Hampton and the New Zealand Breakers. Hampton, the No. 6 player in ESPN’s 2020 mock draft, will be scouted heavily in his matchup with Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr.. The Breakers also will play against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Oct. 10.