ARIZONA STATE BASKETBALL

Josh Christopher’s appearance at the NBA Combine impresses executives

Jul 11, 2021, 8:05 AM
(Katie MacCrory/Sun Devil Athletics via AP)...
(Katie MacCrory/Sun Devil Athletics via AP)
(Katie MacCrory/Sun Devil Athletics via AP)

For Arizona State guard Josh Christopher, just showing up and competing at the NBA Combine was enough to make a sound impression on executives ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft.

David Aldridge of the Athletic compiled quotes from several college coaches and general managers, weighing their thoughts on the upcoming draft.

One anonymous Eastern Conference executive was impressed with Christopher.

There’s going to a contingent of people that looked at that and say, “you know he’ll go out and play every day.” He’s not going to sit out. He’s no chump. Whatever he can give in a playoff, he’s not going to back down; he’s going to stand out there and compete.’ Kind of reminds me of a Talen Horton-Tucker coming in. You know this guy’s got talent. You know he’s going to compete. You know he’s confident. But he doesn’t shoot efficiently. I wish he were a little bit quicker. Things like that. … I think he still goes in the first round.

Christopher did more than just show up at the combine.

He led the scrimmage game he competed in, scoring 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds and two assists in nearly 25 minutes of play.

Christopher threw down a thunderous transition dunk in the game but he still went 0-for-6 from 3-point range, something that the executive also noted.

 It really comes down to his shooting. Do you believe his shot can get better? There’s no doubt the kid’s a scorer and he’s competitive and he can play and he’s tough. So many of the guards who didn’t participate (at the combine) were considered below him, or around his space, and he still went out and competed. He was probably the highest-profile guy that actually played at the combine. We talked about that as a group. We instantly respected that he went out and competed like that.

Christopher played in 15 games for Sun Devils in 2020-21, averaging 14.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest. He shot 43% overall and 31% from three-point range.

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