UNC at NBA Draft Combine: Day 1 Report

Inside Carolina reports on-location from the 2016 NBA Draft Combine with Thursday's stats, analysis and intel on the UNC players in attendance.

CHICAGO -- The NBA Draft Combine tipped off on Thursday, with North Carolina's Justin Jackson, Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige looking to impress the pro scouts in attendance.


Paige was solid in a winning effort for his camp squad, as his team beat Jackson's team handily (109-69) in the day's second 5-on-5 game.

Playing 23 minutes, Paige did a little bit of everything, as he scored eight points, had five assists and added three steals. Paige didn't try to force the issue and showed okay defensively against Maryland guard Melo Trimble. Paige finished 3-for-8 from the field and was 2-for-5 from three-point range, which is what the NBA reps wanted to see out of him.

Jackson, meanwhile, struggled to find his footing as he finished with seven points and one rebound in 19 minutes. The sophomore -- who said afterwards that he's "50-50" right now with his NBA decision -- was 2-for-8 from the field and 1-for-4 from the three-point line while he also went 2-for-2 at the free-throw line. Jackson struggled to create space and get his own shot, in-part because he was defended by a familiar foe in All-ACC & All-American Malcolm Brogdon from Virginia.

Inside Carolina spoke to a handful of NBA scouts about Paige and Jackson's performance. The NBA personnel came away with a decent impression of Paige, as he had an outing they were more-or-less expecting. Paige would be a backup point guard in the NBA in his early career -- if he were to make the league -- and he by picking his spots he didn't take away from the offense. Five assists to one turnover helps his cause, as well as going 40 percent from three-point range.

Playing on a loaded team featuring Ben Bentil, DeAndre Bembry, Malik Newman, Pascal Siakam, Isaiah Whitehead, Perry Ellis, Jake Layman and Brogdon, Paige played his supporting role.

Jackson, however, struggled with creating his own space for shots as well as hitting perimeter jumpers, which were areas for which scouts were watching closely. He also didn't appear to play with a lot of confidence and didn't do a great job asserting himself into the game in other ways. Jackson only had one rebound and no other stats in the 19 minutes he played.

It didn't help that Jackson's team was completely outgunned as his group featured Isaiah Miles, Troy Williams, Chinanu Onuaku, Ron Baker, Isaiah Cousins, Josh Hart, Dedric Lawson and Jerrod Uthoff.

Onuaku and Williams were the only players on Jackson's team to finish in double-figures.

Both teams will play again Friday, but against different opponents. Brice Johnson's team will play its first game on Friday.


The NBA Draft's official measurements were also released on Thursday, including all three Tar Heels.

Keep in mind that many media members and NBA personnel believe the measurements to be slightly off as there were many disputed items among the group of players.

Brice Johnson had a positive 6-10.5 height in shoes with a 7-foot-0 wingspan. But he also measured surprising light at 209 pounds - after being listed at 230 his senior season in Chapel Hill.

Marcus Paige was 6-1.75 tall in shoes with a 6-6.25 wingspan. Like Johnson, Paige weighed in on the lighter side at 164 pounds (UNC listed him at 175 the last three seasons).

Justin Jackson was 6-8.25 with a 6-10.75 wingspan at 193 pounds.

Check back tomorrow for full interviews with all three Tar Heels.


Inside Carolina Top Stories