The list of players invited to this year’s NBA combine dropped Thursday, and some names of interest to the St. Louis area are included in the crop of ballers who will show off for NBA scouts in Chicago from May 15-19.
Missouri natives Ben McLemore (Kansas guard), Otto Porter (Georgetown small forward) and BJ Young (Arkansas guard) made the cut, as did Mizzou guard Phil Pressey and Illinois guard Brandon Paul.
But one name that might have made the list — Oriakhi — was nowhere to be found.
The Mizzou center who transferred from Connecticut before his senior season shot 63.9 percent from the field and averaged 11.2 points and 8.4 rebounds for the Tigers this year.
At 6-foot-9, 240-pounds, he is a bit undersized for his position. Still, an argument could be made that his strength, rebounding and offensive efficiency could have qualified him for a combine nod — especially since this year’s draft class is nothing to write home about.
Instead, the former Tigers’ big man who has signed with agent Thad Foucher of Wasserman Media Group will have to catch scouts’ eyes another way, like the workout he recently had with the Los Angeles Lakers.
He will be a late second-round pick, if he gets drafted at all. No invitation to the combine tends to be an unfavorable sign.
Sixty-one players were invited.
Only 60 will be drafted in June.
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