This shouldn't come as a surprise to Arizona fans, but T.J. McConnell was excellent during the 5-on-5 scrimmages at the NBA combine on Thursday. McConnell was a late invite to the combine, but that didn't seem to phase him as he immediately made an impact when he was put into the game:
Don't like tweeting stuff during combine because not sure it means anything, but TJ McConnell is so fun to watch.— Russillo (@ryenarussillo) May 14, 2015
Boggles me, what doesn't say NBA about TJ McConnell aside from his size. His IQ and competitiveness are off the charts, Top 5 in this draft.— 2 Letters After A (@BCHabties) May 14, 2015
T.J. McConnell has just changed this entire game. Incredible.— Rahshaun Haylock (@RHaylock) May 14, 2015
T.J. finished the game with five assists, no points, and only one turnover, which is exactly the sort of line you'd expect from McConnell. He was very active on defense as well, grabbing two steals, but his primary contributions were setting up shots for other players. In fact, ESPN's commentators discussed how McConnell is the perfect teammate in this sort of scrimmage because of his ability to open up opportunities for other players, showcasing their talents in the process. T.J. certainly showed that ability today.
The combine is just McConnell's first opportunity to impress teams, get drafted, or at least work his way onto an NBA roster. We are still a long way from draft day, but McConnell's impressive performance in the 5-on-5 scrimmages today increased his chances of making those NBA dreams reality.