Noah Vonleh is a player that has flown up the lottery charts throughout the NCAA season. His combination of size and athletic combine numbers, courtesy of DraftExpress, depict a player of franchise-potential. Size-wise, he compares most likely to Emeka Okafor. Vonleh stands at 6’10” (in shoes) witha 7’4″ wingspan, but more importantly, with a 9′ standing reach. The most outstanding trait of his measurements are his hands. He has baseball gloves for hands. His mitts measured 9.75″ in hand length, and 11.75″ in hand width. That is easily 1″-2″ larger than typically measured hands of paint players. Most players are around 8.5″ and 9.5″ respectively.
Athletically, his results are similar to Okafor as well. No-step vertical ability resulted in 31″ and the two-step vertical result was 37″. Okafor’s max vertical result was short by 2.5″. The reach, combined with Vonleh’s vertical ability stand out to 12’1″ maximum reach, just above Okafor’s result. Okafor was faster in the 3/4 sprint by a tenth of a second, but was nearly a full second behind in terms of lateral agility.
Here is where things get a bit confusing. As mentioned before in the previous combine article, combine results may not reflect onto an NBA floor. In Emeka Okafor’s case, it was very evident. At the NCAA level, he was well over 4 blocks per game per-40 minutes of play, showing ability to run the floor, hit from midrange, and be effective in the paint. Defense was Okafor’s specialty, and he was the anchor for a championship UConn team. Noah Vonleh is a different story. His scouting video from Draftexpress depicts a player without much explosive ability. He has large hands, but has trouble catching the basketball. He has all of the physical tools to be dominant defensively, and yet, Indiana struggled with interior defense. Vonleh himself struggles to finish right at the basket, with a 58% field goal percentage.
Players of great size and athletic abilities are usually 65% to 75% in terms of finishing ability. Perhaps Vonleh is a workout warrior player, who excels with individual drills. Since he is capable of great results, the upside is there for him as a player. The length and athletic combine results speak for themselves. The question is, can he use those results on a basketball floor?