2015 NBA Draft Combine Measurements Analysis May 13, 2015 -Myles Turner: Texas freshman Myles Turner is in largely the same boat as Cauley-Stein in that he measured extraordinarily well, but not quite as well as Upshaw. Standing 6'11.25 with a 7'4 wingspan and a 238.6-pound frame, he has terrific size for a NBA big man. His 9'4 standing reach ranks second among all players in attendance. Considering his tremendous physical attributes, combined with his ability to shoot the ball with range and block shots, teams in the mid to late lottery will have to think long and hard before passing on Turner. [Read Full Article] Myles Turner Workout Video May 13, 2015 An interview with Myles Turner featuring footage from his pre-draft workouts with Joe Abunassar in Las Vegas, Nevada at Impact Basketball
Turner goes into detail discussing his running style and the improvements he's making with his mobility under the advice of a specialized doctor, as documented in the article we published last night titled: Human Movement Science and the NBA Draft (and Myles Turner). You can see in the video how Turner is looking now:
The battery of tests these prospects will be put through range from echocardiograms to simple vision tests to complex assessments looking to ascertain joint or muscular problems. Asked to submit a full medical history prior to the combine, and then answer a questionnaire upon arrival, some prospects face highly specific tests tailored to explore potential red flags, while others face a fairly standard gambit of examinations. Though the results of these tests can hurt the stock of some prospects, they've also proven to serve their underlying purpose of uncovering serious health concerns. For example, less than a year ago, Isaiah Austin's EKG at the 2014 NBA Combine was the first domino to fall in his unfortunate, career-ending diagnosis with Marfan Syndrome.
John Brenkus, Kinesiology, and Minimizing Risk in the NBA
There's a good chance that if you're reading this article, you're already familiar with John Brenkus, the host of SportScience, an aptly named television series that gained traction on Fox Sports Net in the late 2000s before being picked up by ESPN and sprinkled over its existing programming as short segments.
Analyzing the physics and engineering principles at work in the more interesting feats of athletes competing at the highest levels of their respective sports, SportScience, with Brenkus as the executive producer and on-air narrator, brought the methods and findings of human performance analysis mainstream. The public face of an ongoing surge in innovation in the application of technology in the field of kinesiology, Brenkus is but one of a growing number of researchers leveraging new measuring tools to gain new insight into how athletes move.
The utility of that new insight is fairly clear for NBA teams, especially during the draft process, where many prospects undergo a full battery of tests to assess the strength of their joints and their potential risk for serious injury for the first time in their entire lives. With first round prospects receiving guaranteed money and the implications of insurance coverage for potential free agent acquisitions (which are described succinctly in Larry Coon's CBA FAQ), information about physical weaknesses and the probability they have to limit a player's ability to stay on the floor obviously goes a long way towards helping NBA teams minimize risk.
Given the basketball industry's collective proclivity for new information, it should come as no surprise that human movement science has gained considerable traction among NBA personnel over the years. Whether it's something as simple as a scout scrutinizing a player's gait or the success of the Phoenix Suns' training staff in rejuvenating the careers of older players with comprehensive strength and flexibility assessments, coupled with aggressive preventative strengthening routines (summarized nicely by Eric Freeman here and in tremendously well-researched detail by Michael Schwartz here), principles of kinesiology have found their way into how NBA teams are evaluating and physically preparing players.
An Anecdote from 2015 Draft Prospect Myles Turner
For the average NBA Draft prospect, the battery of tests they're put through this time of the year tend to be a formality, but for other players the stakes are a bit higher. It seems that at least one player per draft cycle is faced with concerns based around how they move on the court and what kind of toll the resulting forces are taking on their musculoskeletal system. Sometimes those questions are raised about a bruising big man struggling with lower back pain late in the season or a prospect who is particularly knock-knee or bow-legged relative to the norm, but they can also pop up for more subtle reasons like unsteady running form or a lack of ideal knee bend in the post.
This season, Myles Turner is perhaps the highest profile player in this draft to face scrutiny specifically for how he moves. DraftExpress's video scout, Mike Schmitz, broke down Turner's specific mobility issues in our preseason video scouting report on the potential top-10 pick. The following video is linked to start with that section: https://youtu.be/sU_qZL9LevA?t=6m22s
Turner's somewhat ginger, choppy running stride was a part of not only our scouting report on him, but of those published by most major NBA Draft outlets as well. As Schmitz notes, Turner is plenty mobile for a 7-footer. He moves better than numerous center prospects we've covered over the years, but with the lamentable history of big men with injury problems over the last two decades and the increased attention to detail in the internet era of scouting, Turner's gait was still viewed as a concern.
Turner selected Andy Miller of ASM Sports as his representation earlier this spring. Miller, in concert with Turner, Turner's father David, and renowned Dallas strength coach Ken Roberson, decided to be proactive about the questions facing the 19 year old center and look for answers in advance of the NBA Combine. That search led Turner and his team to undergo a trio of tests at the Hospital for Special Surgery based in New York, the same hospital where Kevin Love and Paul George had their respective surgeries done over the last year.
The returns of Turner's lower extremity physical, running mechanics physical, and foot and ankle evaluation revealed the root of Turner's mechanical issues as weakness in both his left and right gluteus medius. The resulting 27-page report, which includes analysis from three phyisicians, stills of Turner performing various stability and running on a treadmill, and numerous x-rays was distributed to all 30 NBA teams, but more significantly, paints a picture of an imbalance that can be corrected over time.
Behind the Scenes of Turner's Testing
Flexibility and Range of Motion
The battery of tests Turner faced began with a look at his flexibility as the doctor's gauged the angles he was able to achieve in various stretches. Looking for tightness in his lower body, they revealed, in the doctor's estimation, nothing outside of the norm.
Hip Flexors - 1 Joint
Hip Flexors - 2 Joint
ITB/TFL (Outer Thigh Flexibility)
Muscular Strength and Endurance
The second test was more enlightening about the reasons for Turner's gait. Looking for deviations in the knee and pelvis to identify weaknesses through manual testing, the tests showed Turner's gluteus medius on both sides to be very weak. An important lower limb stabilizer, this weakness and the imbalance between the strength of his left and right side were deemed the culprit behind his running form.
Dynamic Stability Testing
Performing shallow one-legged squats to look at what kind of pelvic control he was able to maintain and what kind of forces were being applied to his knee, the subsequent tests Turner went through uncovered to what degree his gluts were having on his balance and running form.
HSS Myles Turner Running Mechanics Profile
Strike Pattern and Foot Mechanics
After completing his balance testing, Turner took to the treadmill where doctor's diagrammed and measured the angles of his joints as well as his ground contact patterns to paint of full picture of his running style.
HSS Myles Turner Running Mechanics Profile
HSS Myles Turner Running Mechanics Profile
The first diagram shows Turner running with a comfortable mid-foot strike, but the second diagram displays excessive pronation on the left foot according to the report. Though its Turner's gluts that are the issue, it is interesting to note just what kind of impact that weakness creates further down the chain of muscles he uses when running.
Knee and Hip Mechanics
The below diagrams look at the angles of Turner's upper leg when he's running. An example of the lack of pelvic stability the reports point to can be seen clearly in the first picture, while the second shows a loss of control in his legs in his natural running stride.
HSS Myles Turner Running Mechanics Profile
HSS Myles Turner Running Mechanics Profile
Fortunately for Turner, the ultimate outcome of this comprehensive look into the issues identified by scouts early in his career was very positive as his strength deficit in the gluts is, in this doctor's view, very correctable. The running mechanics portion of the report sent to teams ends with a set of exercises for Turner to do daily to help him activate the specific areas of concern.
Myles Turner Interview
Turner was kind enough to answer a few of our questions regarding his situations before he headed to Chicago for the NBA Combine.
DX: How did the decision for you to have a gait assessment come about? MT: I have heard about it for years and I wanted to prove to everyone that it's just mechanics. I wanted all the NBA teams to know I was 100% healthy.
DX: Who was involved in that process? MT: My Agent Andy Miller, my trainer Ken Roberson and My father David Turner
DX: What led to your choice of the Hospital for Special Surgery? MT: My Agent recommended it and my father had surgery there years ago.
DX: Were you at all worried about what the results might show? MT: No, I knew that I was completely healthy.
DX: Was that the first time you'd ever been through a battery of tests like those, what was the actual test like? MT: Yes that was the first time that I went through tests like that. The actual test looked at my movement, I also did a stress test on a treadmill and they stretched out my legs to gauge how flexible and strong I was.
DX: Had anyone ever indicated to you personally that you might have a strength imbalance prior to the draft process? MT: No
DX: You experienced some specific aches and pains over the course of your freshman season at Texas, were you surprised that they were more than just wear and tear related? MT: No, the aches and pains I had did not have anything to do with my gait. They were just the normal aches and pains college players feel during the season.
DX: What kind of exposure had you had to running mechanics and speed training in the past? MT: I had done some track work and traditional speed training, but it was not a main concern, my focus before the assessment was mostly about basketball.
DX: What has the corrective exercise program been like for you thus far? Has the difference been noticeable in your other on-court pre-draft preparations? MT: I have been working on my core, hips and gluteal muscles. I have noticed huge gains in my transitional drills. I have been able to get out and run the court better.
DX: How will this play out over the course of your career and how important might this be for you? MT: I will continue to do the physical therapy work, building on the base we have set up during predraft. I think this is going to be a key factor in my long-term development.
DX: Would you recommend these types of assessments to future prospects? Do you have any other advice for them? MT: Yes if someone has a similar situation I think they should definitely look to have the problem identified. Don't let what people say frustrate you, just continue to work hard and get better.
Performance Optimization and the Future
Turner isn't the first prospect to have a running mechanics assessment and subsequently send it to teams, but he is the first to share those results publically. Obviously, the positive nature of his prognosis played a role in that decision, but he and his representation deserve credit for giving draft fans a glimpse into just how in-depth the medical testing these players are put through has become and were smart for approaching the process pro-actively.
Given the performance and draft stock implications of correcting or just beginning to correct a muscular imbalance, it wouldn't be shocking to see more agents looking to not only get ahead of the medical testing that will be done this week at the NBA Combine, but also use the results of this type of testing to help players make gains pre-draft preparation, even if their client isn't identified as having any significant issues. With few players reaping the benefits of tests like this at the college level, the opportunity to get them assessed and build a program to help them work to eliminate any potential imbalances or weaknesses seems like promising step towards maximizing their athletic performance. Look for this process to continue to move to the forefront as it becomes more accepted and common in sports circles. [Read Full Article] Myles Turner NBA Draft Scouting Report and Video Breakdown March 23, 2015 Derek Bodner
A very highly touted high school recruit (5th in the 2014 RSCI Index), Myles Turner came onto the scene strong for a hopeful Texas Longhorns squad that was a consensus preseason Top-10 ranked team. Turner started off the season posting incredible per-minute stats, averaging 24.6 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 6.1 blocks per 40 minutes during Texas' first 10 games, playing 20.3 minutes per night and shooting 52.6% from the field, helping Texas start off the season 9-1.
Mike Schmitz Video Scouting Report (Video may not load with Internet Explorer. Use Chrome or Firefox)
Offensively, Turner's primary weapon at this stage of the game is his jump shot. With a high release point, soft touch, and a quick, decisive release for a big man, Turner's ability to score from the perimeter is a dangerous and coveted skill for the 6'11” freshman. Turner flashes range (albeit inconsistently) out to the collegiate three point line, where he hit 17 threes on the year on a 27.4% clip. A more realized use of his jump shot has been from midrange and, especially, from the free throw line, where Turner connected on an excellent 83.9% of his attempts this season.
That jump shot is both his biggest strength and, at times, his biggest weakness, as it plays a pivotal role in every facet of his offensive game. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Turner posts up on roughly 40% of his half-court field goal attempts, a sizable number for a freshman big. Upon further inspection, though, a very significant portion of those, especially over his right shoulder, are turnaround jump shots out of the post, which he finds mixed results with. Turner also moves well without the ball, but his most frequent rotation is to flash the middle of a zone for a foul-line jumper. He also shows some potential as a pick-and-roll player, but is almost twice as likely to settle for the pick-and-pop jumper rather than roll to the basket.
Part of this tendency to float on the perimeter is clearly exacerbated by the situation he elected to place himself in at Texas, as the Longhorns' perimeter shooting, ball-movement and floor spacing were very inconsistent, at best. Turner played out of position at the power forward position alongside similarly sized frontcourt players who, with the exception of Jonathan Holmes (who saw his perimeter jump-shot fall apart in Big 12 play after an extremely hot start), operate almost exclusively in the paint. This congestion of big men, and the lack of creativity in which they were utilized, clearly exacerbated Turner's natural tendency to settle for jump shots and not exploit his tremendous size and length around the basket more efficiently.
With that said, Turner still has plenty of work to do in terms of rounding out his offensive game. While not an explosive athlete, or incredibly tough and aggressive in the paint, his 9-2” standing reach gives him some potential on the block, and he shows solid touch on a hook shot with his right hand. He needs to diversify his post-up game, though, as he shows little in the way of counter moves and lacks any sort of a go-to move with his left hand. He could also stand to add some much-needed strength, as he frequently struggles to hold his ground in the post. Being one of the youngest players in this draft class, not turning 19 until March 24th, that will certainly improve with time and added physical development.
His awkward running style, might not change anytime soon, though. Turner noticeably lumbers getting up and down the floor, and only made five field goals (out of 13 attempts) all season in transition situations according to Synergy Sports Technology.
As the non-conference portion of Texas' schedule concluded, and their chemistry seemed to erode, the lack of diversity in Turner's offensive game began to show, and he settled more and more for jump shots. As detailed in the following chart, Turner posted incredible numbers against teams ranked outside of the Top-100 (26.7 points per 40 minutes, 3.8 offensive rebounds per 40, 59.3% shooting from the field), but failed to consistently make an impact on the offensive end against Top-100 defenses (14.6 points per 40 minutes, 1.7 offensive rebounds, 37.9% shooting).
On the defensive side of the court, however, Turner continued to make a strong impact on a Texas team that ranked in the top-20 in the nation defensively, with his 9.4 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes (4th among DX Top-100 prospects) and 4.7 blocks per 40 minutes (3rd) both ranking very favorably in this draft class.
Those numbers rank Turner very well compared with recent elite-level defensive prospects such as Karl Towns (8.7 defensive rebounds and 4.5 blocks per 40 minutes), Joel Embiid (10.0 defensive rebounds and 4.5 blocks per 40 minutes) and Nerlens Noel (8.5 defensive rebounds and 5.5 blocks per 40 minutes). Encouragingly, those numbers remained excellent even when the competition strengthened, as Turner averaged 4.7 blocks and 8.7 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes against Texas' tough conference schedule.
While not an explosive athlete, Turner combines his plus length with excellent timing and great shot blocking instincts to be a consistent factor on this end of the court. Similarly, while Turner could certainly stand to fill out his frame with much-needed strength, he has good technique on the defensive glass and shows a nose for the ball, and does a good job collecting rebounds outside of his area for a guy who isn't all that quick.
While Turner is a superb defensive prospect, there are a few areas of concern going forward, namely his propensity for picking up fouls and struggles defending the pick and roll. Turner's 4.3 fouls per 40 minutes is a relatively high number, although not unheard of for a young shot-blocking prospect. He tends to bite on pump fakes and can be a little bit overly aggressive at times. Still, with the excellent overall instincts he shows as a shot blocker this seems to be something he can get under control as he gains more experience.
The longer term concern on defense is likely his pick and roll defense, something which is a bigger concern at the next level, especially since Texas played a decent amount of zone defense with Turner on the court. Sporting awkward movements exacerbated by his abnormally large feet, Turner lacks great, or even good, lateral quickness. His struggles defending ball-handlers coming off the pick and roll, and in open space in general, is a concern, and something he'll have to improve upon going forward, as the NBA game has different rules and a much more pronounced tempo than college basketball does.
While Turner's lack of offensive diversity and his willingness to settle for outside jump shots is a concern going forward, the combination of a big man who can space the floor from the perimeter while also being a strong rebounder on the defensive glass and a rim protector inside the paint is incredibly rare, and, in today's NBA where spacing is king, also incredibly valuable. As long as his body can hold up (somewhat of a concern due to his physical makeup), he shouldn't have too much of a problem finding some type of a niche in the NBA. If a team thinks they can hone in his shot selection, and not see him lose too much effectiveness against big men who are more athletic than him, Turner's skill set and raw defensive ability could be tough to pass up for teams in need of a big man, even if the precise extent of his long-term upside is yet to be determined. [Read Full Article] Myles Turner vs Kentucky's NBA Frontcourt Video Analysis December 9, 2014 A detailed video analysis by Mike Schmitz of how Texas' Myles Turner fared in his matchup with Kentucky's vaunted NBA-bound frontcourt this past week in Lexington.
Mike Schmitz is the video analyst for DraftExpress. Follow him on twitter and check out the DraftExpress Video section. He will be breaking down the NBA draft in digital format all year long for us. [Read Full Article] 2014 FIBA U18 Americas Championship: US Scouting Reports June 25, 2014 Mike Schmitz
-Excellent size, frame and length for a center.
-Great instincts as a shot blocker. Rotates well. Alters shots. Very good timing.
-Good offensive rebounder.
-Very good shooting touch. Capable out to 3-point range. Comfortable in mid-range spots.
-Upside offensively. Can get to a turnaround jumper comfortably. Fundamentally sound rip-through from 17 feet. Pretty good touch on right handed jump hook.
-High IQ. Good passer. Knows where to be on the defensive end.
-Plays with great effort. Works hard on the glass.
-Lacks mobility. Struggles getting up and down with fluidity. Runs awkwardly.
-Huge feet slow him down. Has issues hedging and recovering.
-Lacks explosiveness. Not an above the rim guy.
-Not comfortable turning over his right shoulder.
-Lacks go-to moves on the block. Doesn't get deep position.
Outlook Turner has an intriguing blend of shooting ability, basketball IQ, shot blocking instincts and rebounding ability for a near-7-footer. The Texas-bound big man does some nice things on the floor that should translate well to the next level. Turner's potential is a bit limited by his lack of mobility and explosiveness, however. He's not exactly great in one area and although he certainly has some NBA-level skills and tools, he struggles to get off the ground quickly, keep quicker bigs in front and hedge and recover in the pick and roll. Turner figures to face questions about his long-term durability due to his abnormally large feet and awkward running style. Turner certainly has the tools to contribute at Texas and eventually parlay that into a potential lottery selection in the 2015 draft. But because of Turner's lack of athleticism along with questions about his long-term durability, he doesn't quite have the star potential people may have envisioned in the past. [Read Full Article] 2014 Nike Hoop Summit: USA Measurements April 12, 2014 Myles Turner
Weight: 242 lbs.
Height (w/shoes): 6'11.5"
Standing Reach: 9'1.5” [Read Full Article] 2014 Nike Hoop Summit: USA Practice Day Three April 12, 2014
[Read Full Article] High School Class of 2014 Scouting Reports, Part Two- the Big Men September 4, 2013 Jonathan Givony
-Tremendous physical attributes. Great frame, long arms, soft hands
-Extremely athletic. Quick off his feet. Very nimble.
-Great instincts as a shot-blocker. Terrific timing
-Very good touch around the basket
-Very nice turnaround jumper
-Capable of stepping outside and shooting from the perimeter
-Can put the ball on the floor a bit
-Very intelligent player. Great passer for his position
-Extremely unselfish. Almost to a fault at times
-Competes on the glass
-Extremely intelligent off the court
-Huge upside to continue to develop
-Very limited offensively
-Not strong enough to establish position inside the paint
-Does not possess great footwork or post moves
-Not really comfortable carrying a heavy scoring load. Often does not look like he really wants the ball
-Shots the ball with a side-spin, which hurts his accuracy
-Not fluid or graceful yet with movements. Runs the floor and hedges screens somewhat awkwardly
Outlook: Physically gifted big man still in a very early stage of his development. Grew considerably in a short amount of time, and does not look fully comfortable in his own skin just yet. Has the potential to be a special defensive player. Has terrific instincts for blocking shots. Frame is underdeveloped but will fill out in impressive fashion. Appears to have terrific intangibles off the court, which leaves a lot of room for optimism regarding his future development. [Read Full Article] Myles Turner Video Interview August 16, 2013