We all want to be tall. When I discovered that my grandfather had played center at Army, despite being "only" 6-4, then I wanted to be at least 6-4. I hung from monkey bars. I stretched my neck while I was eating. I floated in the pool thinking it might make me grow faster.
Unfortunately, I topped out at 6-0 in bare feet.
With my basketball skill, 6-0 wasn't getting me anywhere. Like everything else in life, people's heights can be graphed with a bell curve, and there are exponentially more young males who are 6-0 tall than there are that are 6-9. So to play college basketball at 6-0, you have to be really really really good.
So it goes.
What I didn't know at the time is that I was really - in basketball terms - 6-1. Not that that was getting me anywhere either. My high school measured us in our socks, while colleges mostly measure student athletes in their shoes, and basketball shoes add, on average, about an inch.
Woohoo! I'm 6-1.
But the Portsmouth Invitational (PIT) just happened, which is an event where college seniors get to work out and play games in front of NBA scouts. And NBA scouts aren't interested in accounting shenanigans, they want to understand their product. So they measure players in bare feet.
I took these measurements and compared them to what each player's school had them listed. We can assume that anyone with a discrepancy around an inch was still an honest measurement by the college, but it just included shoes. An inch and a half starts to get stretchy. At three inches, we're pretty much in wtf territory.
Here is the complete chart, and if you're unfamiliar with some of the players they are listed below according to their school.
|Tyler Brown||Illinois State|
|Chris Evans||Kent State|
|Robert Covington||Tennessee St|
|A.J. Davis||James Madison|
|Carl Hall||Wichita State|
|Brock Motum||Washington St|
|Reginald Buckner||Ole Miss|
|Will Clyburn||Iowa State|
|Ed Daniel||Murray State|
|Dwayne Davis||Southern Miss|
|Murphy Holloway||Ole Miss|
|Maurice Kemp||East Carolina|
|Chase Tapley||San Diego St|
|Damen Bell-Holter||Oral Robert|
|James Ennis||Long Beach St|
|Ramon Galloway||La Salle|
|Elston Turner||Texas A&M|
|Scott Wood||NC State|
|Jack Cooley||Notre Dame|
|Kevin Foster||Santa Clara|
One of the first things that jumps out is the block of three at the top. Illinois State, Kent State and VMI all had players listed three inches taller than they actually are. Last year at the PIT the biggest exaggeration was 2.5 inches. This year there were four players which exceeded that.
Just below those four you'll find Detroit's Nick Minnerath (+2.25 inches). At last year's PIT, his teammate Eli Holman was listed at +2.50, which was the biggest discrepancy of the year. Clearly, Detroit needs a new measuring tape.
Other notable players who came in at least 2 inches shorter than listed included Durand Scott, Carl Hall, and Brock Motum.
At the other end of the spectrum were Jared Berggren (Wisconsin) and Kwame Vaughn (Cal State Fullerton) who were only listed a quarter inch taller than they actually are. And since colleges don't list in fractions, for all practical purposes they were listed at their actuall height.