Jamal Shead Impresses in NBA Combine Scrimmage

The Houston point guard was an absolute standout in the second NBA Combine scrimmage of the day.
Mar 29, 2024; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Cougars guard Jamal Shead (1) dribbles during the first half
Mar 29, 2024; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Cougars guard Jamal Shead (1) dribbles during the first half / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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It's that time of year for basketball – that's right. Everyone's favorite time of the year.

NBA Combine scrimmages.

As the 2024 NBA Draft begins to take shape even further with the Lottery on Sunday and scrimmages this week, more and more players are trying to get their names on boards. One way to do this is to show out against peers in the NBA Combine scrimmages.

Multiple players deserve praise from the second scrimmage; a couple of them being wing Trentyn Flowers of Adelaide/NBL (12 points), wing Jalen Bridges of Baylor (11 points), and forward Enrique Freeman of Akron (17 points; leading scorer).

But the player that had the most impact may have been Houston point guard Jamal Shead, one of many anchors making up arguably the best defenses in college basketball during his four years on campus.

Shead was impressive in multiple facets of the game – he drew fouls, played excellent on-ball defense. A true menace at the point of attack, Shead crowded the opposing ball handler and made navigating on the offensive end very difficult, including knocking the ball loose a couple of times without fouling. 

One thing about Jamal Shead is that, to use an old cliche, he “plays bigger than he is.” This doesn’t just apply to defense, but also to rebounding, as he battled on the glass throughout the game as well. Obviously his size will prevent him from ever being elite on the boards, but the motor is real. 

He played the lead guard role today in the second NBA Combine Scrimmage, playing efficient ball (50% from the field) and scoring 14 points on top of dishing four assists and recording a steal. 

Playing alongside college stars like Nique Clifford (Colorado State), Harrison Ingram (North Carolina), and Enrique Freeman (Akron), and against Jalen Bridges (Baylor), Boogie Ellis (USC), and Trentyn Flowers (Adelaide/NBL), Shead was a legitimate standout, a guard that truly makes a difference on both ends of the floor.  

Of course, as well loved as Shead is in basketball circles, he's far from a flawless prospect.

The primary problem with Shead is that he’s already in the minority of draft prospects that are undersized guards who aren’t also elite shooters, leaving Shead a very thin margin for error in his time on the floor. As much as Shead does on the defensive end and in distribution, his swing skill is going to have to be his three-point shot. 

If he is able to develop a legitimate stroke from beyond the arc, watch out – Jamal Shead will be a long-time NBA rotational player.

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Keenan Womack


Keenan Womack is a sportswriter native to Dallas, Texas, who has spent the last 12 years in Austin, the home of his alma mater, the University of Texas. Keenan has covered sports for SB Nation, Bleacher Report, Rivals/Orangebloods, a host of his own sites and now, Fan Nation. Focusing on basketball, Keenan was on the beat for the Longhorns hoops team for the last two-and-a-half years before moving on to pursue other opportunities. He is married and lives with his wife close to the Moody Center, so they can continue to catch games together.