-Day One Recap
-Day Two Recap
One consolation game and two semifinals were the extent of day three of action from the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.
A large contingency of NBA scouts, GMs and executives is still in attendance, mostly grumbling about the poor quality of talent assembled and complaining about bad decisions made by a huge amount of NCAA seniors that elected to pass on competing at this event.
Many would like to see significant changes made to the format of this camp and the way that players are selected, but we hear these complaints every PIT, and nothing much has really changed in our seven years attending this event.
A few players did manage to take advantage of the huge amount of NBA eyeballs in the stands to stand out from the pack the most impressive of which were Marquette's Jimmy Butler, San Diego State's Malcolm Thomas, Florida's Vernon Macklin, Illinois' Mike Davis and College of Charleston's Andrew Goudelock.
These have generally been the players who have been talked about the most in our conversations with NBA types, along with Pitt's Gilbert Brown (great first game, average second), Duquesne's Damian Saunders (below), Pitt's Brad Wanamaker (didn't play yesterday) and Washington's Justin Holiday (struggling), who are being scouted heavily.
The Final today should be a good matchup, pitting Jimmy Butler's very unselfish squad with Malcolm Thomas' balanced and hard-working team.
Day Three Reports:
If he can prove that he can defend his position at the next level, his shooting this week could endear him to scouts. He's a lights out catch and shoot threat with deep range, and his ability to stretch the floor gives him clear value as a prospect. He's drawing a nice buzz thus far.
-Illinois product Mike Davis had a solid game offensively, knocking down a number of perimeter jump shots and a one dribble pull up on his way to 13 points. However, his impact on the glass was limited. His rebounding numbers fell considerably as an upperclassman, and considering his lack of small foward skills and defensive potential as a post defender at the NBA level, he would be well served to go the extra mile tracking down missed shots in a setting like this. Playing with this type of enthusiasm throughout his senior year would have gone a long ways in improving his stock.
-Malcolm Delaney and Durrell Summers struggled, shooting a combined 5-21 in their game today. Neither player has been able to make a consistently efficient impact in half court situations though both have had a few bright spots.
The key for Coleman, however, is to maintain his defensive effort and energy. Though his fundamentals are not great, his strong frame, above average lateral quickness, and terrific explosiveness allow him to excel here as a post defender where he has bodied up his man and contested shots around the basket. He is still just an average rebounder, however, which is unacceptable considering his physical and athletic advantages here. Considering his physical tools, you have to wonder how he had such an average senior season production wise (being one of the last players invited)there's likely a lot more bubbling beneath the surface that NBA teams will need to explore.
-Damian Saunders has not shot the ball well at Portsmouth, just 5-16 FG thus far, but he has adequately showcased his terrific versatility in this setting. On offense, he can slash to the rim, make good passes, cut hard to the basket, and fight hard on the boards for put-backs. Unfortunately, his shooting mechanics remain poor and inconsistent. His few spot-up attempts, all of which have been unguarded, have been cringe-worthy.
Saunders is one of the best defenders here, however, and is a factor all over the floor while defending both big men and guards. His energy level was also impressive for stretches, as it is common for him to fight for an offense rebound and then to run the floor for a block in transition. Defensive consistency is key because of his versatility and roleplayer-potential at the next level, not to mention his failure to show scouts that his senior scoring woes are behind him.
Still, an NBA team could very well look at all the things he brings to the table and wonder if they can teach him how to make a spot-up jumper, something that would potentially turn him into an extremely interesting rotation player.