Portsmouth Invitational Tournament: Day One

Portsmouth Invitational Tournament: Day One
Apr 06, 2006, 04:04 am
From watching the games and keeping track of some of the player statistics ourselves, there might be some discrepancies between what was seen on the floor and the actual numbers that showed up in the boxscores.

Visit the official site of PIT for boxscores and more info on the tournament.

Pullouts: James Augustine, Taj Gray, Brad Buckman and James White did not make it to Portsmouth, and were replaced by Rashad Anderson, Harding Nana, Nick Lewis and Chris Hunter.

Portsmouth Invitational Tournament:

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Naval Shipyard 84- Tidewater Sealants 75

Carl Krauser, 6-2, Point Guard, Pittsburgh

11 points, 12 assists, 4 turnovers, 2 rebounds 1 steal, 30 minutes

Eric Weiss

Krauser was very proactive during the first half of the Shipyard’s first game as he and Notre Dame product Chris Quinn had a mini dual going for a while. Krauser plays with intensity on both ends of the court and while not the fastest player, stays up under his opponents’ chin forcing him into decisions.

Offensively, Krauser lacks superior explosiveness and got eaten up a couple of times on otherwise strong drives to the hole. Much of this could be attributed to poor spacing and general unfamiliarity/chaos of the Invitational’s first game. Krauser needs to develop a more consistent jump shot if he wants to be able to translate his other skills into professional success. His shot is slow and pretty mechanical but he was around the rim and the shot was soft, so there’s some hope.

The second half resulted in some more solid play, though he completely shelved his perimeter and pull up jumpers. Krauser is “street smart”, that’s the best word to describe him. He was vocal and got his team organized on numerous occasions.

The best part about his performance was that he carried a sense of urgency on both ends of the court. Though his performance has to be tempered against the level of competition, Krauser didn’t have much trouble handling anything that was thrown at him. His defense was as sound as his playmaking and he made a number of very solid dribble drives utilizing sound judgment, good change of speed, and peripheral vision.

A good game overall, although his assist stats appear to be quite generous..

Chris Quinn, 6-2, Point Guard, Notre Dame

7 points, 6 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals

Jonathan Givony

Quinn was the best player on the floor for many stretches of the first half, and appeared to be on his way to a huge game. The difference was notable between when he was running the team as opposed to Justin Gray, as the offense seemed to flow much smoother and everything just came much easier for all of his teammates. Quinn showed a pretty complete offensive package, softening up the defense a bit first by slashing to the hoop and either pulling up for a mid-range jumper or taking it all the way himself. Once his ability to put the ball on the floor was established, he continued by knocking down a long three, which is obviously his specialty. He did a nice job pushing the tempo and getting every single one of his teammates involved (a rare commodity here) and had the best play of the game when he found Yemi Nicholson in transition beautifully for a thunderous dunk.

In half two Quinn was a lot more quiet, having some shots he would normally hit rim out, and not having as much success putting the ball on the floor against Carl Krauser as he did in the first half. Justin Gray did much of the ball-handling here and did his best to shoot his team out of the game, and Quinn did not really seem to mind.

Eric Hicks, 6-6, Power Forward, Cincinnati

4 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 2-7 FG, 0-3 FT

Joe Treutlein

Eric Hicks had a pretty disappointing performance, not finishing much on the offensive end and not having the impact you’d expect from him on defense. On offense, Hicks couldn’t get it going from inside or out. Early in the game he tried fighting in the post, but wasn’t able to finish on most of his attempts. Even when he got to the line, he couldn’t finish there, missing all three of his attempts. As the game wore on, Hicks tried getting it going from mid-range, but wasn’t able to hit those shots either. Hicks couldn’t put many points on the board, but he still found ways to contribute on offense, grabbing six hard-earned offensive boards.

On the defensive end, Hicks made a more positive contribution, but still didn’t show what he is fully capable of. He was extremely vocal on this end of the court, calling out switches, directing teammates, and providing energy. He played some good weakside defense, blocking two shots, but didn’t have as much of an overall impact as we saw many times at Cincinnati. He played some good post defense on Paul Miller and Jai Lewis, preventing them from scoring when he was assigned to them. Hicks also showed off his mobility, stepping out on the perimeter on a few occasions to contest shots.

Yemi Nicholson, 6-11, Center, Denver

10 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists, 5-10 FG, 29 minutes

Jonathan Givony

One of the bigger disappointments considering his college numbers and what many hoped he would show, Nicholson looked nervous and pretty lost for many stretches today, especially early on. Offensively, he really struggled; showing nonexistent footwork in the post, missing some gimmes around the hoop, and bricking every mid-range jumper he tried to take. Defensively, he had one nice block on the ball getting off the ground very quickly, but again looked out of sync and refused to box out his man for rebounds in other occasions. In the 2nd half he appeared to settle down a bit, hitting a mid-range jumper in the 2nd half when Michael Southall dared him to, and getting some easy baskets off offensive rebounds. Nicholson clearly has many of the tools NBA people look for in terms of his quickness, vertical leap and gigantic hands, but is sorely lacking in many basic fundamentals like boxing out and post-up moves. Listed at 6-11, he looks about two inches shorter than 6-11 Eric Hansen, so measurements will definitely be key considering that his prospects as a power forward are much worse than as a center.

Bobby Jones, 6-6, SG/SF, Washington

18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover, 5-11 FG, 8-9 FT, 0-1 3P

Joe Treutlein

Bobby Jones stepped up on the Portsmouth stage, trying to disprove the passive label he has rightfully earned in his collegiate career. Jones was extremely aggressive on both ends of the floor, never letting up in effort. Offensively, Jones attacked the rim constantly, finishing at the basket and getting to the line. When he didn’t have the ball, Jones never stopped moving, fighting relentlessly to get open, hitting a few long spot-up jumpers as a result.

Defensively, Jones was especially active on help defense, using his great hands to pick the ball away from his opponents and deflect passes or cause discomfort when he couldn’t quite get the steal. He also played some strong perimeter defense, using his length and athleticism to contain his man.

After being one of the two best players in the camp in down one, Bobby Jones’ stock is on the rise, and if he continues to play with this level of aggressiveness, he could very well see himself in the late first round of this upcoming draft. He had the most dominant performance of any player in the first day of games, and is clearly as talented as anyone attending Portsmouth.

Michael Southall, 6-10, Center, Lousiana Lafayette

2 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, 1-3 FG

Jonathan Givony

Southall got very few touches in the paint today, only finishing with 3 shots and two points total, but still did do a nice job crashing the glass and blocking shots. His poor hands were evident on one occasion when he got the ball inside the paint completely wide open and saw the ball slip away at the last moment, but really there weren’t too many opportunities for him to redeem himself after that. He did a nice job defensively on Nicholson and managed to show his athleticism on a couple of different occasions. He played the fewest minutes of anyone on his team today, so maybe he’ll be overdue for some more looks next time they play.

Jai Lewis, 6-6, Center, George Mason

16 points, 8 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 6-14 FG, 3-5 FT, 1-3 3P

Joe Treutlein

In his first Portsmouth game, Jai Lewis showed us nothing that we hadn’t already seen in the NCAA tournament. He was productive in this setting, but there are still major doubts about how his production would translate to the next level. He scored most of his points off simple post moves or open opportunities that were created for him by his teammates. He scores most of his baskets using his strength advantage, which will be diminished at the next level. Lewis showed the ability to hit the three, making one of three attempts, but it’s something he hasn’t done at a high clip throughout his career and is not a skill you can rely on considering how poor his mechanics are.

Lewis played some decent post D when given the opportunity, but he doesn’t have the ability to defend on the perimeter with his massive size and poor lateral quickness. He also made no contributions in terms of weakside defense. Lewis did do a good job on the boards, though, boxing out and grabbing eight on the night. Should he be able to shed 20-30 pounds over the next few months there might be something to talk about, but as of right now he appears to be a center caught in a shooting guard’s body.

Nick George, 6-6, Small Forward, VCU

16 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 4-12 FG, 25 minutes

Jonathan Givony

Amongst a group of much better known teammates, George was easily the best player on his team today. He showed a wide array of skills, whether it was draining 3-pointers with a beautiful looking stroke featuring a super high arch, hitting the fadeaway mid-range jumper, or putting the ball on the floor and finding the open man. Rebounding was where he was at his best though, crashing the offensive glass time after time, taking care of things on the defensive end as well, and just wanting every single ball that came off the rim much more than anyone else. At 6-6 it is still unclear whether he is a 2 or a 3 at the next level, as his perimeter defense didn’t look great and his ball-handling still remains largely untested, but there is little doubt that George helped his cause tremendously today.

In the 2nd half George was much quieter, missing a number of shots that easily went in for him in half one, even missing a dunk on one occasion. It was evident that he doesn’t quite have the bounce in his step that you would like from a guy trying to make the transition from a power 3 to a fulltime 2, but still left a very nice impression on everyone we spoke to.

Erek Hansen, 6-11, PF/C, Iowa

10pts, 5rbs, 22 minutes

Eric Weiss

Hansen is looking like the same one-trick pony he appeared to be in college. His jump shot and length are his only translatable assets thus far in the competition and he doesn’t display the size or intensity/awareness needed to be an adequate post defender on the NBA level.

Hansen was attempting to be more physical in the 2nd half and was noticeably more aggressive in the paint in so far as his body contact increased. But, Hansen doesn’t have the size to bang and all he managed to do was get himself pummeled on one particular play, which forced him to sit for a minute or two. Hansen has no discernable skills beyond his nice jumper and solid length. He doesn’t strike me as a particularly proactive player with amazing intangible skills, so I don’t know what the impetus would be to sign him.

Paul Miller, 6-10, Power Forward, Wichita State

19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 8-12 FG, 3-3 FT

Joe Treutlein

Paul Miller had a decent performance in his first Portsmouth game, showing some versatility on offense, but not very much on defense. Offensively, Miller showed a good touch on his mid-range jumper to go along with a nice touch around the basket. Most of his scores around the basket came on easy opportunities, though, which were created by his teammates. He showed the ability to finish well in transition, doing so with lay-ups and jumpers off the glass. He also showed some very nice passing and awareness out of the post, netting four assists from such.

Miller was pretty much non-existent on the defensive end, though. He had problems defending the likes of Erek Hansen in the post, not showing much ability there. He also seems to have a complete disregard for weakside defense, never contributing anything in that regard. He was just as weak on the boards, often standing around and letting someone else take care of them, even if they’re on the other team.

Justin Gray, 6-2, Shooting Guard, Wake Forest

9pts, 5asts, 1 turnover, 4-12fgs 0-7 from 3-pt

Eric Weiss

Gray has a ways to go before he convinces anyone that he can play the PG position on the NBA level. While a fantastic scorer and streaky-hot shooter in college he is not explosive enough and to date has not shown the necessary handle to beat his defender off the ball, often wasting valuable clock dribbling without purpose.

I expected better results and hope to see improvement, but he is going to be a “work in progress” in the D-League at best if he wants to make it in the NBA at the point.

Gray did nothing to help his label as a “2 in a 1’s body” during the 2nd half. Gray got into the lane a bit more, but his decision making, timing, and overall feel for the PG position is distinctly lacking. I see raw ability within his game as he has a decent handle and can shoot off balance with touch or from outside, but he hasn’t shown great ability to think through the progressions of a play and he’ll need that to be an adequate floor general in any league, let alone the NBA.

Portsmouth Sports Club 87- Beach Barton Ford 80

Jose Juan Barea, 5-11, Point Guard, Northeastern

19 points, 11 assists 4 rebounds, 6-13 FG, 2-5 3P, 28 minutes

Eric Weiss

Barea really impressed in the first half in particular on a number of fronts. Despite his diminutive height, Barea is built tough and thick, he’s not super hero big, but he is strong. More importantly, he uses the strength he has to shoulder his way past his defender when he cannot outright beat him with his solid change of speed.

Barea also has a near-flawless release that is quick and effective in forcing his defender to stick close, which actually makes his height an advantage on offense because his dribble is low and handle tight.

His assists numbers from college are impressive and it was evident really quickly that he possesses an excellent awareness on the court as he makes definitive decisions with the ball that almost always led to a positive play.

The 2nd half was nearly as good as the first. Barea differed a bit during the early part of the half in order to let his interior teammates have a bit of the spotlight. But when the game started slipping away, Barea was back to being the primary ball handler and chief orchestrator on offense. Barea showed poise and decisiveness with his possessions as he always was looking for the best play, regardless of his own ability to beat his man.

Barea is the rare small guard who looks to initiate contact, which he did by digging his shoulder into his defender numerous times. Barea also showed the ability to change speeds effectively and didn’t show an affinity to finishing in any particular direction, he was comfortable using the full court and switched hands a couple times on the finish.

There wasn’t much more that Jose Juan Barea could have done to impress the scouts today, except maybe grow another 3 inches while out on the floor. He was easily the most impressive guard in the camp today and the most talked about player after the games. It’s rare to see a player be such an excellent passer and scorer at the same time, as well as have such a massive heart. He helped his cause to get drafted quite a bit, and might be able to start thinking about the early 2nd round or better if he keeps this up.

Rashad Anderson, 6-5, Shooting Guard, UConn

13 points, 0’s across the board, 6-13 FG, 1-4 3P

Eric Weiss

Rashad Anderson came to shoot baskets. Unlike many of the players in this Invitational, Anderson isn’t pretending to work on other facets of his game or impress scouts with hidden talents. Anderson was in full gunslinger mode from Jump Street and displayed the excellent form and quick release that force defenders to take notice. This skill alone should land him a job somewhere and it’ll be up to him to fill in the rest. While his results from the box score won’t tell you much, his confidence, poise and recognition of his own ability make him a better player than mere stats dictate. Still, he’s a predominantly one dimensional player who won’t bring much to the table in other areas, so take his ability with a grain of salt.

One of the more enlightening elements to Anderson’s floor game was his willingness to put the ball on the floor. While it wasn’t the most dynamic display of ball handling ability by any stretch, Anderson was able to easily convert on a number of pull-up shots utilizing his dribble and since he is such a deadly shooter the ease of which he got his defender to commit to the sell out rush enabled Anderson to waltz past the primary defense and look effortless in the process.

Kenny Adeleke, 6-8, PF/C, Hartford

15 points, 10 rebounds, 7-12 FG, 1-4 FT

Jonathan Givony

Adeleke had a very nice all-around game today, doing everything possible to help his stock as well as help his team stay in the game. Adeleke was being extremely physical in the paint on both ends of the floor, challenging his man, going up strong for rebounds, using his body extremely well to score and even showing some different moves off the glass or with the jump hook. He carved out space for himself and went to work with his back to the basket on a couple of occasions, and attacked the glass on every occasions possible. Defensively he did a good job on Christian Maraker, coming up with stops both on the perimeter on team defense rotations or in the post by denying him space and using his length and strength to bother him. Adeleke doesn’t have the same bounce in his step that some of the other big men here do, but he makes up for it with his heart and overall tenacity. Whether that is enough to get him into the NBA is yet to be seen, but he made a very positive first step in that direction with the way he played today.

Justin Williams, 6-10, PF/C, Wyoming

6 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block, 2-8 FG, 2-4 FT

Eric Weiss

Williams wasn’t a volume stat contributor in the first half of his game, but what he did was rife with promise and a hint of the spectacular. Williams made a couple of tough rebounds in traffic, where his timing was the necessary element in securing the possession. He was called for 2 bogus fouls on very pretty point-of-release blocks with solid body separation and great timing once again.

Williams hasn’t shown much on offense, but he hasn’t gotten the chance to within his range close to the basket to make up for his poor touch away from it.

Not much new to report for the 2nd half. Williams didn’t have much of an impact and his team faltered down the stretch up until just under a minute to go when they made a push to come back-none of it had to do with Williams. To his credit, Kenny Akedele had an impressive showing and the coaching staff leaned toward that direction most of the time.

Still, Williams is quick off his feet, has solid rebounding instincts, isn’t afraid of contact and has plus timing on his shot blocking. We’ll see what he’s able to turn it into. He looks like he’s a player with the right combination of size and skill to be worth taking a flyer on and bringing in for a closer inspection.

Terrell Everett, 6-4, Point Guard, Oklahoma

4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 2-6 FG, 0-2 3P

Jonathan Givony

Watching him play, regardless of his stats, there was absolutely no doubt that Everett is a notch or two above anyone else on the floor in terms of talent. He didn’t get to do as much ball-handling as he probably should have because of the fact that he was stuck with 3 other guards in his roster who all needed to show point guard skills, but still dropped hints of his skills every time he touched the ball, just looking extremely smooth and confident whenever he actually got the chance to. A fantastic alleyoop pass from behind the three point line to Dwayne Mitchell for a thunderous dunk was clearly the highlight of the 1st day. Unlike many of the players here, Everett is every bit the height (6-4) he is listed at. Everett did a nice job changing directions and getting to the basket, and did well looking for his own offense when the opportunity was presented to him.

It was puzzling to say the least to see the way Everett was barely utilized in the 2nd half, though, again coming off the bench, not being on the floor during many key stretches and being played at the 2 and the 3 when he was in the game. When he was playing, he was basically reduced to camping out in the corner waiting for spot up 3’s, which as everyone knows is never going to be his game. It doesn’t make any sense at all to invite a player of Everett’s caliber and then stick him on a roster with 3 other point guards while the team on the opposite end of the floor only has one. Everett refused to complain (“it’s all about the team,” he said), but seemed to be unsure exactly of what he was supposed to do in a situation like this.

Dwayne Mitchell, 6-5, PG/SG, Louisiana-Lafayette

15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 5-10 FG, 5-10 FT

Joe Treutlein

Dwayne Mitchell, a 6’5 point guard out of Louisiana-Lafayette, is looking to catch on with an NBA team the same way his former teammate, Boston Celtic Orien Greene, did in last year’s draft. Mitchell used all of his athleticism and length to put on a show at both ends of the floor, certainly standing out from the rest in many regards. He dropped the jaws of everyone in the gym with one tremendous alley-oop dunk in the first half, which was a pure display of power and athleticism. Mitchell spent much of the game showing off his impressive dribble penetration, getting into the lane at will. Once in the lane, he used his great body control and length to create in mid-air, though he had some problems finishing at the basket. In terms of point guard skills, Mitchell had some bumps, but also had a few good passes both in the half-court and on the break. He also looked very impressive on the break in general, getting ahead of the pack, quickly changing directions when needed, and finishing well. On the down side, he didn’t show any range on his shot, which is a major concern for him. He did hit one mid-range jumper, but was hesitant whenever given the chance at a long-range shot, passing all of his opportunities up. His free-throw shooting is equally as bad, averaging an abysmal 59% from the line on the year.

On the defensive end, Mitchell showed the ability to be a lockdown defender with his outstanding length and frame, to go along with the quickness to stay in front of opposing point guards. He also showed off his good hands, netting two steals on the night and pestering opponents on a few other occasions. He rebounded well, too, going out of his way on a few occasions to pull in some of his five boards. Mitchell looked like one of the more impressive players out there today because of the athleticism and upside he showed. As a 6-5 point guard he’s going to get some serious looks in the 2nd round if he can maintain his level of play from today.

Solomon Jones, 6-10, PF/C, South Florida

14 points, 6 rebounds, 5-10 FG, 4-6 FT

Jonathan Givony

A bit of a disappointment in day 1, at least in the first half, Jones looked very tentative and unsure of himself in almost everything he did early on. Whether it was stepping out to handle the ball and looking like a turnover waiting to happen every time he touched it outside of the paint, or getting outmuscled in the post by Williams, Adeleke or Garrison, Jones looked like he was on his way to a disastrous performance early on. One mid-range jumper, a putback dunk and an easy basket in transition got him going a bit, and his athleticism and upside really started to come out. In the 2nd half he looked more comfortable, coming up with some extremely athletic blocks and rebounds, as well as a highlight reel caliber play where he got the ball around the free throw line, put the ball on the floor once and elevated off one foot for an extremely impressive dunk. This wasn’t a mesmerizing performance by any means for Jones, but it could have ended a lot worse.

Keydren Clark, 5-9, PG/SG, St. Peter’s

22 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 5-13 FG, 10-13 FT, 2-5 3P

Joe Treutlein

Keydren Clark had an on and off performance, certainly not as strong as the stat-line suggests. His first half performance was poor, as he forced many shots out of the flow of the offense, missing most of them. He also had trouble defending against anyone who went at him, as he was easily overpowered. Towards the end of the first half, and into the second, Clark’s shots started falling. He was hitting pull-up threes, spot-up threes, pull-up jumpers in the lane, and taking the ball to the hole to get to the line. It should be noted that he got a handful of points in the final minutes when the game was out of reach, and the other team was fouling in a desperate attempt to come back. Still, this was a great way for the 3,000+ career point scorer to start of the camp, and he appeared to be hurt the least by the fact that there were 4 point guards on one roster since he just took the ball and ran with it almost every time without asking questions.

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