Projected Invites, 2012 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament

Projected Invites, 2012 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament
Mar 25, 2012, 10:23 pm
With the 2012 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament only two and a half weeks away, it's time to take an in-depth look at this year's NCAA senior class and attempt to project what the field might look like.

The PIT will be held a week later than normal this year, ten days after the NCAA Final Four, in Portsmouth, Virginia. Besides being well attended by NBA executives, the invitational is also a popular destination for European teams. It's a great place for them to get a first look at some of the best American players who might be starring in their leagues over the next few years.

If you've ever wondered what it would look like if virtually every NBA team personnel member, agent and runner in America came together in a tiny high school gym, this is your spot.

The organizers attempt to assemble the 64 best NCAA senior draft prospects in the country for an 8-team, 12-game tournament held over a four-day period. The 60th edition of the tournament will be conducted this year from April 11th to April 14th.

You can find the official website of the PIT here.

Since the NBA has decided to continue with a “combine” format (June 6-8 in Chicago), instead of having prospects work out in a competitive 5-on-5 setting like they used to in the NBA pre-draft camp days, an event like Portsmouth is the only significant way a prospect can improve their standing outside of impressing teams in individual workouts.

Overlooked or undervalued players have an opportunity to show here that there is more to their game than meets the eye, outside of the confines of their college system.

Unfortunately, due to financial reasons, NBA teams seem to have cut back on the number of private workouts they conduct in the months of May and June, focusing more on “group workouts,” like we saw in New Jersey last year. With the amount of money teams lost due to the prolonged NBA lockout, and the late end to the season and playoffs, we expect that trend to increase once again.

In years past, many seniors have elected to skip the PIT in hopes of receiving an invite to the more prestigious NBA Pre-Draft camp. Since shifting to the “NBA Combine” format, however, the NBA has decreased the number of overall players invited to Chicago and put a bigger emphasis on securing the attendance of lottery prospects , even if only for the purpose of conducting athletic tests, measurements and interviews, (both for NBA teams and media).

Unfortunately more than a dozen of the players who declined attending the PIT in 2011 were not invited to the Combine, which they undoubtedly very much regret at this point. Even if a senior is able to get into the Combine, the limited nature of the no-contact drills make it fairly difficult to move the needle one way or another on where a player might get picked.

Thus, for many players, this is really the only chance they have to improve their draft stock in front of the entire NBA and show that they are better prospects than they've been graded out to be up until now.

It will be interesting to see how the NCAA's new early-entry rules will affect this year's crop, as a large number of underclassmen electing to return to school could help more seniors get invited to the Combine (and ultimately be drafted) in their place.

The list of current NBA players who played at Portsmouth is fairly solid, proving that NBA scouts can find legitimate prospects if they look hard enough year after year. That list includes the likes of Jeremy Lin, Landry Fields, Jimmy Butler, Wesley Matthews, Carl Landry, Chuck Hayes, Jose Juan Barea, Derek Fisher, Ben Wallace, James Jones, Matt Barnes, John Salmons, Jason Maxiell, Jon Brockman and DeMarre Carroll, amongst others.

How to make the PIT more worthwhile is something NBA teams and the League itself will need to discuss and act upon internally, but it's clear that this remains an event that anyone who is serious about the NBA draft process must attend.

Due to the way Portsmouth alums are faring lately, and the fact that the PIT no longer conflicts with the Nike Hoop Summit, we anticipate the turnout of NBA General Managers to be higher than ever this year.

While debates about the value of Portsmouth, the format of the event and whether top senior prospects should attend continue to rage, NBA teams will still make the trek to Southern Virginia, and players will continue to emerge from here and make NBA rosters year after year. After all, no General Manager wants to have to explain to their owner that they decided to skip watching the next Jeremy Lin at Portsmouth because they were too busy back home.

Notes on Our Suggested List:

-This is not the official list made by the committee. It's a list of our own personal projections and observations about who will (and who should) be invited, based on the games we've watched this year and the conversations we've had with NBA personnel.

This is going to be the ninth draft we've covered, making this group of seniors the most watched class by DraftExpress ever. Many of these players are guys we started watching in high school.

• The official list should come out about four or five days before the tournament kicks off. There are still a number of roster spots left to be filled, according to the PIT.

Expected to Decline Invites:

Historically, there are approximately 20-25 seniors each year who either decline their invitation early on (which is their right) or cancel at the last minute – something no one likes to see because of the unnecessary hassles and expenses involved.

It's often debated how much it helps or hurts a prospect to participate, but declined invites happen regardless. Between the play of Jeremy Lin, the fact that last year's MVP Jimmy Butler was picked in the first round, and the success of the likes of Jose Juan Barea, Carl Landry, Landry Fields, Wesley Matthews and others, there is no debating that this was a great year for Portsmouth alums in the NBA, which could encourage more seniors to attend.

Some players end up seeing their decision to roll the dice and skip the PIT justified (like Lavoy Allen, Josh Harrellson and Jon Diebler last year—despite not being invited to Chicago) and get drafted, while others (like LaceDarius Dunn, Jeremy Hazell, Gary Flowers, Kalin Lucas, Denzel Bowles, Austin Freeman, Jacob Pullen, Matt Howard and others) ended up falling off the radar altogether, as they were not invited to the NBA Combine and undoubtedly missed out on a rare and very valuable opportunity to improve their draft stock.

This is something we've accounted for in our own projection by dropping 17 seniors from the list, thereby creating spots for players who will likely value (and benefit more from) the exposure of this event. Here are those we don't anticipate attending:

1. Tyler Zeller PF/C North Carolina
2. Jeff Taylor SF Vanderbilt
3. Tyshawn Taylor PG Kansas
4. Festus Ezeli C Vanderbilt
5. Draymond Green PF Michigan State
6. Kevin Jones PF West Virginia
7. Andrew Nicholson PF/C St. Bonaventure
8. Jae Crowder SF/PF Marquette
9. Darius Johnson-Odom SG Marquette
10. Orlando Johnson SG UC Santa Barbara
11. Marcus Denmon SG Missouri
12. Tu Holloway PG Xavier
13. Ricardo Ratliffe PF/C Missouri
14. William Buford SG Ohio State
15. Kris Joseph SF Syracuse
16. Jordan Taylor PG Wisconsin
17. Darius Miller SF Kentucky

Projected Invites

Since we are ranking the best senior draft prospects, and not necessarily the best seniors, NBA upside is valued over production at times. Ideally we like to see both from a player, but someone who has NBA-caliber size and athleticism for his position demonstrates a coveted skill set , even inconsistently, and appears to have upside to continue to improve, will often garner an invite to see what they can do in a new setting against better competition.

Here are the 64 college seniors we currently project being invited:

1. Scott Machado PG
6' 1" 180lbs.

2. Yancy Gates PF
6' 9" 245lbs.

3. Henry Sims PF
6' 10" 245lbs.

4. Mike Scott PF
6' 8" 242lbs.

5. Herb Pope PF/C
6' 8" 233lbs.
Seton Hall

6. JaMychal Green PF
6' 8" 225lbs.

7. John Shurna PF
6' 8" 210lbs.

8. Bernard James PF/C
6' 10" 240lbs.
Florida State

9. Kim English SF
6' 6" 200lbs.

10. Drew Gordon PF
6' 9" 240lbs.
New Mexico

11. Dee Bost PG
6' 2" 170lbs.
Mississippi St.

12. Kevin Murphy SG/SF
6' 6" 185lbs.
Tennessee Tech

13. Robert Sacre C
7' 0" 247lbs.

14. Garrett Stutz C
7' 0" 255lbs.
Wichita State

15. Eric Griffin PF
6' 8" 190lbs.

16. Kenny Gabriel SF
6' 8" 200lbs.

17. Robbie Hummel SF
6' 8" 208lbs.

18. Alex Young SF
6' 6" 200lbs.

19. Casper Ware PG
5' 10" 170lbs.
Long Beach State

20. Dario Hunt PF
6' 8" 230lbs.

21. Ashton Gibbs PG
6' 2" 190lbs.

22. Gus Gilchrist PF/C
6' 10" 235lbs.
South Florida

23. Quincy Acy PF
6' 7" 225lbs.

24. Eli Holman PF/C
6' 9" 250lbs.

25. Miles Plumlee PF
6' 10" 225lbs.

26. Xavier Gibson C
6' 11" 230lbs.
Florida State

27. Kent Bazemore SF
6' 5" 195lbs.
Old Dominion

28. Ken Horton SF/PF
6' 7" 200lbs.
Central Conn.

29. Bradford Burgess SF
6' 6" 225lbs.

30. Jorge Gutierrez PG/SG
6' 3" 195lbs.

31. Chace Stanback SF/PF
6' 8" 210lbs.

32. Juan Fernandez PG
6' 4" 180lbs.

33. Jamar Samuels SF/PF
6' 7" 215lbs.
Kansas State

34. Olek Czyz SF/PF
6' 7" 240lbs.

35. Scoop Jardine PG/SG
6' 2" 200lbs.

36. Wendell McKines SF
6' 6" 230lbs.
New Mexico State

37. Kyle Weems SF/PF
6' 6" 226lbs.
Missouri State

38. Keith Wright PF
6' 8" 240lbs.

39. Kyle O'Quinn PF/C
6' 10" 240lbs.
Norfolk State

40. Jarrod Jones PF
6' 9" 230lbs.
Ball State

41. Cameron Moore PF/C
6' 10" 230lbs.

42. LaRon Dendy PF
6' 9" 230lbs.
Middle Tenn. St.

43. Kyle Kuric SG
6' 4" 195lbs.

44. Jason Clark PG/SG
6' 2" 180lbs.

45. Julian Mavunga PF
6' 8" 245lbs.
Miami OH

46. Jon Kreft C
7' 0" 250lbs.
Florida State

47. Devoe Joseph PG/SG
6' 3" 170lbs.

48. Deividas Dulkys SG
6' 5" 195lbs.
Florida State

49. Reggie Hamilton PG
5' 11" 175lbs.

50. Mike Glover PF
6' 7" 215lbs.

51. Carlon Brown SG
6' 5" 215lbs.

52. Kenny Frease C
7' 0" 265lbs.

53. Rakim Sanders PF
6' 5" 225lbs.

54. DeQuan Jones SG/SF
6' 6" 190lbs.
Miami FL

55. Travis Hyman C
7' 0" 245lbs.
Bowie State

56. Greg Mangano C
6' 10" 240lbs.

57. Mitchell Watt C
6'10” 240lbs.

58. Jordan Theodore PG
6'0” 174lbs.
Seton Hall

59. Zack Rosen PG
6'1” 170lbs.

60. Dominique Morrison SF
6'6” 210lbs.
Oral Roberts

61. William Mosley PF
6'7” 220lbs.
Northwestern State

62. Jesse Sanders PG
6'3” 200lbs.

63. Josh Owens PF
6'8” 230lbs.

64. Terrance Henry PF
6'9” 210lbs.

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