Highlighting the five players who stood out the most at the PIT, including Kevin Murphy
, Kyle O'Quinn, JaMychal Green
, Henry Sims
and Kim English
-2012 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament MeasurementsKevin Murphy, 6'7, Shooting Guard, Tennessee Tech
Kyle O'Quinn, 6'10, Center, Norfolk State
Perhaps the most impressive individual performer over the course of the PIT, particularly from a long-term perspective, Kevin Murphy
's size (he measured 6-6 barefoot) and ability to score in a variety of ways from all over the court stood out all week long. Shooting the ball with range both off the catch and off the dribble, the Tennessee Tech product was consistently able to create separation with his dribble in one-on-one situations, knock down his spot-up jump shots, and utilize his smooth shooting mechanics to convert a number of contested shots in impressive fashion.
After emerging as one of the top scorers in college basketball
this season, many were interested in seeing how Murphy would fare against BCS-level competition once outside the Ohio Valley Conference. Murphy made it clear at Portsmouth that he has elite scoring potential regardless of who he's matching up, even if he still has a ways to go to fully harness his talent.
The prolific scorer certainly isn't known for his passing ability, but he did show the ability to find the open man when the defenders here began to make an effort to keep him out of the lane and did not force any more shots than any of the other wings in attendance. He's a little bit raw in terms of his knowledge of the game and will have a little bit steeper of a transition to make than most seniors after playing on a team that did not win that many games the past four years. With that said, not many in his class boast the same upside, which could enable him to make a Marshon Brooks
-esqe ascension up draft boards if he continues to perform well in private workouts over the next two months.
The product of nearby Norfolk State, Kyle O'Quinn followed up his impressive NCAA Tournament performance with a terrific showing at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. Utilizing his tremendous 7'5 wingspan, O'Quinn could not lead his team to a victory in the Championship Game, but he did garner MVP honors nonetheless. Averaging 11.7 rebounds (3rd best at PIT) and 3.7 blocks (2nd) per-game, O'Quinn's most eye-opening contributions came on the defensive end, where his length allowed him to make a significant impact. He's not an exceptional leaper, but his chiseled frame, incredibly long wingspan and excellent timing made a huge difference for his team. JaMychal Green, 6'7.5, Power Forward, Alabama
On the offensive end, O'Quinn finished consistently, but still needs to improve his polish as a post scorer and jump shooter. The center also impressed with his passing ability, seeing holes in the defense and using his high basketball IQ to find an angle to get the ball to open cutters. Though O'Quinn has been at no loss for exposure after Norfolk State's upset of Missouri, there were some question marks about how his production might translate against similarly sized opponents in the NBA. He did an outstanding job putting those to rest, as it was clear that he's one of the best players in the tournament from the moment he stepped on the floor.
The PIT was a chance for O'Quinn to continue his momentum moving towards the draft, and though he struggled to score in the PIT final, his impact here was certainly another major step in the right direction.
Henry Sims, 6'10, Power Forward, Georegtown
The PIT's second leading scorer, despite shooting 64% from the field, JaMychal Green
had a terrific showing in a number of facets of the game as he led his team to a third place finish. Making his presence felt as a finisher around the basket, Green dunked anything and everything at the rim, showcasing his terrific mobility and explosiveness while posting 29 points in 29 minutes in his team's first game.
Always lauded for his athleticism, Green showed good intensity crashing the glass a promising sign considering the questions some scouts have about his average rebounding production this season. In his team's final game, Green knocked down no less than 3 catch and shoot jumpers in the pick-and-pop game, showing the ability to step away from the rim and score, adding another unique wrinkle to what he showed this week. Green was one of the most effective players at this year's PIT, and certainly kept the attention of the talent evaluators in attendance. Scouts will do their due diligence in researching Green's in-season suspension, but his play here was definitely a bright spot among big men, and very well could be exactly what he needed to get himself back into the good graces of the NBA.
Kim English, 6'4, Shooting Guard, Missouri
A key cog alongside Kyle O'Quinn, Henry Sims
was a presence on both ends of the floor as well, playing with terrific energy. Though Sims is certainly not an elite athlete or a finished product offensively, he made the most of his 7'4 wingspan and impressive frame, blocking a number of shots, pursuing the ball off the rim aggressively, and finishing around the basket. Struggling to rebound the ball at a high level as a senior, Sims's effort-level was a positive here, as he made an effort to go after caroms that he did not seem intent on chasing as a Hoya. Sims did not consistently knock down his jump shots, but he did show the same unique passing ability we saw from him at Georgetown. His high basketball IQ made him a terrific complement to the players around him here, and at 6'10 with a strong frame and excellent length, his budding skill-level stood out among some of the other big men in attendance, particularly when considering he was one of the youngest players in attendance.
Averaging 18.3 points per-game, Kim English
had a strong showing at the PIT, despite having to play out of position for stretches. Seeing time as his team's primary ball-handler, English was forced to run the point in lieu of the other wings on his team's roster who struggled mightily before the former Missouri Tiger was handed the reins. Despite the position he was put in, English rose to the challenge, playing aggressively on the offensive end. Although he may have forced the issue on a few occasions, English made some nice plays scoring and passing the ball, found ways to create shots for himself around the basket, knocked down his open jump shots with solid consistency, and showed a high basketball IQ. English may lack elite athleticism, but he plays intense defense, makes the extra pass, and seems well-equipped to fill a Daequan Cook
type role in the right situation given his prolific jump shooting.