Portsmouth Invitational Tournament: Recap

Portsmouth Invitational Tournament: Recap
Apr 11, 2006, 01:47 am
With the Portsmouth Invitational now complete, it’s time to reflect on the event, hand out some awards, and assess the draft implications.

This year’s invitational had a great field of talent as compared to previous years, and it was a tough task in choosing our awards. The DraftExpress staff in attendance—Jonathan Givony, Eric Weiss, and Joseph Treutlein—came to a subjective consensus in handing out these awards. They are based on a combination of tournament performance and NBA potential, but unlike every other PIT recap you will find on the internet these days, are based on actually watching the players in attendance rather than analyzing the boxscores. Many players not mentioned were productive in their own right at the camp, but since our purpose is to cover the NBA draft, we only acknowledge those whose skills and abilities we think will translate into productivity in the NBA. So, onto the awards…

Portsmouth Invitational Tournament:

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

All-Portsmouth First Team

Jonathan Givony

Jose Juan Barea, PG, 5’11, Northeastern
14.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 13.7 assists, 1.7 turnovers
42% FG (14-33), 33% 3PT (4-12)

Jose Juan Barea was easily the best player at Portsmouth, not only dominating anyone he went up against individually, but also making everyone around him much better. Barea shattered both the all-time tournament record for assists (41), as well as the single game record (18), and did it while only turning the ball over five times. This is exactly what Barea needed to show considering his gigantic number of both assists and turnovers this year with Northeastern (8.4 compared with 4.7). Shooting 4-for-12 from behind the three-point line in the tournament is fairly indicative of where his perimeter shooting lies at the moment. But he is still extremely streaky because of his inconsistent shot mechanics. If he can find a way to polish his release and shoot the ball consistently in NBA workouts, there will be very little that scouts will able to knock him for, besides his lack of height. He appears to have every attribute needed to be a solid backup point guard, and with the increasing success of smaller guards (TJ Ford, Chris Paul, Speedy Claxton, Brevin Knight, etc) over the past few years, it's easier to see that translate to the NBA. The lack of legit talent at the point guard position in the draft could see Barea move his stock into the first round. This all if he can continue to show what he did here in Portsmouth at the Orlando pre-draft camp.

Sean Dockery, PG, 6’2, Duke
13.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 3.0 turnovers, 1.3 steals
48% FG (13-27), 67% 3PT (4-6)

One of the more pleasant surprises at the tournament considering that he really shouldn't have been invited with his season averages (7 points, 2.6 assists), Dockery is another example in a long line of NCAA players who show how much impact a change of scenery can have. Dockery looked extremely poised and confident in his ability to run a team, breaking down defenses at will with his terrific ball-handling skills, first step, and ability to change gears, finding the open man with ease time after time. Dockery finished 2nd in the tournament to Barea in assists at 8.3 per game in just 28 minutes, and did it with an impressive 2.78 a/to ratio. His defense was exceptional as were the leadership skills he showed. Dockery didn't knock down an incredible amount of perimeter shots (just 4 of 6 attempts), but the ones he did hit looked very good and were for the most part off the dribble rather than from static situations. This is likely something that scouts will look closely at in private workouts as it's been the knock on him for quite some time. Based on the fact that he was played at the two-guard position for the entire year in favor of a freshman that looked very shaky at times, you would think that Dockery is more of a combo guard than a true point. That is hardly the case, though, especially when you consider how good his court vision and passing skills are while on the move, a very important skill to have in the NBA. All in all Dockery helped himself tremendously at Portsmouth and should have established plenty of momentum heading into the draft process. He surely locked himself up an invite to the Orlando pre-draft camp and will be the type of player that every NBA team wants to take a look at in private workouts, considering how worthless he made the four years of game footage from Duke look in just four days.

Bobby Jones, G/F, 6’6, Washington
14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.0 steals, 1.0 block
47% FG (9-19), 33% 3PT (2-6), 89% FT (8-9)

Hands down the best swingman at the camp, Bobby Jones looked like a legit NBA player in nearly every move he made. The only complaint we have that he only got to play in two games because of his team failing to win either of its matchups. Jones is a player that was going to be on the radar no matter what because of his terrific size, length and athleticism at the 2/3 positions. He looks like an NBA player, but unfortunately rarely played like one in his senior year at Washington. Whether that was because of his role on the team or from personal choice we'll never know, but Jones made us forget about all of that immediately when he stepped on the floor. He shot the ball surprisingly well from the NCAA 3-point line as well as the NBA line, showing slightly awkward shot mechanics from in front of his body that prevent him from getting a consistent release point. His ball-handling skills also looked questionable playing in the NCAA, but Jones didn't have much of a problem getting to the basket here with his right hand (not with his left), and is intelligent enough to not over-use his handling. These will be the two things NBA teams look closest at to gauge just how high he should get drafted, and gauge they will, considering how popular the defensive stopper will be to invite to work out against top prospects. Some will make the case for him for being the best defensive swingman in the draft, and it will be up to Jones to dispel that in private workouts and the Orlando pre-draft camp.

Steve Novak, F, 6’10, Marquette
16.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 turnovers
47% FG (18-38), 46% 3PT (10-22)

A player with possibly more to lose than anyone else participating at Portsmouth, considering the season he had and his well-established specialty skill, Novak for the most part maintained the status quo in showing the type of impact he can have with his perimeter shooting ability. Novak led his team by far in three-point shot attempts (7.3 per game) and converted 45.5% of them, fairly close to his season averages at Marquette. His ability to stroke the ball should be well-known by now considering that he's hit 368 of them in his college career. Novak showed his quick release and picture perfect mechanics repeatedly throughout the week here. His perimeter defense went largely untested as he played heavy minutes at the PF position, but he did do a decent job rebounding the ball, similarly to how he did as a college senior. Novak's role at the next level should be fairly obvious by now: a hired gun to bring off the bench and space the floor, and he did little to dispel that here. Even though he had one awful game where nothing was falling for him in many large stretches, he did a great job otherwise, showing teams the type of impact he can make as a specialist at the next level.

Solomon Jones, F/C, 6’10 South Florida
14.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.3 turnovers
64% FG (14-22), 78% FT (14-18)

Jones came in here as the highest rated participating big man on our board, and left in exactly the same spot. Although he was up and down, struggling at times to get touches and score with his obvious lack of bulk, Jones showed flashes of the type of athletic brilliance that few players in this draft can claim. Most everything of what he contributes revolves around his length and athleticism, but he still did a nice job with his timing around the basket in terms of rebounding and blocking shots, as well as showing a certain soft touch that most would not expect. Besides his overall rawness, NBA teams will try to project just how much weight Jones will be able to put on his skinny frame, particularly in his lower body which is especially weak. Even though he is a young 21-year-old senior, his facial features and body look much younger than that. Jones is clearly a late bloomer, so the question is: Just how much longer will he continue to improve?

All-Portsmouth Second Team

Joseph Treutlein

Chris Quinn, PG, 6’2, Notre Dame
14.0 points, 6.0 assists, 1.0 turnover, 1.5 steals
58% FG (11-19), 63% 3PT (5-8)

Quinn had a very solid tournament performance, re-affirming everything we knew about him from this season. He consistently hit from behind the arc with his picture perfect outside stroke, also mixing it up with some mid-range jumpers and floaters in the lane. His game management skills are extremely impressive, and he has the passing and court vision to go along with it. Defensively, he is solid but unspectacular, fighting through screens and staying in front of his man. Quinn doesn’t have much to improve on, but he could stand to improve his perimeter defense and maybe add some more strength. His excellent outside shooting to go along with his point guard skills should make him a solid backup point guard in the NBA.

Daniel Horton, 6’3, PG, Michigan
17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.0 turnovers, 1.5 steals
42% FG (11-26), 39% 3PT (5-13) 100% FT (7-7)

Daniel Horton had an impressive tournament, better than the statline suggests. He showed his point guard abilities both in transition and in the halfcourt, constantly creating open shots for his teammate through dribble penetration. Unfortunately, his teammates missed many of these open shots, skewing the stats against Horton. Horton also showed his strong outside shooting, but as he has done much of his collegiate career, he forced the issue too much from behind the arc, taking shots out of the flow of the offense. He will need to stray from this shoot-first mentality to succeed in the NBA. In terms of NBA skills, Horton has the total package at point guard should he consistently apply it. To go along with his offensive abilities, he’s an excellent on-ball defender who also shows good anticipation in the passing lanes.

Eric Hicks, 6’6, F, Cincinnati
16.7 points, 13.0 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 2.3 turnovers
58% FG (22-38), 50% FT (6-12)

After a very marginal first game, Hicks exploded in his second and third for two truly monster performances. Relentlessly attacking the boards on both sides of the floor, Hicks scored plenty of putbacks, many of which were emphatic jams. Hicks didn’t have the overall defensive impact one would expect from him, though. Hicks is undersized for power forward, listed at a generous 6’6, so he has an uphill battle to succeed in the NBA. He would do well to improve his mid-range shooting if he wants to have a chance in the league. He has an inconsistent release on his shot, and doesn’t have the greatest of hands overall, something that causes him to bobble many passes or putback attempts. If he could improve his touch, develop a better shot, and show some more defensive prowess, he may be able to carve himself a niche in the NBA.

Yemi Nicholson, 6’9, F/C, Denver
11.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.7 blocks, 1.0 steal
39% FG (10-26), 75% FT (3-4)

After a disappointing first game, Nicholson came on strong in his second, showing great prowess on defense and the boards to go along with some contributions offensively. Nicholson showed a few nice post moves, a mid-range jumper, and a nice touch off the glass. On the defensive end, he showed some excellent weakside awareness and blocked a few shots. Nicholson should look to improve his man-to-man defense in the post, further refine his offense, and really work on his conditioning. He has very little tone on his body and is obviously not at his athletic peak. Nicholson appears to be noticeably smaller than the 6’11 he is listed at, so his future at the center position is in question. His nose for the ball, rebounding, and weakside defense appear to be NBA-ready. If he can get into better shape and work on the rest of his game, he’ll be able to make a nice contribution in the NBA.

Justin Williams, 6’10, F/C, Wyoming
7.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 0.7 steals, 2.7 turnovers
31% FG (8-26), 60% FT (6-10)

Williams had a very mixed tournament, showing great defensive prowess to go along with a very raw offensive game. Williams has excellent weakside awareness, athleticism, and length, and he uses them all to alter shots in the lane on the defensive end. He also has the mobility to contest shots on the perimeter. Offensively, he possesses very little in terms of post moves, and has an unreliable mid-range jumper with an awkward release. He needs to work on his release, develop some reliable post moves, and most importantly hit the weight room to add some bulk to his very slight build. His weakside defense and rebounding are NBA-ready, and he can score a bit on putbacks and easy lay-ins, but he won’t be able to consistently use the skills without some more strength.

All-Portsmouth Third Team

Eric Weiss

CJ Watson, 6’2, PG, Tennessee
16.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 turnovers, 1.0 steal
57% FG (17-30), 71% 3PT (5-7), 59% FT (10-17)

Watson was a very steady influence for his team during the tournament. His team lacked substantial pro talent, yet Watson was able to act as the rudder, steering his team into the championship game with his smart decision making and lethal perimeter shooting. While Watson's shot is NBA-ready, his pure point guard skills were not evident in this performance. Watson needs to show a better ability to use change of speed to penetrate the lane and set up teammates. If Watson wants to take his game to the highest level, he must be able to do more than simply facilitate ball movement; he must create for others as well. In a motion offense Watson has the decision making skills and overall BBIQ to help a team right now. Defensively, Watson is fundamental in his body positioning and doesn't gamble for steals, nor give his opponent more space than necessary to defend him effectively.

Rashad Anderson, 6’5, SG, Connecticut
15.3 points
54% FG (21-39), 29% 3PT (2-7)

After starting his first game 1-for-5, Anderson turned on the juice and absolutely shot lights out, making a number of very difficult shots look rudimentary. His ability to adjust his shot to tight defense was somewhat of a revelation. Anderson will be a lights out shooter wherever he goes, but if he wants to make himself a starting caliber player in the NBA, he'll have to get himself in much better shape. Anderson is not fat, but he is not toned either. He looks like he's gotten by on pure ability to this point. Maximizing his physical potential may give Anderson just a little extra quickness and lift, which could make all the difference for him. The clearest thing that Anderson showed during Portsmouth was his ability to shoot off the dribble. Everyone knows that Anderson is a lethal spot-shooter, but his ability to use the threat of the perimeter shot to set-up the midrange game without losing any accuracy was his greatest accomplishment.

Christian Maraker, 6’9, F, Pacific
12.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 turnovers
42% FG (13-31), 90% FT (9-10)

Maraker steadily improved in every game he played. It seems strange to say, but Maraker's game actually suffered from the presence of the four talented point guards on his team, because the ball handling responsibilities were a constant source of disruption, and his team's rhythm never got established. Maraker must work on his strength in the post and his ball-handling to take his game to its highest level. Maraker has good offensive ability, but he lacks assertiveness at times and doesn't appear to come with a definitive game plan against his opponents. Defensively, Maraker must get tougher or he'll be a liability on the next level. Offensively, Maraker has a complete game. He can shoot out to NBA three-point-land and has a solid hook shot with both his left and right hand. Maraker doesn't force the issue very often, so his mistakes are limited while keeping his contribution high.

Greg Brunner, 6’7, PF, Iowa
13.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 blocks, 1.0 steal, 3.0 turnovers
52% FG (15-29), 20% 3PT (1-5), 67% FT (8-12)

Brunner gave a complete performance in the tournament, one of the best overall two-way players of the week. Brunner was a vocal and physical presence that helped rally his teammates together and really surprised with his versatility. The only thing that Brunner can really work on is setting up his offense from the outside in. Brunner possesses a complete offensive game, but he prefers to play in the post, which is not going to be conducive to success on the next level for an undersized power forward. Defensively, Brunner doesn’t have the vertical leap or standing reach to effectively challenge his opponent, so any foot speed drills he can do to improve his ability to beat people to their spots will be helpful. If Brunner is going to make it on the next level it’s going to have to come from the expansion of his offensive game. Brunner has an excellent touch all the way out to three-point range and if he hones his face-up game and becomes a true offensive threat, he could be a valuable “hustle” guy off the bench.

Kenny Adeleke, 6’8, PF, Hartford
17.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.0 block, 2.0 turnovers
48% FG (14-29), 67% FT (6-9)

Adeleke was one of the strongest interior players in the tournament offensively. His interior scoring drew continual double teams and really helped to open things up for the guards on his team. By the second half of his first game, Adeleke was a natural target for almost every offensive set. He needs to work on his agility/mobility more than anything else. Dropping bulk and adding quickness and range of motion could really make him a dangerous offensive weapon. Adeleke needs to show a competent 12-15 foot jumper in order to really set up his game, though, something he didn’t show in these games. Adeleke has an NBA post game. His assortment of fakes, footwork, and finishing touch were a cut above. Defensively, Adeleke is very vocal and worked extremely well with his strong side wing defender. Communication and teamwork like this are key attributes for any player.

Honorable Mentions

Keydren Clark, 5’9, G, St. Peter’s
19.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.7 turnovers
37% FG (16-43), 47% 3PT (7-15), 19-24 FT (79%)

Carl Krauser, 6’2, PG, Pittsburgh
15.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 3.3 turnovers, 2.3 steals
54% FG (15-28), 57% 3PT (4-7), 85% FT (11-13)

Terrell Everett, 6’5, G, Oklahoma
8.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.7 turnovers, 1.7 steals
52% FG (13-25), 0% 3PT (0-4)

Nick George, 6’6, G/F, VCU
13.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 1.0 turnover, 1.0 block, 0.7 steals
38% FG (14-37), 33% 3PT (4-12)

Travis Garrison, 6’9, PF, Maryland
13.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 1.7 steals
58% FG (19-33), 100% 3PT (1-1)

Torin Francis, 6’10, F/C, Notre Dame
8.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.3 turnovers
44% FG (12-27), 33% FT (2-6)

Draft Implications

Joseph Treutlein

Point Guards

In a draft where many believe UConn’s Marcus Williams is the only point guard worthy of a first-round selection, Portsmouth may have revealed many legitimate options at the position in the second round. Chris Quinn, Daniel Horton, and C.J. Watson all solidified their stock with solid performances. Carl Krauser took the first step in proving he can play in the NBA. Terrell Everett gave us a glimpse of what he can do, and arguably still has the highest upside of the bunch. Sean Dockery surprised everyone with what he’s had hiding as a role player in Coach K’s offense. And Jose Juan Barea greatly surpassed his expectations, leaving many wondering where his stock would have been if he played for a major program. With all of these players improving or solidifying their stock, the only point guard who really hurt himself this weekend is Syracuse’s Gerry McNamara. McNamara, a point guard who has a swirl of doubt surrounding his abilities, passed on a chance to show what he could do here at Portsmouth. With every other point guard helping themselves and McNamara not even attending, he’s going to have a tough hill to climb at the Orlando pre-draft camp if he gets invited.

All of the point guards listed above should be invited to Orlando. Those that build on what they did here at Portsmouth and at least maintain the same level of performance in Orlando should hear their names being called in the second round, maybe even the late first. They all still must prove they can excel against a higher level of competition, but what they did this weekend was a firm step in the right direction.


Portsmouth was very weak on the swingmen front, with no one really stepping up aside from Bobby Jones. David Noel, Curtis Withers, and Marcus Sommerville failed to show the perimeter skills necessary for them to be considered small forwards. Tarence Kinsey and Brandon Bowman were unable to elevate their games. Other than Rashad Anderson, who had a decent showing, Jones stood out as the only legitimate swingman here, which should have a greatly positive effect on his stock, maybe even getting him some looks at the end of the first round.

Big Men

Even without Joakim Noah and Al Horford, who recently declared their intentions to return to school, this draft class is quietly becoming very strong in frontcourt players. LaMarcus Aldridge, Shelden Williams, Tyrus Thomas, Andrea Bargnani, Patrick O’Bryant, Hilton Armstrong, and possibly Tiago Splitter and Saer Sene headline the class. The depth continues into the second round, where many Portsmouth attendees could hear their names being called.

Solomon Jones, Justin Williams, and Yemi Nicholson all solidified their stock at Portsmouth, showing the things they can currently do along with the holes in their games. All three are projects to varying degrees, but have the size, athleticism, intangibles, and foundation of skill that would make them worthwhile selections in the second round. The three forward-centers are all similar in basic description: good on weakside defense, good on the boards, raw on offense, have a nose for the ball, and need to add strength. Jones was the most impressive of the three, should be able to contribute the most initially, and likely has the most upside.

Kenny Adeleke and Travis Garrison emerged as two possible dark horse power forward prospects. Adeleke, not getting much notice at the University of Hartford, and Garrison, not showing what he is fully capable of at the University of Maryland, both raised some eyebrows and could develop into NBA players in time. Adeleke has a very nice array of moves in the post and a great feel for the game, while Garrison possesses a great outside shot, but needs to further develop his post offense. Both are strong man defenders who have a solid understanding of team defense, to go along with an impressive set of intangibles. If either can maintain his productivity against stiffer competition in Orlando, he could start getting some buzz at the end of the second round. Regardless, both should have chances to prove their worth in summer leagues.

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