Portsmouth Invitational Tournament Final Recap

Portsmouth Invitational Tournament Final Recap
Apr 12, 2005, 03:36 am
Portsmouth Final Recap

Some final thoughts on the Portsmouth Invitational tournament, who helped themselves and who didn't, and who we think might get an invitation to Chicago from this group of players. Some of the players have been discussed extensively in the recaps, so take a look back at those if you want more info on the players that really stood out on certain days.

All Portsmouth Team

First Team

PG: Will Conroy
SG: Jackie Manuel
SF: Mindaugas Katelynas
PF: Jason Maxiell
C: Jared Homan

Second Team

PG: Aaron Miles
SG: Willie Jenkins
SF: Mike Bell
PF: Chuck Hayes
C: Ivan McFarlin

If you would like to watch and judge for yourself who the most impressive players were at the Portsmouth invitational tournament, go to They have all the games online for viewing. The quality of this service is outstanding, you get a crystal clear picture from the best angle possible. These are the same DVD's that NBA teams will be watching when they sit down to evaluate the tournament. There are also many other games online to view, including Martell Webster, Andray Blatche and many others. We'll be using this service extensively in the next couple of months as well, as they are constantly adding games to their database.


Jared Homan, Iowa State

Iowa State wasn't on TV a whole lot this year, but from the little I saw of Homan, I liked. He did nothing to change my mind at this tournament and should end up on somebody's roster next year because he does a lot of things very well and he's got pretty good size. He's a very physical player with broad shoulders and plenty of strength, but also has good skills, including a nice mid-range jumper, some moves inside the post and a hook shot he can go to to finish over bigger players than him. There are a lot of NBA teams that can use a bruiser inside that won't embarrass himself offensively and plays good defense. The fact that he can move his feet well on defense and can knock down the mid-range jump shot leads up to believe that he can make the transition to the PF spot if needed to make up for his lack of size for the 5 spot. He played within himself, made the extra pass when needed, and showed an all-business attitude for every minute he played.

Mustafa Al-Sayyad, Fresno State

I think other people are a lot higher on him than I am. I see a guy who is 6-9 with a nice wingspan, can block shots and is pretty athletic. That's about it. That might be enough to make a summer league roster, but it would have been nice to see some kind of skills out of him as a college senior. I'm aware of the fact that he's only been playing basketball for 5 years, but anything would be nice. I can understand the intrigue, but Deng Gai to me is a similar but slightly more of an interesting player, but injuries and the fact that he had two outstanding post players in Jason Maxiell and Ivan McFarlin held him back. Al-Sayyad played in a fairly weak conference and his numbers are nothing to write him about. If he showed a better basketball IQ or fundamentals there might be something to talk about, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder with prospects like this, and I personally wasn't really sold. Hopefully for him, the buzz that was created will get him into Chicago, and then we'll have a better chance to evaluate him.

Mike Bell, Florida Atlantic

An intriguing player who showed a little bit of everything over the course of three games here. He measured out at 6-10 here, an inch taller than his listed height, and has a decent wingspan as well. He played with a crack in one of the bones of his foot, so it's hard to know how much better he would have been if he was healthy. He's anything but a sure-fire 2nd rounder or invite to Chicago, but his size and skills make him an interesting player to keep tabs on. Bell is an athletic combo forward who can step out and hit the three, rebound in traffic and do a lot of little things, but it's unclear if he does any of those skills well enough to separate himself from the pack. There are a lot of players like him in the league (James Jones, Tim Thomas, Pat Garrity, Jumaine Jones, Rodney White) so his potential alone will get him some looks at the next level. The buzz on him entering the draft is that he's got some serious tools, but is very soft. A player that is a little too nice. He may have started to change that perception a bit; will he get a chance to continue to do that in Chicago?

Darren Brooks, Southern Illinois

Somewhat of a disappointment for me personally. Definitely not a PG, but too short to play the 2 at 6-3. Built like a rock, and gets in the passing lanes like crazy, but has trouble running an offense and did not shoot the ball very well at all from outside. He does a good job getting inside the lane, but his lack of playmaking skills hurt him for the next level. He'll probably have to develop his PG skills for a few years in Europe before he tries to make the NBA again. He'll be very solid overseas, though, where his strength, slashing ability, defense and toughness will help him make a living for a while.

Pat Carrol, St. Joe's

Came into the camp touted as one of the best shooters here, but did not get to show off his stroke much at all. That's basically the only skill that would get him a look at the next level, as he's not as big or as strong as his brother Matt who is in the league and probably will be for a while. Carrol did not fit in here very well sadly, as he was too unselfish to get off enough shots to make much of an impression. He's a bit slow and skinny, but he'll make a living somewhere because of how good of a shooter he is and based on the fact that he's a very intelligent team player. He doesn't look like much of a basketball player in person, but he's definitely better than that.

David Logan, Indianapolis

I may have been a little harsh on Logan by giving him the Dajuan Wagner award, but I meant that in as good of a way as possible, I swear. He was probably the most athletic PG in this camp, just super quick and with a terrific first step. He also has quite a nice stroke to compliment his slashing ability. What turned me off a bit was how selfish he was with the ball in his hands, he was always looking to create first and foremost for himself every time he brought the ball down the floor, and would pass off only as a last resort. Since he drew so much attention to himself on rotations every time he got into the lane, it was only natural that he would end up with a couple of assists in each game, but these were not really of the playmaking variety. I like to see PG's move the ball around a little better and spread the wealth, especially when you are talking about a backup who won't be able to score as much as he does at a camp like this, but there are plenty of people who don't. Logan may have earned himself to Chicago with the way he played here, especially considering that many teams have not seen him in person at Indianapolis. If he can do a better job getting everyone involved and still manage to show off what a lethal scorer he is, he'll put himself in good shape for the draft.

Filiberto Rivera, UTEP

I was a little bit disappointed in the way Rivera played here, but that's just because I've seen him play a lot this year at UTEP and was expecting to see some of the same. Part of that is due to the fact that he had two other guys on the same roster (Brooks and Logan) who also needed to show their PG skills to the scouts, so Rivera spent quite a bit of time playing off the ball, which is clearly not his strength. Someone must have heard me because in the last game he had the ball in his hands an awful lot, and he had probably his best showing of the tournament, even if statistically it was his worse. Based on the season he had this year, the makeup of his team at Portsmouth and the fact that he showed some pretty nice sparks I would hope that he'd get another chance to show his stuff at Chicago. I love his handle and court vision, but thought was a little quicker than he actually is. The jury is still out on his overall size and bulk and outside shooting ability, but Chicago would be a great place for Fili to put those fears to rest.


Juan Mendez, Niagara

If you look at the boxscores it looks like he did great, but I was not as impressed as the stats might indicate. He's awfully small for a PF and doesn't have any one skill to make up for that, as he's doesn't have great athleticism, an outstanding wingspan, or the defensive ability to make up for that. He's a solid basketball player, but probably not enough to cut it in the league at his size. Someone's going to get a great player in Europe, though, where his lack of size will not be as much of a concern.

Carlos Powell, South Carolina

Powell was the most intriguing prospect on this roster. He's a 6-7, very athletic small forward, with a good body, a nice handle and a knack for getting to the basket. He showed a good attitude, doing a little bit of everything, making some very athletic moves, and even though he had a couple of nice hook shots rim out for him, he looked like a pretty intriguing prospect that might get some more looks down the road if he continues to develop his perimeter game.

Ronald Ross, Texas Tech

A nightmare tournament for Ross. Nothing was going for him, and the local media at Portsmouth had some very nasty things to say about him (something like: he should have stayed in Lubbock). He's a much better shooter than his horrendous percentages at Portsmouth would indicate, but he may have hurt his chances at getting an invite to Chicago with the way he played. He didn't show too much in terms of PG skills either, and that probably hurts him more than the fact that his shot wasn't falling for him.


Deng Gai, Fairfield

Gai got injured in the first game, and never really managed to recover from it. He eventually sat out the 3rd and final game, and probably left Portsmouth a bit disappointed at the missed opportunity. This was a great chance for him to show off his skills after a nice senior season, but that never materialized unfortunately for him.

Ivan McFarlin, Oklahoma State

McFarlin helped himself about as much as he possibly could have, doing an outstanding job defensively and on the glass and even scoring a bit outside the paint. He's a garbage type that might get some looks in the 3rd round from teams looking for a little bit of hustle and work ethic. May have earned himself an invite to Chicago with the way he played.

Jason Maxiell, Cincinnati

Looked like a mini-Shaq at times with the way he played, except he has range out to 18 feet and showed it extensively. You have to wonder if things would have been a little different for Cincinnati this year if they ran the offense a little more through him and gave him some more freedom to operate. They were probably a Will Conroy type PG away from making a serious run in the tournament. Will most certainly get an invite to Chicago, and there's a good chance of him being drafted as long as he doesn't blow it. Despite his lack of size, there is certainly a place for him in the league as an energy type to bring off the bench. Plays bigger than his size because of an outstanding wingspan.

Will Conroy, Washington

What a tournament for this terrific PG, and it really couldn't have happened to a better kid. I got an email with a quote saying that someone wrote that he had a listless performance. That person must not have been watching when he dropped 16 (more like 20 probably) assists in 21 minutes in the final day. I thought he was very solid games as well, and wrote about that after the 2nd day. Conroy didn't do an amazing job scoring the ball, but again, that doesn't bother me as much as it does others. He'll have to work on his stroke over the next few months, getting it nice and consistent for workouts, but he showed that he can get into the lane and score when he wants to, he was just more concerned with getting all of his teammates involved. Last time I checked that's what a PG is supposed to do.


Rob Little, Stanford

Little did a good job putting up numbers around the basket, but as a 6-10 unathletic center with no skills outside of the paint he is going to find a fairly cold market when it becomes time to pawn off his skills. Did not appear to be in great shape either, and his man to man defense suffered any time he was pulled outside of the paint. Coppenrath was the man who always drew the tougher assignment in the front court on both offense and defense, and Little benefited quite a bit from playing next to him. Little might become a decent body somewhere in Europe because of his smarts, but I wouldn't count on much more than that.

Taylor Coppenrath, Vermont

Coppenrath put up some pretty good numbers, but scored most of his points around the basket and off offensive rebounds. He deserves credit for that, as the way he positions himself offensively is a thing of beauty, but I'm not sure if anyone is sold on him being able to do the same things in the NBA. That doesn't mean he doesn't deserve a shot to show that he can, as its impossible to predict how well his very unique game translates to the NBA until he is actually given a chance to prove otherwise. He'll get another shot in Chicago, private workouts and in summer league to bring his stock back up.

Jeremiah Massey, Kansas State

A bundle of energy, Massey was one of the more entertaining players to watch at this tournament. Once again, he probably lacks two inches or so as far as the NBA is concerned, and lacks the perimeter skills to make up for that. He's a solid player that will be playing for money somewhere next year.

Willie Jenkins, Tennessee Tech

By far the most impressive player of the last minute invitees, Jenkins was one of the few players here who actually has the size and the skills the NBA looks for from players at the position he's projected at. It's a shame he didn't get as much of a chance to show off his outside stroke, but the fact that he shot the ball the way he did this season when every team he played against was doing everything they could to stop him should tell you that he can shoot it with the best of them. Especially considering that he was asked to play inside a lot more than he would have if he was on a better team. Jenkins showed off a very nice all around game and should get himself an invite to Chicago with the way he played here.


David Simon, IPFW

A really nice, fundamental player who might lack the size or perimeter skills to take his game to the next level. Simon woke up in the last game of the tournament and had a pretty nice game for himself. Myself and others surely remember the way he played in Chicago last year before he tore his ACL, so it was nice to see that he is back and healthy again. He probably should have been a little more vocal asking for the ball and going up strong to the basket, but that's just the kind of player he is.

Chuck Hayes, Kentucky

The MVP of Portsmouth, there isn't much left to say about Chuck that hasn't been said about him already. He's just extremely solid in every facet of the game, and should find himself on an NBA roster next year because of what he brings with his intangibles. It would be surprising if the MVP of the tournament wasn't invited to Chicago, and I'm sure that his future teammates who will be feeding off his outstanding passes and work ethic would surely appreciate it.

Quemont Greer, DePaul

Greer forced an awful lot of shots in this tournament, even if he made up for it statistically with a lot of easy makes at the rim. He's your classic PF in a SF's body, and its very hard to see his game translating to the NBA.

Doron Perkins, Santa Clara

In terms of his body, defense, wingspan and athletic ability, no one topped this kid at his position here at Portsmouth. The problem is that the rest of his game is very raw at the moment, so he probably doesn't have much of a shot unless someone decides to take him on as a project player. His PG skills are not very good right now, and his outside shot is very streaky. He's a tough player that doesn't mind contact and is willing to step in and take a charge if needed. He's extremely active and doesn't appear to ever tire as he is constantly in motion trying to wreak havoc. Because of his outstanding first step he got into the lane plenty and finished strong because of his strength and terrific vertical leap. Regardless of what happens in the draft, teams will have to keep track on this kid and see how his PG skills are coming along.


Elton Brown, Virginia

The 6-9 PF showed that he is a big body at this tournament who can score a little bit around the basket when he's asked to, but not really much more than that. He's really a center trapped in a power forward's body, and with that type of athleticism and man to man defense, its tough to see him moving down a position in the NBA.

Glen McGowan, Pepperdine

A disappointment for me personally, McGowan is very small and doesn't have a whole lot of other skills he can fall back on to make up for it. He was trying to show off his mid-range game and didn't really succeed at doing so, he didn't finish particularly well at the basket or play great defense and just generally didn't do anything to indicate that he has much of a future in the league.

Jackie Manuel, North Carolina

Manuel really looked like a sore thumb on the roster sheet that was handed out where all the player's stats are listed from this past season. The reason for that is obvious, as he played for the team that won the National Championship and let others focusing on scoring while he did all the little things to help his team out. That wasn't the case here at Portsmouth, where he showed off some offensive skills that no one (except maybe his teammates) knew he had in him beforehand. He was probably the most athletic player at this tournament, or at least the player that showed off the most athleticism in every thing he did. Manuel probably earned himself an invite to Chicago, but he'll have to work on his stroke in the next two months to show that he can play in the NBA as a SG.

Ronnie Price, Utah Valley State

Being the Man at a tiny school as far as the NCAA powerhouses are concerned is not a great way to develop into an excellent point guard, and you could tell that it will take Price a little while until he fully adjusts to having some decent teammates next to him that will help carry the offensive load. Price showed everyone in the building that he is a very athletic, physical and talented guard that has to be considered when you're talking about college players for the next level. He has a very nice stroke from outside--even if it wasn't consistently falling for him in this tournament, excellent speed in the open floor, good tools to play defense on most PG's, and he showed some nice sparks of potential at the PG spot that may lead someone to believe that he has what it takes to make the transition in the NBA. He showed that when it really counts he can hit the outside shot, as in his only two games he hit big shots at the end to help his team rally and make things interesting at the end. His line would have been a lot better if a couple of open shots he took from outside wouldn't have rimmed out, but all in all he left a favorable impression on people who are just now starting to get familiar with his game.


D'or Fischer, West Virginia

He's got the size and most certainly the wingspan, but is severely lacking in everything else, particularly the effort department. All season long I wondered why West Virginia's coach won't give him more minutes, and it took me less than a half of the first game I saw him to figure out why. Fischer came to the camp out of shape and looked winded five minutes after he was on the court. He's a bit of a plod, even when he's not jogging up and down the court. Despite the size and length to finish over anyone in this tournament, he rarely made any effort to use his skills inside. Instead, he preferred to float to the perimeter, where he actually has a very nice stroke from mid-range. It's hard to write off a guy with that kind of size, but if he won't give 100% at a place at Portsmouth, when exactly is he going to bring it?

Mindaugas Katelynas, UT-Chattanooga

If I had to pick one guy that emerged as the sleeper prospect from this tournament, someone like a Willie Green or Ronald Murray from past years, Katelynas would be it. I've probably written about him too much as it is already, but he's just really intriguing as a prospect that was almost ruined by being played at the 4 and 5 his entire career, but still has all the physical attributes and skills you look for from an NBA SF. A quick survey of some of the players that participated at this tournament afterwards indicated that I am not the only one who thought that this kid could play. He'll most certainly be invited to Chicago, and has a great chance at being drafted, maybe even in the late first round. That would be a major coup for the Portsmouth crew, who haven't had a first rounder in a while and are desperately looking for a way to revitalize their tournament.

Omar Thomas, UTEP

I've seen plenty of Thomas this year on tape, but could have sworn he was so much more athletic than what he showed here at Portsmouth. He had a number of opportunities to show off his hops on the break by finishing strong, but failed to do so. He's fairly quick and has a pretty nice first step, but I really thought he was a lot more than that. At 6-5 he had to show off some skills in the ball-handling and perimeter shooting department, but came up pretty flat here. He's still an outstanding prospect for Europe, but will have to work on his perimeter skills before he can have another shot at making the league again.

Aaron Miles, Kansas

Solid as a rock, Miles ran his team's offense as if he knew if for years. Although there were some outstanding defensive PG's here, none of them could hold a candle to what Miles did here with the way he shut down his man with his outstanding pressure defense. He's a coaches dream with the intangibles that he brings to the floor, and should get himself an invite to Chicago based on the way he played here and the season he had at Kansas. It would be nice to see some more scoring skills out of him, but that's just not a priority for him, as he is a lot more concerned with getting all of his teammates involved. Should make a fine backup PG for someone.

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