Camp kicks off
The first day of the 52nd edition of the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament saw two games played while several NBA front office personal were still arriving.
And while there were two winning teams, it’s mighty difficult to determine just how many players turned scouting heads.
In the opener, Beach Barton Ford downed Portsmouth Sports Club 90-76. Among the top performers for Beach
For Portsmouth, Nate Williams of Georgia State led all scorers with 24 and was helped by Luis Flores of
In the nightcap, the Tidewater Sealants captured an 80-74 win over Holiday Inn. For Tidewater, Jaeson Maravich led his team with 16 points including 3-3 from beyond the arc, while Timmy Bowers of Mississippi State scored 13 and local product Spencer Ross dropped 12.
For Holiday Inn, Charlotte’s Demon Brown had 16 points, and Luke Whitehead added 12 points and 6 assists.
Noticeable among the college coaches in the gym were Jamie Dixon from Pitt, Seton Hall’s Louis Orr, and Herb Sendak of North Carolina State.
Big topic of conversation is the potential draft position of Sebastian Telfair. Several who have seen him more than once aren’t too sure that he should be picked before 40. A lot of the chatter concerns his shooting and his ability to defend taller, quicker, more experienced NBA point guards.
Michigan’s’ Bernard Robinson was the first to withdraw. On agent advice, he pulled out and was replaced by Gerald Riley of Georgetown.
Big plays of the night – Colorado’s Michael Morandais had a dunk that had to be seen to be understood. Coming into the basket from the left, he elevated and seemingly froze time while in mid-flight prompting one NBA GM to call it a “suspended animation” dunk.
Jaeson Maravich is the son of the legendary “Pistol” Pete. Many of the older NBA types are watching intently and privately hoping he performs well enough to get an invitation the more celebrated Chicago camp.
The first game saw a point guard matchup between Luis Flores and Andre Barrett that provided one interesting footnote. Despite growing up only a few miles from one another, it was their first head-to-head competition. For Flores, the camp will provide an answer to the only question needing an answer about his game – can he play the point at the next level.
For Barrett and his many detractors, they’ll find out if he’s quick enough to overcome his height short fallings.
Day two will provide four games as the tourney truly swings into action with all the NBA front office people here and likely over 100 agents, 40 leagues and 20 countries all represented.
George Rodecker is in his twelfth season of providing expert analysis on the NBA Draft. He has been diligent in pursuing analysis by acquiring the consensus opinions of experts. Rodecker also writes for Basketball Times, Eastern Basketball and College Hoops Insider, as well as consulting privately with several pro teams and leagues around the globe
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