Few true draft prospects
The 2005 Portsmouth pre-draft camp was most notable early on for the players who skipped the camp.
BJ Elder, Luke Schenscher, Will Bynum, Daniel Ewing, Larry O’Bannon and Ellis Myles all pulled out at the last minute causing the rosters to be quick-fixed in order to maintain the eight-player, eight-team setup, a necessary process that watered down the talent level.
But 64 college seniors did play and chief among those who impressed the most were:
- Jason Maxiell of Cincinnati, who tallied 26, 22 and 20 points in his 3 games. Maxiell played with a great deal of energy and blocked more shots than the scorers gave him credit for. Maxiell played hard and was impressive on defense. His body is shaped like a power forward and his game matches the shape. However he’s somewhere around 6-5 and that takes a lot out of his NBA aspirations.
- Rob Little of Stanford acquitted himself well serving up 11 and 11, 10 and 10 along with 14 and 12 – all three games double-doubles. He was physical, active and played hard at both ends of the floor. Little showed good, active defense and was virtually unmovable inside the paint. If anyone at the camp raised his stock from zero to hero it was certainly Little – the best player in the camp.
- Kansas State’s Jeremiah Massey tallied 20,16 and 18 points in his games – perhaps offering up the most spirited play – and was often above the rim. Despite having a mediocre senior season, Massey was electrifying and a crowd favorite. He was clearly the player who drew the most applause from those watching.
- While Washington’s Will Conroy appeared to have blended into the background during play, he served up 16 assists in the championship consolation game. The assist total may be enough to overrule a listless overall performance.
- Oklahoma State’s Ivan McFarlin tallied 20 and 16 points before netting a camp-high 34 points along with 11 boards in his final game. OSU’s big man was perhaps the best pure power forward in the camp. Coupled with Little, they would be the forward tandem to have the most upside.
- Glen McGowan of Pepperdine performed quite well as he contributed in each game. His draft stock rose despite not being a numbers guy, but showing his intelligence and constant effort – things not lost on the NBA crowd.
- Virginia’s Elton Brown was a huge surprise in camp getting 15 and 12 in his two games and proving to be athletic and a consistent foul shooter throughout. Very little was expected of the ACC big man, but he not only delivered for his team, but changed the opinions of several scouts in attendance.
The All-Tourney Team will be announced later in the week, a common Portsmouth occurrence, but the players who gave themselves the best shot at advancing to the prestigious Chicago camp included those listed above as well as David Logan of Division II Indianapolis, Florida Atlantic’s Mike Bell, Mustafa Al-Sayyad of Fresno State, Quemont Greer Of DePaul and Niagara’s Juan Mendez.
Mendez had five blocks in two games – a camp high.
Meanwhile, Bowie State’s Lee Cook made the most of his invitation playing hard all the time and proving to be a tough defender. He played well enough to be a dark-horse candidate for Chicago.
Perhaps the most touted player in camp was Vermont’s Taylor Coppenrath, who scored well with 16, 19 and 14 points but disappointed as he was victimized frequently on defense and seemed to be less than the 6-9 his school lists him at. Still, Coppenrath is likely headed to Chicago.
Two members of UNC’s National Championship Tar Heels made the trip to Portsmouth. Jackie Manuel played very well, while teammate Jawad Williams looked tired in the first game but netted 20 and 10 in the second.
Chief among the camp’s biggest disappointments were Andre Owens and Ronald Ross.
Of the dozens of foreign leagues represented in Portsmouth, perhaps no one had more scouts than South Korea, who came looking for power forwards and centers and left with a longer list than they arrived with.
The South Korean scouts stayed longer than the NBA people. Many of the teams' scouts – including GM’s and Directors of Player personnel – headed on early on Friday to get to Memphis, Tennessee for the Hoop Summit.
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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