2008 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament: Top Prospects
By Borko Popic
Even though many of the top seniors pulled out just before the start, the ones that showed up displayed the depth and quality this senior class possesses. For those who think this week is a waste of time, they are seriously mistaken. The only reason not to show up would be due to injury or a previously guaranteed invite to the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp. The large number of NBA and European personnel in attendance is not only an indication of the talent, but also a sign that this is a great place for players to showcase their skills.
Below is a list of the top prospects, and not necessarily the guys who put up the best numbers, but rather those who showed the best skill sets needed for the next level.
*All Tournament First Team
[img_assist|nid=3337|title=Gary Forbes - Icon SMI|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=300|height=429]*Gary Forbes- 16ppg, 9apg, 7rpg
Statistically and based on potential displayed, Forbes definitely had one of the better showings of anyone this week. He has a swagger and tremendous confidence that is necessary for the next level. He has a complete skill set, and shows the ability to score in a variety of ways. Questions about his selfishness were somewhat answered with the 9 assists he averaged, and even more so with the 13 he had in the last game to go along with only 6 shots. Being a top prospect, means his game will fall under more scrutiny because people want to know exactly how he projects for the next level. In saying that, one has to worry about his less than superb athleticism; while he was able to effectively get into the lane this week, he showed that he struggled finishing against bigger help defenders. Since he is not able to finish over the top of guys, he tries to put up very acrobatic shots that usually don’t go in for him because of the high degree of difficulty. In other aspects, offensively, while he is very good, he’s definitely not exceptional in any particular thing. He did show that his outside shot is becoming more reliable and consistent, and that could end up being his calling card for the next level. One scout said “If Forbes is able to prove that he's a dependable outside shooter, then he should have no problems getting drafted,” a statement that wil likely prove to be true.
*Pat Calathes- 15ppg, 8rpg, 3apg
If the MVP went to the most important player on the best team, then there is no question Calathes would have been the right choice. From the early going, he showed that he came ready to play, and delivered fine performances throughout the week. At 6-10, his game is tremendously effective on the perimeter, where he is able to shoot with range, come off screens, break people down off the dribble, and handle the ball in transition. With all of that being said, his best attribute may be his passing ability, where he proved to be one of the best playmakers overall. His vision is not only great in the half court, but also in transition, where he always keeps his head up, looking to make the right read. Being as tall as he is, one would like to see some inside skills, but unfortunately he possesses absolutely none, and is completely unwilling to play with his back to the basket. While his shot is accurate, his form and release are a little awkward because he holds the ball out too far as he brings it into the shooting pocket. On the defensive end is where we see Calathes’ biggest weakness, as he is not strong enough to match up with the more physical power forwards, and his lateral quickness hurts him when he tries to guard perimeter players. We saw a good example of this when he was matched up with Forbes, and was completely unable to stay in front of him. He was also a bit fazed by Forbes on the other end, who got physical and into his comfort zone, forcing Calathes to become very passive. Scary thing is that Forbes is only a marginal defender; it will be a big question mark to see how effective Calathes can be against the much more physical and aggressive defenders that he is sure to face in Orlando (predraft camp). Although he is very skinny and should put on substantial weight, the problem is his frame and narrow shoulders, which means that his body type limits his potential to get much bigger. All that being said, he is a well liked, talented and intelligent player, who may be able to overcome these deficiencies due to his great skill and fundamentals.
*Othello Hunter- 16ppg, 12rpg, 2bpg
A great athlete that showed nice flashes of potential, and continued to impress throughout the week. His leaping ability gives him a great advantage on the boards, where he was a man among boys. His niche is as a very active and relentless player, who does not need many touches to be effective, because he is able to create his own opportunities with offensive rebounding as well as hustle plays. He gets into open space well, and seems to always be open in drive & dish situations, where he uses his good hands to catch tough passes and then is able to finish in emphatic fashion because of his athleticism. Evaluating his post game, he has a decent touch on his hook shot, but it is no secret that he has little else. One-on-one he struggles defensively because he does not match up well with either post or perimeter players, although he has great timing and as a result is a great weakside shotblocker. Although he is seen as a role player, he has shown this week that if he is put into the right system with the right players around him, he can play much better than what we have seen during his time at Ohio State.
*Josh Duncan- 14ppg, 8rpg, 2apg
A fundamental player with a workhorse mentality showed that he is one of the steadiest players in this senior class. While there is nothing flashy or spectacular to his game, at the end of the day he gets the job done and has helped his team in the win column. He has a nice variety of post moves, and is able to convert using both hands. His ability to step out and knock down three’s, as well as put the ball on the floor to get by people are qualities that make him very attractive. While he is very versatile, there isn’t one thing that he excels at, and is not a consistent scorer game in and game out. His shot comes and goes, and it is a bit of feast or famine type of inconsistency. Athletically, he is limited to say the least, however, with his high IQ and ability to use his strong body he shows that he can play with pretty much anybody, and that he should be able to overcome his athletic shortcomings. A winner in every sense of the word, his maturity and leadership are qualities that are welcome in any locker-room.
Mark Tyndale- 9ppg, 7rpg, 7apg
From the get-go he showed that he was determined to prove himself as a legitimate prospect, and he definitely didn’t fall short. Putting together probably the most complete statline, which not only included points, rebounds and assists, but also a great number of steals and blocks. Offensively, he is not the guy you would give the ball to and tell him to go to work, and he does not have any sort of jumpshot. That being said, as a guy who is able to run the floor, get on the O glass, and also make great cuts for easy layups, Tyndale is a very effective scorer who does not require plays to be called for him. Defensively, he has decent size, and is a nice athlete, but what makes him so good is his heart and desire. He is very fundamental, and has great positioning which allows him to stay in front of people, irregardless of how quick and athletic they are. His feel for the game is also very impressive, as he is able to get to rebounds, intercept passes, and also block shots on his own man. His stat-filling abilities, along with his reckless-yet controlled demeanour result in a prospect that turned some heads this week, and one that should be able to do the same down the road in Orlando.
*Kyle Hines- 17ppg, 7rpg, 3bpg
Possessing the most chiselled and defined body this week, and he surely knew how to put it to good use. Coming from a small school (UNC-Greensboro) he was a bit of an unknown, but from the first game he came out strong and took people by surprise. He was very consistent in all 3 games, showing tremendous athleticism and body control while finishing against much bigger players. He is relentless, never giving up on a play, and constantly puts pressure on the opposing team with his activeness. He has a deceivingly quick first step that seems to surprise defenders; unfortunately his dribbling is very weak, limiting his ability to break people down. His shooting is very questionable, and he does not look to shoot anywhere outside of 12 feet. He does not seem to have a position on the court because of some of these limitations, but one does not need to categorize him as a SF or PF, to realize that he is a basketball player. There have been plenty of role players similar to him that have been able to make nice careers in the NBA, and there’s no reason to believe that he won’t have a similar chance.
*Reggie Williams- 16ppg, 4rpg, 4apg
It may not make any sense, but the leading scorer in the country needs to look to shoot more. The entire week he only took what the defense gave him, never forcing the issue, and always looking to give up the ball. He is able to read the action very well, always knowing where to find a teammate and when to throw the pass. When he did shoot, he showed tremendous range and consistency on his jump shot. His surprisingly long arms, and underrated athleticism not only allow him to finish plays with some nice dunks, but they also help him get his hands on a lot of balls causing deflections and steals. Early on he struggled a bit defensively, but as the week progressed he got more comfortable and was even able to match up with some smaller guys. Definitely an interesting prospect who should be able garner even more attention with a good showing at Orlando.
Martin Zeno- 14ppg, 4apg, 2spg
If the MVP is to be given to the player most responsible for his team winning the championship, then Zeno would have as good of a case as anyone. In what was undoubtedly the best game of the week, and what ended up being the tournament deciding game, against Norfolk Naval Shipyard in the Semis, he came up with the game changing steal and the game winning layup at the end. Aside from that, he had a very nice week where he proved to be a lock down defender as well as a decent role player on offense. Guarding the opposing team's best perimeter player on a regular basis, Zeno showed that he is a force to be reckoned with. His quick feet, long arms, and very strong body allow him to shut people down completely. He was at his best guarding Forbes, where he forced him into settling for outside shots, without even thinking of going inside. Offensively, he has a very nice lefty stroke that he is able to convert at a decent rate from midrange. Unfortunately, he shows minimal ability to step out and shoot the three. He is a decent penetrator, but at this point is nothing more than a guy that will o score off of hustle and garbage points. His potential will be based on his ability to lock people down, especially the top level players that he could face in Orlando.
Jonte Flowers- 13ppg, 5rpg, 2spg
All week he made people believers, and should definitely have secured himself a spot in Orlando. While he doesn’t do any one thing exceptionally, he has a nice feel for the game, always finding himself in the right spot. He is great at anticipating and cutting off passing lanes, and his length makes him an unpredictable defender who is difficult to get by. His shooting form looks very smooth and fluid, but his shot is not very consistent, and he seems to lack confidence in it. He is not dominant in any particular area offensively, but is able to do many things fairly well.
Ramel Bradley- 16ppg, 5apg, 2spg
Was in attack mode all week, never backing down from anyone, and always looking to take anybody in his way off the dribble. His aggressiveness earned him the most trips to the charity stripe of anybody this week, which is even more impressive considering the position he plays and his size. Even though he is very good scorer, he has good vision, and is willing to give the ball up. Although he does have a nice first step, and is able to beat people off the dribble because of his handles, he is not the most explosive athlete, and his outside touch is inconsistent. Due to these limitations we could see at times that he struggled to convert and as a result had some bad shooting games.
Kentrell Gransberry- 11ppg, 8rpg, 3spg,
Had somewhat of a slow start, but in the last game showed glimpses of what he can do with his size and strength. Much of the problem was that he did not get many touches, and a lot of it had to do with him not demanding the ball. He did show that when he made up his mind to attack, very few people could contain him, or would even think of stepping in front. Showed not only a good inside game, but that his handles are also very reliable when he dribbled the ball on the break a few times, or when he put it on the floor to go by his defender.
Bo McCalebb- 9ppg, 3apg, 2spg
At times shows great flashes of NBA potential, unfortunately they are few and far between. Although he is a decent playmaker, he is more of a scoring type guard, but the problem is that he can’t shoot. At his size, not being able to spread the floor hurts because people can gap him, therefore negating his speed and quickness. When he does get out into the open floor he is an assassin as he attacks relentlessly, unfortunately he has struggled to finish on many occasions. Defensively, he is exceptional, using his quickness and strong body to completely lock people down, he was easily among the best defenders this week.
*Jajuan Smith- 15ppg, 8rpg, 5apg, 3spg
Had a very good week, showcasing his smooth touch from the outside, but also contributing in many other statistical categories. He doesn’t dribble the ball too well, is not the greatest athlete, and also shows a frail body, making him just a very one dimensional spot shooter on the offensive end. Even though he shot the ball well, he needs to prove that he can be a constant threat from long distance and not just a streaky shooter.
Joe Crawford- 19ppg, 2apg, 2rpg
Had a great game the first night, showing off an increasingly consistent shooting touch, as well as the ability to get into the lane. Unfortunately, we were not able to see him again, because of an injury he was not able to go. Hopefully, he recovers quickly and is able to showcase more of his game in Orlando
Rob McKiver- 16ppg, 4apg
Showed some nice things this week, including his range, as well as the ability to break people down and finish in the lane with a variety of moves. At times he over dribbles and dominates the ball too much, leaving his teammates just standing around watching. He needs to become a better playmaker, and look to set other guys up, because due to his height and less than exceptional explosiveness, he is definitely not a SG for the next level. But he is surely a quality shooter who never saw a shot he didn't like,
Charles Rhodes- 12ppg, 8rpg
Another guy that fell victim to the injury bug. He showed that he is more than just an energy type guy by stepping out to 15 feet and showing a soft touch. In his repertoire he possesses and nice little step back jumper that is almost unstoppable because of his length and high release. He is a bit on the soft side, as he would rather settle for jumpshots instead of battling with the big boys inside, and he got outmuscled by Elegar on a number of occaisions.
Mike Green- 12ppg, 6rpg, 5apg
A very steady week, showing great leadership and maturity throughout. He has some nice dribble attack moves, and the ability to deliver the ball to the right spots, but he lacks the explosiveness to consistently get by people, as well as the shooting touch to spread the floor. He should be able to find a place overseas for a long career.
*Deron Washington- 17ppg, 6rpg, 2bpg
A great athlete that at times showed he can knock down the jumper. Unfortunately, other than that his game is very limited. He has minimal ability to get by people as his dribble and first step are less than adequate, and his slender frame limits his ability to attack and finish against contact. While he's a jawdropping athletic specimen, he struggles to find ways to effectively use it in the context of a game.
Patrick Ewing Jr. - 6ppg, 6rpb, 2bpg
Due to injury, he only played in one full game and a small portion of the second before he went down. For the short time that he did play, he showed an intriguing package of athleticism and hard work. Offensively he lacks any sort of 1-on-1 moves either in the post or on the perimeter, but knows how to play without the ball which allows him to score without getting many plays run for him. Even though he didn’t get a chance to show much, it should still be enough to earn a trip to Orlando.
Frank Elegar- 14ppg, 6rpg, 3bpg
A tremendous athlete who is able to use his length very effectively on both ends of the floor. Showed that he has some skills off the dribble as he displayed some very nice moves and even the ability to hit a midrange pull-up. The main issue is that he tends to disappear at times, as his energy comes and goes in spurts. He is a bit on the skinny side, and is somewhat of a tweener, because he lacks any reliable post moves, and his touch while decent, is not consistent.
Quan Prowell- 14ppg, 8rpg, 2spg
Played very well all week, showing his ability to score in different ways. He is a good rebounder, at times showing his leaping ability by snatching rebounds way above the rim. He is very aggressive, and is constantly moving, making him a very difficult guy to matchup with.
*Chris Lofton- 20ppg, 4rpg
Caught fire at the end, showing that his shooting has not betrayed him for good. Unfortunately, that is the only aspect of his game that stands out, in everything else he’s simply below par. He is very slow, cannot handle the ball too well, is not a distributor, and is unable to contain anybody on defense. If there is even a glimmer of hope to conceal these shortcomings, it would have to be a continued success of making long bombs like he did at the end of the week.
# Jamar Butler- 14ppg, 3apg
The fact he was named MVP of the week is definitely debatable, even though he played fairly well for the championship winning team. Showed a nice shooting touch, and the ability to fill it up in a hurry. His quick feet allow him to get by people on offense, and also to stay in front of them on the defensive end. He does everything pretty well, but by no means is he in the same class as some of the other players this week.
April 9th, PIT Day 1
April 10th, PIT Day 2
April 11th, PIT Day 3
April 12th, PIT Day 4
CHERRY, BEKAERT & HOLLAND
Coaches : Martin Oliver & Larry Ward
Brian Butch 6-11 245 PF/C Wisconsin Sr.
Patrick Ewing Jr. 6-8 238 SF Georgetown Sr.
Charron Fisher 6-4 230 SF Niagara Sr.
David Gomez 6-7 235 SF/PF Tulane Sr.
Parfait Bitee 6-2 190 PG Rhode Island Sr.
Joe Crawford 6-4 205 SG Kentucky Sr.
Derrick Low 6-1 186 PG Wash. St. Sr.
Jajuan Smith 6-2 195 PG Tennessee Sr.
HOLIDAY INN - PORTSMOUTH
Coaches : Dave Trickler & Eric Acra
Gavin Grant 6-8 208 SF NC State Sr.
Anthony King 6-9 242 PF Miami Sr.
Charles Rhodes 6-8 240 PF Miss.St. Sr. Will Thomas 6-7 230 PF George Mason Sr.
Demetric Bennett 6-4 210 SG South Alabama Sr.
Alex Harris 6-6 185 SG UCSB Sr.
Bo McCalebb 6-0 180 PG New Orleans Sr.
Brian Roberts 6-2 180 PG Dayton Sr.
K&D ROUNDS LANDSCAPING
Coaches : Jim Markey & Larry Smith
Longar Longar 6-11 232 C Oklahoma Sr.
Kentrell Gransberry 6-9 270 PF So.Fla Sr.
Rob Kurz 6-8 235 SF/PF Notre Dame Sr.
Arizona Reid 6-5 205 SG High Point Sr.
Folarin Campbell 6-4 205 SG George Mason Sr.
Sundiata Gaines 6-1 210 PG Georgia Sr.
Mike Green 6-1 184 PG Butler Sr.
Cliff Hammonds 6-3 200 SG Clemson Sr.
NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD
Coaches : Billy Mann & John Kelly
Frank Elegar 6-9 230 PF Drexel Sr.
Bryant Dunston 6-8 233 PF Fordham Sr.
Deron Washington 6-7 205 SG/SF VT Sr.
Adrian Banks 6-3 190 SG Arkansas State Sr.
Gary Forbes 6-7 220 SG UMass Sr.
AJ Graves 6-1 160 PG Butler Sr.
Anthony Morrow 6-5 205 SG G.Tech Sr.
Jason Richards 6-2 190 PG Davidson Sr.
NORFOLK SPORTS CLUB
Coaches : Mike Head & Mark Butts
Steven Hill 7-0 250 Arkansas Sr.
Dwayne Curtis 6-8 280 PF Mississippi Sr.
Dion Dowell 6-6 195 SG/SF Houston Sr.
Jonte Flowers 6-5 185 Winona State Sr.
Drew Lavender 5-7 153 PG Xavier Sr.
Chris Lofton 6-2 200 SG Tennessee Sr.
Quan Prowell 6-8 215 SF/PF Auburn Sr.
Jonathan Wallace 6-1 180 PG G'town Sr.
PORTSMOUTH SPORTS CLUB
Coaches : Tony Holloway & P.J. Honore
Chris Daniels 7-0 260 C Texas A&M CC Sr.
Kyle Hines 6-6 240 PF UNC Greensboro Sr.
Haminn Quaintance 6-8 220 PF Kent State Sr.
Mykal Riley 6-6 180 SG Alabama Sr.
Reggie Williams 6-6 185 SG VMI Sr.
Jaycee Carroll 6-2 175 SG Utah St. Sr.
Dominique Kirk 6-3 185 PG/SG Texas A&M Sr.
Rob McKiver 6-3 195 PG/SG Houston Sr.
SALES SYSTEMS LTD
Coaches : Leo Anthony & Mac Carroll
Jiri Habalek 6-11 225 PF/C Iowa St. Sr.
Justin Hawkins 6-7 205 SF N.Mex.St.Sr.
Othello Hunter 6-9 225 PF Ohio St. Sr.
Brian Laing 6-5 215 SG Seton Hall Sr.
Williams Leon 6-8 255 Ohio PF Sr.
Ramel Bradley 6-1 179 PG Kentucky Sr.
Stanley Burrell 6-2 205 PG/SG Xavier Sr.
Marcus Hall 6-1 190 PG Colorado Sr.
Coaches : Max Gillespie & Jerry Hasty
Shaun Pruitt 6-10 255 C Illinois Sr.
Pat Calathes 6-10 220 SF St.Jospeh's Sr.
Joseph Jones 6-9 250 PF Texas A&M Sr.
Mark Tyndale 6-5 210 SG Temple Sr.
Aaron Bruce 6-2 180 PG Baylor Sr.
Jamar Butler 6-0 180 PG Ohio St.
Josh Duncan 6-9 230 PF Xavier Sr.
Martin Zeno 6-5 208 SG Texas Tech Sr.