The 62nd annual edition of the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament tipped off on Wednesday with two contests. Unfortunately the main topic of conversation was the players that chose not to attend.
We have made our feelings known concerning what we feel are shortsighted decisions by these young men and their agents. Given the number of seniors selected in the last few drafts and the fact that there is only one other five on five event this year followed by the combine in Chicago it is obvious that many players are taking great risks in not showcasing their talents in front of NBA staffs.
The first game matched the Norfolk Sports Club vs. K&D Rounds Landscaping. The Norfolk Sports Club came out on top 71-66 mostly due to dominating the boards. Javon McCrea led Norfolk with 21 points and 5 rebounds. He settled into what he does best after starting the game trying to display his perimeter skills. He has a mid range game but his mechanics are not great and his shot is not fluid. He also does not have the ability to put the ball on the floor and beat his opponent off the dribble. However he has a great motor and an ability to move without the ball into positions where he can score. The University of Buffalo product is limited but did impress. Juvonte Reddic of VCU was impressive early on the boards before suffering a game ending injury to his knee. He will be evaluated and hopefully it is not severe. Reddic is an impressive defensive player who is quick laterally and runs the court well. His jump shot is not dependable. He has basic footwork and basic post moves.
Travis Bader of Oakland University led K&D Rounds with 24 points. He shot an impressive 8-of-14 from the field which included 4-of-6 from three point territory. He has a very quick release and great form. He squares his body to the basket and always has his feet set. He is hardly an elite athlete but his talent is in shooting the ball and this talent makes him intriguing. Richard Solomon of Cal impressed in spurts.
The second contest saw Roger Brown’s Restaurant out score the Portsmouth Sports Club 41-30 in the second half in route to a 77-74 win. Fuquan Edwin made three critical three pointers which fueled the comeback. Edwin is an elite defender with an NBA body and superior athleticism. He is not a consistent three point shooter and must work on his mechanics. However, he is an adequate shooter who can finish at the rim. He scored 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Shawn Jones of Middle Tennessee State and Tyler Stone of SE Missouri State also impressed. Stone is an elite athlete. Chaz Williams and Jordair Jett directed the offense in an effective manner and combined for 13 assists and only 3 turnovers. In fact Roger Brown’s had 20 assists and 7 turnovers to offset being out rebounded by a 57-37 margin.
The Portsmouth Sports Club was led by Garrick Sherman with 19 points and 11 rebounds and Jerrelle Benimon with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Benimon was clearly one of the most skilled players of the night. He is an elite rebounder who has the body and knowledge to get good position. He handles the ball very well and has good court vision. He also has three point range and can get to the basket off the dribble.
The action continues today with three games with the first contest tipping off at 3:30.
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