The Portsmouth Invitational is an event created just for seniors who are looking for a final shot to impress the scouts.
Only seniors are eligible for this event; however, many have dropped out with the fear of being exposed. Portsmouth is typically for fringe second-rounders who are just trying to land on NBA radars.
There isn't much NBA talent this year, with almost every relevant senior declining his invite. Still, it's an event that scouts show up to—just ask Jimmy Butler, who landed himself a spot in Round 1 and a guaranteed contract after dominating the event in 2011.
You can find the full Portsmouth rosters here.
Players to Watch
Jordan Hulls, Indiana, 6'0'', PG
Jordan Hulls had a spectacular career at Indiana, averaging at least 25 minutes in four straight years. He's been one of the best shooters in that span, knocking down 254 three-pointers at a career 44 percent clip. Hulls lacks the size and athleticism of your typical NBA point guard, which hurts his chances at reaching the next level. But his basketball IQ, passing and shot-making are all attractive strengths. The draft is likely off limits, but expect Hulls to find a training camp invite somewhere if he doesn't get an offer overseas.
Elston Turner, Texas A&M, 6'5'', SG
Turner had a huge senior year for the Aggies, averaging 17.5 points on 36 percent shooting from downtown. He's got the ability to take over games. Turner went for 40 earlier this season in a win at Kentucky, 37 in a win over Ole Miss and 38 in a quadruple-overtime loss to Tennessee. Portsmouth will be an excellent opportunity for Turner to showcase his scoring ability and carry his team as its primary offensive option. He'll be considered a borderline second-rounder heading into the event.
Durand Scott, Miami, 6'5'', SG
Durand Scott averaged 13 points per game as a senior and played a big role in Miami's strong 2012-13 season. He's a scorer with good size who can knock down shots on the move from inside and outside the arc. Scott lacks explosiveness and has struggled with consistency throughout his career, but he's a prospect to keep an eye on because of his size, athleticism and ability to generate offense.
Anthony Marshall, UNLV, 6'3'', PG/SG
Marshall played the role as a pass-first combo guard at UNLV, averaging nearly six assists per game to go with 10.4 points on almost 37 percent shooting from three. He's a good athlete with the quickness to hit the gap, but Marshall might be considered a tweener without a core strength. Portsmouth will be an opportunity for him to stand out, as he'll be considered one of the better talents in attendance.
Players to Watch
Mouphtaou Yarou, Villanova, 6'10'', PF/C
Yarou never had the breakout season he was routinely expected to have despite possessing the physical tools needed to play the post at the next level. He can knock down shots from the elbow and finish inside, but he struggles creating scoring opportunities for himself in the half court. Yarou will have to be aggressive at Portsmouth and make some plays on his own to draw NBA attention.
Elijah Johnson, Kansas, 6'4'', PG/SG
Despite his big role at Kansas over the past two years, Johnson's inconsistencies have frustrated everyone from his coach to NBA scouts. He's got the physical tools to play at the next level with excellent athleticism and ball-handling skills. But he lacks point guard instincts and the skill set of a 2. Johnson is a talent but likely falls under the tweener category without a rope to pull himself out.
Ryan Broekhoff, Valparaiso, 6'7'', SF
Broekhoff averaged nearly 16 points a game on 41.7 percent shooting from downtown and projects as a three-point specialist and ball-mover at the next level. He's not a guy who's going to create much offense, but his high basketball IQ and ability to knock down shots could land him in a "glue" role in the pros, whether it's in this country or another.
Mark Lyons, Arizona, 6'1'', PG/SG
Despite averaging 15.6 points per game, Lyons drew a lot of criticism for his shoot-first approach as Arizona's point guard. He's an excellent attacker and offensive player, but at 6'1'', he doesn't have the physical tools for the 2 or the mentality of a 1. Lyons could end up taking over this tournament, but it's unlikely he'll win over scouts in the process.
Players to Watch
Brock Motum, Washington State, 6'10'', PF
Brock Motom averaged nearly 19 points per game for the Cougars as a senior, but struggled throughout his career as a rebounder. He's actually got a nice stroke from the perimeter, though he saw his 39.7 percent three-point clip fall to 33.6 percent. Because of Motom's size, skill set and potentially threatening long-range jumper, he's got a long shot at the second round if he can turn some heads in Portsmouth.
Aziz N'Diaye, Washington, 7'0'', C
N'Diaye has always been considered a potential NBA prospect because of his size at 7'0'', 260 pounds. He's a space-eater whose job is to finish, rebound and protect the rim. N'Diaye doesn't offer much offensively, which limits his strengths to just the physical presence he offers. He''ll have to somehow differentiate himself in Portsmouth to earn realistic NBA interest.
Rodney McGruder, Kansas State, 6'4'', SG
McGruder averaged 15 points for the second consecutive year but saw his three-point shooting take a hit. At 6'4'', he's slightly undersized for the 2-guard position, and his lack of consistency as a shooter doesn't project strongly moving forward. McGruder had a nice college career but isn't likely to draw much NBA interest.
Kenny Boynton, Florida, 6'2'', SG
Kenny Boynton's production fell off his senior year, both as a scorer and long-range shooter. He's not quick enough to run the point or strong enough to play the 2, and now that his three-point reliability is in question, Boynton's likely to be one of those players who peaked in college. I'm not even sure a great Portsmouth tournament can change that.
Players to Watch:
Jack Cooley, Notre Dame, 6'9'', PF
Cooley is certainly one of the better prospects at Portsmouth and will be viewed as a rebounding specialist entering the 2013 draft. He averaged 10 boards a game in less than 30 minutes, a rate that's likely to translate considering his instincts, motor and strength. Cooley would really be doing himself a favor by showing scouts at Portsmouth he can knock down mid-range jumpers to give him more purpose offensively. The second round will be a possibility for him regardless.
Will Clyburn, Iowa State, 6'7'', SF
Clyburn will be a name to watch during Portsmouth. He's got NBA potential at 6'7'' with next-level athleticism and scoring instincts to go with it. Clyburn is a high-flier who can step out behind the arc, attack the rim or score off the ball. There's work to be done in the shot-creating department, but Clyburn's athleticism and size for a wing are both NBA-legitimate. He averaged 14.9 points per game as a senior after sitting out a year following his transfer from Utah.
Vander Joaquim, Hawaii, 6'10'', C
Joaquim averaged nearly 14 points and eight boards, doing almost all of his damage right at the rim. He's got a strong frame and long arms, but there isn't much diversity to his game. Joaquim isn't a realistic NBA option at this point.
D.J. Cooper, Ohio, 6'0'', PG
Cooper had an incredibly productive four-year career at Ohio. He averaged 14.1 points and 7.1 assists as a senior, shooting a career-best 36 percent from behind the arc. He's crafty off the dribble with the ability to break down the defense, create his own shot or set up a teammate. Cooper isn't the greatest athlete you'll see, and at barely 6'0'', his physical tools are likely to hold him back. He's more of a great college guard than NBA prospect.
Players to Watch
Tyler Brown, Illinois State, 6'4'', SG
A personal favorite, Brown will be one of the most electric athletes at the event. He's got the ability to put on a show as a high-flying dunker or heat-check shooter. Brown can create his own shot on the perimeter or explode toward the rim, though he could use some work on his in-between game. He averaged 18 points on 39 percent shooting from downtown as a senior. I'd consider Brown a player to keep an eye on at Portsmouth.
Kevin Dillard, Dayton, 6'0'', PG
Dillard averaged 15.3 points and 4.5 assists as a senior, using his crafty handle to create scoring opportunities for himself or his teammates. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the athleticism or explosiveness required to help neutralize his small frame. Dillard will need to show scouts he can lead his team to a couple of wins at Portsmouth to help generate some buzz.
Larry Drew II, UCLA, 6'2'', PG
Drew's most impressive stat as a senior was finishing second in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio. He did an excellent job of quarterbacking UCLA's offense. But Drew lacks speed, athleticism and explosiveness for a guard and would struggle to separate at the NBA level. He's just not a strong enough threat offensively to generate serious interest.
Jake Cohen, Davidson, 6'10'', PF
Jake Cohen averaged nearly 15 points as a senior, though he's never pulled in more than 6.2 rebounds per game. He's a skilled big man who can score in the post or knock down shots on the perimeter, but Cohen lacks the athleticism and strength for his talent to translate from one level to the next.
Players to Watch
Mike Rosario, Florida, 6'3'', SG
Rosario was one of Florida's most reliable scorers all year, finishing his senior season averaging 12.5 points on a career-high 36.7 percent from three. Rosario is a talented perimeter scorer who can knock down shots off the catch or the dribble, but the keyword here is perimeter. He's not strong enough to play the 2 and lacks the skill set of a point guard. Rosario might have a strong showing in Portsmouth, but I'm not sure he's NBA material.
Damen Bell-Holter, Oral Roberts, 6'9'', PF
Bell-Holter bounced back after a disappointing junior year to average 15.5 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. He's got a strong frame and a soft touch that he uses to score within 10 to 15 feet of the rim. Bell-Holter isn't the greatest athlete, but his toughness and strength make him a presence on the glass and on the interior. Portsmouth will be a good opportunity for him to showcase his talent against seniors from across the country.
Andrew Smith, Butler, 6'11'', C
Andrew Smith outplayed Bucknell's Mike Muscala in the second round of the NCAA tournament, going for 14 points and 16 boards. He's got excellent size and mobility, but he lacks a refined offensive game. He played for Butler during the 2011 national championship game, so scouts are aware of him. But he'll need to dominate Portsmouth for him to generate NBA draft buzz.
Abdul Gaddy, Washington, 6'3'', PG
Gaddy was a top recruit out of high school but never really gained the explosiveness back after tearing his ACL a few years ago. He's third all-time on Washington's assist list, playing with a pass-first approach as a true orchestrator. But without the speed and quickness to turn the corner, the NBA is an unrealistic dream.
Players to Watch
Travis Releford, Kansas, 6'6'', SG/SF
Travis Releford is a prospect who can impact a game without denting the stat sheet. He's the ultimate glue guy–someone who makes the extra pass, knocks down the open shot and defends the perimeter. A tournament like Portsmouth is unlikely to alter his draft stock either way. If there's a team out there looking for a reliable role-playing wing, Releford will be an option in the second round. For what it's worth, I'd take him.
Ramon Galloway, La Salle, 6'3'', SG
Galloway led La Salle to a couple of wins in the NCAA tournament, illustrating his elite athleticism at the combo-guard position. He averaged 17 points on 41 percent shooting from downtown as a senior, beating defenders off the dribble and knocking down shots on the perimeter. Galloway is the type of kid who can take over a tournament like this. If I were to make a list of five potential candidates to raise their stock in Portsmouth, he'd be on it.
Dexter Strickland, North Carolina, 6'3'', PG/SG
Dexter Strickland returned from a torn ACL, but his explosiveness got left behind. He's an excellent athlete who can defend the perimeter and handle the ball, but his explosiveness and quickness were what helped offset his nonexistent perimeter stroke. He'll need to show scouts he's back to where he was physically in order to earn a spot on the NBA radar.
Chase Tapley, San Diego State, 6'3'', SG
Tapley is one of the more complete scorers in the Portsmouth field, showing he can put up points off the dribble by attacking and pulling up or making shots off the ball. Tapley lacks the size and athleticism of your typical scoring guard for the NBA, and without point guard instincts, there likely won't be a position for him at the next level. He should put up big numbers in Portsmouth, but I doubt it will move the needle.
Players to Watch
James Ennis, Long Beach State, 6'7'', SF
Ennis is a big-time athlete who's best attacking the rim. He's an off-the-ball offensive player with the ability to knock down catch-and-shoot three-pointers, get out in transition or finish as a cutter. Ennis has the physical tools required to play at the next level. If scouts can overlook his limitations as a creator and focus on what he does well, Ennis might find a spot in the second round.
Khalif Wyatt, Temple, 6'4'', SG
Wyatt is one of the top scorers in the country with the ability to splash the nets from practically every spot on the floor. Unfortunately, he lacks athleticism and quickness at a position that generally requires it. His delivery reminds me a little of Paul Pierce. These guys execute in slow motion but know how to put the ball in the hole. He's got the offensive talent for the pros, but his physical tools could prevent his talent from translating. Still, I'd give him a look in the second round.
Rotnei Clarke, Butler, 6'0'', SG
Rotnei Clarke will look to establish an identity for himself as a three-point specialist, although chances are he's already done that after making 3.5 per game as a senior. Unfortunately, he's severely undersized for a 2-guard and lacks the athleticism it takes to play at the next level. Clarke has a shot at finding a job overseas, but not in the NBA.
Ed Daniel, Murray State, 6'7'', PF
Daniel is an explosive athlete who can get up high above the rim. He lacks a refined offensive skill set, but Daniel's ability to finish in traffic and rebound the basketball allowed him to average a double-double as a senior at Murray State. It's possible he wows scouts with his athleticism, but at just 6'7'' and no ability to play on the perimeter, his chances at the next level are slim.