Saturday night’s Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT) final may not be the signature event of the NBA’s pre-draft process. Still, it is a championship game that will showcase some top senior competitors who are vying for a chance to crack the NBA in some fashion.
It isn’t unheard of for PIT players to find work at the next level. However, most standout players from the tourney end up overseas or in the NBA’s D-League to start out.
While some of the PIT’s top NBA prospects have been eliminated, there are still several players worth watching in this championship game.
Wichita State shocked the NCAA by reaching the Final Four of the 2013 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. Carl Hall, who put up 15 points and 19 rebounds in his team’s 68-67 PIT semifinals victory, was a big part of the Shockers’ tournament success.
He is a bit undersized for his position at the next level, but makes up for what he lacks in size with hustle and anticipation. Scoring could be a problem for Hall in NBA, although he does have the strength to battle in the low-post.
A late second-round selection is the best-case scenario for the forward. Even if he’s not selected by a team he could easily find his way onto a squad’s summer league roster and showcase his skills there.
Kansas Jayhawks swingman Travis Releford is a scrapper on the court. He doesn’t stand out on the stat sheet or any one way, but he has the type of “it” factor teams are looking for.
Releford is 6'6" but has a large wingspan. That helps him play taller than he is, which could make him a versatile wing at the next level. His athleticism and ability to get to the basket are his biggest assets.
If he can perform well in Saturday night’s championship game he may help himself to catch on with a team in the latter part of the second round of the NBA draft.
Ramon Galloway led the La Salle Explorers to the Sweet 16 of the 2013 NCAA tournament. His 17.2 points per game last season were a career high, too, although his shooting percentage dripped from his junior year.
Galloway has an explosive first step and can finish at the rim. He’s also an adept shooter and has hit over 40 percent of his three-pointers during his last two seasons at La Salle.
The biggest concern we see in his game is his ability to involve teammates and hold onto the rock. His passing and anticipation are somewhat lacking and he turns the ball over too much as a result. He would need significant development and time if asked to run an offense at the NBA level.
If targeted in the NBA draft, a team might take a late second-round flier on him due to his ability to put up points in buckets.
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