The 2014 Portsmouth Invitational began Wednesday with two opening-round games, but before we delve into the results, it is worth explaining the event.
The Portsmouth Invitational is a four-day and 12-game tournament that has taken place for the past 60 years. Some of the nation’s best college seniors are invited to take part in the event every season in front of a group of NBA scouts and representatives looking for hidden gems before the draft.
Throughout the history of the tournament, players such as Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Dave Cowens, John Stockton, Rick Barry and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe have taken part in the event.
It remains to be seen whether there will be any great NBA players in this year’s Portsmouth Invitational.
*The entire schedule and updated bracket can be found on the tournament’s official website here.
Friday, April 18 Results: Sales Systems, Ltd. 92, Portsmouth Partnership 86
The third and final game on the slate Friday was a tale of two halves.
Sales System, Ltd. dominated the first half and took a 62-36 lead into intermission. It appeared like the game was well in hand, but Portsmouth Partnership battled back and won the second half 50-30. Ultimately, it was not enough, but fans were treated to a much more exciting game than it appeared they would be at the half.
Sales System, Ltd. got 23 points and six assists from Markel Starks of Georgetown, who shot 8-of-14 from the field and 3-of-4 shooting from behind the three-point line. Rian Pearson of Toledo helped out with 19 points and seven rebounds behind 9-of-14 shooting from the field.
Shayne Whittington of Western Michigan paced the scoring for Portsmouth Partnership with 24 points. He also added six rebounds. Akil Mitchell of Virginia posted a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Portsmouth Partnership deserves some credit for battling back, but the Starks and Pearson combination was too much in the end.
Friday, April 18 Results: Norfolk Sports Club 88, Roger Brown's Restaurant 67
In the second game of the day Friday, Northwestern’s Drew Crawford led the Norfolk Sports Club to a dominant 88-67 victory over Roger Brown’s Restaurant.
Crawford finished with 22 points, six rebounds and three blocks behind 7-of-11 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 shooting from behind the three-point line. He was the best player on the court, and Roger Brown’s Restaurant did not have an answer for him all game.
The squad also received 16 points and nine rebounds from Javon McCrea of Buffalo. He has been particularly impressive throughout the tournament thus far, and has been rather busy during the week, as Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv and NBA.com points out:
Norfolk Sports Club jumped out to a 48-35 lead by halftime and cruised to the victory in the second half.
Roger Brown’s Restaurant did receive a double-double from Shawn Jones of Middle Tennessee, who finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks and two steals, but it was far from enough. There was simply no answer for Crawford or McCrea.
Friday, April 18 Results: Cherry Bekaert 95, Mike Duman Auto Sales 75
It was a familiar name to college basketball fans who led Cherry Bekaert to an impressive 95-75 victory over Mike Duman Friday afternoon.
Duke’s Andre Dawkins poured in 21 points behind five three-pointers to lead everyone in scoring. Cherry Bekaert also got 17 points from Patrick Miller of Tennessee State and eight points and 14 rebounds from Okaro White of Florida State.
Dawkins wasted little time showing off his three-point shot, via the P.I.T. official Twitter account:
On the other sideline, Jamil Wilson of Marquette and Davion Berry of Weber State scored 20 points each for Mike Duman, and Isaiah Armwood of George Washington added 13 points and seven rebounds. Alas, it was not enough, although the first half was a back-and-forth affair.
The score at intermission was 49-46, but Cherry Bekaert exploded in the second half to the tune of 49-26. It was led by a strong team-wide defensive effort, which you don’t always see in all-star events like this one. White was an absolute beast on the defensive side of the ball and tallied five blocks and four steals (which helped counterbalance his 3-of-14 mark from the field).
Thursday, April 17 Results: Portsmouth Partnership 88, Cherry Bekaert 81
Portsmouth Partnership was able to take down Cherry Bekaert in the final game of the night thanks to major efforts from Virginia's Akil Mitchell and VMI's DJ Covington.
Mitchell was a walking stat machine thanks to his 12 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four steals, whole Covington attempted to one-up him by posting the game's only double-double via his 13 points and 10 rebounds.
A game-high 20 points from Duke's Andre Dawkins was simply not enough for Cherry Bekaert, as his team was down nine points at the half and never recovered. Langston Galloway of St. Joseph's was perhaps the most recognizable name on the court, but his 15 points were also unable to put a dent in the cohesive effort from Portsmouth Partnership, which now advances to the semifinals.
Thursday, April 17 Results: Mike Duman Auto Sales 77, Sales Systems, Ltd. 79
Marquette's Davante Gardner stole the show on Thursday night as he hoisted Sales Systems, Ltd. to a much-needed victory:
Georgetown’s Markel Starks also pitched in with 15 points and 16 assists. It was enough to hold off Marquette’s Jamil Wilson and his 18 points to go with Weber State’s Davion Berry and his 16.
Like the first consolation game that preceded it, Sales Systems, Ltd. jumped out to an early advantage. Up 42-33 at the half, Gardner and Co. had to go on the defensive while being outscored 44-37 in the second half. Much of the issue was a stunning 9-of-19 mark from the charity stripe.
Thursday, April 17 Results: K & D Round's Landscaping 91, Portsmouth Sports Club 92
In the first consolation game, Portsmouth Sports Club was able to hold off a major rally from K & D Round's Landscaping in the second half, as they were outscored 56-45 in the closing period.
No matter, as Roberto Nelson posted 19 points and Garrick Sherman was close behind with 18 on a sound 9-of-15 shooting line.
Four players reached double figures for K & D Round's Landscaping, with the high being 19 from Augustine Rubit, but it simply wasn't enough as Portsmouth won the battle on the glass 49-45.
Wednesday, April 16 Results: Norfolk Sports Club 71, K & D Round’s Landscaping 66
This season’s version kicked off with a contest between Norfolk Sports Club and K & D Round’s Landscaping. Norfolk Sports Club won the contest, 71-66, behind a strong effort from Javon McCrea of Buffalo and significant 49-36 advantage on the boards.
Norfolk seized control of the game early and took a 36-25 lead into intermission. It was particularly impressive on the defensive side, where it held K & D to 7-of-35 shooting from the field and 0-of-5 shooting from behind the three-point line.
Norfolk also forced the action on the offensive end and got to the line 15 times in the first half.
The second half was much more competitive with K & D Round’s Landscaping ultimately winning the second half, 41-35. Travis Bader of Oakland was particularly impressive in a losing effort. He finished with 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting and was the only player on his team to reach double-digit scoring.
Bader’s efforts were ultimately not enough.
McCrea finished with 21 points, five rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals. Tim Frazier of Penn State led the team in assists with six and rebounds with nine, and Kadeem Batts of Providence added 10 points and eight rebounds.
It will be interesting to see if McCrea can carry the momentum from his performance forward in this tournament. James Blackburn of Basketball Elite was particularly impressed:
If McCrea turns enough heads before the draft, he could hear his name called in the second round. One person who surely thinks McCrea has what it takes to reach the next level is his college coach, Bobby Hurley, especially if his previous comments via Elton Alexander of The Plain Dealer are any indication:
He's been a monster down the stretch. He's had 25 (points) and 20 (rebounds) at Central Michigan, 20 and 13 and eight assists against Akron. Those are the type of numbers he's put up. He's got the urgency of wanting to win, and wanting to play in the NCAA Tournament.
He understands what his legacy is at the school, what he has accomplished, individually. He wants to cement that with a great winning season.
McCrea tapped into that monster in his first Portsmouth game. If he continues to do so, NBA teams may come calling.
Wednesday, April 16 Results: Roger Brown’s Restaurant 77, Portsmouth Sports Club 74
Clearly, having the word Portsmouth in your team name doesn’t necessarily portend positive results in the Portsmouth Invitational.
That didn’t appear to be the case in the first half, though, as Portsmouth Sports Club jumped out to a commanding 44-36 lead at intermission. Garrick Sherman led the way for Portsmouth with a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Jerrelle Benimon of Towson tallied 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Yet, it was Roger Brown’s Restaurant that controlled the second half and ultimately won the game, 77-74.
Shawn Jones of Middle Tennessee registered a double-double when he scored 11 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and swatted four shots. He was a physical force on both sides of the ball and was ultimately too much for Portsmouth to handle.
While Jones turned in an impressive game, it was Fuquan Edwin of Seton Hall who led the way with 22 points behind of 9-of-16 shooting from the field. Perhaps the best part of Edwin’s game, though, especially in the eyes of his coaches, was the fact that he saw room for improvement afterward:
Check back later for more results as the tournament continues.
Check back later for more results.