By Alex West

The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament is over, but some of the 64 seniors who came out to play made a big impression on NBA and international scouts over the four days.

Most NBA people I talked to said that this was the most talented field they had ever seen in Portsmouth, which is quite a feat considering six players from last year’s tournament were selected in the 2017 NBA Draft. Naturally, the success of last year’s field was an encouraging sign for many players who were hoping to snag an invite to the Combine next month. So it stands to reason, if this the best field, more of these players would play in the NBA than in any previous tournament.

But who will make NBA rosters next season? Here are seven players who have the skills and the resumes to do just that:

Jaylen Barford, Guard, Arkansas

Jaylen Barford was a revelation for me. I had seen the Arkansas Razorback senior play a few times during the season and his physicality had always stuck with me, but seeing him in person took that to another level. Barford is built like a halfback and uses his athleticism and strength to get to the rim, even through contact. He is a great shooter who can knock down NBA-range threes, even off the dribble. Most teams are no doubt aware of what the 6’3 202-pound point guard will bring to the table, but after averaging 19.3 points per game and bringing home the tournament MVP, he is likely getting a second evaluation from many teams who need a strong, high-energy scoring guard to bolster their bench.

Kendrick Nunn, Guard, Oakland

Kendrick Nunn had one goal in mind for the PIT, show scouts he was a scorer who lived up to his reputation. And after averaging a tournament-high 20.7 points per game, he seems to have done just that. Nunn’s performance had everyone in Portsmouth buzzing and a few scouts I talked to even said Nunn might be worthy of a mid- to late-second round selection, and would 100% be on a Summer League roster this July. One of the big weaknesses in his game was his defensive effort (which could be downright lackadaisical at times during his senior season in Oakland), but he was locked in and showed some nice perimeter defense, even creating a few steals. He will likely receive a Combine invite, which will only strengthen his stock heading into the draft.

Kenrich Williams, Wing, TCU

Prior to coming to Portsmouth, Kenrich Williams was already making appearances as a second-round selection on a lot of mock draft boards. After a bit of a slow start in his first game, he played well averaging seven points and eight rebounds, although he was probably a lock to attend the combine no matter what his showing was at the PIT. He is a tweener who can guard two to four (he registered two steals per game during the tournament) and will be a potent rebounder and three-point shooter, as well as a threat in transition.With a strong combine showing, it is entirely possible that he can play his way into the early second round.   

Jeffrey Carroll, Wing, Oklahoma St.

Jeffrey Carroll knows how to play basketball; he has a high IQ and always puts himself in good position on both sides of the ball. This knack for being in the right place at the right time was really on display this week as Carroll proved himself to be a potent transition scorer, filling the lanes and knocking down threes for his team. He is a solid team defender with an NBA ready body who has shown he can play well as a part of a system and is a reliable shooter who moves well without the basketball. Seniors like Damyean Dotson and Josh Hart earned their playing time for similar reasons and there is no major hurdle for Carrol to clear to find himself in the same successful situation.   

Gary Clark, Forward, Cincinnati

Gary Clark is in a similar boat to Kenrich Williams in that he has already shown up in a number of mock drafts. While his PIT showing wasn’t spectacular, the former Cincinnati Bearcat forward and AAC Player of the Year has a substantial resume as a quality player, leading the NCAA in Box Plus/Minus and Win Shares per 40 minutes. He is a proven shot blocker, although his length may prove to be a weakness in the NBA and a hard-nosed rebounder who can serve as a rim protector and small ball defensive workhorse.

Justin Tillman, Forward, VCU

Justin Tillman is a throwback center who LOVES to show his toughness around the basket, both as a scorer and rebounder, averaging 18.3 points and 13 rebounds per game at the PIT. He showed a nice touch with both hands (particularly a very nice righty baby hook, which was his go-to move) as well as an advanced understanding of using his frame to create space. He isn’t an overwhelming athlete and at only 6’7 he might struggle to function as a fulltime five, making it hard to nail down where he will fit best. But his high motor and general grittiness will be hard to overlook for teams who are looking for a forward who can play in the low post.

Kyle Washington, Forward, Cincinnati

Like his Cincinnati teammate Gary Clark, Kyle Washington is a quality defender who is a threat to block shots all over the court. While he picked up a few early fouls in games this past week, he was still was effective in getting a hand on several attempts as well as altering several more. He also showed an impressive offensive game, averaging 16.7 points per game and knocking down three triples to go along with his 10.7 rebound per game, making him an enticing combo forward who can protect the rim in small lineups. But Washington is EXTREMELY left-hand-dominant and will need to develop even a rudimentary ability to score with his right or opponents will force him away from his dominant hand.


By Alex West

The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament is just around the corner. Over the past few seasons, players such as Robert Covington, Pat Connaughton, Royce O’Neal, Josh Huestis, Bryn Forbes (which is to say, players who will be contributing significant minutes during the playoffs) have all cut their teeth in Southeast Virginia.

The tournament, with invitations extended to seniors only, gives scouts an opportunity to have a final look at some prospects before the draft process begins in earnest with the NBA Combine next month. A few players from this year’s list have already crept onto Mock Drafts the web over, and are looking to cement a higher selection; others hope to show they have the skill to make it onto a Big Board. Here’s who to watch for, when the tournament kicks off next Wednesday:

Keenan Evans, G, Texas Tech

The Red Raiders made a deep postseason run this year and Evans was a huge reason why, averaging 18.5 points on 43.5 percent shooting (38.5 percent from three-point range). He is a shot-maker who isn’t afraid of the big stage, perfect for a team looking for a spark plug for their second unit. He is extremely adept at drawing fouls, getting to the line 241 times this season (6.7 attempts per game, 18th in the NCAA) and is a maestro scoring out of the pick-and-roll (1.134 points per possession, 97th percentile).

Despite running the offense for most of his junior and senior seasons, he only averages 3.2 assists per game, prefering to get the job done himself in most situations. He will need to show his ability to control the flow of the game and set the table for others to truly catch on in the NBA. He also had an injury toe that plagued him for much of Big 12 conference play. The full extent of the injury is unknown, but sources close to the situation revealed after the tournament loss the toe was broken ( The accident injury help from an expert from Mike G Law was needed. While the situation might be well in hand, lower body injury concerns are always red flags for NBA teams. And they try to hire best Ithaca Lawyers, to make all necessary procedures to protect themselves form some bad career effects.

Jaylen Adams, G, St. Bonaventure

St. Bonaventure’s Jaylen Adams might not be a household name for casual college basketball watchers, but the Atlantic 10 co-Player of the Year made fans sit up and take notice with his scoring barrage during conference play this season. The point guard poured in 21.2 points per game and posted an impressive 123.9 offensive rating while shooting an impressive 43.6 percent from three on 6.1 attempts per game. He is an elite tier spot-up shooter (1.333ppp 98th percentile) and is proficient pushing the ball in transition (ranking in the 91st percentile in points plus assists at 1.553), both skills that can make him a valuable contributor at the next level.

But Adams has a high hurdle to overcome, or perhaps I should say a height hurdle. Standing only 6’1” and lacking elite athleticism will make NBA life tough for the Bonnies’ star. He will need to showcase his ability to defend larger players as well as run a pick-roll-offense with lengthy defenders in his face to find a coveted backup point guard role.

Gary Clark, F, Cincinnati

The 2018 AAC Player of the Year, Gary Clark has an NBA-ready skill set. He can shoot threes, play defense, protect the rim, and run the floor making him an ideal small ball four (or super small ball five). This season, he averaged 12.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assist to go with 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks and lead the Bearcats to a two-seed before their unceremonious Round of 32 exit against a frisky Nevada squad. Clark is incredibly effective in transition (1.388 ppp, 93rd percentile) and can give his team a boost in second-chance buckets (1.34 ppp, 85th percentile), two underrated areas for bench players to contribute. He is also an advanced stats darling, leading the nation in defensive rating (81.6), defensive win shares (3.5), and box plus/minus (15.5).

The real issue for Clark is his lack of a defined position. He has the body of an NBA three and the skill set of a four or five, making it difficult for the 6’7” forward to make a strong case for a high draft position. However, with the success of players like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (another 6’7” hustler for the Brooklyn Nets) playing both forward positions, he may find a successful niche because of his high-energy play style and defensive versatility.

Zach Smith, F, Texas Tech

Another Red Raider making the list, Zach Smith might be best known for his insane, SportsCenter-leading dunks:

And with good reason. The 6’8” power forward can jump out of the gym and is a legitimate threat to put opposing players on a poster both in transition and in the halfcourt. A broken foot cost Smith much of his senior season, but he was an effective defender, allowing only 98 points on 125 possessions (0.784 ppp, 76th percentile) this year. If he can continue to defend this well, especially in isolations against other forwards, and can continue to run the floor as a threat in transition, he will find a place as a rim-runner.

The obvious concern with Smith stems from the foot injury which sidelined him for a good portion of January and February. He is an incredible leaper and foot concerns have robbed highlight real dunkers of their lift since time immemorial. He looked fine for Texas Tech to finish out the season and a strong showing at the PIT might give NBA teams a lot of hope for the future.

Kenrich Williams, F, TCU

In his senior season at Texas Christian, something unlocked for Kenrich Williams: his passing vision. He was always a decent passer for a wing, but this season he has made that a central part of his resume, tallying an impressive 3.9 per game. He spent a lot of time initiating the offense at the top of the key and created looks the way a point guard would, by dragging defenders toward him using the dribble. He has a very high IQ, finding cutters and shooters all over the floor, and can even run a pick-and-roll as the ball handler. On top of his ability to initiate, he is also a tenacious rebounder at a 15.7 percent rate, better than probably top five selection, Jaren Jackson Jr.

While he can do a great many of things on the basketball court, Williams is not a great scorer in his own right. He will have to rely on his spot up shooting ability (39.5 percent from three on 3.6 attempts) and his offensive rebounding (2.8 per game) to get points. He is also one of the older prospects in this draft, turning 24 early in his rookie season. Teams might shy away from his unique skill set in favor of a younger, more malleable prospect.

Portsmouth Invitational Tournament 2012 Day 2
Photo: WAVY

By James Blackburn

Game 1: Norfolk Sports Club vs. K & D Landscaping

Norfolk Sports Club wins 80-67
Box Score

Scouting Reports

Agustus Gilchrist (South Florida, 6’10”, F)

Did a good job defending the post-stayed straight up and didn’t allow any room for offense to operate-stood his ground- strong. Looked uncomfortable on the perimeter on both ends- off balance defensively on perimeter. He was able to get to the FT line again today for the most part looked comfortable and was able to convert despite a hitch and a pause in his release- other wise he kept the elbow in and had good arc and rotation on ball. Had several tip dunks and athletically is one of the top guys represented here. Good rebounder.

Mitchell Watt (Buffalo, 6’10”, F)

Has an NBA ready build- with a frame that will allow him to add about 15-20 lbs. of muscle. Able to use either hand in post. Nimble and fluid movement. Has a quick first step off the reverse pivot. Showed the ability to hit the open set 3 today. Smart shot blocker- great timing and knows what spots to get to. Influences shots he doesn’t block. Efficient in the post. Somehow he fouled out in a game where they were really letting guys play. His play here this week warrants at least a summer league invite and possibly a roster spot in training camp.

Cameron Moore (UAB, 6’10”, F)

Solid shooting form from the midrange and in. Quite in the first half offensively. Soft touch. Long. Uses length to block shots. Stronger then he looks.

Rakim Sanders (Fairfield, 6’5”, F)

Strong upper bodied player who competes on both ends. Attacks the rim with force and can finish through and with contact- secures rebounds- solid on the glass. Tenacious defender- plays bigger then 6’5”- showed the ability to move his feet laterally and guard quicker players his size on perimeter and bang with taller players down on the block. At this point he is more of an undersized PF- which being only 6’5” hurts his chances to play at the next level. To his credit though he displayed the ability to guard a SF, which would be his position at the next level. Plays extremely hard and hustles. Very athletic- plays above the rim. Didn’t see him take any perimeter shots- mainly a slasher from the perimeter. Needs to improve his handles. Utilizes pump fakes. Although his NBA chances are slim, his solid play today more then likely earned him a few individual workouts and a hefty overseas contract.

Game 2: Sales Systems, Ltd. Vs. Roger Brown’s Restaurant

Roger Browns Restaurant wins 74-71
Box Score

Scouting Reports

Herb Pope (Seton Hall, 6’8”, F)

Wide bodied player who crashes the offensive boards. Does a lot of things well- rebounds, unselfish, attacks the rim, defends and blocks shots, and has a decent handle for size. Lets the game come to him- doesn’t force the issue and shots. Sold footwork in on the block- reliable scorer in one on one situations. Rolled his ankle midway through the second half and did not return. One of the top ranked players in the nation several years ago- was able to play his way this season onto the All-Conference Big East team . Will have more chances to improve NBA chances in the future as he will have his schedule booked full of individual workouts. Will most likely find his way on a roster as an undrafted FA.

Chris Johnson (Dayton, 6’6”, F)

Long lefty who can hit the 3 and the midrange- very good rotation and gets high elevation- needs to improve consistency- due to his elevation on jumper and his shot has a tendency to be a little flat. Defends and understands help D- active. Solid athlete. Good rebounder for a guard- boxes out on shots.

Jet Chang (BYU-Hawaii, 6’4”, G)

Knock down shooter with NBA 3-point range- good elevation and great release- pure shooter. Showed the ability to hit the one dribble pull up as well- textbook form and footwork .Underrated defender who held his own on the defensive end. Did show the ability to create his own shot near the end of the game- smooth stroke- you expect his shot to go in every time. Will have a nice career overseas after being a DII All-American his senior year.

Kyle Fogg (Arizona, 6’3”, G)

Heady PG who can score and make plays for others. Controls the tempo. Uses ball screens effectively and can get to the rim. Very good on ball defender. Terrific passer who is at his best in P/R situations which helps his case for the NBA. Showed the ability to turn the corner on multiple occasions this game and get to the painted area. Keeps his dribble until he knows what he wants. Above average ball handler even for a PG- can use either hand and go either way equally- good change of speed dribble. Needs to improve range and shooting ability as well as his FT shooting. Struggled to finish once he reached the paint. D-League should be an option, as well as a few 10-days as a possibility in the future. One of the best PG’s seen this week- does a lot that will translate to the next level. Was an All-Pac 12 selection this past year.

Wesley Witherspoon (Memphis, 6’9”, F)

Smooth, agile, and versatile. Very long and athletic- highlight waiting to happen. Had several nice blocks including denying a dunk attempt in transition. Solid scorer who can score both on the perimeter and inside. Has upside- I could see a team possibly giving him an opportunity with a training camp or summer league spot especially with another solid showing. Nimble enough to possibly play the SF position at the next level, but most likely will be a 4. Quick enough to defend smaller guards on the perimeter. Solid game tonight. Needs to get stronger, especially in the upper body- limits his ability to finish. D-League will probably be his best option.

Eric Griffin (Campbell, 6’8”, F)

Surprise player so far of the week. Good shooter with a high release- able to stretch the floor because of shooting ability. Plays hard and defends- blocks shots and has active hands. Earned the respect of all the opponents by the end of the game. Runs the floor. Draws contact at a high rate and coverts at the line. Played very well this game. If he wasn’t on NBA scouts radar before, he is after this game. Will be a pro somewhere next year and fits the mold of the modern day PF to a “T”. Was a member of the Big South All-Conference team this year after averaging 15.7 ppg and 8.7 rpg.

Game 3: Mike Duman Auto Sales vs. Portsmouth Partnership

Portsmouth Partnership wins 85-79
Box Score

Scouting Reports

Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh, 6’2”, G)

Excellent ball handler- has the ability to break man down off the dribble and score. Very quick release- nice midrange stroke. Showed good shot making ability in the half court set and in transition. Size is going to be an issue at the next level, whether that is the NBA, D-League, or overseas. Most likely will receive multiple individual workout invites with NBA teams, but will probably begin next season in a D-League uniform.

Yancy Gates (Cincinnati, 6’9”, F)

Very good size- could stand to lose about 10 lbs to get to prime playing weight. Did a good job of shading on screens and then hustling back to his man. Soft hands. Hustled back on defense. Nice looking FT stroke. For the most part, he is an under the rim type player. Post game consists mostly of him banging and throwing his weight around- draws fouls and is a load on the low block. In my opinion would be a solid late 2nd round pick.

JaMychal Green (Alabama, 6’8”, F)

NBA ready size wise and athletically- one of the top prospects here. Versatile defender- plays hard and competes, diving on the floor for loose balls. Fluid movement. Very good rebounder on both ends- boxes out and cleans the glass at high rate- always in good position. Runs the floor and fills the lanes on the break where he finished nearly every time- strong upper body- finishes through defenders. Has the ability to step out and knock down the 15-18’ jump shot. Does an excellent job of clearing out and establishing deep post position. Was named SEC All-Conference after averaging 14 and 7 per game last season. I doubt he will get drafted unless he wows in individuals, but has a good chance of landing on an NBA roster as a FA- definitely has the skills set to play in the League.

Nick Barbour (High Point, 6’3”, G)

Capable of putting up points in a hurry- prolific scorer- averaged over 20 ppg this past season in the Big South. Quick. Played solid defense today- practically shutting down Kyle Kuric from Louisville, turning him over and forcing him to take bad shots. Good pull up shooter with a quick release. Lefty. Will never be accused of being gun shy- will put up shots in a hurry. Is listed at 6’3”, but looks to me to be on the shorter side. Played both on the ball and off the ball today. Practically automatic from 3- hit almost half of his attempts in this past college season. In order to have a shot at the NBA, scouts want to see his ability to run the PG position- has proven that he can play off the ball, but is too small to play the 2 at the next level. Somewhat TO prone when being the primary ball handler and he must improve his play making ability- has scoring on his mind every time he puts the ball on the floor and/ or turns the corner off ball screens.

Henry Sims Agustus Gilchrist
Photo Source:The Daily Press

By James Blackburn

Game 1: Portsmouth Sports Club vs. Norfolk Sports Club
Portsmouth Sports Club wins 88-76
Box Score

Scouting Reports

Henry Sims (Georgetown, 6’10”, C)

Looked comfortable and calm on the FT line-soft touch. Has the ability to step out and hit the 18’ midrange shot. Good size and good timing when blocking shots. Struggled this game early on but showed good footwork and post moves including a running hook and a good slide dribble, but struggled to score because of lack of quickness and athleticism-factors that will hurt his draft stock. Played better in the second half. Will be safe fire first round pick-a player of his size and skills will find a place to contribute.

Erving Walker (Florida, 5’8”, G)

Very good on ball defender. Does a good job of feeding the ball to the post. Lightning quick with and with out the ball. Keeps his dribble alive and uses picks-solid passer who always has his eyes up. TO prone. Showed the ability to get to the painted area where he can finish with a floater. Walker is an interesting case as far as his NBA stock goes. His PG skills are still a work in progress and not yet NBA-ready in my opinion. His size is an issue. He is a good 3 point shooter and very quick in the open court. He finished up a terrific 4-year career at Florida by being named to the SEC All-Conference team. I wouldn’t be surprised if a team took a chance on him late in the second round because of the value the NBA places on guards that can get to the rim. If he doesn’t get drafted, I see him as a good fit with a D-League team.

Braydon Hobbs (Bellarmine, 6’5”, G)

Division II player of the year. Pretty good lateral quickness and on ball defender. Contests shots. Communicates on the floor and is unselfish. Will be a solid overseas player, but does not have the physical tools or skills necessary to play the NBA level.

Agustus Gilchrist (South Florida, 6’10”, F)

Very athletic-active on the offensive boards. Did a good job of contesting perimeter shots. Finishes with dunks-capable of finishing with contact. Very solid and strong upper body. Body and athleticism are NBA ready but he is still a bit raw offensively. Has a hitch in his shot where he hesitates on the way up but is surprisingly accurate at least from the FT line. May earn a few individual workouts with teams with a solid showing, but that is where his NBA timeline will most likely end.

Kyle O’Quinn (Norfolk State, 6’10”, F)

Surprisingly the most impressive player on the floor early on. Great rebounder on both ends-secures board and chins it. Solid frame that is NBA ready. Good shot blocker both in the paint and on the perimeter. Impressive and underrated passer-hits cutters and throws good outlets to start the break. Uses strength to push players off black and keeps players from establishing deep position on him. Struggles to defend quicker players past 15’- does contests and block shots but stays too tall and doesn’t get low and move feet laterally. Showed the ability to put the ball on the floor for a couple of dribbles and kick to open man. Efficient around rim with either hand including a high hook shot that is very reliable- showed an array of post moves throughout games- always kept defenders guessing. Strong finisher-a big athlete who plays extremely hard and runs the floor. Plays hard in stretches but then because of lack of great conditioning will get beat down floor a couple of possessions in a row to rest- shouldn’t be a big deal at next level, as he will most likely come off bench to provide brief sparks. Has the ability to play the PF position at the next level. Showed the ability to reverse pivot and hit the 12’ jumper with a hand in face. Good FT shooter- soft hands- caught a rocket pass from Erving Walker on the break, gathered himself and finished with a 2 hand strong dunk. Playing with a lot of confidence in this game- he really impressed me in all facets this game. In my opinion, he is definitely worthy of a training camp invite and possibly a roster spot at the next level.

Mitchell Watt (Buffalo, 6’10”, F)

All over the floor today. Excellent shot blocker and rebounder. Has the ability to score in a variety of ways. Can finish above the rim with authority. Was the MAC Player of the Year this year after an impressive senior year.

Game 2: Cherry Bekaert & Holland vs. K & D Rounds Landscaping

Cherry Bekaert & Holland wins 85-73
Box Score

Scouting Reports

Greg Mangano (Yale, 6’10”, F)

Good Pick and Pop player- a 6’10” guy who can hit the 3 is attractive to NBA teams. Good rotation and arc on perimeter shot- can hit the 3 with consistency- quick release for big man. More of a perimeter guy then a banger inside- shied away from contact on both ends. Needs to do a better job securing rebounds- allowed guards to take ball away from him several times. Would like to see him be more of a rebounding threat and scorer inside. Good outside shooter- but settles for it instead of going inside- did not see any post moves from him today. Will like to see a more consistent game from start to finish next game.
Did a Sleeper Report on him earlier in the year when Yale played Wake Forest.

Darryl Bryant (West Virginia, 6’2”, G)

Out of control and loses balance easily. Showed the ability to split the defenders in P/R situations and get to rim and finish over defenders. Tough player. Needs to improve his shooting ability.

Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin, 6’1”, G)

Poised. Plays the game under control. Struggled offensively early on to get it going. Zack Rosen from Penn did a terrific job defending him- Jordan struggled to get to the rim and when he did he had a hard time finishing. Lack of speed and size was evident- will limit his pro chances. Good footwork coming off screens for shots. Looked tired from ball pressure late in first half. Really forced some shots when he felt it was his time to shoot. Came out in the second half looking more comfortable offensively knocking down a pull up jumper and a floater in traffic. This up-tempo game does not suite him, as he likes a slow-down game- he looked tired and winded. Will gets some individual workouts, but he is most likely headed overseas to play. More of an undersized 2 then a playmaking PG. His inability to get to the paint and break man down off dribble will hurt his NBA chances.

Cameron Moore (UAB, 6’10”, F)

Agile and fluid. His length really makes him a solid versatile defender. He collected several steals and was active throughout. A bit tentative offensively. Runs the floor- long stride. Needs to improve ball handling, especially his left hand. Needs to add about 15-20 lbs of muscle to bang with PF at the NBA level- has a frame that should allow this to happen. Can finish above the rim- highlight dunker. Low release but solid form on jump shot. Good body control in air. Disappears for stretches.
Did a Sleeper Report on him earlier in the year when UAB played Southern Miss.

Zack Rosen (Penn, 6’1”, G)

Excellent on ball defender- quick hands and does a great job pressuring the ball from end line to end line. Had a couple of on-ball blocks as well- good considering size. In the opponents shirt defensively- best on ball defense seen today. Lefty who sees the floor and will hit the open guy. Floor general and vocal leader- was not afraid to tell teammates where to be- extension of coach on the floor- gathered guys together at FT line during dead ball situations. Didn’t look for own offense much- was mainly concerned with getting team in sets and starting the offense. Did show a nice head fake and ability to shoot over taller defenders. Accurate and reliable set shooter. Not as explosive going to his right- when he went right went back to his left for scoring move. Has a future as a coach after an overseas career. Reminds me a bit of Jaycee Carroll who played for Utah State and for the Boston Celtics Summer League team a couple of years ago.

Portsmouth Invitational Tournament Scouting Reports