Every year, right after the Final Four, an interesting event takes place in Portsmouth, Virginia that is a dream for any college basketball fan. The Portsmouth Invitational started in 1953 and tip off once again this Wednesday.
The event features college seniors who are looking to advance their careers and are likely outside of the lottery or first round of the NBA Draft. This year's rosters have some interesting names, which should be familiar for mid-major fans across the country.
Brandon Davies, 6'9, F, BYU: Davies is most famous for his suspension before the NCAA tournament a couple of years ago, but after being reinstated at BYU his game has progressively improved. Davies averaged nearly 18 points per game this past year for the Cougars, all while grabbing 8 rebounds per game. Right now he's off most draft boards and will likely be a undrafted free agent. That can all change with a solid week in Hampton Roads though.
Ryan Broekhoff, 6'7, F, Valparaiso: The Aussie once again impressed in 2013 with another First Team All-Horizon performance in leading the Crusaders to the NCAA tournament. Broekhoff averaged 16 points per game and snared over 7 boards per. He's another prospect on the outside looking in, but his size and long range shooting ability (42% from 3) will make him a player who can find a valuable role at the next level.
Ian Clark, 6'3, G, Belmont: Not only did Clark average over 18 points per game for the Bruins, but he was also the Ohio Valley Conference's Defensive Player of the Year. Clark's defensive prowess and scoring ability will need to be on display this weekend to help him slip into June's draft.
Lamont Jones, 6'0, G, Iona: We know Momo Jones, the former Arizona guard, can score. He was third in the country this year averaging nearly 23 points per game. The question for Jones is can he continue that production at the next level? The undersized guard will not only need to show that he can score, but he can also take care of the basketball. This will be a big week for the former Gael.
D.J. Cooper, 6'0, G, Ohio: Cooper was the MAC Player of the Year averaging over 14 points and 7 assists per game. He's yet another undersized guard who is going to have to show he can do it all at the next level to get a shot at a Summer League team.
Colt Ryan, 6'5, F, Evansville: Ryan got a great benefit from postseason play by being able to break Evansville's scoring record with a deep CIT run for the Purple Aces. We know Ryan can score, as he's averaged over 20 points per game each of the last two years, but can the undersized forward do anything else to help a NBA team or can Ryan find his niche from behind the arch in the league?
Carl Hall, 6'8, F, Wichita State: A lot more people know about Carl Hall now then they did about a month ago. The tournament and a good performance in Portsmouth could make Hall this year's Kyle O'Quinn, who was the Portsmouth MVP last year and ended up getting drafted by the Orlando Magic. Hall averaged nearly 13 points, 7 rebounds, and a block per game this year, and he can continue to develop as a big man and get a shot at the next level.
Kyle Barone, 6'10, C, Idaho: WAC Player of the Year
Keith Clanton, 6'9, F, UCF
DJ Seeley, 6'4, F, Cal State-Fullerton
Robert Covington, 6'9, F Tennessee State
Dwayne Davis, 6'5, F, Southern Miss
Vander Joaquim, 6'10, C, Hawaii
Maurice Kemp, 6'8, F, East Carolina
Jake Cohen, 6'10, C, Davidson: Southern Conference Player of the Year
Jamelle Hagins, 6'8, F, Delaware
Chris Evans, 6'8, F, Kent State
Stan Okoye, 6'6, F, VMI: Big South Player of the Year
Tyler Brown, 6'4, G, Illinois State
Damen Bell-Holter, 6'9, F, Oral Roberts
Jamal Olasewere, 6'7, F, Long Island
Kevin Foster, 6'2, G, Santa Clara
O.D. Anosike, 6'8, F, Siena
Ed Daniel, 6'7, F, Murray State
James Ennis, 6'7, F, Long Beach State: Big West Player of the year.
For the complete schedule and rosters of all the Portsmouth Invitational teams you can click HERE.