Some of the country’s best seniors were in Virginia this week to take part in the annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. Out of the many mid-major players participating, several made big impressions on the dozens of NBA and international scouts in attendance. Here are five who impressed over the four-day event.
Jacob Wiley, Eastern Washington
The Big Sky Player of the Year possessed one trait that scouts in Portsmouth seemed to love: energy. Wiley was the engine that powered his team to a pair of victories, and he put up a dominant 29-point, 11-rebound performance on Friday. He displayed some bouncy athleticism on the boards and hustled up and down the court in transition. Facing off against some high-major big men, the 6’7 Wiley more than held his own and was a topic of conversation all week.
Emmanuel Omogbo, Colorado State
At CSU, Omogbo played second fiddle to star guard Gian Clavell. In Portsmouth, the First Team All-Mountain West forward had the opportunity to anchor a team and he was dominant. In three games, Omogbo averaged a double-double of 13 points and a tournament-leading 11 rebounds per contest. He was an efficient scorer as well, going a combined 17-25 from the floor over the course of the event.
Justin Robinson, Monmouth
NBA scouts had been quick to write off Robinson due to his size, but the 5’8 guard’s performance in Portsmouth definitely turned heads. In his first game, Robinson dished out 10 assists to go with 13 points as his team topped the century mark. Then he showcased his scoring touch by posting an efficient 20 points on 12 shots the next day. In the notoriously fast-paced tournament, Robinson had the perfect opportunity to flaunt his quickness and flashy play-making. He also displayed some great effort on defense in all three games. His overall play should warrant an NBA draft combine invite and additional team tryouts.
JaCorey Williams, Middle Tennessee State
The last time we saw Williams, he was leading the Blue Raiders in scoring and rebounding during a second-round defeat to Butler in the NCAA Tournament. The same tenacity he showed in becoming the Conference USA Player of the Year carried over to Portmouth, where he strung together three impressive performances. After putting up 18 points in each of the first two games, Williams scored 25 in the championship game to capture this year’s scoring title. All week, his finished at the rim, ran the floor well and consistently cleaned the glass.
Tyler Cavanaugh, George Washington
Cavanaugh didn’t have a jaw-dropping performance on the first day of play, but his well-rounded game led his team to the PIT Championship. He also got better with each contest and showed a full arsenal of skills -- mid-range shooting, post play, passing and rebounding — that impressed scouts. Cavanaugh’s 20-plus points in the semifinals and championship game were highly efficient, coming off screens and finding open spaces, and he rarely made an incorrect read or decision. His play in Virginia comes on the heels of an equally impressive outing at the College All-Star Game, assuring Cavanaugh of some extra attention as the draft process continues.