The Portsmouth Invitational might be one of the last chances for some seniors to make enough of an impression to get that second look for the NBA Draft in a few months. Delaware's Jamelle Hagins sure made the most of opening night.
The Blue Hens senior had 29 points on 12 of 19 shooting and pulled down 11 rebounds as the Portsmouth Partnership beat the Mike Dugan Auto Sales team 90-89. Davidson's Jake Cohen added 16 points and two blocks in the win.
The Partnership needed every bit of their contributions to overcome Robert Covington's night. The Tennessee State star had 21 points and eight rebounds, but was not impressive with his shooting numbers. Southern Mississippi's Dwayne Davis added 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting.
You can be wary of these numbers though. Cohen's night was backed up with four fouls, which was his downfall during the season. Although he walked away with the Southern Conference Player of the Year award, he had trouble staying on the floor for the Wildcats. During the season, he averaged 5.1 fouls per 40 minutes. It doesn't take a math genius to know that meant he was spending a lot of time on the bench with crooked numbers in that column.
Hagins though? That was a special night.
In the other matchup, the mid-major players again had trouble overcoming the issues that have plagued them all season. D.J. Cooper went just 1-for-6 from the floor, and had only four assists to his three turnovers, as the starting point guard for the Norfolk Sports Club. Hawaii's Vander Joaquim had just eight points as the starting center, but did grab seven rebounds in his 26 minutes.
In general, the Sports Club just couldn't shoot, hitting just 32.4 percent from the floor, and an unspeakable 20.9 percent from 3-point range.
That was not the case on the other side of the floor. K&D Roundscaping got 15 points from Cal State Fullerton's DJ Seeley in 22 minutes off the bench, and Belmont's Ian Clark added 10 points and made four assists as the backup guard.
The mid-major pair in the starting lineup (and the two on the bench) out shined their major conference teammates in the 91-67 blowout.
Broekhoff still had trouble rebounding, but showed how he can stretch the floor with his range from deep, and Clark showed his shooting streakiness in this one (but a shooter has to shoot).
But overall, you have to like what the mid-major players were able to put forth on day one, most especially Hagins
who will get a tough matchup against Oregon's Tony Woods and Wichita State's Carl Hall on Thursday night. (Ed Note: Oops, the teams with similar names got me messed up... See you in the semifinals.)