Assessing Jaylen Barford, Gary Clark, and Jo Lual-Acuil on Day 3 of the 2018 PIT

April 13, 2018

by Alan Lu

Today, I took the opportunity to watch Sales Systems, Limited play against Mike Duman Auto Sales in a game that was played on Day 3 of the 2018 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.  Arkansas’ 6-3 senior guard, Jaylen Barford dominated the match, as he scored 23 points and also made the game-winner to help lift Sales Systems to get the victory.  For those that are interested in the box score of this game, you can click here.

Arkansas’ 6-3 senior combo guard, Jaylen Barford played really well, as he did a great job of shooting and scoring the basketball to help get Sales Systems the win to catapult his team into the championship game.  Barford is a solid athlete that has a very good first step to the hoop, as he excelled as scoring on speedy drives in the half-court as well as in transition.  He possesses good speed, strength, and body control to regularly get scores off the dribble, and he also ran the floor to throw down a magnetic dunk on the break.  Plus, he also managed to score on a tough runner on a separate play.

He also showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays, as Barford managed to score off of a cut, as well as on a put back off of an offensive board.  He also did a good job of making three-point shots from beyond the arc.  He can make quick threes off the catch, and he also made one from the corner.  However, he struggled more to knock down pull-up jumpers.

Barford handled the ball very well, and sometimes he would kick the ball out to shooters off the dribble to set up scoring chances for them.  Also, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball, as he would actively crash the glass to help his team get boards on both sides of the ball.  He also played adequate defense.  Barford managed to sneak in from behind to steal the ball away from an opposing ball handler.  But on another play, he was called for committing a reach-in foul after rotating to defend in the post.

In general, Jaylen Barford played very well, as he did a great job of knocking down shots in a variety of ways to help his team, and he is a fast player that can really make shots in the open floor.  Barford has had a very good tournament so far, and he could end up being a potential second round pick in the upcoming draft.

Cincinnati’s senior forward, Gary Clark also had a fairly good game, as he made shots efficiently, and played solid defense in Mike Duman’s loss to Sales Systems.  He showed a good ability to knock down threes, as he has plenty of range on his shot, and he also can make them off of pick and pop plays.  Plus, he also managed to score on a cut to the basket.  He also showed a decent ability to score on drives to the hoop.  He managed to score on a one-legged runner from the elbow, but he missed another time after attempting to score on a eurostep in transition.

Clark generally passed the ball well, but he did have a pass intercepted due to playing out of control once.  Though he did not come away with many rebounds, he did end up collecting his fair share of defensive boards.  He also defended very well.  He would play passing lanes to help his team get steals and deflections, and he also blocked a shot in transition.  He also would actively contest shots to force misses.  In summary, Gary Clark quietly had a good game, and he is having a solid tournament, as he is an energetic combo forward that is shooting and defending well in Portsmouth, and he is building his case to be drafted, as he could end up being a second round pick this year.

Baylor’s 7-0 senior center, Jo Lual-Acuil had a fairly good game in his team’s loss to Sales Systems, Limited, as he was active as a scorer, rebounder, and defender to provide a solid interior presence for Mike Duman Auto Sales on both ends of the floor.  He generally did a good job of scoring on hustle plays as he would often score off of offensive rebounds, and he managed to score on a tip dunk once.  He also managed to run the floor to score on the break.  Plus, he also managed to score on an aggressive drive to the hoop with his right hand due to possessing good quickness, patience, and shooting touch that time.  However, he struggled to consistently score off of drives as well as in the post in this contest.

Lual-Acuil did a good job of rebounding the basketball, and he also showed good athleticism, length, and instincts to get a block and a steal.  However, sometimes he would commit fouls due to over-aggressiveness.  In summary, Jo Lual-Acuil played fairly well, as he was active as a finisher around the basket, and he also excelled as a rebounder.  He is an athletic big man that may possess an interesting set of skills, as that could enable him to be a potential second round pick on draft day.

New Mexico State’s 6-4 senior guard, Zach Lofton had a solid showing for Mike Duman Auto Sales, as he excelled as a shooter, scorer, and rebounder in his team’s loss to Sales Systems, Limited.  Lofton did an adequate job of knocking down jumpers from all over the court to space the floor, and he can make them off the catch or dribble.  Also, he showed a fairly good ability to score on quick drives to the hoop, especially when he would do so in transition.  Also, Lofton managed to score on a put back due to possessing a good motor.  But he had more trouble connecting on pull-up, mid-range shots, as well as on half-court drives.

He primarily looked to score first, but sometimes Lofton would pass the basketball, and he managed to find a teammate on a backdoor cut to notch an assist.  Also, Lofton did a very good job of rebounding the basketball, and he would often crash the glass to haul in boards on both ends of the floor.  Plus, he also defended fairly well.  Lofton managed to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he also contested a mid-range shot to force a miss.

In summary, Zach Lofton had a very good game in his team’s loss to Sales Systems, Limited.  He excelled at scoring and rebounding the basketball, and he kept his team in it for the duration of the contest.  On the other hand, his advanced age for a draft prospect combined with his questions if he can effectively run the point might be concern some teams, but Lofton is an energetic scorer that handles the ball well, and he could be a solid addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Western Kentucky’s 6-7 senior combo forward, Justin Johnson had a good game as he helped lead Sales Systems, Limited to a narrow win over Mike Duman Auto Sales.  He excelled at scoring on hustle plays, as he would throw down dunks on the break, and he also showed off an adequate ability to score on drives as well as in the post.  Johnson can use a quick spin move to score around the basket, and he also can score on jump hooks.  But he also was not consistent in scoring from the block, as he may struggle with his shooting touch and balance, and he can set up too far away at other times.

He was quite active in rebounding the basketball, as he would do so due to possessing good strength and motor.  He also made one good pass from the post to find the cutter to notch an assist.  However, Johnson also would commit some turnovers due to carelessness.  In summary, Justin Johnson had a good showing in today’s game, as he is a high motor combo forward that can make hustle plays on both ends of the floor.  While he may possess less than ideal physical tools and he hasn’t been showing much of an outside shot here in Portsmouth, Johnson is a tough, physical player that could end up making an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Saint Mary’s 6-11 senior center, Jock Landale had a decent game to help Sales Systems get the win, but he did not dominate like he did in the previous match.  His guards sometimes had trouble getting him the basketball, but Landale was able to make some plays on both ends of the floor.  Landale primarily scored on hustle plays.  He did a good job of scoring on put backs as well as on rolls to the rim, and he managed to catch a lob pass once to score on an alley-oop layup after setting a screen for a teammate.  He also managed to draw free throws on a post up play, but sometimes he would struggle to finish plays in traffic.

He also would crash the glass, as he would get offensive rebounds due to possessing a very good motor.  He also displayed adequate defensive skills.  Landale jumped an entry pass to get a steal, but he was also called for fouling an opponent on a drive while trying to block a shot.  In summary, Jock Landale played fairly well, as he was able to make some hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.  So far, he’s had a good tournament, and Landale is a skilled big man that could be a potential second round pick this year.

California’s 6-10 senior big man, Marcus Lee also had a decent showing, as he was able to make some good plays for Mike Duman Auto Sales in his team’s loss to Sales Systems, Limited.  Lee excelled at scoring on hustle plays, as he throw down emphatic dunks off of rolls to the rim, and he also managed to score on a right handed hook off of an offensive board.

He also flashed the ability to score in the post as well as off the dribble, but he will need to be more consistent in scoring on those types of plays.  Also, Lee would make good passes from the post, and he also hit a cutter to set up a scoring chance for his team.  But sometimes, he would struggle to protect the basketball, as that would lead him to commit turnovers.

He also was active as a rebounder and defender when he was on the floor.  Lee did a very good job of rebounding the basketball, as he was especially active at crashing the defensive glass.  He also would often block and alter shots on drives to force misses, and he also poked a ball away off of an opponent to force a turnover.  But sometimes he would commit fouls when trying to make plays in the paint, as he can be too aggressive on the defensive end on occasion.

In summary, Marcus Lee played fairly well, and he has helped himself with good showings in both games that he has played in Portsmouth.  He is a very athletic big man that possesses a solid motor, and he may have played his way back into the second round conversation, as he could be a potential draft pick in June.

Virginia’s 6-7 combo forward, Isaiah Wilkins also had a decent game, as he was able to help Sales Systems get a tough win over Mike Duman.  He excelled at scoring on strong drives to the hoop as well as on mid-range jumpers, and he was able to use a pump fake to score on a dunk off of a drive once.  Plus, he also played very well defensively, as he did a good job of blocking shots, and he also would jump passes to force misses.  Overall, Wilkins will still need to show that he can knock down jumpers consistently, but he is an athletic, defensive minded player that will likely end up earning a spot on an NBA team’s summer league roster.