Thoughts on Day 1 of the 2018 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament

April 12, 2018

by Alan Lu

Yesterday, I was able to see the first game of the 2018 Portsmouth Invitational, as it was between Sales Systems, LTD and Cherry Bekaert.  It was a fast-paced affair as both teams took many shots, but Sales Systems, LTD were able to run away with the game late as they ended up winning by double digits due to the strong performance of Saint Mary’s senior center, Jock Landale, as well as possessing solid guard play from their team.  Here are my thoughts on who played the best in that match on this day.  If you want to check out the box score of this game, click here.

Saint Mary’s 6-11 senior center, Jock Landale played very well to help Sales Systems, LTD, as he scored 17 points and collected 13 rebounds to help them get the win on the first day of this tournament.  Landale made highly energetic plays on both ends of the court, and he excelled as an inside scorer and rebounder in this contest.  He also ran the floor well, and it seems clear that he has worked hard to really improve upon his conditioning.

Landale did a great job of scoring on hustle plays.  He excelled as a scorer in transition as he would beat his man down the court, and he managed to score once on a reverse layup, and he also ran the floor to score on an eye-opening, two-handed dunk on the break.  He also can score off of rolls and put backs, and he excelled at drawing fouls upon the opposition.

Plus, he also did a very good job of getting scores on strong drives to the hoop, as he would go hard to his left, and he would generally draw and make free throws after getting opponents to foul him.  Landale also used a nifty pump fake to draw an opponent in the air, as he was able to get his man to foul him on a left-handed drive late in the game.

He also showed some low post scoring skills, as he was able to back his man down to score on a jump hook.  However, he struggled to knock down jumpers as he had trouble getting his shots to fall from further away, but Landale did take a couple of threes, as once he can make them, that could allow him to effectively space the floor from that range.  He also passed the ball well, as he would pass out of the post to find the open man to set up scoring chances for them.  Landale also set a good on-ball screen to get a teammate an open shot late in the game.

Plus, he also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  Landale was especially active at crashing the defensive glass, as he would leap up to come away with many boards on that side of the ball, and he was able to get some tough rebounds in traffic.  He also played good defense.  Landale has very good size and strength, and he also has shown improved mobility, as this would allow him to hold his ground to force misses when defending in the post, and he also would contest jumpers and shots around the basket to force additional misses.

In general, Jock Landale had the best game of any prospect in the first game of this tournament so far, as he made his impact felt in virtually all areas in this contest.  He is a smart, fundamentally sound big man that has a very good motor, and he may have the skills to end up being a second round pick this year.

Cincinnati’s 6-9 senior big man, Kyle Washington also played well, as he was able to score 24 points and haul in 9 rebounds in Cherry Bekaert’s loss in this game.  He showed a diverse skill set on offense, as he can knock down three-point shots as well as score in the post, but he also showed off some rebounding and shot blocking skills when he was on the floor.

Washington did a very good job of scoring in the low post.  He is a fairly agile big man that possesses solid footwork, strength, and shooting touch to get scores down low, as he can score on a turnaround jumper as well as on a step through move.  He also has good body control, as he can regularly finish plays around the basket.  Also, he managed to get the ball on a curl cut to draw free throws another time.

Plus, he also did a good job of knocking down jumpers to space the floor.  Washington made a couple of open threes off the catch, and he also made a long two-point shot.   He also excelled as a scorer on hustle plays, as he can score on put backs as well as fast break drives to the hoop.  He also rebounded the ball fairly well, as he was able to haul in plenty of boards on both ends of the floor.  But sometimes, he may forget to block out, which can lead him to commit fouls or allow scores to the opposition.

Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  Washington did manage to block a shot from behind to prevent an opponent from scoring on a drive in transition.  He also can contest shots from all over the floor to force misses.  However, he also tended to commit fouls when defending opponents off the dribble as he lacks elite lateral quickness, and he also tended to foul them on jump shots.  He also ended up getting backed down in the post another time to allow a score around the basket.

In summary, Kyle Washington had a good showing, as he was able to score in a variety of ways to showcase his skills in front of NBA scouts and teams.  He is a versatile scorer on offense, and so far he is off to a good start in Portsmouth, as that could help him get into the second round conversation for the upcoming draft.

Oklahoma State’s 6-6 senior swingman, Jeffrey Carroll also played well, as he had a solid all-around game to help Sales Systems, LTD get a win over Cherry Bekaert.  Carroll did a very good job of knocking down three-point shots from beyond the arc.  He has a quick release to get his shot off, and he also used a crossover move to draw free throws on a pull-up jumper.

He also can score on hustle plays.  Carroll managed to draw free throws as he got fouled on a dunk attempt after getting the ball on a back door cut.  Plus, he also drove hard to the hoop to score in transition while getting an extra free throw simultaneously another time.  But sometimes, he can struggle with his shooting touch, as he missed on a shot on the break once, and he also missed on a turnaround jumper when posting up on a separate offensive possession.

Plus, he also passed the ball well.  Carroll played unselfishly as he was generally accurate on his passes, and he was able to get a good number of assists for his team.  But he did once drop an inbounds pass out of bounds, which led his team to commit a turnover once.  He also did a good of rebounding the basketball, as he would haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and he also tipped a ball to a teammate to help his team get an offensive rebound once.  But there was also one play where he did not block out his man, which led his team to allow a put back score.

He also played adequate defense.  He showed good lateral quickness to stay with a smaller guard off the dribble to force a miss.  But on another play, he was called for committing a reach-in foul due to over-aggressiveness.  In summary, Jeffrey Carroll had a solid showing, as he played a very good team game to help Sales Systems get the win.  He played well on this day, as this could help him elevate his draft stock.

Florida Gulf Coast’s 6-2 senior point guard, Brandon Goodwin played well in a loss for Cherry Bekaert, as he did a good job of scoring and passing the basketball, and he also showed off some solid defensive skills.  He is an athletic guard that can get quick scores off the dribble, as he can drop in floaters to get scores on the break as well as in half-court sets, and Goodwin also showed a knack for scoring on pull-up, mid-range jumpers.

Plus, he also managed to make an open three off the catch.  He did miss some shots, as he missed one shot off of a cut, but generally Goodwin was able to show off versatile scoring skills.  He also displayed good playmaking skills.  Goodwin can aptly throw passes off the dribble, as he can throw lobs as well as find teammates out on the break to set up scores.  But every once in a while, he would throw an up for grabs pass that would end up getting intercepted by a defender.

He also exhibited adequate defensive skills.  Goodwin will play passing lanes to get steals and deflections for his team, and he also made an impressive shot block by getting back on defense and swatting the shot to a teammate to prevent an opponent from scoring on the break.  But he also gave up too much space to his man to allow a three-point basket once, and he also got beat on a cut to allow a score another time.

Overall, Brandon Goodwin put forth a good performance, as he scored 16 points and notched 7 assists in a loss for his team.  He is an athletic combo guard that plays hard on both ends of the floor, and his strong performance could perhaps enable him to be a potential second round pick in the upcoming draft, especially if he keeps playing well in this tournament.

Arkansas’ 6-3 senior guard, Jaylen Barford also played well to help Sales Systems get the win over Cherry Bekaert.  He excelled as a shooter primarily off the dribble, as he would knock down plenty of pull-up jumpers to space the floor for his team.  He also can score on strong drives to the hoop, as he has good speed, strength, and body control to regularly finish plays around the basket.

On the other hand, he did not seem to stand out in the other areas.  He looked to be fairly average at best as a passer, he did not grab many rebounds, and he also would commit some fouls on the defensive end.  But overall, Barford had a good showing as he scored 20 points and made four threes in this game, and he could end up being a very good addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster this year.

Virginia Tech’s 6-5 senior guard, Justin Bibbs excelled as a shooter, scorer, facilitator, and rebounder for Cherry Bekaert.  He would make quick threes off the catch, and he also has crafty ball handling moves that can enable him to get scores off the glass when taking it to the hoop.  Also, he managed to score on a reverse layup on a drive in transition.

Plus, he can get the ball to his teammates in a variety of ways to notch assists, and he can also throw an accurate lob pass.  Also, Bibbs was quite active at crashing the glass, and sometimes he would push the ball up the floor off of defensive boards.  In summary, Bibbs had a fairly good game in his team’s loss to Sales Systems, LTD.  He made shots efficiently, he scored in a variety of ways, and he also rebounded the ball well.  He is a player that could project into a 3 and D type of role at the next level, and he could end up being a Hollis Thompson type of player in the league if things break his way.

Virginia’s 6-7 combo forward, Isaiah Wilkins also played well.  He excelled as a scorer in the post, as he possesses good footwork and shooting touch to score down low, and he also runs the floor well as he managed to score on a reverse layup on the break.  He looked to take more jumpers than he normally did, but it was to mixed results.  He made a three off the catch, but he also struggled to make long two-point shots from the corner.

Also, Wilkins played unselfishly, as he can find teammates on the move to set up scores for his teammates.  Adding to that, he generally defended well, as he ran in to intercept a pass once, and he would actively contest shots in the paint to force misses.  But sometimes, he would overplay opponents, which would lead him to be out of position to allow scores every once in a while.  In general, Wilkins had a solid game, and he is an athletic combo forward that defends very well.  If he can show that he can consistently knock down threes and play out on the perimeter, he could increase his chances to succeed in the NBA.

Fairfield’s 6-3 senior combo guard, Tyler Nelson played fairly well for Sales Systems, LTD, as he was aggressive in looking to take threes early and often, and he also would make hustle plays on both ends of the floor to help his team.  Nelson would make threes off the catch, and he has plenty of range on his shot.  Also, he would run the floor to get scores in transition.

He also played unselfishly, and he can throw solid outlet passes to set up scores for his teammates.  However, he also can be streaky with his jump shot, as he struggled more to make threes in the second half.  He also played decent defense.  He would play passing lanes, and he would pick off passes to get steals.  But sometimes he would have trouble guarding quicker players, as he would commit fouls and allow scores at times.  Overall, he played well as he mostly looked to space the floor by taking and making threes in this game.  Nelson is a shooter that will hoist up shots, and he could end up making an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Other Notes:

I did not see the second game on Day 1 of the 2018 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, but Mike Duman Auto Sales were able to get a double-digit victory over Portsmouth Partnership.  From a box score standpoint, Gary Clark, Elijah Stewart, and Marcus Lee looked to have played the best in this contest.  For those that are interested in the statistics of this match, here is the link.

Mike Duman Auto Sales were led by the strong play of Cincinnati’s senior forward Gary Clark, as he scored 14 points, made three three-pointers, and he also collected 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and a block.

In addition, California’s senior center, Marcus Lee managed to score 12 points on 6-9 shooting, as he hauled in 8 rebounds, while collecting an assist and a block in his team’s win over Portsmouth Partnership.

Adding to that, Minnesota’s senior point guard, Nate Mason managed to get 12 points and 6 assists to help Mike Duman Auto Sales on this day.

For Portsmouth Partnership, USC’s 6-5 senior guard, Elijah Stewart undoubtedly had the best game for them, as he scored 17 points, made a couple of threes, and he also collected 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steals, as he managed to stuff the stat sheet.

Also, Wichita State’s 6-8 senior big man, Shaquille Morris made two three-pointers, but otherwise had a fairly pedestrian game as he scored 10 points and notched 3 rebounds and 1 assist in his team’s loss to Mike Duman Auto Sales.