Thoughts on the 2018 PIT Championship Game

April 15, 2018

by Alan Lu

I took the time to watch the championship game of the 2018 Portsmouth Invitational, as it was between Sales Systems, LTD and K & D Round’s Landscaping.  It was a very competitive match that went back and forth all the way until the end, as both teams traded baskets until Tyler Nelson was able to get a long outlet pass from Justin Johnson to score down the court to get Sales Systems the 91-90 win.  For those that are interested in the box score statistics, click here.

Arkansas’ 6-3 senior guard, Jaylen Barford showed off solid all-around skills to help Sales Systems win the championship at the 2018 Portsmouth Invitational, and he was also named the MVP of this event.  Barford showed a gifted ability for scoring on speedy drives to the basket.  He is a fast, strong player that can quickly get into the lane, and he often would get to the basket to garner scores.  He also managed to split a double team to score once on a break.  Also, he managed to score on a put back after grabbing an offensive rebound due to possessing good motor.

However, he struggled more to knock down jumpers.  He did make a corner three, but he generally had trouble scoring on pull-up jumpers and three-point shots in this game.  Also, he showed off good playmaking skills.  Barford did a good job of passing and handling the basketball, as he can kick it out to shooters to set up scores, and he also found a teammate on a roll to the rim to notch an assist.  He did commit one turnover though, as he was called for a double dribble when driving fast on the break.  He also rebounded the ball well, as he would crash the glass to get many boards for his team on both ends of the floor.

In summary, Jaylen Barford had an outstanding tournament, and his second game was his best showing in Portsmouth, as he scored 23 points and made the game-winner on that day.  Barford is an athletic, skilled combo guard that can really shoot and score the basketball, and he earned his MVP nod by playing well in all three contests to help get his team the championship at this event.  The way he’s played recently, he should get an invite to the NBA Draft Combine, and he could end up being a good find for an NBA team in the second round on draft day.

Colorado’s 6-6 senior swingman, George King also played very well, as he consistently made solid plays on both ends of the floor to keep his team in it all the way until the end.  King did a very good job of shooting the basketball.  He excelled at knocking down pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he also showed a knack for making quick threes off the catch.  He also ran off of a screen to make a long-range jump shot in the corner in the first half.

Plus, he also showed an adequate ability to score on strong drives to the basket.  King showed a knack for scoring on drives in transition, but he struggled more to score on those types of plays in the half-court, as he had trouble finishing against taller defenders in traffic at times.  Also, he managed to score on a put back off of an offensive rebound.  Adding to that, King showed off adequate playmaking skills.  He played unselfishly as he would look to find the open man, and he was able to get the ball to a teammate on a give and go to set up a score on the fast break.

Also, King did a good job of rebounding the basketball, as he was especially active at crashing the defensive glass to haul in boards for his team.  He also played solid defense.  King managed to block a pull-up mid-range shot due to possessing good athleticism, instincts, and timing, and he also tipped a pass to a teammate to help his team get a steal.  He did a good job of playing passing lanes, and he also would hold his ground when defending the post to force misses and passing turnovers.  He only had one miscue on this end, as he once bit on a pump fake to foul an opponent on a drive.

In general, George King had a very good game, and he had a strong tournament at Portsmouth.  He is a smart, skilled swingman that also is a tough, physical player, and he is a good all-around player that could end up being a second round pick in the upcoming draft.

Fairfield’s 6-3 senior guard, Tyler Nelson had a strong showing to help Sales Systems get the narrow win, as he scored 19 points, and he also scored the go-ahead basket to put his team up for good with 2 seconds left in the game.  He excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the floor, and he also passed the ball well.  Nelson did a very good job of knocking down jumpers to space the floor for his team.  He showed a knack for scoring on pull-up, mid-range jump shots, and he also excelled at knocking down spot-up threes off the catch.

Plus, he also showed a good ability to score off the dribble.  He showed a penchant for scoring on quick drives in transition, and he also managed to draw non-shooting foul on a half-court drive.  He also managed to score on a nifty cut to the hoop another time.  He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Though he primarily looked to score first, Nelson generally passed and handled the ball well.  He was able to throw a long outlet pass out on the break to set up a score, and he also was able to find a teammate on a roll to set up a scoring chance.  In general, Tyler Nelson had a solid game, as he excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the floor.  Overall, he had a very good tournament in Portsmouth, and he could likely end up being a solid addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Western Kentucky’s 6-7 senior combo forward, Justin Johnson had a solid game to help Sales Systems get a narrow win over K & D Round’s Landscaping.  Johnson did a good job of scoring in the post, as he possesses good footwork, strength, and shooting touch to consistently get scores on the block.  He would often back down his man and score on a jump hook, as that was bread and butter move.  He also can score on a drop step, but sometimes he would miss on turn-around, fadeaway jumpers.

He also used a crafty pump fake to draw free throws on a strong put back.  He was able to make one three, but Johnson generally struggled to knock down outside shots in this game.  Also, he would help out on the boards to get them for his team, as he would collect his fair share of defensive rebounds.  Plus, he also defended very well.  Justin Johnson excelled as a shot blocker when he was on the court, and he would often swat shots emphatically to prevent opponents from scoring on drives, as he did a great job of protecting the paint for his team.

In summary, Justin Johnson had a very good showing in this game to help get his team the victory.  While he is an undersized power forward that will need to work on expanding his range to adjust to the NBA three-point line and show that he can play out on the perimeter at the next level, he is a tough, physical player that will compete on every possession, and he could end up being a solid addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Notre Dame’s 6-10 senior center, Martinas Geben also played well, as he would make hustle plays on both ends of the floor to help K & D Round’s Landscaping still in the game all the way until the end.  Geben did a very good job of scoring on rolls to the rim, and he also excelled at scoring off of offensive rebounds, as he was able to score on an energetic tip slam.  Plus, he also ran the floor to score on a strong dunk in transition.

In addition, he used a pump fake and he drove in from the high post once to score on a jump hook.  However, he struggled more to score in the post, and he also was unable to connect on either of his three-point attempts that he hoisted up.  He also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball, as he would come away with strong boards on both ends of the floor.  Also, he played unselfishly, as he was able to get several assists.

Also, he played fairly good defense.  Geben managed to emphatically block a shot when defending in the post.  But another time, he was called for committing a foul in transition.  In summary, Martinas Geben had a solid game, as he played well in virtually all areas on this day.  He is a high motor big man that can run the floor, and as he played well here in Portsmouth, he could likely be a very good addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster this year.

Seton Hall’s senior guard, Khadeen Carrington also had a fairly good game, as he was able to get some big buckets for K & D Round’s Landscaping late in the contest, and he also defended really well.  Carrington showed off strong defensive skills.  He managed to swat a shot on a drive on the break, and he also would rotate to poke balls away when defending in the post to get a plethora of steals for his team.

He also showed some passing skills, as he can find teammates on rolls to the rim to set up scores, and he also handled the ball well, as he managed to split a double team on one play when he looked to score on a drive to the basket.  He struggled to make shots consistently, but he was scoring on strong drives to the hoop late in the game, and he also showed a good ability to knock down pull-up, mid-range jumpers.  Also, he was able to get multiple boards on both ends of the floor to help his team get rebounds.

In general, Khadeen Carrington had a good tournament, as he is an athletic combo guard that can play either backcourt position, and he also will play tough, aggressive defense.  He was a bit inconsistent in making shots and he did not take enough threes, but he showed enough skills to warrant making an NBA team’s summer league roster this year.

Saint Mary’s 6-11 senior center Jock Landale had a tremendous showing in Day 1 of this year’s Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, and while he did not play nearly as well as he had on that day, he showed enough good things to warrant a possible combine invite, as he was able to make some solid plays to help get Sales Systems the win.

Landale did a good job of scoring on rolls to the rim, and on one play he caught the ball midway through to score on an emphatic dunk.  He also ran the floor to catch a long outlet pass, and he managed to throw down a jam on the break.  Plus, he also scored on a jump hook after grabbing an offensive board another time.  However, he missed a shot in the post after using a pump fake on a separate play, and he also was unable to connect on a long two-point shot.

He also showed off adequate playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that generally did a good job of throwing interior passes, and he can hit the cutter to set up scores for his team.  But sometimes, he would throw passes that would get deflected and intercepted, and he also had a ball ripped away from him in the post that led his team to commit turnovers.  He also excelled at rebounding the basketball, as he would often crash the glass to haul in many boards when he was on the floor.  He also played adequate defense.  Landale would actively contest shots, as he defended a shot in the post as well as a mid-range jumper to force misses.  But sometimes he would be late on his rotations, which would lead him to commit fouls or allow scores every once in a while.

In summary, Jock Landale had a solid tournament here in Portsmouth, and he had a dominant showing on the Day 1 of this event.  He was active at making plays on both ends of the floor, he rebounded the ball well, and he looks to be in much better shape than previously.   He showed good mobility and he ran the floor well in all three games, and his play here could help him get a combine invite later this year, as he could end up being a second round pick in the upcoming draft.

Rhode Island’s 6-3 senior guard, Jared Terrell played fairly well for K & D Round’s Landscaping, as he did a good job of making shots, and he also played good defense.  He showed a knock for scoring on pull-up, long two-point shots as well as on fast break drives, and he managed to throw down a thunderous dunk on a drive in transition once.

He also was able to make a three, as he showed a decent ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc.  In addition, he also managed to jump a quick pass to get a steal on the defensive end on one play.  In summary, Jared Terrell had a good tournament this week, and he is an athletic, skilled scorer that will compete on every possession, and he could likely end up being a solid addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Oklahoma State’s 6-6 senior swingman, Jeffrey Carroll had a decent showing as he showed off a wide array of skills to help Sales Systems get the win over K & D Round’s Landscaping.  He did a good job of scoring on strong drives as well as in transition, and he is a good athlete that runs the floor well.  Plus, he also managed to draw free throws on a put back off of an offensive board.  But while he made a quick corner three once, he struggled to knock down threes and mid-range jumpers consistently.  He also played unselfishly, as he was able to get several assists.  He did commit one turnover, as he had a ball poked away from him on a drive to lose it.  Also, he rebounded the ball well when he was on the floor.

In this game, Jeffrey Carroll was able to make hustle plays on both ends of the floor, and he also passed the ball well.  He had a fairly good tournament overall, as he was able to show a variety of skills to NBA scouts and teams.  Right now, it may be uncertain if he ends up getting invited to the combine, but Carroll is an athletic, skilled scorer that will make hustle plays, and he could be a potential second round pick this year.

Other Notes:

There were three other games that went on, as I was unable to catch the live feed on Day 4 of the 2018 Portsmouth Invitational.  So here’s essentially a quick rundown of what happened in those contests.

In the early morning match, Roger Brown’s defeated Cherry Bekaert.  The link to the box score can be found here.

Just about everyone on Roger Brown’s fared well in this game.  Desi Rodriguez had 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists, and a steal, and he also made 2 threes as he stuffed the stat sheet.  Elijah Brown scored 20 points as he made 4 threes.  Jaylen Adams scored 17 points, made 3 threes, and notched 4 assists.  Bogdan Bliznyuk scored 15 points, and had 5 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals, while also making two threes.

For Cherry Bekaert, Justin Tillman scored 20 points and had 13 rebounds.  Johnny Hamilton scored 12 points on 5 shots, and he collected 12 rebounds while also blocking 4 shots.

Portsmouth Partnership defeated the Norfolk Sports Club.  The link to the box score can be found here.  For the Portsmouth Partnership, Kendrick Nunn scored 21 points, and he also had 4 assists.  Zach Smith had 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks.  Elijah Stewart and Shaquille Morris had 15 points each. 

For the Norfolk Sports Club, Dakota Mathias scored 16 points on 9 shots, as he made 2 threes, and he also had 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block.  Nick King scored 16 points.

Portsmouth Sports Club was able to get a win over Mike Duman Auto Sales, despite not having either Angel Delgado or Jonathan Stark on the floor.  For those that want the box score statistics of this game, this is the link.

For the Portsmouth Sports Club, Devon Hall scored 21 points, as he made 5 threes, and he had 6 assists and 6 rebounds.  Rodney Bullock scored 24 points on 12 shots, and he also had 7 rebounds and 5 assists. 

For Mike Duman Auto Sales, Matt Farrell scored 16 points, made 4 threes, and had 7 assists, and 6 rebounds, while also blocking a shot.  Jo-Lual Acuil had 10 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists, and 1 steal.  Egor Koulechov had 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists.   B.J. Johnson had 12 points, as he also made 2 threes, while collecting 2 assists, and 2 steals.