Notes from Game 1 of the 2022 Portsmouth Invitational
April 13th, 2022
By Alan Lu
Today, I took the time to watch the first game of the 2022 Portsmouth Invitational, courtesy of PrepSpin+. It took place between the Norfolk Sports Club and Jani-King that featured numerous prospects that are hoping to get selected in the 2022 NBA Draft. The game was played at a frenetic pace, but it was riddled with plenty of misses and turnovers early on. Still, there were standout performers in this contest in Norfolk Sports Club’s double-digit win over Jani-King. Lucas Williamson led all players in scoring, and he had a strong all-around game. Quenton Jackson, Keve Aluma, and Nate Watson also played very well in the first game. Here are my thoughts on how Williamson and other various prospects fared in this match.
Jared Rhoden had a strong showing for the Norfolk Sports Club in his team’s win over Jani-King. He is a fairly athletic, skilled swingman that shot the ball very well, and he had a strong all-around performance to help his team get the victory. Rhoden showed a knack for making threes in this game. He did a great job of spacing the floor, as he would move off the ball to make open threes, and he also made a corner three early on as well. He also thrived at scoring on fast breaks, and he was able to sprint down court to throw down an emphatic dunk in transition. Plus, he also did a decent job of knocking down mid-range jumpers off the dribble, though sometimes he would take tough, off-balanced shots that would lead to misses.
Also, Rhoden showed off satisfactory playmaking skills in this game. He did a good job of throwing interior passes to roll men to notch assists. Every once in a while though, he would be careless with the ball, which would result in turnovers.
Plus, Rhoden also rebounded the ball very well, and he would tend to push the ball up the court afterwards. He also played good defense in this game. He would get his hands on passes to get steals and deflections, and he also poked a ball away to get a steal another time.
In general, Jared Rhoden played very well in this game, and he did a good job of consistently making plays to help the Norfolk Sports Club in this game. In a game where most of his teammates didn’t shoot the ball well or take care of the basketball, Rhoden thrived, as he was able to consistently play well in the first game of the day. He looked to be have played the best overall in the first game of the night, and he could project well into a 3 and D player in the NBA.
Quenton Jackson also had a solid showing, and he was able to make some really good plays for Jani-King. He showed much more athleticism than previously thought, and he was able to make some jaw-dropping plays on both ends of the court.
Jackson excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game. He shot the ball really well from beyond the arc, and he showed off a very good three-point shot in this game. He also showed a knack for scoring on aggressive drives in transition, and he also threw down a thunderous dunk in this game. He also managed to score on a strong half-court drive to the hoop while getting fouled on the play. However, sometimes he would take tough, contested shots, which would lead to some misses around the basket.
He looked to be fairly average as a playmaker in this game. Jackson passed the ball well, as he would throw nice interior passes to roll men to notch assists, and he would throw good passes off the dribble. However, sometimes he would struggle to handle the ball when pressured, which would lead him to commit turnovers.
He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball. He also defended well in this game. Jackson was able to quickly jump a pass to get a steal, and he also poked a ball away to get another. He also managed to make a high-flying, chase down block to prevent an opponent from scoring on the break, and Jackson showed off tremendous hops, instincts, and timing to do so.
Overall, Quenton Jackson played well, and he is a very athletic combo guard that made good plays to help his team on both ends of the floor. He is a skilled, versatile player that can do a little bit of everything, and he could be an intriguing option for NBA teams to consider, especially in the second round on draft day.
Keve Aluma also played well to help the Norfolk Sports Club get the win. He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also turned in a strong, all-around performance in this game. Aluma shot the ball very well, especially from beyond the arc. He did a good job of making open, spot-up threes to help provide floor spacing skills for his team on offense. He also thrived at scoring on hustle plays. Aluma showed a knack for catching lobs off of rolls to score the basketball, and he also scored on a fast break. He also showed that he can score off the dribble as well as in the post, and he was able to use a shake move to score on a right-handed hook shot once.
Plus, he also passed the ball well. Aluma is an unselfish player that would find open shooters to notch assists. He also rebounded the ball well. He also played solid defense. He would block shots to help his team protect the paint, and he also contested a mid-range shot to force a miss another time.
Overall, Keve Aluma turned in a very good, all-around performance to help the Norfolk Sports Club get the victory. He is a skilled, versatile forward that can do a little bit of everything, and he could end up being a reliable role player in the NBA.
Nate Watson also played well, and he especially thrived as a low post scorer for Jani-King. He was able to use a spin move to score on a powerful dunk. He also managed to score on a fadeaway jumper. Plus, he also thrived at scoring on hustle plays, and he also scored on a powerful jam off of a roll to the rim. He also managed to make a long two from the baseline to show his shooting skills. Sometimes though, he would take off-balanced shots that would lead to misses.
He also rebounded the ball fairly well. Watson was able to block a shot to prevent an opponent from scoring on the break. However, he also fouled a three-point shooter another time due to over-aggressiveness. Overall, Nate Watson is a strong, mobile big man that showed that he can reliably score out of the post. There are still questions that remain about his game, like if he can consistently knock down outside shots, and if he can guard upper-echelon opponents on a consistent basis at higher levels. Still, his ability to post up and score in the paint combined with his size, strength, and production could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA next season.
Trevor Hudgins also played fairly well for the Norfolk Sports Club. He shot the ball very well, especially from beyond the arc, and he also thrived as a facilitator on offense. He showed a knack for making threes, as he made a couple open spot-up threes, and he also made a nifty, step-back three another time. He also ran the floor to score on a fast break. However, he struggled more to score off the dribble, and his lack of size and elite athleticism could make it difficult for him to get all the way to the hoop to try to score at higher levels.
He also passed the ball very well. Hudgins is a patient player that showed a knack for making drive and kick passes to consistently get the ball to open shooters. He also defended well. Hudgins was able to poke a ball away to get a steal, and he also jumped on a loose ball to help his team get another late in this contest.
Overall, Trevor Hudgins had a solid showing to help the Norfolk Sports Club get the win. He is a skilled playmaker that showed a good feel for the game, and he could project well into a backup point guard role in the NBA.
Nysier Brooks played fairly well, especially early on in the Norfolk Sports Club’s win today. He did a good job of scoring in the post, as well as on hustle plays. He would tend to score on right-handed jump hooks, and he also thrived at scoring on rolls and put backs. He struggled more to score off the dribble, and he also missed an open mid-range jumper.
Sometimes he would struggle to handle the ball when trying to post up, as he lost the ball once, and pushed off to commit an offensive foul another time. He didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, but he did a good job of getting offensive boards. He also played satisfactory defense. Brooks was able to intercept a pass to get a steal. He also has good strength to hold his ground and contest a shot in the post to force a miss. Another time though, he was called for committing a foul on a drive after rotating to try to make a play on the ball.
Overall, Nysier Brooks is a strong, mobile big man that did a good job of scoring in the paint, and he showed good strength, mobility, and shooting touch to do so. He will still need to expand upon his game offensively and show that he can be a consistently good defender, especially at higher levels, but his size, strength, and ability to score in the paint could enable him to make his way to the NBA someday.
Koby McEwen didn’t have his best game, but he was able to make some highlight reel-worthy plays on both ends of the floor. He is an athletic, energetic combo guard that defended very well. He would poke balls away to get steals and deflections, and he would apply heavy ball pressure to make it difficult for his opponents to pass and handle the basketball.
He also was able to throw down a thunderous dunk off of a drive. Plus, he also managed to draw three free throws on a crafty, pull-up three. However, McEwen didn’t shoot the ball very well, as he tended to miss on contested, pull-up, mid-range jumpers. Though he was able to make some nice passes to get assists, he also was turnover prone. He would throw inaccurate passes that would get dropped by his teammates, and he struggled to be consistent with his passing over the course of this game.
Overall, he didn’t have his best game, but McEwen played good defense, and he threw down one of the best dunks on the first day of the 2022 Portsmouth Invitational. He will need to shoot better, take better shots, and take better care of the basketball, but his athleticism and defensive skills could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA next season.
Jamal Cain also played fairly well, especially down the stretch. He shot the ball well despite not getting as many touches as the other players on his team. He was able to score on a fadeaway mid-range jumper from the baseline. He also made an open corner three. Plus, he also thrived at scoring on hustle plays.
He also rebounded and defended well in this game. He also was able to poke a ball away to get a steal, and he also deflected a pass to nearly get another. On the downside, he was very turnover prone on offense. He would tend to be careless with the ball at times, which would lead him to commit turnovers.
Overall, Cain is a fairly athletic, energetic swingman that could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA. He will need to be more assertive on offense and improve his decision-making skills, but with continued development, he could end up making his way to the NBA someday.
I just wanted to add that there was some confusion about jersey numbers on Norfolk Sports Club. There was a mix-up on jersey numbers regarding Lucas Williamson and Jared Rhoden, and while the box scores and program listed Williamson as having the jersey #10, it was determined from various online sources that Jared Rhoden actually wore #10 for Norfolk Sports Club in the game, and thus it was Rhoden and not Williamson, that had scored 19 points in this game.