Portsmouth Invitational 2008 -- Day 3 Recap
Posted Apr 12 2008 12:13PM
Poetry in Motion at the PIT
PORTSMOUTH, Va., April 12, 2008 -- Leo Papile, chief scout and Assistant Director of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics, was recounting the brilliance of players like Bob McAdoo and Dave Cowens, when he suddenly slipped into verse: “So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.”
It’s not often you hear Alfred Lord Tennyson quoted at the PIT, though some of his greatest quotations always ring true in this setting.
“My strength is as the strength of ten”
UNC-Greensboro’s Kyle Hines was a man among boys in Friday’s nightcap, finishing with 25 points and 10 rebounds, as Portsmouth Sports Club advanced to the championship game with a 100-83 win over K&D Round’s Landscaping to advance to the championship.
It was arguably the greatest individual performance of the tournament so far, for the player who easily cuts the most impressive physique. Standing just 6-5, Hines has a pair of shoulders reminiscent of Anthony Mason, and pretty good feel for the game to match. He was simply all over the court, also coming up with three steals and three blocks.
It was a familiar stat line for the two-time SoCon Player of the Year, and it certainly came at the right time. Though he lacks height, Hines plays bigger, thanks to a ridiculous 7-4 wingspan. You have to figure he’s done enough this week to earn another round of evaluation in Orlando.
The same probably holds true for Alabama’s Mykal Riley, who added 13 points, including three three-pointers, for the winning squad. You’d probably need three Mykal Riley’s to make one Kyle Hines, but his ability to shoot the ball can’t be denied. And he has the requisite speed and quickness to get himself open.
High Point’s Arizona Reid led K&D with 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting. The first player in Big South history to reach the 1,800 point/900 rebound club, Reid later joined the 2,000-point/1,000 rebound club. Though the level of competition has been ratcheted up considerably this week, Reid has more than held his own, and will likely continue his playing career somewhere next year.
“Better to have loved and lost”
This Tennyson quote applies to UMass’ Gary Forbes, who unlike some other players of his ilk, actually suited up this week and laid it on the line at the PIT. Forbes turned in another strong performance, finishing with 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the evening’s first game. It was almost enough to lead Norfolk Naval Shipyard into the final game, before a late rally gave Tidewater Sealants a 94-91 victory.
Trailing by seven points with less than three minutes to go, Tidewater finished the game on a 9-0 run, courtesy of a three-pointer from St. Joseph’s Pat Calathes and several huge plays from Texas Tech’s Martin Zeno.
Though he struggled a bit shooting the ball in this game, Calathes still finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks. He all but punched his ticket to Orlando, though it will be interesting to see how Calathes stacks up against stronger players.
Another player who figures to graduate from Portsmouth to Orlando is Ohio State’s Jamar Butler, who had one of the most impressive halves of the tournament, tallying 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting as Tidewater built a 10-point lead at the half.
Forced into more of a supporting role last season with the arrival of Greg Oden, Mike Conley and Daequan Cook, Butler took center stage this season, leading Ohio State to an NIT title. Given the fact most of the intriguing point guard prospects won’t likely play in Orlando, Butler should have another chance to be seen in Orlando.
As for Forbes, his ticket to Orlando has already been punched. At 6-6, Forbes has shown enough inside/out skills here to merit second round consideration on draft night.
“Theirs but to do and die”
Tennessee’s Chris Lofton lives and dies with his jumpshot. For much of this past season, Lofton struggled from the perimeter, making an appearance in Portsmouth all but necessary. And for much of Friday’s opener, Lofton’s chances of moving on to Orlando appeared to be slipping away.
He caught fire late, making several tough shots, capped by a game-winning three pointer with less than 10 seconds remaining as Norfolk Sports Club edged Cherry Bekaert & Holland, 89-88. He finished with 23 points.
Mississippi’s Dwayne Curtis added 18 points for Norfolk and Auburn’s Quan Prowell added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
A late addition on the heels of a record 17 last-minute withdrawals, Prowell has been one of the better players in the camp, constantly on the attack and making things happen. His name has been on the tip of scouts’ tongues all week.
Niagra’s Charron Fisher led Cherry, Bekaert & Holland with 28 points, no surprise for the nation’s third leading scorer. Wisconsin’s Brian Butch added 14 points.
Butch, who once considered entering the draft out of high school, had modest individual success at Wisconsin, as Bo Ryan continued to build Wisconsin into one of the better programs in the country. Not your typical center, Butch is more of a perimeter player with excellent range for his size. He’s shot the ball well enough this week to earn Orlando consideration.