Portsmouth: Day 4 Recap
Posted Apr 11 2005 9:55AM
Hayes Keeps on Winning at the PIT
With a pair of white shorts extending down to his ankles, a cap on backwards and a knapsack on his back, you thought it was a student at Churchland High Scholl shooting around with players from MD Designs.
Look closer to find none other than Washington’s Nate Robinson, here at the PIT to cheer on his friend and teammate Wil Conroy. Robinson, who has designs on declaring for the draft any day now, turned out to be Conroy’s good luck charm.
In Saturday’s opening game, Conroy tied a PIT record with 16 assists as MD Designs defeated the Tidewater Sealants to claim fifth place in the tournament.
It was a strong finish for a player who needed a good showing this week to perhaps earn a trip to Chicago. Conroy, known for his outstanding leadership qualities, was one of the few guards who consistently looked to make plays for others, a trait that endeared him to many of the GM’s and scouts in attendance.
The primary beneficiary of Conroy’s unselfishness was Cincinnati’s Jason Maxiell, who capped an already scintillating week with another stellar performance. He scored 26 points on 11-for 19 shooting, which included several spectacular dunks. Maxiell came to Portsmouth firmly planted on the Chicago bubble. It would be nothing short of mystifying if he doesn’t get another chance to prove his worth in the Windy City.
Oklahoma State’s Ivan McFarlin saved his best for the final game, scoring a tournament-high 34 points on 16-for-23 shooting. What McFarlin lacks in size and athletic ability he makes up with tremendous energy and a true understanding of how the game is played. If he continues to show these traits over the next few years, he could play in the NBA someday.
North Carolina’s Jawad Williams concluded an up-and-down the week with a 17-point performance. He definitely showed flashes of the ability that should land him on an NBA roster next season.
The third place game turned out to be the most exciting of the week, as Norfolk Naval Shipyard, on a baseline jumper with under 10 seconds to play from UTEP’s Omar Thomas, defeated Norfolk Sports Club 88-87.
Aaron Miles of Kansas led the way with 13 assists, while Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Ed McCants rebounded from a tough middle game with a team-high 16 points.
Reviews on Miles this week were mixed. Some feel his reluctance to look for his offense is a detriment to his chances to make the NBA. Others praise him for his ability to run a team. He’s clearly an eye-of-the-beholder type player.
There’s no disputing the potential of Tennessee-Chattanooga’s Midaugus Katelynas, who despite shooting 3-for-15 in his final game, continued to show glimpses of what could be in store for this talented Lithuania native. He should be in Chicago.
Kansas State’s Jeremiah Massey capped an excellent showing this week with a game-high 20 points. Massey’s boundless energy lifted the entire camp and earned him some fans. As for his NBA potential, he’ll need to show some more perimeter skills to prove he can play at the next level.
In the championship game, seven of eight players scored at least nine points for the Portsmouth Sports Club in a 101-91 win over Holiday Inn Portsmouth. Kentucky’s Chuck Hayes, who went scoreless in the first half, scored 16 points and was named the tournament’s MVP.
DePaul’s Quemont Greer scored a team-high 18 points, while Indiana-Fort Wayne’s David Simon had his best performance of the week, tallying 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
When he plays with energy and passion, Simon shows an intriguing mix of size and skill. His effort level needs to be more consistent if he’s to prove he’s worth of serious NBA consideration. He played in the Chicago Pre-Draft camp last year and survived only two games before tearing his ACL. They jury’s out on whether he’ll get another chance this year.
Holiday Inn was led by IUPUI’s David Logan, the Division II Player of the Year, who more than proved he could hang with the big boys this week. While he clearly struggles with the responsibilities of a true point guard, he has the ability to score and defend. He definitely earned himself some additional looks over the next few months.
Southern Illinois’ Darren Brooks saved his best for last, finishing with 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. He’s a true difference maker on the defensive end – he was among the nation’s leaders in steals – but he struggles mightily from the perimeter and can’t play the point, not a great combination for a guy trying to prove he belongs in the NBA.
Iowa State’s Jared Homan tailed off in his final game, but still finished with 11 points and nine rebounds. There wasn’t a player in the camp who consistently brought as much effort as Homan, who’ll have a chance to play in the NBA.
Rob Reheuser will be reporting from Portsmouth all week. The NBA Draft 2005 is June 28 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York.