The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament hosts the top NCAA basketball seniors from across the entire country in a four-day event that consists of eight teams. The tournament began in 1953 and is one of the most prestigious amateur basketball tournaments in the United States. A total of 64 of the best seniors in NCAA basketball participate in the tournament, and it is a top destination for NBA scouts, as over 200 representatives from the NBA visit Churchland High School in Portsmouth each year. The PIT provides an opportunity for these college basketball players to play against each other and impress NBA front office executives for the upcoming NBA Draft.
Opportunity for Overlooked Prospects
One of the primary benefits of the PIT is that it gives a golden opportunity for college seniors that may be overlooked in the NBA draft. This four-day tournament offers NBA front office personnel extra time to evaluate potential prospects. Each of the eight teams will play a minimum of three games in the tournament. While younger college players typically receive more hype, players that went all fours years in college still have a great chance to impress and potentially be rewarded with an opportunity to make an impact at the next level.
Past Participation of Top NBA Players
Several past and future top stars of the NBA have participated in the PIT over the past years. This list includes six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen, who played a key role in the dominant run of the Chicago Bulls throughout the 90's. Dennis Rodman, one of the greatest rebounders in the history of the NBA, and Hall of Famer John Stockton also played in this prestigious tournament. Other notable NBA players include Tim Hardaway, Avery Johnson, Ben Wallace, Jeremy Lin, Rick Barry, and Earl Monroe.
Top Players of Portsmouth Invitational in 2018
Jaylen Barford from the University of Arkansas won the PIT Most Valuable Player Award and led the tournament with 21.5 points per game. Justin Tillman from VCU was a rebounding machine and finished with 13 rebounds per game. Jordan McLaughlin from USC displayed his passing skills and averaged 9.5 assists per game, while Vladimir Brodziansky from TCU dominated on the defensive side of the ball with three blocks per game. Twelve players were selected for the 2018 PIT All-Tournament team, which includes:
Guard Jaylen Barford - Arkansas 21.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG
Center Jock Landale - St. Mary's 13.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG
Forward Justin Johnson - Western Kentucky 13.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG
Guard Tyler Nelson - Fairfield 12.5 PPG, 3.0 APG
Guard Andrew Rowsey - Marquette 20.5 PPG, 6.0 APG
Guard George King - Colorado 18.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG
Guard Devon Hall - Virginia 15.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG
Guard Kendrick Nunn - Oakland 20.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG
Forward Yante Maten - Georgia 15.3, 6.3 RPG
Forward Desi Rodriguez - Seton Hall 17.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG
Forward Justin Tillman - Virginia Commonwealth 18.3 PPG, 13.0 RPG
Forward Kyle Washington - Cincinnati 16.7 PPG, 10.7 RPG
Hope for the Future
The PIT provided an excellent opportunity for prospective NBA players to demonstrate their talents for NBA front offices. Playing against other talented seniors from across the country is a great learning experience and plays a pivotal role in helping each one prepare for the upcoming NBA draft. Over the next few weeks, each of these players will be evaluated thoroughly by NBA scouts, and this tournament allowed overlooked players to gain the full attention of NBA executives. Each of these players hope to continue their basketball careers at the next level, whether they are a role player, a sixth man, or a future superstar for an NBA team. Only time will tell which players, from the 2018 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, will emerge and surprise the entire basketball world.