Under The Radar
Portsmouth, Va – The 64th annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament was filled with competitive hard fought games throughout. Several prospects shined, but we are going to focus on the under the radar players that may have made a huge impact on where they will be playing next season.
Alex Caruso – Texas A &M – PG – 6’5 186
Caruso struggled in his first game, but picked up the slack in the other two. Caruso showed the ability to effectively run the pick and roll. As well as delivering perfect passes to players cutting in the lane. He has knack for using either hand to pass and knows when to hold the ball and take the jumper or drive the lane. However, he needs to continue to work on his mid range and three-point jumper. If he becomes a more consistent shooter he can pose a lot bigger threat on offense. He uses his length well and is a gritty on ball defender.
Adrian Diaz – Florida International – C – 6’11 230
Diaz has a massive and lengthy frame and he uses it to his advantage. He has a very raw offensive game and needs to develop in the post. He was involved constantly on the offensive and defensive boards and seems to get his hands on a lot of rebounds keeping the ball alive. He is also a threat to finishing plays down low with dunks. He needs to learn to gather and go up quicker. He has a very high motor and is an active defender around the rim. He has good timing on blocking shots and tends to do so without fouling.
Justin Sears – Yale – F – 6’8 205
Sears is very long and a solid athlete. His shot is a little awkward with a release behind his head some, but effective in the mid range. The best asset to his game is his defense. Whether on or off ball or even pick and roll, Sears is very active and physical. On pick and roll defense he hedges out aggressively on ball handlers and disrupts any passes that might go to the roll man by using his length. Sears has potential to be a premier defender at the next level because he can guard multiple positions with his size.
James Kelly – Marshall – F – 6’8 259
Kelly is a physical specimen for his size. He moves extremely well and is a very good athlete. He has the ability to score inside or outside on defenders depending upon the matchup. He has the potential to develop NBA range. He handles the ball well for his size and can score in transition. He is also a solid on ball defender and physical in the paint. Kelly also will use his size to chip in on the boards as he averaged 9.8 at Marshall this season.
Nathan Boothe – Toledo – PF – 6’9 250
Boothe showed his shooting prowess throughout the P.I.T. He is very effective stretching the defense and forces bigs to close out on pick and pop situations. He has NBA range and is extremely efficient off the catch and shoot. The down side on Boothe is he lacks foot speed on defense and struggles mightily with the pick and roll. He does communicate very well on defense though.
Abdel Nader – Iowa State – SF – 6’6 230
Nader showed he is a very solid athlete. He has the ability to hit the NBA 3. He also thrives getting in the lane. He draws a lot of contact and uses his body well to finish. He needs to work on tightening his handle some, but he mainly uses a quick first step to get by defenders.
Nick Faust – Long Beach State – SG – 6’6 210
Faust is an explosive athlete. He takes extremely long strides and is very effective in the open floor. His jump shot release is a little to left side of his head, but he has improved it over the past 2 years. He has the ability to make the NBA 3, but seems to be either hot or cold at times. He needs to continue to work on his defense all around.
Bryn Forbes – Michigan State – SG – 6’3 190
Forbes was either the best or second best shooter to Melvin Johnson for those at the P.I.T. Forbes showed the ability to hit from the NBA 3 off of pull ups, coming of screens or even the pick and roll. He has great form, rotation and arc. He needs to work on his ball handling some, as well as mixing in some drives to the basket to abstain from being too one dimensional. He also needs to work on his defense as he lacks lateral quickness, as well as physicality.