In the spirit of full-disclosure, the following is my private email to the heads of the Portsmouth Invitational tournament urging them to accept more non-D1 talent so that NBA teams and squads overseas can adequately gauge talent that they likely have seen little of. More importantly, though, the players that I recommend are more than capable of holding their own against the top senior talent in D1.
To Whom it May Concern:
My name is Jordan and I am a talent evaluator for college basketball players. Upon scouting the best players outside of Division 1, I have come to a consensus of the top 5 seniors, all of which deserve an opportunity at the Portsmouth Invitational. I know that last year not one non-D1 player was invited to Portsmouth. This has to change, as there is some serious talent among the five players I am about to list.
The following is the case for the top 5 seniors outside of Division 1:
Lamonte Thomas, Johnson & Wales, DIII, 34.1 ppg, 5.8rpg, and 4.8 apg, 38% 3 pt %
Thomas was the best scorer in Division 3 the past two seasons. He is a 6'2 point guard with an excellent handle and deceptive quickness. He can shoot over the top of players at his level, but is best getting to the rim. He has the athleticism to be effective at a higher level of basketball. He should be a shoe-in for this tournament, as he is one of DIII's alltime greats.
Tony Smith, Shaw University, DII, 12.2ppg, 6.9rpg, 5.8apg, 1.9spg, 38% 3pt %
While he is older than his graduating class, Smith has the best vision of the five players I mention. He is a 6'5 point guard who is dynamic in transition and picks his spots on the floor. He could easily average 16 ppg and 8 apg if he looked for his own offense more often. Extremely effective in transition and defensively. Great hands. Threw 2 full court passes off rebounds with a player back in transition in the NCAA tournament. That's something maybe 7-10 guys on the planet can complete.
Ken Brown, Philander Smith, NAIA D1, 31.97ppg, 4 rpg, 4 apg, 3.13 spg, 41.2% 3pt%
This 6'1 lead guard is a scoring machine who is lightning quick and has great hands and can lock down on D. He is an excellent three point shooter, as evinced by his percentage given his 274 attempts on the year. Leading scorer in NAIA and one of the best players in a few years.
Eric Frederick, Texas Wesleyan, NAIA D1, 25.41ppg, 10.19 rpg, 1.03spg, 52.5 % FG%
He is one of the more unique big men that I have seen at a non D1 school at 6'8. He can score in a variety of ways, but was forced to handle the ball a little much this year. He often faced double and triple teams. Despite being 265 lbs, he is very mobile and has a wide array of power post moves. Not only that, he has a decent handle for his size, even though he can make some questionable passes at times. Also, he can step out and hit the three with some consistency. His percentage is only 31%, but he started catching fire late in the season from beyond the arc. Really a unique player.
Travis Hyman, Bowie St., NCAA D2, 10.1 ppg, 8.6rpg, 2.93 bpg, 47.1% FG%
While his numbers do not really stand out at first glance, this guy has the most potential of any of the guys listed. While he has developed only somewhat over his college years, Hyman has NBA level athleticism. He is one of the best shot blockers outside of D1 and he alters many more shots. He finishes well near the rim and can run the floor. He is 7'0 tall and once played with former Portsmouth selection Duke Crews. Scouting services have been looking into Hyman over the past few years and while his numbers are not as impressive as they could have been statistically speaking, he is an impact player who can more than hold his own against the field.
I want it to be known that I have no affiliation with any of these players. These are just my suggestions, and as I scout non-D1 talent, I would like to have some players represent the lower levels of college basketball at Portsmouth. The aforementioned players have competed against top flight talent before, with Smith going up against the likes of Duke and performing fairly well. Ken Brown dropped 22 points at Arkansas Little Rock and 28 against Central Arkansas this year. Lamonte Thomas had 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists against Brown University. So, these guys can fill it up against D1 schools.
Let me know what you think of these players, and if you are open to some suggestions.