Prospects emerge from Portsmouth pre-draft tourney
Final thoughts on the NBA pre-draft Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, where college seniors aim to improve their stock:
* West Virginia guard Casey Mitchell likely played his way into the draft. Maybe not the first round, but he certainly should be drafted by someone somewhere. Mitchell is 6-foot-4 and displayed a little bit of everything when it came to putting the ball in the basket. He worked hard to get open for shots, didn’t settle for jumpers despite making a lot, and displayed the tough mentality needed for the NBA. Mitchell led Portsmouth in scoring at 23.3 points per game.
* Syracuse center Rick Jackson displayed toughness and grit underneath the basket, despite being a little undersized (6-foot-9). Jackson has a chance to be selected late in the second round, as scouts left Virginia comparing him to NBA garbage men such as Jon Brockman and even Carl Landry.
* Ohio State center Dallas Lauderdale is big and athletic, but that’s about it. And that won’t be enough to land Lauderdale in the NBA. At least, not next season. But the general consensus out of Portsmouth is that Lauderdale has potential, and with a couple years of seasoning in the D-League or overseas, well, you never know. Lauderdale definitely has an NBA body.
* Villanova’s Corey Stokes displayed a smooth game and pretty good stroke, and at 6-5, has the size to become an NBA shooting guard. One scout even predicted Stokes could be selected late in the first round. Another compared Stokes to second-year NBA guard Marcus Thornton -- a former second-round pick who became something special after getting traded from New Orleans to Sacramento in late February.
* Boston College forward Joe Trapani surprised a lot of scouts with an all-around game and decent shooting touch. Trapani looked better in Portsmouth than he ever did at BC, displaying determination and an excellent grasp of the fundamentals. But like most guys at the PIT, scouts wonder if he has a true NBA position. At 6-8, he’s not strong enough for power forward and not agile enough for small forward.
* Whether Andrew Goudelock gets drafted or not, he will definitely be on someone’s summer league team (assuming summer league isn’t canceled because of a lockout). Either way, the College of Charleston shooting guard is a bit undersized (6-2 on a good day), but man, he can get open and has an ultra-quick release. Goudelock is also fearless, seemingly possessing an attitude he can score on anyone, anywhere, anytime. And after seeing him in Portsmouth, you likely believe him.
* Texas forward Gary Johnson is another player without a true position, as he plays like a power forward but stands 6-6. But scouts loved his rugged play underneath, and he will certainly be getting a long look in approaching individual workouts.
Quick hitters on other top prospects from the PIT:
* Vernon Macklin, 6-10, PF, Florida: Height, length, athleticism with some decent footwork in post. May have played way into first round.
* Brad Wanamaker, 6-4, G, Pittsburgh: Good first step and strong finisher near the basket. Not a great 3-point shooter, but possessed best mid-range game of any guard in Portsmouth.
* Ravern Johnson, 6-7, SF, Mississippi State: Very athletic with a long wingspan and ability to get to basket. Reminds some of Toronto’s Sonny Weems.
* John Holland, 6-5, SF/SG, Boston University: Surprised scouts with his balanced game and ability to finish over taller defenders at the rim. Needs work on perimeter shot, but could get drafted and help someone at the next level.
* Matt Bryan-Amaning, 6-9, F, Washington: Runs the floor very well and possesses a soft touch near the basket. Still needs to finish stronger and develop a few more moves in the low post.