Portsmouth Invitational Tournament Recap, All-First Team
Raymar Morgan, 6-8, SF/PF, Michigan State
17 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 68% FG
Only a few days removed from a disappointing showing at the NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis, and having to wait until the very last minute to even get invited to this event, Michigan States Raymar Morgan was one of the most productive players at Portsmouth and did about as good a job as he could to help his professional stock in the process.
Morgan was active and athletic around the rim, moving off the ball intelligently and being a terrific target for his guards to dish passes to for simple finishes. He also crashed the offensive glass, was outstanding in transition and generally played with a chip on his shoulder, spending most of his time at the power forward position, where he was very effective.
While injuries may have never allowed us to see what could become of Morgans career at Michigan State, and his scoring numbers clearly regressed every year since his sophomore season, it was good to see him show that he still has a pulse and is worthy of keeping tabs on.
Mostly an inside player in college, seeing the largest part of his offensive possessions in the post according to Synergy Sports Technology, Morgan showed off better perimeter skills than we had seen from him up until this point. He created his own shot off the dribble on a few possessions, but didnt show much in terms of a jump-shot, an area he struggled in this season at Michigan State as well, knocking down just 20/71 jumpers on the year, and 5/17 from beyond the arc.
Defensively, Morgan is capable of guarding either forward position, something that makes him attractive in todays NBA. He competes on every possession and has good physical tools, standing 6-8 with a 6-10 wingspan, and is also a terrific rebounder on both ends of the floor. Hes a pretty versatile guy all in all, picking up a good number of blocks and steals to go along with his nice assist numbers.
His pedigree is another thing NBA teams will likely appreciate, having reached two Final Fours and being part of one of the most overachieving NCAA teams seen in recent memory. Despite a slew of injuries, Morgan missed only a handful of games over the last three years, showing the capacity for playing through pain, even if it wasnt the smartest thing he could do long-term.
All in all, Morgan is not a player that is likely to get drafted at this point with his pedestrian numbers and clear-cut tweener status. If a player like Marcus Landry can make an NBA team and stick on a roster for almost an entire season, though, theres no reason why a similar but more talented prospect like Morgan cant. More likely, hell end up overseas and will make some old-school European coach very happy with the terrific blend of smarts, fundamentals and toughness he brings to the table.
Edwin Ubiles, 67, SG/SF, Siena
15.7 points, 46.7% FG, 37.5% 3FG, 4.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.3 turnovers, 2.0 steals, 1.0 blocks
Edwin Ubiles showcased his evolving and expanding offensive skill set at Portsmouth, reviving his draft stock and suggesting that he is a player worth watching in the future.
Between his junior and seasons, Edwin Ubiles transformed his offensive game significantly. While early in his career, he scored mostly in transition and spot-up shooting opportunities, 30% of his offensive possessions were isolations as a senior.
He has always been an impressive prospect from a physical perspective, standing a legitimate 67 with a solid frame and long arms. He is also a fine athlete by NBA standards, both quick in the open floor and explosive around the basket.
Ubiles showcased improved ball handling and an increased comfort level taking his man off of the dribble throughout the season and at Portsmouth. While he still has a long way to go before he is considered a consistent threat at the next level, his progress was reflected in stable straight-line dribbling and occasionally in effective change of direction moves. He must continue to work on his handle, however, so that he can better utilize his athleticism both in transition and slashing to the basket. Despite his superior physical tools at the mid-major level, he rarely got the free throw line this season, drawing just 82 attempts in 30 games this season.
As a shot creator, Ubiles shows a reliable pull up jumper, with solid form and elevation. He also showed improved shooting form and shot selection from beyond the arc, though largely in a spot-up capacity. While his form was not always consistent over the course of the tournament, he shot the ball well from beyond the arc at Portsmouth. Despite the solid percentages (40%) he achieved from 3-point range his senior year, Ubiles only took 73 attempts from beyond the arc this year, something that has been the case throughout his career.
Defensively, Ubiles utilized his size and athleticism to guard multiple positions and assert himself despite his lack of fundamentals. His lateral quickness and length are also good, but he must continue to refine his defensive instincts in the future. Hes not much of a rebounder either, which is a surprise considering his length and athleticismgrabbing under 5 rebounds per-40 minutes pace adjusted this seasona disappointing rate.
Ubiles will also need to continue to work on is his decision-making, shot selection, toughness and overall basketball IQ, as at this point, he does not seem to know his limitations and, on occasions, did not know when to give up the ball. Even though he is a year older than many in his class, Ubiles is nowhere near a finishes product and his performance at Portsmouth reveals that he still has plenty of upside.
Ubiles was one of the better prospects in attendance, showing an improved skill set while playing both primary and supporting roles for his team. While he is not likely to get drafted, he is a perfect candidate for the D-League, where he can continue to refine his game and gain experience against a higher level of competition than he saw in college.
Ryan Thompson, 66, SG/SF, Rider
25.6 points, 57.5% FG, 64.3% 3FG, 82% FT, 6.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.0 turnovers, 2.0 steals
Riders Ryan Thompson had one of the more revealing performances at Portsmouth, leading the tournament in scoring while demonstrating versatility and an incredibly high basketball IQ.
At 66, Thompson has good size for the wing along with solid length and a strong frame. He is a less than impressive athlete, however, and, while he could maximize his physical potential by slimming down some, he will likely remain below average by NBA standards.
On the offensive end, Thompson played an incredibly intelligent brand of basketball and displayed a very diverse skill set. He was most effective as a shooter, hitting 57.5% from the field and 64.3% from beyond the arc. Though he could still get more elevation on his jump shot, he has corrected much of the flat-footed, arc-less shot he displayed as a senior in college, where he shot just 32.4% from beyond the arc.
He also showed some of his mid-range game, taking his man off the dribble, creating some space, and pulling up for a jump shot. Despite his average first step, Thompson was able to use his size and strength advantage to get his shot off. Though he was not as successful or efficient around the rim because of his lack of ideal quickness and lift, he was able to score due to his solid body control and excellent touch.
Thompson was unable to score on athletic wing defenders such as Marquis Blakely, however, suggesting that he will have a hard time adjusting to NBA caliber defenders.
Thompson did, however, thrive as a team player. He displayed good court vision and, aside from the occasional lapse, excellent decision making. He was unafraid to make the extra pass in order to facilitate ball movement or defer to a teammate if his shot wasnt falling. He also made quite a few nice passes off of the dribble. In addition, he moved extremely well without the ball, talking to teammates, and spreading the court.
He did a solid job defensively in the setting, even though his lateral quickness is below average. While he likely cannot defend the most athletic wing players we find in the NBA, he is a smart defender and was able to use his strength, size, and quick hands to his advantage.
Ultimately, Ryan Thompson had an outstanding performance coming off of a sub par senior season and proved himself to be one of the best players in attendance. He likely convinced scouts that, while he may not an NBA player at this point, he has a long and prosperous career ahead of him at a high level professionally.
Donald Sloan, 6-3, Senior, PG/SG
17.3, 5.7 rebounds, 3.67 Assists, 2 turnovers, 2 steals,60% FG,
The leading scorer on the championship team at Portsmouth, Texas A&M combo guard Donald Sloan did a very nice job of capping off his college career.
A fairly quick, aggressive and scoring minded guard, Sloan created his own shot effectively, got to the basket at will, and also showed his potential as a shot-maker at the same time.
Much more of a scorer than a pure playmaker, Sloan played on and off the ball in college in a system that was largely geared to maximizing his strengths. He has good speed in the open floor and finishes creatively around the basket, even if hes clearly undersized for the shooting guard position. Although his 2-point percentages werent particularly high in college, he got to the free throw line at a good rate and shows nice instincts in this area, particularly in terms of the strength and aggressiveness he brings to the table.
While hes able to make plays for others, particularly off the drive and dish, Sloan looks a lot more comfortable looking for his own shot than he does creating for others. Hes prone to over-dribbling and has just average court visionthe fact that he committed slightly more turnovers than assists probably isnt a coincidence.
Capable of making 3-pointers as well, Sloans shot-selection hampered his percentages at Texas A&M this season (36% 3P), as did the fact that hes just an average marksman in catch and shoot situations. Hes a bit of a volume shooter, being relied on very heavily for scoring production at the collegiate level, and will probably need to tone his game down at his next stop, be it the NBA or Europe.
Defensively, Sloan has the tools to be effective in this area at the collegiate level thanks to his strength, but probably cant be described as being anything more than average as far as the NBA is concerned at the moment, as he lacks great size and length and doesnt make up for that with outstanding athleticism or effort. Relied on very heavily for scoring, Sloan didnt always seem all that interested in what goes on on this end of the floor.
All in all, Sloan is an excellent college scoring guard who probably will need to ply his trade in the D-League or Europe initially. If hes able to improve his playmaking ability, perimeter shooting and defense he will surely improve his chances of making an NBA roster down the road.
Wayne Chism, 68, PF/C, Tennessee
8.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.67 assists, 38% FG
Wayne Chism came here and did pretty much exactly what youd expect him to do, which can be good or bad depending on what you thought of him prior to coming to the camp. A sub-par NBA athlete with an inconsistent but somewhat effective three-point shot, Chism brings a few skills to the table to go along with a tough and smart approach to the game.
He played good post defense here and rebounded a bit better than he has in college, while also being a key factor on the team that finished second in the tournament (and probably wouldve been first if not for Jerome Randle suffering from food poisoning). He did a good job playing the pick-and-roll on the offensive end, though his outside shot was inconsistent as usual.
Projecting to the NBA, Chism doesnt have ideal physical attributes to guard the power forward or center position, and his future in the league may depend on developing into a more reliable spot-up shooter, which could lead to him finding a Brian Cook-like niche. Unlikely to be drafted, but surely to get looks in summer camp and training league, Chism could find a spot in the league, but likely will need to develop something he can rely on to consistently contribute value, with his spot-up shot being the most likely thing he could improve.