Scouting The 2017 Portsmouth Invitational: Sleepers

At PIT this year there were a fair amount of players from low and mid major colleges that really stood out.  This year in particular many of the players, like those listed below, from smaller schools didn’t only hold their own but looked on the same level as a lot of the high major players.  This list would include Jacob Wiley but he won’t be a bargain after his PIT performance and possibly NBA combine invite.  But these players all should still be good value rookies this summer.

Dallas Moore (1.0, North Florida, 22.4 years)

Was excellent at creating offense out of nothing, just beating his defender off the dribble and forcing the defense into a decision.  Shot 18/32 overall from the field including 11/19 from 3.  Really couldn’t have been much more efficient.  Had a bit of a breakout performance.

DeWayne Russell (1.0, Grand Canyon, 23.1 years)

Really is a PG, tied with Perrantes for tournament lead in assists with 25.  Even at his size he doesn’t mind putting a defender on his hip and riding him out.  He’s always probing, looking to make a play. Even though he is small at 5’10” and 153 lbs, Russell has decent length and didn’t back down from anyone. There were 3 small warriors at PIT (Russell, Robinson, Frazier) and while all of them played well, Russell seemed to play the best.

Milton Doyle (2.0, Loyola (IL), 23.4 years)

He’s 6’4” with a 6’7” wingspan and really made use of his length.  Slashing guard.  He was an all-activity guy, good rebounder for a guard.  Unique because it seemed he can play between a guard and wing.  Smart passer, gets in the lane and his vision is wide, searches for teammates.  Unselfish player, can fit in a lot of places.

Rashawn Thomas (4.3, Texas A&M-Coprus Christi, 22.6 years)

Certainly is the most interesting sleeper. Thomas may end up moving out of the bargain category after draft workouts and summer league.  With his ability, he may even have a chance to make an NBA team.  But he is still raw and coming from a pretty low level college. His whole frame is just rock solid.  He was hitting from mid-range, was an efficient 16/22 from the field.  Good leaper, had some exciting at the rim finishes and blocks. Closes up so much space on defense and is such a brick wall to run into. An NBA scout said, “If he can shoot and think, he has a chance.”

Steve Taylor Jr. (5.0, Toledo, 24.1 years)

Taylor is a big boy, weighing 259 lbs with an almost 7’ wingspan.  He’s was the heaviest guy there besides the humongous Isaiah Johnson.  Finished second in rebounding with 10 a game.  He’s just a big bodied inside player, pushing for deep catches on offense and wrestling for offensive rebounding position.  Drew a lot of interest from European scouts, “He’s huge, can be a force inside.”