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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Portsmouth Invitational Team Previews - Norfolk Sports Club

Maurice Kemp - Kemp is a athletic wing with legit size at 6'8. He already takes advantage of his physical tools on the defensive end, showing lock down abilities. Kemp plays with good effort on both sides of the ball. He can cover both forward positions at the college level, although his slight frame will force him out on the perimeter full time in the NBA. While his calling card is defense, Kemp scored over 20 points per game in each of his last 9 career games. Kemp isn't much of a shooter, but does a good job attacking the rim. He plays under control and picks his spots carefully. He doesn't have elite explosiveness or any advanced ball handling moves, but he is fundamentally sound on his drives. He doesn't overcomplicate things. Kemp is every bit the team player and could eventually help at NBA team after improving in the D-League.

DJ Cooper - Cooper may have been the best passer in college basketball this season, putting his craftiness on complete display. He is able to deliver passes in a multitude of ways and does a good job seeing the court and keeping his head up at all times. Cooper looks to push the ball whenever possible and is able to maintain complete control of the tempo. In the halfcourt, Cooper can struggle at times to get by his man as he is only an average athlete and he will settle for NBA 3s past his range too much. At 5-11, Cooper doesn't have the athleticism or shooting ability to overcome his shortcomings which will most likely keep him from being drafted.

Scott Wood - There isn't a whole lot to explain about Scott Wood's game. He played on a loaded NC State team and was their 3-pt specialist. With so many athletes surrounding him, Wood wasn't asked to do anything but shoot - something he has always does very well. He is an elite shooter with effortless mechanics and plenty of range to adjust to the NBA line. However, Wood will need to find other ways to contribute to teams if he wants to separate himself from other shooters that have came and went.

Vander Joaquim - Athletic big man who came up through the program "Basketball Without Borders" and has experience playing with the Angola National Team. He is an opportunistic finisher at the rim with quick leaping abilities. Joaquim can also hit the outside jumper and has done so more and more over his career, to a point where he efficiency saw a hit this season due to his tendency to play on the perimeter. Joaquim is better off playing inside, working on his post game, and taking advantage of his athleticism in the paint. He still needs a lot of work to ever make the NBA, but he's the kind of player the Portsmouth is made for.

Jack Cooley - Cooley is one of the best rebounders in the country, making good use of his girth and toughness on the inside. Cooley is best described as a lunch pail guy who quietly does the dirty work without complaining, but he attempted to take on more of a leadership role this season. His defense has improved and he's looked lighter on his feet, but this is still an area of concern. Cooley finished the season with a rough stretch of games, often disappearing for long stretches.

Will Clyburn - On a team that was centered around 3-pt shooters, Clyburn was the guy who did everything else to help Iowa State win. He is a solid defender with versatility to cover multiple positions, good rebounder, and an explosive leaper capable of finishing strong at the rim. Clyburn is also stronger than he looks and is good at generating contact at the rim. He's a solid ball handler as well - capable of getting all the way to the cup. He struggled with his mid-range game this year - not converting many jump shots while looking tentative in no-mans land as well.

Momo Jones - Jones may be best remember for his tournament against Duke in the NCAA Tournament while playing with Arizona. Jones ended up transferring to be with an ill family member, but his scoring never slowed down. He was 3rd in the NCAA in scoring this year playing in the up and down style of the Iona Gaels. While Jones is a great scorer, he doesn't show much hope as a point guard and at a generously listed 6-0, he is a long shot to even get a sniff at the NBA.

DJ Richardson - Richardson is a 6-3 shooting guard who contributed four years at Illinois due to his solid role playing abilities. He is a great shooter, strong defender, and capable playmaker for his teammates off the dribble. However, Richardson doesn't do anything great and never really made a name for himself in the Big Ten. He has a chance to step up his play here at the PIT, but he hasn't "wowed" scouts during his 4 year stint at Illinois. Solid player, but not NBA worthy.

Most likely to be drafted?

This is a rather weak roster that I wouldn't be surprised to have 0 NBA draft picks, but Jack Cooley will get late second round looks due to his rebounding ability.

Summer League Invites?

DJ Cooper can run an offense and get the ball to his teammates hands in good positions, which is valuable in a camp where teams want to see what their draft picks can do. Maurice Kemp and Will Clyburn may also get a chance to show what they can do depending on what they show in the next few days at the PIT.

Overseas Bound?

The rest of this roster will need to start out at a smaller level European team, but Scott Wood has the shooting ability to work his way up through the ranks. DJ Richardson can be a solid pro as well.

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