Dawkins has hot weekend in Portsmouth camp
Posted April 21
Former Duke basketball player Andre Dawkins isn’t expected to go in the first round of the NBA draft in June, but the 6-foot-5 guard elevated his stock last weekend in the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational Tourney.
The Portsmouth event has been staged annually since the early 1950s and once was the primary chance for lesser known college players to be discovered by NBA scouts.
That’s no longer the case, of course. Pro scouts do most of their legwork during summer AAU events for teenagers.
Portsmouth is now limited to college seniors, but still attracts most of the scouts even though younger college players dominate the draft.
Dawkins, in three games over the weekend, scored 20, 21 and 23 points but more importantly converted 14 of 32 shots (43.7 percent) of his 3-point attempts from behind the NBA arc of 23-feet-9. The college line is 19-9.
Several NBA teams place a high priority on 3-point specialists.
Dawkins averaged 7.9 points for the Blue Devils in ‘13’-14, but started only four of the 35 games and averaged less than 14 minutes court time per game.
Marquette center Davante Gardner was voted MVP of the weekend games. Dawkins and Notre Dame forward Garrick Sherman were selected to the 12-player all-star team.
Virginia’s Akil Mitchell and Florida State’s Okaro White, both forwards, played in Portsmouth but were generally more effective on defense than offense.
A year ago in Portsmouth, former N.C. State wing Scott Wood and former UNC guard Dexter Strickland had solid showings but still didn’t get picked in either round of the draft.
Wood wound up playing for Murcia, Spain in the European League and averaging 9.8 points in 28 games.
Strickland spent most of the season with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Developmental League and averaged 4.5 points. Idaho teammate Rich Howell (NCSU) averaged 18 points and 10.6 rebounds, which could be impressive enough to get into an NBA camp next in September.
Another former Wolfpack big man, Brandon Costner, is playing well for the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the D-League playoffs. He scored 57 points in the team’s first two playoff games after averaging 14.5 points in regular season. Yet another ex-Wolfpack standout, guard C.J. Williams, averaged 14.4 ppg for the D-Fenders in regular season.
The D-League regular season ended with P.J. Hairston (UNC, Texas Legends), Ronald Murray (Shaw, Austin Toros), Seth Curry (Duke, Santa Cruz Warriors) and Courtney Fells (NCSU, Austin Toros) all among the top 25 scorers.
Hairston and Murry each averaged 21.8 points, Curry 19.7 and Fells 18.2.
Former Baylor playmaker Pierre Jackson (Stampede) led all D-League scorers in regular season with a 29.1 ppg average. The 5-10 Jackson is under contract with the New Orleans Pelicans and likely will be in the NBA next season.