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Basketball Big Game Plans
Senior Troy Huff will blog daily from the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament that starts Wednesday and goes through Saturday.
Troy Huff: Blogging from the PIT
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Updated: Wednesday 04/21/2014 08:48:19 (ET)
by UNDsports.com
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Keep up-to-date with Troy Huff on his time at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament as he contributes to UNDSports.com with a daily blog entry. Head coach Brian Jones will also be in attendance at the event and chime in from time-to-time as well. The tournament features 12 games and eight teams made up of the top 64 seniors from this past season in college basketball.

Troy Huff Career Snapshot

Volume No. 3
Friday's game against Sales System was not our best effort.  We came out flat and let our opponent get a big lead on us. We made a decent run in the second half to make a game of it, but came up just a short in the end. It would have been nice to play for the championship, but we responded well in the third-place game and showed what we could do as a team.

Third-place Game: Portsmouth Partnership 97, Roger Brown's Restaurant (Box Score)
Huff had his best game of the tournament, scoring 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting to help lead his Partnership squad to a third-place finish at the PIT. He also added four steals and four rebounds, while Villanova's James Bell paced the team with 27 points.

Earlier in the day, I was able to sit down with an executive from the Cleveland Cavaliers. That was a great experience. They just wanted to ask me some questions and get a better feel for me as a person. I had a great time in Portsmouth and look forward to whatever is next as I continue to chase my dream of playing professional basketball.

Semifinal: Sales System, Ltd., 92, Portsmouth Partnership 86 (Box Score)
The Portsmouth Partnership dug to big of a first-half hole as Sales System, Ltd., withstood a late charge to advance to the title game of the 2014 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. Sales System surged ahead 62-36 at the break, but Huff and company outscored their opponent 50-30 in the second half to make a game of the tournament's second semifinal. Huff finished with seven points and four rebounds getting his first start of the tournament.

Volume No. 2 
Getting to Portsmouth was a full day of travel, which included three different flights. I didn't get into town until around midnight, so it was straight to the hotel and bed for me.

Thursday morning was full of testing. We tested agility, the vertical jump and our quickness. When that was over, we got to go back to the hotel for a little down time before practice. That was at 3 p.m. and was the first time for us to be together as a team.

Our game was at 9 p.m. and was a lot of fun. We played great considering it was our first time together. The gym was packed on both sides, so the community support for this event is tremendous.

I'll tell you all about Friday next time I check in. We play again at 8 p.m. CT and I heard from lots of people that got to see me play on the live stream, so check that out on the PIT website. 

Head coach Brian Jones is also in attendance to lend his support to Troy and talk about his 2,000-point scorer to NBA scouts and executives. He was impressed with the way Huff played in the first game.

Here are Jones' thoughts: "Troy played very well. He had some impressive finishes at the rim and played good defense too. His team played really well and was the most unselfish team that I saw yesterday. I think he'll play even better on Friday because he has those first game jitters out of his system. I'm glad he's here to represent our program and the Big Sky, which also had Kareem Jamar (Montana) and Davion Berry (Weber State) playing in this event. They both scored in double figures like Troy and played well. It was a good showing for our league."

Quarterfinal: Portsmouth Partnership 88, Cherry Bekaert 81 (Box Score)
Huff did help his Portsmouth Partnership pick up an 88-81 quarterfinal victory over Cherry Bekeart in what was the final game of the day. He was one of five players on the team to reach double figures as his 13 points led the team's bench.

Huff played 25 minutes and was also in on a pair of rebounds, an assist and two blocks. His team led by nine at the break and he had a couple of dunks early in the second half to help his the Partnership pull away.

The victory put his team into the semifinals where they will play Sales System, Ltd., at 8 p.m. CT. All of the PIT games are being streamed live and are free to watch.  

Visit PortsmouthInvitational.com and there is a link to all the games available on that home page.

Volume No. 1
I'm excited about going to Portsmouth and sharing my experiences with the North Dakota fans. My flight leaves out of Grand Forks on Wednesday around 1 p.m. I'm not to sure exactly what is planned for me on Wednesday when I arrive, but I know a couple of the teams actually get started with games. My team, the Portsmouth Partnership does not play until Thursday (9 p.m. ET vs. Cherry Bakaert).

Complete PIT Schedule 

As for my mindset, I want to go in there and play with confidence. I'm excited to get there and get the whole process at Portsmouth underway.

I don't know much about my teammates. I've heard a couple of their names before and I have not got to watch them that much, but they seem like a good group of guys and I'm excited to play with them.

Portsmouth Partnership Roster

No. Name  School Position

Ht.

Wt. Notes
14 Shayne Whittington Western Michigan Center

6'11

245 Top 5 in MAC in points and rebounds
15 D.J. Covington VMI Forward 6-9 235 Two-timme Big South Defensive Player of the Year
20 Akil Mitchell Virginia Forward 6-8 235 Team's top rebounder and defender
11 James Bell Villanova Forward 6-6 225 First Team All-Big East Conference 
4 Troy Huff North Dakota Guard 6-5 175 Scored over 2,000 points in career
12 Isaiah Sykes UCF Guard 6-6 220 Led team in points, rebounds, steals and assists
5 Jake Odum Indiana State Guard 6-4 180 Second in assists in school history
3 Joe Jackson Memphis Guard 6-1 174 Led team in scoring and assists

Huff is one of three Big Sky players participating in the 2014 PIT. Fellow All-Big Sky first-team selections Davion Berry and Kareem Jamar are playing together on Mike Duman's Auto Sales.

I don't know too much about my coaches either (Michael Allen and Bryan Price), but I'm excited to work with our assistant NBA coach Jerry Stackhouse (University of North Carolina/19-year NBA career). We play similar positions, so I'm interested to see what pointers he has for me and I'm interested to get some advice from him. He had a great career in the NBA, so it will be a big advantage for me to get to work with him.

I'm not to sure what's in store for the week. I just know it's a good opportunity that a lot of guys do not get and I just appreciate the chance to play in front of a lot of executives from NBA teams and professional teams from across the world. 

HISTORY OF THE PIT (courtesy www.portsmouthinvitational.com)
Each year for 60 years the P.I.T. has invited 64 of the best college basketball players (seniors) from across the nation to participate in a four-day, twelve-game tournament in front of representatives from every NBA team.  The tournament drew the attention of NBA Scouts and General Managers in the mid-70’s when players like Dave Cowens, John Lucas, Walt Szczerbiak and Bobby Cremins came to Portsmouth to play.  Soon the word spread and approximately 200 Scouts, General Managers and Representatives of all 30 NBA teams began to come to see players like John Stockton, Dennis Rodman, Tim Hardaway, Scottie Pippen and others.  Today scouts from numerous international leagues have joined in on the annual April pilgrimage to Portsmouth.  Over the years the P.I.T. has been a showcase for five of the 50 greatest players in NBA History (Rick Barry, Earl ‘The Pearl” Monroe, Dave Cowens, John Stockton, Scottie Pippen) and for many others who have gone on to NBA stardom. 

-- UND --

 

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