Baynes to play in Portsmouth Invitational Tournament

Aron Baynes will be one of five Pac 10 players to compete in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, April 8th - 11th.  This presumably is Aron's last chance to impress scouts before (hopefully) working out for individual NBA teams before & after the draft.  I think we all would be pleasantly surprised if he gets drafted but the nice thing about the P.I.T is that many international teams send scouts as well. 

From the official website:

Each year for 56 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...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.

Basically, the P.I.T is a tournament for graduating seniors.  It doesn't look like it will be televised live, but apparently NBA TV usually does extended highlights / recaps.  Also I guess this tournament is sort of important, although I don't know if the "executives" who watch the kids play actually have much say in their respective organizations. It also sounds like a pretty cool tournament in that it gives a bunch of scholarships to local high schoolers, funded by the money it gets from ticket sales and TV rights.

Eight teams play a minimum of two games each, with one consolation game for the four first-round losers.  After the initial round it is single elimination.  Aron will team up with Robert Dozier (Memphis), Jimmy Baron (Rhode Island), Ronald Steele (Alabama), and Byron Eaton (OK state) (and a couple other guys I've never heard of).  Aron's the only listed center on his team so hopefully he'll get a lot of minutes to impress.  He's also the only player on his team to shoot 100% from 3 this year!

Other notable players in the tournament: Brockman, Levance Fields, Ben Woodside, Marcus Landry, BJ Raymond, AJ Price, Curtis Jerrells, Lawrence Hill, John Bryant, Josh Akognon, Sam Young, Pendergraph, Diamon Simpson, Kyle McAlarney, Alfred Aboya, and Micah Downs.

Aron will get another battle with Pendergraph and Simpson in his first game, April 8th at 7pm EST. 

HT: Bob Condotta

Note: Portsmouth is only a 3 hour drive from Tony's new digs, I wonder if he'll show up to support Aron...

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