Tonight, St. John's Dwight Hardy gets some run in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (bracket), the pre-draft tournament that allows noted seniors who aren't NBA lottery-pick material to show out a little against their peers, drawing attention from both NBA scouts and foreign eyes. Hardy will be playing for the Cherry, Bekaert & Holland team in the tournament.
Ballers make their case to get paid to play in this tourney, and there are often NBA success stories - Wes Matthews showed some advanced skills, and while he went undrafted, he caught Portland's eye and became a starter this year. Landry Fields also got his start... and ended up being drafted, becoming a rookie gem for the New York Knicks.
Dreams start in Portsmouth, Virginia. More on Dwight Hardy's game, and what he needs to do, below the fold.
I'll try to be online to retweet any notes coming out of the game (unless someone else does it, of course). Take a look at this matchup - Dwight Hardy, with Villanova shooter Corey Stokes and hard working forward Dallas Lauderdale from Ohio State and Pitt's Gilbert Brown, against Boston College's Joe Trapani, San Diego State star D.J. Gay, and Andrew Goudelock, the high scoring guard from the College of Charleston?
Why isn't this on TV? Hoops junkies would eat this game right up like a free buffet at a basketball game.
For Dwight, he needs to show the range of things he can do CONSISTENTLY. When scouts look at his stats, they'll see a good but not great shooter - he took a while to warm up this season, looking more streaky than pure. Hardy is a good, crafty scorer; but his size says "point guard".
Given how much time he had the ball in his hands, he doesn't display that kind of vision. Part of that is that he was the best scorer on the team, but Dwight Hardy's numbers don't show a burgeoning floor general game. Hardy doesn't turn the ball over much, given how much he had the ball, and he is crafty to the hoop.
He can score off the dribble, as he did for the Red Storm, but he has to show his catch-and-shoot ability, and how he can get his shots in the flow of an offense where he's not the focal point... or how he can get shots for others. Showing a handle is paramount.
No rest for the weary. Good luck to Dwight Hardy tonight; the Red Storm faithful are behind him. Some highlights from his streetball days: