Davante Gardner, Sandi Marcius

Marquette’s Davante Gardner named MVP of Portsmouth Invitational (VIDEO)


Saturday night the 62nd edition of the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament came to an end in Portsmouth, Va., with the event showcasing college seniors looking to improve their standing in the eyes of scouts from the NBA and other professional leagues. The title game matched Sales Systems, Ltd. and Norfolk Sports Club, with former Georgetown point guard Markel Starks winning the game for Sales Systems with a shot with two seconds remaining.

Starks finished the game with 19 points and five assists, and he was one of two Sales Systems, Ltd. players to make the event’s All-Tournament Team. The other was former Marquette center Davante Gardner, who accounted for 20 points and nine rebounds in the title game and won tournament MVP honors.

The other players on the All-Tournament Team were:

  • F Javon McCrea (Buffalo; Norfolk Sports Club)
  • G/F Drew Crawford (Northwestern; Norfolk Sports Club)
  • F Ronald Roberts Jr. (Saint Joseph’s; Norfolk Sports Club)
  • C Shayne Whittington (Western Michigan; Portsmouth Partnership)
  • G Jake Odum (Indiana State; Portsmouth Partnership)
  • F Shawn Jones (Middle Tennessee; Roger Brown’s Restaurant)
  • G Andre Dawkins (Duke; Cherry Bekaert)
  • F/C Garrick Sherman (Notre Dame; Portsmouth Sports Club)
  • G Travis Bader (Oakland; K&D Round’s Landscaping)
  • F Jamil Wilson (Marquette; Mike Duman Auto Sales)

With Gardner and Wilson on the above list, Marquette was the only program to see two products make this year’s All-Tournament team. In the above video are a few highlights from WAVY-TV in Hampton Roads, Va., but unfortunately video of Starks’ game-winner did not make the segment.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.