Saturday, April 21, 2012

Becoming known as a pro-prospect: Stanback and Bellfield compete at Portsmouth Invitational

Chace StanbackOscar Bellfield

Yet another diversion from analysing the roster, but the opportunity to report on an event that involves two recent Rebels and hasn’t been reported hardly anywhere else is worth talking about.

The Portsmouth Invitational is a tournament which has existed for 60 years, and invites graduating seniors to play in a round-robin style tournament which spans 4 days and fields 8 teams of players. Invited to the tournament this year from our 2011-12 Rebels is Chase Stanback and Oscar Bellfield.

Chace, who was among  the leaders in the NCAA in 3 point percentage, was also invited to the 3-point contest at the NCAA final, and played in the all-star game as well. Oscar has been a fixture in the Rebels lineup over the past four years, and has regularly logged more minutes on the court than any other Rebel. The Portsmouth Invitational, as well as assumedly tryouts for NBA D-League teams (should the draft not quite work out) will be a major stepping stone for both Stanback and Bellfield .

Now, let’s get to what actually occurred at the tournament. Chace Stanabck was put on a team named Cherry, Bekaert & Holland – an accounting firm who likes to put their name on things, obviously. Oscar Bellfield was placed on a team named Portsmouth Partnership, named after a non-profit dedicated to promoting economic growth, leadership and education within the city of Portsmouth. What’s in a name – nothing.

Chace Stanback

The initial game for Chace came against a team named K&D Rounds Landscaping. Chace took the bull by the horns and capitalized well from the field. He shot poorly from three, but still made 50% of his shots. Not sure how closely the refees were calling this one (likely not much because it was an exhibition for scouts), but Chace didn’t get to the foul like to attempt any baskets – meaning his stat line had no padding.

Here's what Ryan Maddox of had to say about Stanback's performance:

"6’8” Chace Stanbeck (UNLV) stood out immediately. His final numbers won’t wow you (11 points, 2 boards, 1 block), but I’d be shocked if this kid doesn’t at least have a cup of coffee in the league sooner than later. Going 5-10 from the field, he simply would not be sped up and played a consistent, effective pace all night. Hit a catch and shoot three on a kickout in the early going. Drove hard to a kill spot from the FT line extended off two dribbles and rose up over his defender and buried a jumper. Not a lot of wasted motion/energy with this guy. Could be more vocal/demonstrative – especially in a setting like this. Went 1-5 from deep tonight but mechanics/shot selection both check out. Shot over 45% from distance during the season. Want to see him matchup with Kevin Murphy tomorrow. Has the size to guard 2s/3s at the next level – could be a huge mismatch for opposing 2s with his length/range."

Here are his stats for game one:

Game two:

In the second game, which his team lost by two points to Portsmouth Sports Club (not Oscar's team) Chace shot pretty well from the field, and all of his stats were respectable. He had the same amount of points as in the first game, but took two additional attempts. Given that Chace's team lost, they then went to the consolation game for third place. Low and behold, they were to compete against Oscar Bellfield's team. Here's the stat line:

Oscar Bellfield

Oscar started the tournament off with a rocky overall performance. Fortunately for his team, they won the game despite it. Oscar was in a funk shooting-wise, and only hit one shot all game despite seven attempts. Disappointingly, his assist to turnover ratio was 1. These were very un-oscarlike numbers, maybe he was just a little too used to runnin Coach Rice's offense to play the generic ball dished out by the 'Portsmouth Partnership'. On to game two, here is the statline:

Game two

Having basically mulliganed the first outing, expectations were 'no where to go but up' right? Well, sort of. Oscar again only made one basket in the outing, but at least he didn't have any turnovers. So, three assists to 0 turnovers makes for a good average. Bellfield's team would not get another shot to make it to the tournament game because they were blown out by 'Roger Browns' by 20 points. BUT, this set up an intriguing matuchp Oscar Bellfield's team would face Chace Stanback! Intriguing! Here is the statline:

Trading Places - Oscar plays against Chace

In the name of making a name for yourself in front of Mitch Kupchak (L.A. Lakers), Daryl Morey (Houston Rockets) and Rick Sund (Atlanta Hawks) to name a few, a match up between two UNLV players occurred, and although it wasn't Shawn Marion vs. Joel Anthony in the NBA finals, it is still a noteworthy occurrence. 

Leading up to the game, we had Chace Stanback playing good basketball, and Oscar not-so-much. Would anything change? Would Oscar tell his players how to throw Chace off his game, or vice versa? Clearly, because they play different positions they wouldn't go head to head. The take away from this game was that things changed for both Chace and Oscar, a dramatic change for both. 

Looking at the statline, Chace - who had been having fantastic performances totally fell off. He jacked up way to many shots, and connected on about a quarter of those  tries. In contrast, Oscar was measured, and shot the ball much better than he did in the first two games. Bellfield couldn't shake the turnover bug, and again had 3 giveaways - but so did Chace. The better team on this particular day ended up being Oscar's, which resulted in an overall third place finish for his team. Here's the box score:


Chace had 2 of 3 good games, and performed as a reliable scorer in those games. He wasn't dominant, but for a GM who is looking at the Portsmouth Invitational to potentially pick up players in the draft or free agency - dominance is really going to be overstated at this level anyhow. The last impact player to come out of the Portsmouth Invitational was Jeremy Lin - but the reason that he is a phenomena is partly because of the challenges of being branded 'lesser' from the gate - Oscar and Chace will face similar difficulties moving forward. Chace likely maintained his value in this tournament and may inspire a GM to take a chance on a hard to guard player who can shoot the three, all be it in a streaky manner. Oscar had one lackluster performance after another, and likely didn't make much of a mark on the radar. Over the years, Oscar has single handedly won games for the Rebels, and done some pretty amazing things. Hopefully the scouts may take a chance on him in the D-league,and he gets the chance to run the point for a new team sometime soon. Although you cannot find a very good recap of the Portsmouth invitational, hardly any photos, or video of it -  it sill mattered, and it featured two of our favored sons. So, to Chace and Oscar - best of luck to you moving forward. 

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