Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Seton Hall trio to take next step in pursuit of NBA dreams at Portsmouth Invitational
By ADAM ZAGORIA
The Seton Hall trio of Khadeen Carrington, Angel Delgado and Desi Rodriguez will take the next step in pursuit of their NBA dreams when they fly out on Wednesday to the prestigious Portsmouth (VA) Invitational.
The event runs April 11-14 and will be played in front of a slew of NBA scouts.
“Never in their lives have they played before more NBA scouts than they will down there,” one NBA scout who will be in attendance told ZAGSBLOG. “There’s two, three, four people from each organization down there. There will be anywhere from 40-60 scouts, plus scouts from all the G League and scouts from all over the world looking for talent. Never will they play before more people who can pay them.”
None of the three Seton Hall players is projected to be drafted in the June 21 NBA Draft at Barclays Center according to ESPN.com, but six players from last year’s Portsmouth Invitational were chosen in the late-first or second round, including New Jersey native Davon Reed out of Miami (No. 32) and Knicks guard Damyean Dotson out of Houston (No. 44).
“I’m really excited for their opportunity to play,” Pirates coach Kevin Willard told ZAGSBLOG. “They have worked hard for the last four years and now have a chance to fulfill their dreams of playing professionally.”
The trio last played an official game on March 17 when they lost to Kansas, 83-79, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Wichita, KS. The 6-foot-6 Rodriguez also played in the Reese’s Division I College All-Star Game and the Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship at the Final Four in San Antonio.
“I’m excited to go out there, I know it’s a big place for exposure,” Rodriguez said Tuesday by phone of Portsmouth. “I’m going out there to just play as hard as I can. I haven’t played that much in the last two months because of my [ankle] injury so I got back in the gym with coach Willard just working on my explosiveness and stuff like that. I just got back in the gym about a week-and-a-half, two weeks ago.”
Rodriguez averaged 17.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists as a senior at Seton Hall.
After signing with Sean Kennedy of Excel Sports, he’s anxious to prove himself in front of the NBA scouts.
“I’m a very versatile player,” he said. “I have a lot of strengths in my game. I have a lot of weaknesses, too. I’m just trying to go out there and play my game and not do stuff that I can’t do. I’m just trying to prove my game and be smart.”
The 6-4 Carrington averaged 15.6 points, 4.4 assists and 3.1 rebounds this season.
“Khadeen has been in and out,” the NBA scout said. “Some nights he was missing in action, other nights he was the best player on the floor.”
The 6-10 Delgado, who signed with Roc Nation, averaged a double-double of 13.6 points and 11.8 rebounds en route to winning the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award as the nation’s best center.
Rodriguez will play for Roger Brown’s Restaurant on a team that also includes Anas Mahmoud (Louisville), Johnathan Williams (Gonzaga) and Jaylen Adams (St. Bonaventure).Carrington is on K & D Rounds Landscaping, along with Jared Terrell (Rhode Island) and Andrew Rowsey (Marquette), among others.
Delgado plays for Portsmouth Sports Club on a squad that also includes Rodney Bullock (Providence), Shannon Evans (Arizona State) and Matt Mobley (St. Bonaventure).
“They can help themselves by giving a great performance, great effort,” the NBA scout said. “They’re all more than capable, they’re very talented guys and they have to play at the highest level.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.