Gopher Seniors Fail to Get Portsmouth Invite

Minnesota seniors Lawrence McKenzie, Spencer Tollackson and Dan Coleman failed to get invited to the Portsmouth Invitational, a pre-draft event for many of the country's top 64 seniors. The 56th annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament runs from April 9-12 with the 64 players divided between the eight teams with NBA scouts and general managers in attendance.

Lawrence McKenzie, Spencer Tollackson and Dan Coleman were thought to be likely invitees to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (P.I.T.) before the season. The P.I.T. is the first and only postseason camp for the top seniors. The P.I.T. was known for showcasing the small college players like Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Dan Majerle, Charles Oakley, Devean George, Ben Wallace and John Stockton.

The three seniors saw their numbers fall this season. McKenzie averaged 11.8 points, down from 14.9; Coleman scored 11.6 points, down from 14.2; and Tollackson averaged 9.3 points and 3.7 rebounds, down from 12.0 points and 5.3 caroms.

The lack of an invitation hurts their already slim chance to being drafted in the June 26th NBA draft. Coleman and Tollackson had put their names into last year's draft as instructed by head coach Tubby Smith to increase their NBA Draft awareness.

Fellow Big Ten players Brian Butch of Wisconsin. Shaun Pruitt from Illinois and Ohio State's Othello Hunter and Jamar Butler will play in Portsmouth this week. Players with Minnesota ties Longar Longar of Oklahoma, who attended Rochester John Marshall, and Jonte Flowers from Division II champion Winona State got an invite to play in front of NBA, European, CBA and NBDL scouts.

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