Thursday, April 07, 2005
TUSCALOOSA – Earnest Shelton, a senior this past season on the University of Alabama basketball team, scored eight points and had five rebounds in his first game at the Portsmouth Invitational on Wednesday night.
Shelton is one of 64 select players competing on eight-man-rosters on eight teams participating in the 11-game tournament which is an important pre-draft event. Some 200 representatives of the NBA typically gather to evaluate and observe players in the talent showcase. The NBA draft is on June 28.
The All-Southeastern Conference guard and Memphis native is playing for a team called Sales Systems Ltd. Shelton’s team fell 109-102 in overtime to Holiday Inn Portsmouth. Trailing 41-35 at the half, Sales Systems out-scored Holiday Inn Portsmouth 54-48 in the second half to tie the game at 89-89 and send it into overtime where it was out-scored 20-13 in those extra five minutes. Seven of the eight players on the Holiday Inn Portsmouth team scored in double digits in the win, led by Indianapolis’s David Logan’s 20 points and double-doubles of 18 points and 11 rebounds from Iowa State’s Jared Homan and 16 points and 12 rebounds from Fresno State’s Mustafa Al-Sayyad. Shelton’s team and the game was led by Niagra’s Juan Mendez’s 22 points as 12 rebounds and a 17 points and 10 rebounds effort from Marquin Chandler who played at San Jose State.
On Thursday afternoon, Shelton’s team will play MD Designs, a team whose roster includes six all-conference players, including conference players of the year, UNLV’s Odartey Blankson and Buffalo’s Turner Battle, as well as Oklahoma State’s Ivan McFarlin, Cincinnati’s Jason Maxiell, and Washington’s Will Conroy. Shelton and Conroy played against one another on November 26, 2004 in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout. Shelton scored 17 points in that game and Conroy had 18 points in the 79-76 Washington win.