Five Atlantic 10 men’s basketball seniors have been invited to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT), which begins Wednesday in Portsmouth, Va. Scoochie Smith and Charles Cooke (Dayton), Marquise Moore (George Mason), Tyler Cavanaugh (George Washington), and JeQuan Lewis (VCU) all earned a spot in the prestigious tournament.
A showcase for seniors who have completed their college eligibility, the PIT will be played April 12-15 at the Churchland High School Sports Complex in Portsmouth, Va.
Lewis will play for the Portsmouth Sports Club team, and will play his first game Wednesday at 7:00 pm against the Portsmouth Sports Club.
Moore will suit up for K&D Rounds Landscaping and will play Sales Systems, Ltd. Thursday at 9:00 pm.
Cavanaugh will play for Portsmouth Partnership and will play Cooke’s Cherry Bekaert team at 9:00 pm Wednesday.
Smith is on the Mike Duman Auto Sales team, and first plays Thursday at 7:00 pm against Roger Brown’s restaurant.
The double elimination tournament is in its 65th year.
Smith was named First Team All-Atlantic 10 and was the only player to start every game as the Flyers' won the A-10 regular season. Smith played in all 138 games of his career and broke the school record for consecutive games played (137 by Kurt Huelsman and London Warren) and tied the overall games played mark (138 by Chris Johnson).
Cooke repeated as an All-Atlantic 10 selection in his second season as a Dayton Flyer. After being named to the first team last year, Cooke was selected to the second team in 2017. He led the Flyers in scoring (15.8) and rebounding (5.1). He has raised all of his shooting percentages from 2015-16, and improved his assists from 1.8 in 2015-16 to 2.8 in 2016-17.
The Chris Daniels Atlantic 10 Most Improved Player and NABC District 4 First Team pick, Moore led the Patriots in scoring (16.9 ppg), rebounding (10.9 rpg) and assists (3.5 apg) while shooting 48.3 percent from the floor. In addition to leading the conference in rebounding, Moore ranked ninth in the A-10 in scoring, eighth in minutes played, 11th in assists and 12th in field goal percentage.
His 20 double-doubles were tied for the most by a guard since the stat has been kept (2009-10), while his 10.9 rebounds/game and 9.1 defensive rebounds/contest were tops by all Div. I guards since the 1993-94 campaign. The 6-foot-2-inch guard ranked third in the nation in 2016-17 in defensive rebounding and was eighth in the nation in overall rebounding.
In the Reese's All-Star game held at the Final Four, Cavanaugh put on a show against many of the players who will also take part in the PIT. The Syracuse native went for 19 points and 14 rebounds in 22 minutes of action to lead his team to a 121-90 victory, and connected on 7-of-10 shots from the field.
Lewis was named All-Atlantic 10 First Team after he averaged a career-high 15.2 points, 4.5 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals. Lewis' 83 three-pointers this season are a personal-best, and his nine treys in a game earlier this season were the most by any VCU player in school history, other than Troy Daniels.