Rowsey gets opportunity to showcase skills for NBA officials

The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament has been a springboard to the pros for a slew of Marquette University basketball players over the years.

Jimmy Butler, Chris Crawford, Jamil Wilson, Davante Gardner, Steve Novak, Robert Jackson and Wesley Matthews all participated in the event at Portsmouth, Va., and all them went on to play either in the NBA or professionally overseas.

Now, will Andrew Rowsey be the next Marquette player to benefit from playing in the PIT, a four-day postseason tournament that is exclusively for college seniors?

Mahlon Parker, who played in the first PIT in 1953 and is now the director of the PIT, said Rowsey was recently extended an invitation to participate in the event, which runs April 11-14 at Churchill High School.

Rowsey, a 5-foot-11 point guard, is having an impressive season. He is averaging 19.7 points per game and has recorded five-30-point plus outings. That includes a 35-point performance against Georgetown and a 34-point showing against St. John’s.

In Marquette’s 90-86 overtime victory over Georgetown on Monday night, Rowsey totaled 28 points, including nine in overtime, while also collecting 10 assists. Rowsey leads the Golden Eagles in assists with 133 and steals with 30. Marquette is 17-12 overall, 8-9 in the Big East Conference.

“He’s a tough, little guy,’’ a longtime NBA Western Conference college scout said about Rowsey. “He has a great feel for the game; you can just tell he knows how to play the game.

“And he can really shoot it. He’s fun to watch. His size is obviously a concern but, again, he’s a good shooter and, with the rise of 3-point shooters in our game, that could really be a plus for him possibly getting drafted.’’

Besides the aforementioned Marquette players, some other notable players who have showcased their skills before pro personal at the PIT are Scottie Pippen, John Stockton, Earl Monroe and Dennis Rodman.

– Photo courtesy of Marquette University

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