Butler Players Compete At Portsmouth Invitational

Rotnei Clarke (left), Andrew Smith

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Seniors Rotnei Clarke and Andrew Smith were among 64 collegiate seniors who participated in the four-day, 12-game Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Portsmouth, Va., April 10-13.  The annual tournament is a showcase event played in front of representatives from every National Basketball Association (NBA) team and numerous scouts from international leagues.

Players were invited to participate in the tournament and were divided into eight, eight-player teams.  Each team played three games at Churchland High School in Portsmouth.

Clarke, who led the Bulldogs in scoring in 2012-13, played for Sales Systems, LTD, along with Khalif Wyatt of Temple, Derrick Nix of Michigan State, Jared Berggren of Wisconsin, Ed Daniel of Murray State, Malik Story of Nevada, James Ennis of Long Beach State and Kwame Vaughn of Cal State-Fullerton.

Smith, Butler's leading rebounder in 2012-13, joined Colt Ryan of Evansville, Nick Minnerath of Detroit, Mike Rosario of Florida, Abdul Gaddy of Washington, Kevin Foster of Santa Clara, Damen Bell-Holter of Oral Roberts and Jamal Olasewere of Long Island on the Portsmouth Sports Club team.

Clarke and Smith faced each other on Friday, April 12, and Clarke's squad edged Smith's, 89-85.  Ennis led seven players in double-figures for Sales Systems, LTD, with 17 points, while Clarke added 13, hitting two of four shots from beyond the three-point arc.  Smith had eight points and a team-high eight rebounds in 17 minutes of action for Portsmouth Sports Club.

For the week, Clarke averaged 10.3 points, with his high game coming against Smith's team.  The Butler guard was perfect on seven free throw attempts in the three games, and he ranked among the tournament leaders in three-point field goals with six.

Smith averaged 5.3 points, with his high game coming against Clarke.  The 6-11 Butler center tied for 16th in the tournament in rebounding with a 6.7 average.

Brandon Davies of BYU was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player at the end of the competition.  He averaged 20.7 points and 9.3 rebounds, while leading K & D Round's Landscaping to a 3-0 record.