After completing his senior year with Louisville, Mangok Mathiang is set to be the lone Australian to play in the 2017 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT) commencing on 13 April 2017.
The PIT invites 64 of the best senior college basketball players to participate in a four-day, twelve game tournament in front of representatives from every NBA team.
Delivering a career-best scoring output of 7.8 points at 53.1% from the field per game, Mathiang also added 6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game in his senior year that culminated in the Cardinals bowing out in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 6’10 center who can also play power forward, has been selected to the Sales Systems, Ltd. team. He will play alongside the likes of Bryce Alford (UCLA), Matt Jones (Duke), Derek Willis (Kentucky), Jabari Bird (California) and DeWayne Russell (Grand Canyon), with all having a chance to show what they can do in a new setting in front of NBA and international talent scouts.
Mathiang’s side opens their PIT campaign on Friday, 14 April at 11:00am AEST against K&D Rounds Landscaping. In that contest, he will likely go head-to-head with Justin Tuoyo (Tennessee Chattanooga) and Jimmy Hall (Kent State). All 2017 PIT games can be watched live online.
In his first year at Louisville and as a red-shirt, the Cardinals would go on to win the national championship. He emerged to become a highly valued member of the team, renown for his on-court leadership, rebounding and defensive prowess. He was named Cardinal co-captain for the 2016/17 season.
The big-man from Melbourne also played a starring role for Australia at the 2015 World University Games. While Australia finished a disappointing tenth, Mathiang led the 23-team event in rebounding and finished tied for eighth in scoring, producing five double-doubles. He started in all eight games for Australia, averaging 13.5 points and 10.3 rebounds while shooting 56.1 percent from the field (fourth-best in the World University Games) and adding seven blocked shots.
Currently none of the reputable mock drafts have Mathiang listed as being a potential 2017 draftee, and may be required to undertake an alternative pathway if he is to realise his dream of playing in the NBA.