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Jones invited to Portsmouth Invitational

And other Blue Raider updates

April 15, 2014 ·

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Senior Shawn Jones of the Middle Tennessee men's basketball team (24-9, 13-3 C-USA) was selected to participate in the 62nd Portsmouth Invitational Tournament April 16-19.

The four-day event will take place at the Churchland High School Sports Complex in Portsmouth, Va. The 64 player roster for the 2014 PIT was released Monday and Jones was assigned to the eight-player Roger Brown's Restaurant team.

"It means a lot to be invited up here for the PIT," Jones said. "Everybody wants to be up here, but only a select few get to play here so it's an honor for me."

Jones is the only player from Conference USA to receive an invitation to the 2014 PIT. The 2014 C-USA Player of the Year is one of five players participating in the Portsmouth Inviational from programs here in Tennessee. MT's big man is joined by Belmont's J.J. Mann, Memphis' Joe Jackson, Chattanooga's Z. Mason and Tennessee State's Patrick Miller. Jackson joined Jones in the NABC Reese's All-Star Game during the Final Four earlier this month.

"The All-Star Game was a fun experience for me," Jones said. "I met some new teammates and West Coast coaches. Getting to play at AT&T Stadium was an amazing experience. That really got me back to playing five-on-five and playing with other people that are all pushing toward the same goal. At the All-Star game, I got to play with teammates that will also be in Portsmouth with me so that helped prepare me for the PIT. I'm just looking forward to the exposure to coaches from overseas and NBA coaches. I just want to show that I'm prepared to play at the next level."

Jones played all four years at Middle Tennessee and has enjoyed the family atmosphere built with his teammates. In a relatively short period of time, he had to adjust to a new set of teammates at the All-Star Game after just two practices in Texas. Now, he's faced with a similar challenge at the PIT this week.

"We haven't had any practice time so far because we play tomorrow night. It's my first time getting out and playing with a new set of teammates in about four years so hopefully we'll just get out there and click from game one."

Jones' Roger Brown's Restaurant team is slated to play in game two of the PIT Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST, taking on Portsmouth Sports Club. The Portsmouth Sports Club team features Chattanooga's Mason and players from Notre Dame, Cincinnati and NCAA Tournament darling Mercer.

Each year the PIT invites 64 of the best college basketball seniors from across the nation to participate in a four-day, twelve game tournament in front of representatives from every NBA team. Over the years the PIT has been a showcase for five of the 50 greatest players in NBA History (Rick Barry, Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, Dave Cowens, John Stockton, Scottie Pippen) and for many others who have gone on to NBA stardom.

FORMER BLUE RAIDER UPDATES

Nearly a year after graduating from Middle Tennessee, here's a look in at former Blue Raiders Marcos Knight and Bruce Massey, Jr.

Marcos Knight - The former All-Conference guard for MT is doing well overseas, playing professionally for Baunach in Germany. He is currently averaging 16.6 points a game along with 5.9 rebounds per contest, while playing 29.1 minutes an outing. Knight led his team to the German League play-offs and is currently playing in the semi-finals.

Bruce Massey - Currently playing for the National Basketball Developmental League's (NBDL) Spring Armor, Massey has been extremely productive for his team. He averaged 18.0 minutes per game for his team, while recording 5.08 points an outing. He swiped 1.36 steals a contest and handed out 1.83 assists per game.

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