January 25, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers forward/center Ralph Sampson III (50) looks to pass against the Michigan State Spartans during the second half at Jack Breslin Students Events Center. MSU won 68-52. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE
Ralph Sampson III, the only senior on the Minnesota Golden Gophers roster this season, will play in the 2012 Portsmouth Invitational as he attempts to improve his stock for the 2012 NBA Draft.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers only had one senior on their roster this year, leaving only one player with hopes of being selected in the 2012 NBA Draft since Rodney Williams decided to stay in school and Trevor Mbakwe was granted a sixth season of eligibility. That player is off to a decent start in his post-college career, however, as Ralph Sampson III was invited to play at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.
Sampson was among 64 college seniors selected to take part in the annual tournament designed for NBA scouts to get a better look at potential second round picks prior to the draft. Blake Hoffarber was included last season.
Portsmouth is supposed to represent the best seniors in the class, but the top prospects typically don't attend. This year, the crop that won't be going includes Tyler Zeller, Jeff Taylor, Tyshawn Taylor along with Big Ten mainstays Draymond Green, William Buford and John Shurna, among others.
Sampson will play for the "Mike Duman" team along with Ashton Gibbs, Kyle Kuric, Kyle Weems, Kim English, Julian Mavunga, T.J. Robinson and Juan Fernandez. He'll likely matchup with Cincinnati Bearcats big man Yancy Gates in his team's first game.