Considering the talent he played with and the stage he played on, Nic Wise's entire Arizona basketball career has been an NBA audition of sorts.
But at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament this week in Virginia, Wise also is getting a prime chance to increase his international marketability by playing with about 70 of the nation's best college basketball seniors in the event that opened Wednesday and continues through Saturday.
In his first game Wednesday night, Wise had nine points on 4-for-9 shooting with four assists and one turnover in 25 minutes.
"How many NBA guys did he play with? I'd think they'd know his game inside-out," said Jonathan Givony, president of Draft Express. "But there's going to be a lot of international people there, coaches and scouts."
Most of the players in the PIT, the lone remaining NBA pre-draft camp, wind up in international basketball, though a few manage to stick to NBA rosters. Missouri's DeMarre Carroll even catapulted from Portsmouth into a first-round pick of the Memphis Grizzlies, while Washington's Jon Brockman played in the event and made Sacramento's roster as a second-rounder.
Typically, players who do well in Portsmouth will be invited to private team workouts before the draft and, even if they aren't drafted, to Las Vegas Summer League invitations that can in turn attract more international interest.
"It can lead to opportunity," said Ryan Blake, the NBA's assistant director of scouting. "There's so many good players and point guards out there. If he's out there and can show he can make an impact on both sides of the floor, he's done his job."
In addition, Wise will have to prove he can play better than his size would indicate.
"At 5-10, 180, he's short," Blake said. "But we've had short guys in this league who have played well."
Wise will have plenty of competition. Among the guards at Portsmouth are three Wise played against this season: Trevon Hughes of Wisconsin, Jermaine Beal of Vanderbilt and Cal's Jerome Randle.
Playing for a team known as the Tidewater Sealants, Wise also will be a teammate of Houston guard Aubrey Coleman, who drew local attention for stepping on then-UA forward Chase Budinger's face during the 2008-09 season, as well as Harvard's well-regarded Jeremy Lin.
Overall, seven players from the Pac-10 will be playing, including Randle, Patrick Christopher and Theo Robertson of Cal; Eric Boateng of ASU; Landry Fields of Stanford; and Dwight Lewis of USC. Washington's Quincy Pondexter, who could be a first-round pick, turned down an invitation.
Wise said on Twitter that he has hired Andre Buck as his agent, though Buck could not be reached for comment. Among Buck's clients are Sacramento forward Jason Thompson and former UA guard Mustafa Shakur, who has played with Tulsa of the NBA D-League and Oklahoma City of the NBA this season.
A different pro tryout
Meanwhile, former UA forward Fendi Onobun is working toward a pro career - in football.
Onobun interviewed in Seattle with the Seahawks on Tuesday, while he is also scheduled to visit the Carolina Panthers next week and has met in person with the Houston Texans in his hometown.
Onobun, who spent the final season of eligibility on his five-year clock as a football player for the University of Houston last fall, drew scouts' attention during a pro day showing at Houston.
"It's been a blast," Onobun said Wednesday from Seattle. "I had a great time meeting the (Seahawks') staff."
Shumpert scheduling visits
Departing UA forward D.J. Shumpert is planning to visit Cal State-Fullerton and Cal State-Northridge while searching for a place to continue his college career, according to his traveling team coach, Etop Udo-Ema.
The sophomore from Santa Rita High School, who announced last week he would transfer from UA, also is considering San Diego State and Georgia Southern. Udo-Ema said Shumpert may visit San Diego State at the end of the month.
• Former UA coach Lute Olson, former UA star Sean Elliott and Nogales, Ariz., native and horse trainer Bob Baffert will be inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame today in Phoenix.
• Former UA associate head coach Mike Dunlap, who worked under the now-departed Ernie Kent at Oregon this season, is a candidate to join Steve Lavin's new staff at St. John's, according to the New York Daily News.