That's pretty much a normal state of mind for Ekstrand, a longtime NBA consultant and insider and the former publisher of the NBA Draft Guide. Ekstrand loves basketball, eats and breathes it, and this week's Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, with dozens of college seniors showing off their skills for a plethora of NBA scouts, is his hoop heaven.
The 60th annual tournament tips off Wednesday at Churchland High School. Here is an abbreviated list of some questions Ekstrand is eager to answer:
- Do some of the PIT's smallish guards, straight shooters in college, have the ball-handling skills they'll need to get a next-level shot? Exhibit A: Pitt's Ashton Gibbs.
"A couple of guys who are 6-1 shooting guards in college are going to have to come in and play the point," Ekstrand said. "There aren't too many 6-2 shooting guards in the NBA. If you're 6-1 or 6-2 and you're at the PIT, you better show that you can play point guard.
"... If, by the second or third day, (scouts) say (Gibbs) is a combo guard, that's good thing. That should bring a smile to his face. It doesn't mean he's Chris Paul or anything, but if you're little, you have to be able to play (point)."
- How will players who come from very structured systems react to the chance to improvise? Exhibit A: Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor.
"Wisconsin is a real patterned offense." Ekstrand said. "It's like watching paint dry to watch Wisconsin. There's a reason they beat everybody 62-58.
"In a situation like this, you might see Taylor run some fast breaks. You may see him get out on the break himself and pull up for a jumper or drive to the basket. When he was at Wisconsin, you could count the fast breaks with a sun dial."
- Can players who turned heads with stellar play in the NCAA tournament prove they have the consistent chops to make it at the next level? Exhibit A: Norfolk State's 6-foot-10 center Kyle O'Quinn, who poured in 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Spartans upset Missouri in the first round of the Big Dance, but had just four points and three rebounds in a second-round drubbing by Florida.
"If (O'Quinn) is playing a 6-6 opponent, I want to see him get 16 rebounds," Ekstrand said. "That's what I want to see. It should be like you're beating up your little brother in the driveway. ... Nobody can do it every single night, but with superstar players, 95 percent of the time, they're killing you. That's what you want to see. You want to see a guy who is bringing whatever he brings every single night.
"Once in a while at the NBA level - they're going to look for somebody else."
- Can the less-than-household names, such as Division II player of the year Braydon Hobbs, along with David Michaels of Whitman and Augustana's Bryant Voiles, the first D-III players in the PIT field since 2004, show they belong with the bigger boys?
"We'll see what these guys have," Ekstrand said. " ... Even in the mid-majors there's guys - I wouldn't say they fall into between the cracks, but the (NBA team) scouting director may not have seen these guys. They come to the PIT for a reason."
Ekstrand wants to find all of the above answers, and to see how this year's overall talent equation plays out.
"The one thing I always love about the PIT is you see guys who are strangers in the first half of the first game and by the third game, they almost look like a team," he said. "There's a reason why the play is always ragged the first game and by the third game it's pretty good."
Ekstrand is looking forward to every minute.