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A first look at Nicolo Melli

February 25th, 2008 · No Comments

This weekend, I had the possibility to see the talented forward from Italy in action with his LegaDue team Trenkwalder Reggio Emilia. The U16 European Championship All-Tournament team member is actually getting some regular minutes with his team on the second highest Italian level.

At the age of 17 years, Melli is actually a regular contributor for Reggio Emilia. He uses the minutes he is on the court to excel especially on the defensive end where is very present in the rebound. He grabbed 6 boards during the 14 minutes of play Sunday evening. He did a very good job on boxing out, and even being physically still weaker than most of his opponents, he rarely got dominated in the paint.

On the offensive end, he was playing very calm, not forcing any shots. He scored his only basket after an offensive rebound but could have gone for more as his other two attempts were very close. He had especially a very nice bank shot where he released the shot perfectly with hard defense on his arm. When the opposing team was playing a zone, he did not shot the three ball, something he actually is not doing too often. With his excellent size of 2m04, he will very probably move into a SF role in the future, but he is actually used also on the PF position.

Still, this was only one game I saw, and you can not go for conclusions about the future, however, you see that this kid has great talent and seems to understand the game very well. He is definitely worth a closer look and I hope he will join the Italian squad for the Albert Schweitzer Turnier where he is actually not in the pre-selection roster.

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