European Prospects

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Adidas Eurocamp Treviso 2010: U20 National Teams

June 16th, 2010 · No Comments

Currently on holidays in the lovely Austrian Alps to recharge my batteries for the summer, I took some time to share my thoughts on the Croatian and French U20 National teams that compete in the Adidas Eurocamp 2010 in Treviso. Both teams prepare the upcoming U20 European Championships that will be played in Croatia.

Mario Delas is considered as the main offensive inside option for the Croatian team right now. After a first Euroleague season with the Lithuanian team of Zalgiris Kaunas, the former Split player was looked at particularly as he combines excellent basketball fundamentals with great size. In Treviso though, Delas was not really as dominating as you could expect. He looked a bit overmatched physically by the athletic French inside players so that Delas mainly went for playing as a wing  coming from the weak-side or attacking the defense by putting the ball on the floor.

It was a good opportunity to see the limits of Delas when facing athletes that can dominate him physically. He is more of a floor player working with fakes and fundamentals but this did not gave him the necessary advantage to score easy baskets. Together with Toni Prostran, he went for a lot of Pick and Roll or Pick and Pop situations where he did particularly well when popping out to the three point line and bringing his defenders out of their comfort zone close to the basket. Delas can hit the three pointer from European range and has good enough handles to attack the basket out of these situations. One of his main strengths is his mid-range game where Delas did well either in catch and shoot situations, coming of the weak-side screen or when scoring out of his drives.

He recognizes the double-team situations when putting the ball on the floor and looks to be a correct passer out of the low post as well. The Croatian forward is not afraid to go for the coast-to-coast dribbles after the defensive rebound. However, the camp also showed that Delas most certainly lacks the athletic abilities to compete with high-level NBA prospects. He looks to be the perfect type of player to become a high-level Euroleague Power Forward in the next years.

Toni Prostran was the Point Guard of the Croatian U18 National Team last summer in Metz and despite being a year younger than the rest of the team, he was the clear offensive leader on the court for Croatia. Prostran is doing an excellent job in the Pick and Roll situations that he used a lot through out the games. He can shot the ball with a very fast release in catch and shoot or out of the screen going with either hand but showing probably a slight preference for going left when taking the out of the dribble attempt. His shot accuracy looks improved since the tournament in Metz despite having still a somehow strange ball rotation when going for the long-distance shot.

Because he hit his shots, also from NBA 3pt range, the defense needed to come out on him so that Prostran could use his main strength which is the drive to basket. Out of these situations, he could create a lot of nice opportunities for himself with hesitation moves or strong attacks of the basket with both hands. Prostran is doing a great job as well to setup his team mates in the Pick and Roll situations by going for the nice dish or the bounce pass for the rolling cutter. Some doubts remain though on his control of the game tempo in real game situations.

Ivan Ramljak played only one game and he did not even appear in the official stats of the camp. The long forward did some damage against the French National Team with his constant attacking of the basket mainly with his right hand. Ramljak looks quite athletic but somehow mechanical in all his moves. But he is excelling when attacking the hoop and he can score it out of difficult situations after pass or head fakes. The Croatian forward can also hit the three point shot even if his shooting mechanics are certainly perfectible. Fighting on both ends of the court, Ramljak looks however a bit to have a problem with one leg as he hobbled during moments on the court.

Paul Lacombe is probably one of the most under-rated prospects in France. The guard from ASVEL Villeurbanne earned the MVP Trophy of the recent Trophée du Futur but Lacombe has never been in the hype machine that other French prospects are included. However, Lacombe looks to be one of the most serious Euroleague prospects of the coming generations in France. Lacombe does not excel in any part of the game but he has the overall package of the modern European PG. Being quite tall at 1m94, Lacombe is nicely athletic, can shoot the ball and is also an excellent passer, especially in the fast break where he can use his speed to create good situations for himself or his team mates.

Lacombe reads the game very well, is always in the right place to play the steal or make the additional extra pass to get somebody open. Sometimes, he is even trying to pass too much instead of seeing his own opportunity. Lacombe can hit the three-point shot from NBA range with defense in catch and shoot situations as well. The thing that makes Lacombe however extra in my eyes is the feel he has for the game that is inborn. The French guard will earn a lot of minutes with ASVEL as a back-up on the PG spot next season after he cracked the rotation of Vincent Collet’s team this spring.

Andrew Albicy was a surprising name in the Draft pool 2010 as the tiny French PG has not really been in NBA considerations beforehand. Albicy withdrew his name for consideration but he was still a candidate during the camp in Treviso. The main strength of the Paris-Levallois guard is his defensive pressure. He did an excellent job on Toni Prostran on defense limiting the Croatian guard in his game versus France. With his very low center of gravity and excellent defensive fundamentals, Albicy is a full-court threat for any PG. His excellent lateral speed and quick hands give him a nice amount of steals.

On the offensive end, Albicy is not as strong as he is on the other side of the court. He fakes well to create for himself, he is more of a scoring PG than a playmaker at the moment. His three point shot is there but not a particular dangerous overall threat. Albicy attacks the basket nicely and creates some open spots for his team mates but his size limits him in order to look for his own options close to the basket. He prefers to stop in mid-range for the short jump shot. He does a nice job as well on the defensive rebound where he is present to start the fast break immediately.

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