European Prospects

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NIJT FMP Tournament 2010: the Bigs

February 22nd, 2010 · 2 Comments

In the last part of our reports from the FMP City of Belgrade NIJT Qualification Tournament, we will speak about the big guys today. In this category, you could find probably the most dominating players of the tournament and in the end of the day maybe the only NBA prospects of the tournament.

Gide Noel (1m98 – 1993 – ASVEL Villeurbanne)

Let’s start with Gide Noel from ASVEL, certainly one of the most entertaining players of the tournament. When observing the warming up of his team, you could only hardly imagine what a gem this player is as he looks a bit overweight, too short to play inside and too slow to be a guard. But once he stepped on the court coming from the bench, he amazed everybody in the arena and while the spectators and the opponents watched him play in disbelief in the beginning, he emerged as probably one of the most talented players of the whole tournament. Noel has simply fantastic hands and an incredible feel for the game. The 1993 born and 1m98 tall left handed player started down low in the post where he powered through his defenders to conclude his moves with ease. He finished nice jump hooks of the glass or made perfect passes out of the post for the cutters. He has range up to the three point line from where he can also attack the basket not by beating his man with speed but through direction changes and smartness.

The Haiti native has fantastic court vision and excelled in the launch of fast breaks either with the quick and perfect outlet pass or the full court quarterback play. His handles look also nice for  a player of his size and he is not afraid to bring up the ball against defensive pressure. You can see him go for a behind the back dribble even to avoid the steal without any problem. Defensively, he lacks however the necessary lateral speed as he looks very clumsy when he needs to defend faster players. Even when defending in the low post, you can see him get beat easily also by slow post players as he lacks probably the necessary reaction time. With more experience, he may overcome this issues in the future though. However, his offensive talent and golden hands made him simply the most interesting player in the French team.

Stats: 15.0ppg (44.6% 2FG – 21.4% 3FG – 52.9% FT) 8.0rpg 3.5apg 13.5effpg

Philipp Neumann (2m06 – 1992 – Brose Baskets)

The German Philipp Neumann was simply the most dominating player in the whole tournament. He could not be virtually stopped by anyone else than himself and the referees. The sole game where he was not injured or in foul trouble, he finished with the monster performance of 52 efficiency ranking. What is however the most interesting that could be observed during the tournament is that Neumann is more and more becoming a better passer and team player. Having seen him about half-a-dozen times already before Belgrade, this was the first time that you could see him give the ball back out to his team mates on a regular basis. He still operates a lot in his head-down modus when playing in the low block but as confirmed us head coach Volker Stix, the passing is more a head thing than a technical one. Bamberg is working hard on this with Neumann in order that he understands better when to force it inside and when to give the ball back out. Because with his inside domination, he is able to create a lot of open space outside because of help defense.

Neumann is also developing more and more a PF game as he is often around the three point line where he can attack of the dribble his defenders. Despite being 2m06 tall, he shows a nice speed when putting the ball on the floor and with his long steps, he can pick up the ball early and strong to finish around the rim. He can attack with both hands but still has a preference to finish with his right hand. In one particular sequence, Neumann attacked the basket with his left hand and tried a left handed finger roll which he missed. In the next two offenses, he went again for the left handed drive but both times he went up as he would finish again with the left hand but switched hands in the last moment to score with his right hand. It looked a bit strange but he netted both attempts. He also added a good looking three point shot to his repertoire which he even can hit in series to bring his team back in the game. The next step would be to develop also some mid-range game finishing his drives with a jump shot from around the key.

Defensively, Neumann is highly present with extreme aggressiveness and shot blocking. He works hard on every defensive position and tries to go for every ball. He is an intimidator with his shot blocking presence and protects all the rebounds with his elbows. When defending smaller players on the perimeter, he lacks of course the lateral speed to match them but he can steal the ball out of the drives with his long arms. This is currently I would say the main question mark for a move to the PF spot in the future, if he can hold defensively smaller forwards. Offensively, he is slowing down the movement of his team when he has the ball as he holds it often very long before starting his moves.

Currently he is playing with the Brose Baskets Bamberg reserve team in Breitengüssbach and in the U19 NBBL team. But the coaching staff of Bamberg confirmed us that he will be a full member of the professional team right from this summer. He is already practicing with them on a regular basis and he will be integrated fully in the rotation from next season. He has all the physical tools to compete against grown men and it will certainly help his development. But the next step is the Albert-Schweitzer Tournament in April and then the U18 European Championship this summer. 

Stats: 25.3ppg (63.0% 2FG – 50% 3FG – 75.8% FT) 8.0rpg 2.0bpg 30.3effpg

Luka Mitrovic played a very interesting tournament for Hemofarm Vrsac. The 2m04 tall and 1993 born forward had a nice versatility in his game and will probably develop into an interesting PF prospect in the future. Right now, Mitrovic features already some nice post moves where he works a lot with fakes and correct footwork. His fundamentals are excellent and he can finish with both hands close to the basket. Out of the post he is also able to hit the turn around fade away jump shot. He will probably develop a nice three point shot down the road and combined with his nice speed and correct court-vision will help him to develop a full face-up game in the future.

Stats: 15.0ppg (64.2 2FG – 51.7% FT) 6.8rpg 20.6effpg

Livio Jean-Charles (1m97 – 1993 – INSEP)

Born in November 1993, Livio Jean-Charles has still a lot of room to improve in the next years. To feature him here in the big guys section may be a bit awkward as he is on the way to become a full wing player right now. Being used mainly as a PF with the U16 team last summer, Jean-Charles has developed a nice three point and mid-range shot since and with his athletic abilities and speed, he can become a very dangerous player when playing the SF position.

Jean-Charles had one of the most impressive plays of the whole tournament when he attacked the hoop on a baseline move and threw down a two-handed dunk over Philipp Neumann. He displayed there his excellent athletic abilities as he has great leaping potential but a also a very nice speed on the drive. Together with his good understanding of the game and his massive defensive presence, he looks to be one of the best potentials in the whole tournament. His presence on the defensive end is probably even more impressive than his offensive skill set. He grabs the rebounds with authority and his nice wingspan and lateral quickness help him to be present on every ball.

Stats: 10.2ppg (58.6% 2FG – 33.3% 3FG – 62.5% FT) 5.8rpg 8.2effpg

Nemanja Bezbradica continued where he started in the Stella Azzurra Tournament in Rome which means being the power pack in the paint for FMP. In Belgrade, you could see Bezbradica move out to the three point line on occasions and hit the long distance shot. But his game was mainly in the low post where he tried to score with his physical force and nice touch.

Stats: 10.6ppg (58.0% 2FG – 87.5% FT) 5.2rpg 1.6bpg 14.2effpg

For Nikola Siladi, it is about the same story than for Bezbradica which means that he did not show a lot different than what he did in Rome. He may have forced the three point shot even a bit more than in Italy. Defensively, he looked lost a bit on several occasions where he forgot to be on the helpline to avoid the drives. Offensively, he needs the dribble a lot in order to create for himself.

Stats: 13.4ppg (57.5% 2FG – 25.0% 3FG – 77.7% FT) 7.0rpg 2.0bpg 17.6effpg

Nikola Jankovic (2m02 – 1994 – FMP Belgrade)

One of the youngest players in the tournament, Nikola Jankovic came to Belgrade after having dominated with the Serbian U16 National Team in the Turk Telekom Tournament just before. The 2m02 tall forward played mainly the PF position as he has a great timing for the rebound, especially on the offensive end. Together with his timing, he has excellent positioning so that he gave the impression to be always on the right spot.

With his excellent fundamentals, Jankovic is already a threat from behind the 3pt line and can also attack the basket putting the ball on the floor. Out of these drives, he comes up with nice passes for the other big man on the floor, his court-vision looks interesting for such a young player. His future may be on the SF position but right now, he does not look particularly fast which may hinder him. On this level, he is a dominant force in the paint where he can score with both hands easily and also out of difficult spin moves for example.

Stats: 7.4ppg (59.0% 2FG- 57.1% FT) 4.6rpg 1.4apg 1.0bpg 10.2effpg

Luka Radovic is one of the players that I missed out a bit in my scouting as Buducnost was not the team I scouted the most and when I was present for one of their games, Radovic did really nothing special. However, in the end he finished the tournament with great statistical numbers as you can see below. The 1992 born forward looks to be a powerful and strong player with a decent back to the basket game and shooting range up to the three point lined. He is very present in rebounding.

Stats: 15.6ppg (54.0% 2FG – 44.4% 3FG – 73.6% FT) 12.2rpg 1.2bpg 23.0effpg

Nemanja Besovic (2m21 – 1992 – Partizan Belgrade)

Being 2m21 tall puts yourself always in the focus of all observers. This is also the case for Nemanja Besovic as the Serbian Center playing for Partizan was the tallest player of the tournament. Right now, his impact on this level is correct but his coaches think that he could be further in his development already. Because Besovic has a very nice shooting touch and can hit the shots or hooks with nice accuracy. He even showed some nicely looking turn around fade away jump shots out of the post.

However on the other hand, he looks to be incredibly soft, seeing his shots rejected or refusing to dunk on multiple occasions preferring the nice layback. Defensively, he is not a  shot blocking threat as he could be and his defensive rebounding does not go for more than being correct. On several occasion, he got the rebound taken away by smaller but more aggressive players. But still, Besovic turns only 18 in June this year. For players like him, being as tall, the development phase will last very long and his progress potential is of course huge. He is certainly more talented offensively as other Serbian giants like Slavko Vranes for example. With the necessary experience he will gain throughout the next years, Besovic may develop into a very interesting player down the road. To do so, he must however become a lot stronger both physically and in his head and lay down the softness he currently displays.

Stats: 11.8ppg (61.9% 2FG – 58.3% FT) 7.8rpg 1.2bpg 16.4effpg

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