European Prospects

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Nike International Junior Tournament (Part 3)

May 7th, 2008 · No Comments

The next part of the Junior Tournament Report talks about the two Lithuanian teams of Lietuvos Rytas and Zalgiris Kaunas. Both were very different. While Lietuvos Rytas’ game was based a lot on their guards play, the Zalgiris team lived essentially from their inside guys.

Mantas Kadzevicius (1m93 – Guard – 1991 – Vilnius Akademia MRU)

The left handed guard, who did not play the two first games came out with a nearly triple-double in the only game I could see the Lithuanian team. 23pts, 8rebs and 6asts but also 8tos were on his list in the game against FC Barcelona. Most of his plays were the result of his aggressive defense all around the court. He also pressured a lot in the offensive rebound. Kadzevicius showed three-point range in catch-and-shoot fashion but his mechanics looked a bit strange. Being born in 1991, has some upside to become a quality guard.

Osvaldas Matulionis (1m98 – SF – 1991 – Vilnius Akademia MRU)

The forward that played for Lietuvos Rytas displayed very nice shooting during the tournament. Except game number two, Matulonis showed great accuracy from the three point area and nice defensive pressure. With his size, he can help out in rebounding, an important part in his team which lacked of quality inside players.

Augustas Peciukevicius (1m90 – Guard – 1991 – Lietuvos Rytas)

The third part of the tremendous 1991 back court generation of the Lithuanian team is also the youngest of them. Born in December 1991, Peciukevicius displayed very aggressive defense which gave him a lot of easy points on the break. Not yet very precise from behind the arc, Peciukevicius shows however already a very nice court vision which made him prolific in assists with 4.3 over the tournament.

Donatas Motiejunas (2m13 – PF – 1990 – Zalgiris Kaunas)

Motiejunas can easily be considered as the top inside player of the 1990 generation. Having skills all-around the court and already seen some minutes with Zalgiris in the Euroleague, Motiejunas has also been elected into the All-Tournament team. As I have talked about him already several times, here is just a recap of some of the plays he showed in Madrid. Mid-distance jump shots, either out of the dribble or in catch and shot coming of the screen represent no problem for him. The left handed player tries also right handed hook shots close to the basket. Motiejunas can drive with both hands to finish either close to the rim or stop for the pull up jumper. Sometimes, he looks like a little bit out of concentration when playing but this does not affect his huge talent. Motiejunas is a free-agent after this season but he will very probably stay with Zalgiris.

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