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Notes on the Nike Hoop Summit 2014

April 17th, 2014 · No Comments

The 2014 edition of the Nike Hoop Summit has been played last weekend in Portland. This year, there have only been 5 European players present in the event and they could not really put their mark on the game like in previous years. Nevertheless, he are some quick notes on these five players.

Damien Inglis impressed everyone with his physical measurements where he was in Lebron James territory. However on the court, Inglis could not really dominate as he often had to play off the ball while he is a player that needs to have the ball in his hands in order to create. He is not a PG but he is a creative player on the wing who can drive hard to the basket and get open looks for his team mates. In Portland though, he showed that he is not very effective when he has to move without the ball. His catch and shoot three-point shot is not very fluid and there is some room to improve technically as well. When putting the ball on the floor, Inglis can finish in the paint because of his physical strength but he lacks elite athleticism and explosiveness that you somehow expect him to have.

Nikola Jokic showed during the game his already well known strengths and weaknesses. Gifted with a great shooting touch and passing skills, Jokic did some damage from the high post where he can make the shot but also find his team mates on the cuts or in high low situations. His shooting technique is also perfectible as he does not clap the hand fully on his release. Athletically, Jokic is not explosive at all but he is a good rebounder because of his box out and positioning knowledge. He can hold his man in the low post when he is attacked back-to-the-basket but he struggled to stay in front of face-up players because of only average lateral speed.

Clint Capela is another physical specimen who suffered from the lack of touches in the Nike Hoop Summit. With his superb wingspan and great explosiveness, the Swiss player was present in the passing lanes and changed some shooting curves on the defensive end. On offense, he has not much of a low post game and scores mostly on layups and put backs. He seemed to be impressed by the athleticism of the USA players as you could see him come up with multiple fakes before finishing. When he is open, he likes to take the mid-range jump shot but he has not yet a stabilized release. Capela is really impressive this season in the French League but he could not really translate this to the event in Portland as he needs to have a team creating good positions for him which was not the case.

James Birsen was some sort of facilitator for the World Team. A lot more physical than I remember him, the long Turkish forward was often a ball handler and creator for his team. He grabbed the defensive rebound and helped to bring up the ball against the pressure defense. On the defensive end, he played some kind of high-low middle man in the 2-1-2 zone defense. He struggled though to defend other forwards as his lateral speed was not good enough for the American athletes. Offensively, he was mainly used as a spot up shooter with his good high release. However, he was not very lucky with his shots so that his scoring impact remained small.

The youngest player in the event was the Ukrainian Svyatoslav Mikhayliuk. The athletic swingman was a last-minute addition and after an impressive practice week, he did not have much of an impact during the game. However, you could see his great defensive potential as his footwork and athletic abilities are really good. On the offensive end, he showed a nice quick release on his jump shot and excellent body control. The Ukrainian top talent is not yet decided about his future as he has offers from top-level clubs in Europe but he could also move to play College basketball next season as several high-major programs have expressed interest in him.

In a final note, it can be added that the choice of the organizer to have only 5 players from Europe was a bit disappointing as the World Team has been dominated by players active in the US High School system. The Nike Hoop Summit was always nice to follow to see exactly how players with a European background compete against players with a US High School background. This was clearly not the case this time unfortunately.

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