European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Players to follow in the Euroleague 2014/15 (Pt. 2)

October 15th, 2014 · No Comments

In our second part of the Euroleague preview, we will take a look at some wildcard players that can have an impact this season in the Euroleague. It will be interesting to see if Kenan Sipahi has fully recovered from his injury while everybody is hoping Mario Hezonja to have a break out season soon, so his got help for this with a lawyer from

Kenan Sipahi – 1m98 – PG – 1995 – Fenerbahce Ülker

After breaking his right arm in February of this year, Kenan Sipahi is now back and wants to attack his second Euroleague season with Fenerbahce Ülker. The 1995 born and 1m98 tall PG has certainly not lost his extraordinary feel for the game and his court-vision that made him one of the most exciting young players in Europe. The question is how strong will he come back from a physical point of view after this long break. Sipahi lived a lot from his great basketball instincts and emotions and these are certainly still there so that the guard will continue to attack the basket really well and try to finish close to the rim. He has developed quite a stable jump shot before his injury and it will be interesting to see how good he is as he started to practice again only 6-7 weeks ago.

Ilimane Diop – 2m10 – C – 1995 – Laboral Kutxa

After a season of getting to know the ACB and the Euroleague during short stretches, it is now time for Ilimane Diop to become a full member of the rotation at Laboral Kutxa. In order to do so, the long Center needs to become more effective in the paint for his finishes. Still quite physically underdeveloped, the 19 year old big guy has tremendous tools to work with but the physical presence is still in the making. He showed good developments over the last months in terms of game understanding and speed so that Diop should be able to compete on this level. The departure of Tibor Pleiss will open some minutes for Diop this season and the Senegalese born player would like to fill this gap over the next years. This upcoming season could certainly be a good help for him to develop and get more mature physically and basketball-wise in order to become a real factor in 1-2 years.

Luka Mitrovic – 2m05 – PF – 1993 – Crvena Zvezda

After several years of constant progress, this season could be the one where the Serbian PF Luka Mitrovic will have his real “coming-out” party on the highest European level. Recently designated new team captain of Crvena Zvezdza, the 21 year old and 2m05 tall power forward is a very versatile player who can do a bit of everything on the floor. Effective both in the paint and from the three-point area, Mitrovic is the typical Balkan stretch-four who is very dangerous on the offensive end as he can read the defense well and act accordingly. Not the strongest or most athletic player, Mitrovic uses his basketball understanding and improving court-vision to help his team in every possible way and as an automatically eligible player for the NBA Draft, he might be one of the reasons why NBA scouts will make the trip to Belgrade during the season.

Guillem Vives – 1m92 – PG – 1993 – Valencia

After playing all his life for Joventut, Guillem Vives wants to make the next step this season and the Adidas Eurocamp participant moved to Valencia to see his first Euroleague minutes. The quick and tall point guard should not have too many problems to adapt physically to the Euroleague but he needs to address his shooting flaws if he does not want to get isolated behind the three-point line by the opposing defenses. He can play the Pick and Roll and is dangerous because of his good accelerations when pushing the ball. Defensively, he can develop into an interesting stopper in the back court as he has quick feet and likes to play the passing lanes to initiate the transition offense. It will be interesting to see how quickly Vives adapts to the new level as he showed during the Eurocamp that he might become a future second round pick in 2015 as a automatically eligible play for the NBA Draft next spring.

Mario Hezonja – 2m01 – SG – 1995 – FC Barcelona

One of the biggest individual talents in Europe, everybody is waiting for the moment where Mario Hezonja is going to explode. Even if it does not look like it will be this season according to his minutes in the first ACB games, you could see in the past that some youngster went up in the Barcelona rotation during the season. Hezonja absolutely has the basketball skills to play on the Euroleague level as the long guard can do a bit of everything on the court. He has tremendous talent to score the ball and he should be able to do that also on short stretches. The question mark remains his attitude and his defensive implications which are probably the key factors for him to get playing time this season.

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