European Prospects

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Prospect of the month: January 2008

February 4th, 2008 · No Comments

And here it is again, the vote for the Prospect of the month January 2008. After the success of Ricky Rubio in the December 2007 vote with nearly half of all the voices, we are back now with the nominees for the first month of the new year.

For the 1986 born players, the choice was difficult to make between Nikola Pekovic and Novicka Velickovic. I chose the second one then because of his improvement over the season and his growing impact on the team in the last games. The Power Forward who lives from his fundamentals and his toughness is coming up with quite interesting figures in the Euroleague over the last month. 13.8ppg and 7.8rpg give him one of the top performing spots on the Serbian powerhouse. Being 2m05 tall, he can not be considered as a legit NBA prospect as he has the typical Serbian-Euro type of play.

When it comes to 1987 born players, my first thought was of course on Nando de Colo. The French guard from Cholet is playing an impressive season with his team and putting up big numbers, especially in the FIBA Eurocup. He is the second best scorer of that competition, and this of course behind his impressive showing against Riga Barons last week where he scored a career high 37pts going nearly perfect (8/13 2FG 3/3 3FG 12/12FT). He is playing more and more the role of a scoring guard, his assists numbers are dropping but his scoring is increasing at the moment.

A regular presence on our vote is of course Danilo Gallinari in the 1988 born category. Nobody is coming close to his performances right now. An impressive three game stretch in the Euroleague with 19.7ppg and very regular 20+ scorings in the Italian Lega make him the uncontested number one of his age group when it comes up to production. He is already the leader of his team, something not so common at his age and he has the whole package to become a lottery pick this summer. Especially knowing his deal he signed with his team which opens all doors for the next season.

For the most difficult category, the 1989 born prospects, my choice this time went to Sarunas Vasiliauskas. The 1m88 tall guard from Zalgiris Kauns-Sabonis School is doing pretty well in the 2nd Lithuanian league NKL where he is averaging 18.4ppg and comes up with correct shooting percentages. The NBA Basketball without Borders participant from 2006 is seeing more minutes than the normal PG starter Janavicius which shows the importance that Vasiliauskas has reached within the team. He is actually playing a lot the SG spot and cohabits pretty well with Janavicius on the 1.

For the 1990 born, there is still no competition for Ricky Rubio. Even if his numbers went from what he produced in the beginning of the season, he is still present with 11.3ppg 4.5rpg 3.0apg 2.8spg in the top European league ACB. He had especially a monster game in the ULEB Cup at the beginning of the month where he destroyed Turk Telekom nearly alone with 29pts at an incredible 10/11 shooting exercise together with 10 assists. So he looks once again to be the favorite for the Prospect of the month trophy but it is up to you to decide.

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