European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Prospect update: Ricky Rubio

December 31st, 2007 · No Comments

Ricky Rubio is considered since his first appearance in the ACB League as one of the top prospects in Europe. Some people compare him already to Magic Johnson or I don’t know whom and consider him as the best European player ever. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see Ricky in action again and here are some mixed thoughts about him.

I could only watch the second half of the ACB top game between Tau Ceramica and DKV Joventut. The team from Ricky and Rudy was leading easily at halftime and I thought this second half would go the same. However, Vitoria managed to come back, take the lead and win the game behind a great scoring effort by Igor Rakocevic and an assist festival by Zoran Planinic. But let’s come back to Ricky.

For a few weeks already, his scoring average was struggling a bit as he only went in double figures once in the last four games when he was always scoring more than 10 points in the first 11 games of the ACB league. So yesterday in the second half, Ricky was not really present on the court with scoring. He did not even try to score a lot. He was playing PG by stretches, but mostly he was on the 2 guard spot next to Demond Mallet.

What I saw was that the teams play him very hard on defense but let him some space to take mid-distance jumpers, which he did not went to except once. He tried a nice jumper out of the dribble after a pick-and-roll play. He missed that shot. What was more surprising was him taking a three point shot on the fast break with 20 seconds left in the third quarter. He was not even open so it was really strange that he did not stop the break and tried to play the shot clock down.

Defensively, he is still a big pressure for any of his opponents. However, with his increased playing time, his steal average remained nearly the same than last year. You could see that the offensive players are going for more fakes when Ricky is defending the top of the zone. But he is still present with stealing the ball in double teams on the big guys.

On the other hand, despite his still very young age, you could see him giving orders to his teammates both in offense and in defense. And the guys did what he told them. So his born team leader mentality is present and he is slowly taken over the team. And at the age of 17, a little slow down for some games is acceptable.

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