European Prospects

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Serbian guards to follow (Pt.2): Ognjen Jaramaz

January 7th, 2014 · No Comments

After having analyzed the game of Jovan Novak in our first part of the series on Serbian guards next to Vasilije Micic, the focus today is on the 1995 born combo guard Ognjen Jaramaz who plays for Smederevo in the Serbian 1st League.

The first thing you see when you scout Ognjen Jaramaz is that he is having great size to play as a guard. Standing 1m91 tall with a well developed body and good athletic abilities, Jaramaz shows also good speed running the floor and capable to use his body in order to finish close to the rim. Often used as a SG in his team’s offense, Jaramaz primary role is to score the ball by attacking the basket. With his correct handles and good jump, the Krusevac native can finish in the paint against taller opponents. He is not afraid to dunk the ball in traffic with two hands as well.

Jaramaz draws a lot of fouls (nearly 6 FTa per game this season) by driving hard to the basket. His first step is still improvable but he can use both hands to put the ball on the floor. On his drives, he has quick enough feet to execute a spin move out of which he has a controlled finish close to the rim. He can create his own shot out of the dribble but his shot selection remains hazardous as he likes to go for the difficult pull-up jumper with defense from mid-range or from behind the arc. He has good elevation on his jump shot which is a plus but he sometimes loses his balance because the execution is too quick after a screen or a dribble. Jaramaz needs to stabilize his jump shot by improving the foot work to get a more straight up shooting form and not being out of balance on the release.

When being open in catch-and-shoot situations, he is still going up a bit too fast in order to avoid the close out defense which hurts the accuracy of his shot. The positive thing is that his form is stable in catch-and-shoot even with a defender. This explains probably why he seems to have found a better rhythm over the last weeks as he has shot at 46% (13/28 3FGs in the last 5 games) from behind the 3pt line after having started the season at 30% (17/55 3FGs in the first 9 games of the season).

Jaramaz played a lot of SG during the games I have scouted. He is not yet a good passer in Pick and Roll situations where he sometimes overdribbles and does not really read the pick well. He needs to improve his vision to better recognize what the roller is doing as well as the weak side offensive players if he wants to play as a PG in the future. Additionally, he does not use the switch situations well and forces the inside pass at the wrong moment. This is a major part of his game that he needs to improve in order to play on the next level.

In the final minutes of a close game though, Jaramaz became the main ball handler and was decisive on several offenses in a row. First he broke by his defender to generate the help and find the open shooter on a kick out pass. Then he drew a foul twice to convert 3 out of 4 free-throws and finished with a tough drive where he scored a difficult running floater with hangtime in the paint. A different but interesting part of Jaramaz presence on the court is that he likes to go to the offensive glass and grab a rebound here and there. His jumping abilities help him of course but he has also good timing and intensity to challenge the defense in rebounding situations and stop the opposing fast breaks.

On the defensive end, Jaramaz is far from being a major on-ball threat. He plays a bit too relax and is not always going 100% to work his way around screens. On the other hand, he is doing a good job as help defender and is not afraid to use his body to draw a charge against opposing penetration plays. He is not as present in the passing lanes as you could expect from a player like him. With his good transition offense skills, where he can go coast-to-coast and finish at the rim, Jaramaz would be a force if he would raise his intensity level on the defensive end.

Jaramaz, who turns 19 in September is still probably 1 or 2 years away from being a major factor on the international scene. With his first serious season on the Senior level, he is showing that he has the level to play in the Adriatic League by next season. In the case of Micic leaving Mega Vizura next summer, it would not be a major surprise of Jaramaz would move back to the Adriatic League team in that case.

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