European Prospects

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Who shined next to Nurkic in the U20B Final?

August 6th, 2014 · No Comments

We followed the Final of the U20 European Championship of Division B between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belgium recently. Here are a few notes on the main prospects of both teams including Adin Vrabac, Manu Lecomte and others.

First of all, the main prospect in the game was of course Jusuf Nurkic. As he is already drafted and he was largely analyzed before the NBA Draft, mainly through our Mind Map that was even used by some NBA Teams in their Draft Process according to what we have been told, we did not see anything new in this Final where he dominated physically at will in the paint.

Adin Vrabac, who recently signed a contract with TBB Trier, was the most interesting player for Bosnia-Herzegovina on the wing. The Adidas Eurocamp alumnus showed his versatility and a good drive to the basket with his left hand. He likes to finish on the euro step where he can use either hand. He can attack the basket from the three-point line but is also capable to go to the low post when defended by a smaller player and create good opportunities for himself. Vrabac is also interesting in transition as he can grab the ball in the defensive rebound and push it immediately full court for the fast break. He has a good touch and can also finish on the floater, but mainly using his stronger left hand. His three-point shot is technically well developed but he was not very lucky during the final with his attempts.

Nedim Buza did not have a great final but the 1995 born guard looks like an interesting prospect for the future. His three point shot with his feet set is picture perfect and he can score from behind the arc with good percentages as well in Pick and Roll situations. Buza is a do-it-all guard as he has correct court vision and can find his team mates and his great size helps him to be present in the defensive rebound as well. He can go for another year in the U20 category and it will be interesting to see his impact when he is the clear leader next summer.

Stefan Glogovac was a kind of a surprise for me as I did not follow him that much before. The 2m06 tall Power Forward played quite a good tournament and was the second inside option for the Bosnian team. He seals his man well in the low post and he can finish in the paint, especially with his stronger left hand. He likes to use the jump hook after posting up where he scores at high percentages. While the jump hook is his go-to-move, Glogovac can also attack the middle and come to a jump stop for the fake and put the ball in after a back spin. On the offensive rebound, he goes immediately back for the put back without taking the ball down which is positive. Additionally, the 1994 born big guy has the necessary shooting touch to play the stretch four role as he made a couple of three-pointers after setting an inside screen and popping out.

Naim el Khounchar had a great first half in the Final. The Belgian combo guard showed a great variety in his offensive scoring. He knocked down several three point shots both in catch-and-shoot situations and out of the dribble. He attacked the basket and liked to come up with a sort of flick shot from the free-throw line that can not really be considered a floater. Anyhow, he nailed it on multiple occasions. With his good speed and ball handling, el Khounchar was a constant threat in transition where he found his team mates nicely when driving to the hoop. Physically, he got stronger over the last years and he still has these nice long arms that help him to be a good defender in the passing lanes. Overall, the 1994 born guard is an interesting scoring threat in the back court and he should be close to making the next step in his career and become a Senior National Team player within the next years.

Manu Lecomte was the clear Belgian leader on the court as the Miami Hurricane dominated the ball on most offenses. He did not have his best game in the Final as he made only 5 out of 19 2FGs which was by far his worst game in that category. He finished the tournament on 53.8% from inside the arc which means that he was at 62.7% before the last game which is a fantastic percentage for a 1m80 tall guard. Lecomte likes to create his own shot out of the dribble to finish with the jumper from the mid-range territory. With his nice speed and great accelerations, he can beat nearly every player, at least on this level, in 1-1 situations. His shot release is really quick but he takes them often out of balance which adds a certain degree of difficulty which could be avoided. His three point shot is not really reliable at the moment, but it looks good and fluid in catch and shoot situations. Physically quite strong, Lecomte does not attack the hoop that much but he has the necessary explosiveness to finish in the paint against taller players. He is doing really well in generating contact with the defensive player to draw the foul. Still a year younger than the competition, he looked a bit like a man among boys in the Belgian team which indicates his physical profile. On the defensive end, you could expect a bit more as he struggled sometimes to get around picks and he averaged “only” 1.1 steals in 30 minutes on the floor.

Andy van Vliet was a very specific player who can be considered a shooting guard in a Center body. Listed at 2m10, van Vliet did nearly only take three point shots in the event and rarely played close to the rim. In fact, he had only 4 free-throws in total during the tournament while he was Top3 in 3 point field goal attempts. The left handed Belgian looks a bit like a blonde version of Tayshaun Prince, elegantly gliding around the three point line and taking high-arced shots. Sometimes though, he loses his balance on the jumper and turns his body a bit so that he could not score on high percentages throughout the event. When he put the ball on the floor, van Vliet went up for the mid range jump shot out of the dribble where he was quite successful. On the defensive end, van Vliet was though more present in a typical center role. He finished as third best shot blocker of the tournament which made him the first ever player that went Top 3 in both 3 point field goal attempts and shot blocking during a FIBA Europe Youth event. Additionally, he has good leaping ability and is quite mobile to come for the help situations. The 1995 born can certainly develop into an interesting role player in the future as he brings two specific assets together for a rare combination.

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