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U17 World Championship 2010: Serbia

July 16th, 2010 · No Comments

The Serbian team finished finally at the 5th place of the U17 World Championship in Hamburg. After winning the Bronze Medal in Lithuania last summer in the U16 category, this team reached probably his maximum level with this 5th place as top-talent Nenad Miljenovic could not take over the team as he liked to in order to go for more.

Nenad Miljenovic – 1m94 – G – 1993 – FMP Belgrade

The Serbian guard was once again a mixed bag in my eyes. Miljenovic played most of the time on the SG position despite being better used as PG in my eyes. He needs to have the ball in his hands as he has not really a game off the ball. He can create so much when he has the rock that the team loses much of its potential when Miljenovic is used in a pure scorer role. He showed that he is able to decide games on his own versus Australia for the 5th place where he played the PG in the end and made three big plays for his team mates to bring the game home.

On the positive side, Miljenovic is still the very long and fluid guard who can do so much with the ball. His great handles give him the possibility to beat nearly anyone on the dribble. He creates lots of open positions for his team mates and sees them very well. The FMP player still goes for a multitude of mid-range shots but forces it less than when we saw him the previous times. With his SG role he mostly played in Hamburg, he was more present on the offensive rebound as when being the PG. Miljenovic can hit the three pointer out of the dribble or in catch and shoot fashion with a good release but he is not really a real shooter on kick-out situations. He prefers to score out of the dribble.

Defensively, Miljenovic does only what is needed. He can be a good defender when he wants to as he has all the necessary tools. But he looks sometimes less interested by the defensive effort. The tournament in Hamburg showed that Miljenovic definitely needs to play PG in order to be effective. He looks frustrated or not motivated if he can not bring up the ball and decide on the game. He needs to learn that he will probably also have to play SG during moments in the future and that this should not bother him. His scoring talent can be used on this position as well.

Stats: 15.1ppg (41.2% 2FGs – 33.3% 3FGs), 5.5rpg, 3.1apg

Luka Mitrovic – 2m04 – F – 1993 – Hemofarm Vrsac

The forward from Vrsac made a huge step forward compared to what he gave to the team last summer in Lithuania. Coming from a 3.4ppg player to first inside option shows the progress of the 1993 born player from Vrsac. Mitrovic has nice footwork to use in the paint where he mainly operates. He looks to have great hands and a very soft touch around the paint. Out of back-to-the-basket situations, he can finish easily with the turn around jump shot but he has no real power moves to score close to the hoop. He prefers to operate with this face to the basket and put the ball on the floor.

He can attack the basket with both hands from the top and features also an interesting mid-range game. Out of the dribble, he can go for the mid-range jump shot from 45 degrees or even for a difficult step-back jumper. With his long arms, his shot looks very nice, even if he does not have the quickest release. In general, all of his movements look a bit slow but executed with a certain elegance. He has not really a quick first step but with his long strides, he is able to beat his opponent on the dribble.

Stats: 11.9ppg (65.5% 2FGs), 5.8rpg, 1.4apg

Nemanja Bezbradica – 2m04 – C – 1993 – FMP Belgrade

The years go on and there is not really a progress to be seen in Bezbradica’s game. He could not do a lot against the more athletic or taller players in the post and got frustrated easily. With his size, it is about time for him to move to the PF position but he does not really show the necessary speed or ball handling. He struggled to beat taller players on the drive and had no chance to score against them in the low post. It will be interesting to see how he develops his game over the next years and if he is capable of becoming a PF. He has the necessary physical tools but currently not really the game. At least, he is not used like that with the Serbian U17 National Team.

Stats: 10.4ppg (46.8% 2FGs – 45.0% FTs), 6.5rpg

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