European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

FIBA U19 World Championships: Mario Delas’ MVP performance

July 16th, 2009 · No Comments

In the recent FIBA U19 World Championships, the Croatian PF Mario Delas got elected MVP of the tournament for his performance to lead the Croatian team to an unexpected Bronze medal. Delas finished the tournament with 20.0ppg, 7.0rpg and 2.2apg while hitting 57.9% of his shot attempts. The 2m08 tall player from KK Split has clearly taken over the lead in the team-intern prospect ranking from Tomislav Zubcic who was generally regarded as the more talented player. Here we go for an update on the Delas.

Delas is mainly used as a post player right now, a position where he can create many opportunities for himself with his good footwork and soft touch around the basket. Posting up his opponents mostly on the left offensive side, Delas likes to use his quickness in order to beat bigger opponents. Because of his limited jumping abilities, he used a multitude of fakes to create the necessary space to finish with soft finger rolls, jump hooks or lay ups. He lacks the explosivity to finish his post moves with dunks of two feet which caused him some trouble in the semi-finals against the more athletic US players where he saw his shots rejected at times.

Out of the post, he likes to go over his left shoulder with right handed dribbling plays where he finishes in the star-step position form which he uses his set foot very well to create the necessary room to get an open look. He is clever enough to wait until he feels open enough in these moves and pass the ball out when he gets defended too hard. His game is really on the floor and all comes out of his footwork where he excels to get the right position for his moves. You see him only rarely trying more difficult shots like a running fade away jump of one foot which he nailed however. When the defense recognized that he mostly goes over his right hand, he used his left hand to go baseline for an up and under play where he used his body and the rim as protection very well.

On the defensive end, Delas is quite a surprising shot blocker which comes however all out of timing and mostly from the weak side as a help defender. In general, his lateral positioning is good on the help defense for drives. When defending post players, Delas struggles though as he gets sealed quite often because of his lack of weight and physical presence. He boxes out quite well in the rebound which gives him a fair amount of boards but he can not be considered as a rebounding machine.

Clearly, his potential is on the offensive end where Delas will probably develop his outside shot even more in the future. His mechanics look great and you can see him go for some face up jump shots if he is open. Right now, he does not create jump shot positions for himself out of penetrations from behind the arc, but with his speed, he forces the defense to help on him and he can dish out the perfect passes for the open three point shots of his team mates.

It looks pretty obvious at the moment that Delas will leave his team of KK Split as they did not qualify for next year’s edition of the Adriatic League. Rumors have been around that Bilbao is interested in signing him among other Spanish teams.  The question is if he is ready to have some impact in the physical ACB at right now. Another option would be to stay within the Adriatic region and we heard some talk about a possible move to the Adriatic League team of Siroki.

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