European Prospects

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U20 European Championship (Division A): the guards

August 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment

In a tournament, that was mostly dominated by the Wings and Big guys, it was quite to hard to take out some prospects on the guard positions. So here is a little choice of the player I had the chance to see in Riga.

Joaquin Colom (1m88 – Point Guard – 1988 – Spain)

Colom was the Spanish starting PG and was elected to the All-Tournament team. This was may be more the result of a tournament that lacked high-quality PGs that managed to bring their team to the Medal round. However, Colom is a quality player, but when you talk about upside, he is not the guy to look for at the moment.

Quino Colom is a good under control player that offensively is doing his job. He can hit the three pointer out of the dribble, also coming of a nice cross-over movement. With his drives, he attracts the defense and has no problem to go for kick-out passes to find his open team mates on the wing. With the plays, he arrived to be the top-assists player of the tournament and his all-around mature impression gave him the Tournament Team spot, which was deserved.

Martynas Gecevicius (1m93 – Shooting Guard – 1988 – Lithuania)

Gecevicius remains the best scorer of the guards of the whole tournament and earned a All-Tournament Team spot. The Lithuanian shooter can come up with long distance shots as well as with mid-distance jumpers. The shots out of the dribble are no problem for him at all. But his best shot is the three pointer in catch-and-shot fashion from the corner.

It was also him that took the game in his hands in the difficult moments to score the baskets his team needed. With some drives, he could create positions for his own mid-range shots but he does not go to the hole for a lot of times. His experience in the Euroleague is also to be seen as he knows how to create contacts and get the referee calls for him.

Zygimantas Janavicius (1m90 – Point Guard – 1989 – Lithuania)

The left handed Lithuanian Point Guard showed his well know strengths: good speed and nice left drives. His shooting is still some up and down, especially from behind the arc. His main offensive power remains however his drives where he can go until the rim and also score against the real big guys.

Still, his drive to the right is by far not as effective than when he can go to his strong left. He showed however some nice scores of his right hand too. On his drives, he has quite a good view for his team mates and goes for some interesting dishes. Something that bothers me a bit is his overreaction on every contact in order to get a foul call. He loses his own control sometimes with these moves.

Sarunas Vasiliauskas (1m88 – Guard – 1989 – Lithuania)

The first option coming from the bench in the Lithuanian back court, Vasiliauskas showed several times that he can be an energizer for the team over short periods. With his drives, he creates great options for himself which he finishes with high layups of the glass or tear-drop shots.

His three point shooting is not his main force on the offensive end, something he should develop this point because of his limited size to play on the SG position. His drives are mostly ending in scoring positions for himself as he is not really looking to go for the assist.

Dogus Balbay (1m82 – Point Guard – 1989 – Turkey)

For the Turkish guard, I could not see any real development over the last years, unfortunately. He is still the super athletic but short sized  PG that is very versatile. But neither his long distance shot has improved, nor did he show better maturity in his Point Guard skills.

But I don’t want to talk only about the problems that Balbay faces as he is still a very talented player. With his athleticism, he can go for difficult scores of the drive where he knows how to use his body and leaping abilities to score. He also tries to step up with some mid-range jumpers but they did not fall in Riga.

Sead Sehovic (2m00 – Guard – 1989 – Montenegro)

The Montenegrin guard, who also had to play on the SF spot during some stretches showed some very interesting potential in Riga. With great size for the guard spot and promising athleticism, Sehovic is a nice scoring option in a team that relied mostly on their top player Vladimir Dasic.

Sehovic has first of all a nice catch-and-shot jumper to score from everywhere, including three pointers. Additionally, he can go for drives which he concludes often very close to the basket where he uses his correct leaping ability.

Last, but not least, I want to give also a few words about the Serbian backcourt. In a team stuffed with insides forces, the guards were not the main attraction of course. But you have to mention the good job of guys like Dusan Katnic. Other players to mention at this level are for example the French SG Abdoulaye MBaye who came up with some big scoring efforts. Alexey Shved, who I could not see in Riga because of the schedules was however a disappointment to me as he did not manage to lift his team higher than a 9th place. Other names to be mentioned are of course Antoine Diot, Pietro Aradori or the Ukrainian sniper Sergiy Gladyr.

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