European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Città di Roma 2008: Centers

January 7th, 2009 · No Comments

After talking about the forwards and the guards, time has come to talk about the big guys. Their number is even more limited than those of the Forwards. So let’s check what’s the story.

Samuel Deguara (2m23 – C – 1991 – Benetton Treviso)

One of the most interesting players to watch in Rome was Samuel Deguara. The 2m23 tall Maltese player has already attracted lots of intrigue over the last few years and it was for me the first time to see him in action. The first impression was not bad at all. I expected a bit of a skinny guy who has his size as main asset, but in general there is some more. To start with, Deguara is not skinny at all and he shows great motivation to play basketball. Seeing him running the court up and down is already a huge improvement to his previous physical condition as I was told.

In terms of basketball, Deguara shows quite interesting shooting mechanics, which however, he could not really translate from warming up to the game. All his movements are quite slow but it must be a tough job to bring this huge body into movement. Offensively, Deguara scored mainly on baskets close to the rim when getting the ball, turning around and trying to put the ball in the basket. He went for some powerful dunks but unfortunately, he barely missed every layup attempt.

What was interesting to see is that he is not afraid to take a dribble penetration, even if it ended either in an offensive foul or a a turnover. To see a guy like him fake a hand-off play and go for the drive impressed me bit as this move is not even a lot by other players of his age. Defensively, Deguara’s lateral speed is surprising for his size but of course far away for being able to defend quicker players. But his long arms help him to change shooting directions as he always goes for block shots.

What is good to see, is that Deguara seems to enjoy playing basketball. He runs the floor up and down and seems to be in a correct physical shape. He is in the process of learning how to play basketball and seems to develop a good understanding of the game. Post-moves are currently in development too as you see him try some kind of real post play. With the already correct free-throw shooting, Deguara has still a long way to go but could become more than just a giant playing basketball. You can also find below a short video sequence of Deguara which unfortunately features any real good moves.

Stats: 9.5ppg (55.5% 2FG 50% FT), 10.0rpg, 1.8bpg, 17mpg

Dragan Sekelja (2m10 – PF/C – 1991 – Cibona Zagreb)

The Croatian PF/C was one of the more interesting players of the Cibona roster as he represented a nice combination of basketball skills, size and power. Sekelja, who is quite an physical and emotional player can run the court very well and is not afraid to dribble the ball, even for going from coast to coast. He is very strongly built for this age category, but could not really use this power to dominate in the paint. He even had foul trouble in most of the games of the tournament.

Being mostly used as a low post player, he could not show a great variety of post moves though. Unable to overcome his smaller opponents in that area, he dished out some very nice passes to his cutting team mates which showed that he understands the game correctly. He is definitely worth another look as he had his worst game of the tournament when I scouted him.

Stats: 14.0ppg (48.9% 2FG), 9.0rpg

Giedrius Staniulis (2m07 – PF/C – 1991 – Zalgiris Kaunas)

The All-Tournament team member from Zalgiris Kaunas showed some promising games during the three days of Rome. Staniulis looks a bit like the typical Lithuanian big man, long and with a correct skill set. Playing only inside, Staniulis is currently not a thread from outside despite having a correct shot.

His main force is however his nice speed and athleticism. Staniulis likes to drive and beat his opponents of the dribble. You could see him several times receiving the ball at the high post and starting to go to the basket when turned backwards. This brings however a fair number of traveling violations and makes him turnover prone. Close to the rim, Staniulis shows very quick jumping and is not afraid to dunk the ball.

Stats: 16.8ppg (66.7% 2FG), 8.3rpg, 1.5bpg

Bakary Konate (2m05 – C – 1993 – Gran Canaria)

In the very poor Center presence in Rome, I have to speak about this specimen. Born in 1993, Bakary Konate seems to have not played basketball for a long time; but what a defensive presence. Extreme long arms and great jumping abilities cover a body that is far away from being ready. Offensively, he can only score on dunks or putbacks right now. But he is an immense factor in the defense.

Stats: 7.3ppg (53.0% 2FG), 8.3rpg

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