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Città di Roma Tournament 2009 (Part 2)

January 4th, 2010 · 2 Comments

The second part of the report on Città di Roma features players from the teams placed 3 to 8.

Nikola Siladi (2m05 – Forward – 1992 – FMP Belgrade)

The Serbian forward was probably the surprise of FMP Belgrade in Rome as the 2m05 tall player earned an All-Tournament spot in the end. In my opinion, he is certainly a talented player but he had a lot of offensive possibilities because of the presence of Nemanja Bezbradica who did all the dirty work in the paint so that Siladi could shine. In the game where Bezbradica was injured, the offensive production of Siladi was more limited and he had to work harder on rebounding for example.

Nikola Siladi earned a spot as best PF in the All-Tournament team

Nikola Siladi features excellent physical attributes to be a high-level European PF. He can run the court, has excellent leaping ability and can build up a nice physical presence in the next years. On the other hand, there are still some holes in his all-around basketball skills that he absolutely needs to develop in the next years. To start with is his currently not very stable jump shot. Despite not showing the greatest accuracy on his long distance attempts, he sometime goes too much for it instead of beating his opponents on the drive which he does really well. He can conclude those penetration with powerful dunks too.

Siladi prefers to play at the top of the key coming out for the jump shot or the drive. He showed some good instincts offensively though as he faked a hand-off for example to have a totally open drive afterwards. He is more of a hustle rebounder, fighting a lot to get the ball. Offensively, he goes maybe a bit too much for tip-in attempts instead of trying to control the rebound. With his explosiveness and quick jumps, he gets a hand on nearly every missed shot and he is not afraid either to dive hard for the ball. If he can improve his shooting, Siladi is a very interesting player for the future. We will hopefully see him with the Serbian U18 National Team this summer to observe his progress.

Stats: 12.5ppg (34% 2FG), 11.0rpg, 2.8topg, 1.0bpg

Nemanja Bezbradica (2m04 – Center – 1993 – FMP Belgrade)

The physical Center from FMP Belgrade suffered from a foot injury and could not play in the last game of the tournament. Before, he was the inside stabilization for his team which he did through an excellent presence both in shot blocking and rebounding. Bezbradica presents a huge body for a 16 year old which helps him to dominate even against one year older players. Currently being listed at only 2m04, he may gain some more centimeters in the future which will help him to play the Center position. Because, right now, he is only doing damage in the paint, but with great accuracy.

Bezbradica shows nice speed and athleticism for a player of his built. He can go for spin moves around the defense easily and finish his plays with powerful dunks. He is not afraid to face his defender and attack him from the front if he can not enforce him by simply backing him up with power. Out of his post moves, he sees when to give the ball out to his wings to get a better position. But first of all, he tries to go for the score immediately and he finishes pretty well when being close to the basket.

Stats: 15.0ppg (60.7% 2FG), 8.0rpg, 2.7topg, 1.0bpg

Diego Monaldi (1m82 – Guard – 1993 – Montepaschi Siena)

The Italian PG from Montepaschi earned a bit surprisingly an All-Tournament spot in my eyes but he had two great scoring games on Day 1 when I was not present in Rome. Monaldi is a real scoring PG that has a nice arsenal of mid-range game, preferring going for 3-4m shots than drive until the hoop. He can score out of the dribble on a normal jump shot or in fade away style. He has quite a good first step which helps him to beat his defenders either left or right but finishing mostly with his right hand.

His shot release is not very quick which prevents him from shooting with a defender right on him. Being only 1m82 tall, he is physically of course under the average despite being born in 1993. Right now, he can score but the question remains how this will translate to the professional level in a few years. Additionally, he is not a PG who can create for his team mates and mainly focus on his own scoring.

Stats: 19.0ppg (39.5% 2FG, 29.6% 3FG), 1.5rpg, 1.5apg, 2.0spg

Alexander Tikhonin (2m04 – Forward – 1992 – CSKA Moscow)

Tikhonin is a player that came totally out of nowhere as the 2m04 tall forward from CSKA Moscow has never played for any Youth National team so far. When you see him play, this may be a surprise as he was probably the best player of the Russian team. Tikhonin is not the most physical player but he has a good jump and a nice wingspan. In the paint, he can score the ball with both hands on jump hooks and he is very spectacular on different dunks. He has also a mid-range and three point shot but he plays most of the time in the paint.

On his drives, he is not a sure ball-handler which makes them look out of control. This is also the case on defensive rebound situations where he likes to bring the ball out with dribbles but he does not look in control in these moves which causes sometimes turnovers on outlet passes for example. His rebounding in general is mostly based on his great jumping, more than on good positioning or powerful boxing out. With his long arms and leaping ability, he is very present in shot blocking, hence his game is not much on the floor which causes him trouble in defending hard in the post.

Stats: 14.5ppg (63.1% 2FG, 36.3% FTs), 6.8rpg, 1.5bpg

Stefan Petkovic (1m82 – Guard – 1992 – Benetton Fribourg)

Stefan Petkovic was already present last year in Rome and he showed some nice progress since last year. The major playing time he gets with the Benetton Fribourg professional team is certainly one of the reasons. Petkovic was simply the best PG of the tournament in my opinion. He is not only a scoring guard but also he sets the plays up well and makes his team mates better. The 1m82 tall player is doing very well on pick-and-roll situations as he recognizes excellently what the defense is doing. Being a constant threat from behind the arc, the defense must go out on him which gives him the possibility to play the nice pass for the rolling big guy.

Despite being not very tall, he is not afraid to drive until the hoop and go for the difficult scores. He provokes a lot of fouls on his penetration plays as he is physically strong enough to stand his man against taller players. Being an excellent FT shooter helps him even if he missed some key free-throws in the last game of the tournament. He is used to bring up the ball against strong pressure but has however to improve his turnover ratio where he was probably the worst player of the tournament. But fulfilling a do-it-all role on his team is of course not helping him in this area. It has to be seen how Petkovic would play on the next level. His shooting qualities and Basketball IQ speak in his favor and with the fact of playing in Switzerland will give him the necessary time to grow step by step.

Stats: 20.0ppg (35.9% 2FG, 40% 3FG), 4.5rpg, 3.0apg, 6.5topg

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