European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Nike International Junior Tournament (Part 2)

May 6th, 2008 · 1 Comment

After the first part of my recap of the Nike International Junior Tournament yesterday, here is the second part of the report which contains player profiles of Cibona Zagreb and Real Madrid junior teams.

When we talk about Cibona Zagreb, we have of course to mention Tomislav Zubcic. During the AST this spring, I had already made a first report about the Croatian forward, so here I will just come up with an update of this report. I don’t have to mention that fantastic combination of size and skills that the Croatian forward displays. He played a lot of SF during the tournament where he could use his speed and size. Despite showing decent individual statistics, Zubcic is still not the leader that can make his team winning. This has already been the case with the Croatian U18 team in Mannheim and is still the case with Cibona in Madrid. Also what I wanted to add is that his shot position is not always perfect. He loves to go for some fade-away shots when it is not necessary which results in perfectible shooting percentages. As I said, I don’t go for the outstanding individual skills; the only thing I want to add in this area is that Zubcic displayed great rebounding will throughout the tournament.

Leon Radosevic has also already been featured during the Albert-Schweitzer Tournament so here is also only a short update on what he displayed in Madrid. Playing mostly really inside where he wants to use his above average athleticism for European standards to overpower his opponents. Unfortunately, this ends up sometimes in forced moves which he has to limit. On the other hand, this style of plays gives him a lot of FTs to shot where he has some room for improvement left as he scored only 63% of his attempts.

Nikola Mirotic (2m06 – PF – 1991 – Real Madrid)

Here we have another example of the already typical European power forward. Large shooting range until the three point line, good size, correct athleticism and so on. Mirotic had his worst game when I was there, so it is difficult to judge his level. But he is player that has nice potential because of his excellent fundamentals, good size and nice shot until the three point area. He showed several times some kind of nice back to the basket move with a turn-around, fake and then a sort of up and under to avoid the block shot. He also had interesting shooting skills out of the dribble with notably a 3pt fake,1 driblle and then a step back to swish it from long range two. Definitely a player to watch in the future.

Ryan Richards (2m06 – C – 1991 – Real Madrid)

First of all, the British Center was only one that could stop Dejan Musli in any kind of way, by playing him extremely physical. But is that enough to make him a great prospect, I don’t know. Richards displayed everything you need to become a good one one day. On the other side, I did not like at all his behavior on the court. But coming to his game, he showed some very fine moves with his back to basket and was extremely present in offensive rebounding. He has range until the three point line from where he can hit shots without any problem. Being a nice athlete, that helps him a lot but he should be even more present in blocking shots. What bothered me also was the fact that Richards took nearly every time a shot on his own when he got the ball and never went for the pass. This may be considered as a pretty selfish attitude especially when your team is trailing by 30 points like it was the case against FMP Zeleznik.

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