European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Quick review on the ongoing EuroCup season

December 27th, 2009 · 4 Comments

With the year 2009 coming to an end, it is time to look back at what happened during the last months. The EuroCup season is quite shorter than the Euroleague but the teams playing here are stuffed with interesting talent. So it is time to take a quick look at those players that are emerging in the 2nd best European competition.

Antoine Diot is currently playing his best season of his career. The 1989 born French guard of Le Mans is doing a great job leading his team and could also improve his statistics consequently. I had a long report on him this summer which I can only recommend to read as it describes the progress he has made, especially in the reading of pick and roll situations and with his long distance shot.

Stats: 7.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.0apg

Stefan Markovic is another PG that has made a big step this summer playing with the National Team and being now the leader of a Eurocup team. However, Markovic still struggles with his long distance shot these days as he is turning just around 18% from behind the arc. His all-around presence through strong rebounding and good defense overcome his decreasing scoring average over the last two years.

Stats: 7.0ppg, 4.3rpg, 5.5apg

Milan Macvan had one big game in this season’s Eurocup against Le Mans where he finished with 14pts and 6rebs. The 1989 born forward is imposing himself as a key player for Hemofarm, even he could not yet reach the level he played on last season.

Stats: 8.0ppg, 3.0rpg

Boban Marjanovic is still the 2m22 giant in the middle who has a major impact on both sides of the court. He is automatically eligible for the NBA Draft in 2010 so we could see him being a interesting pick down the road for several teams looking for a real big guy. Having a pretty nice shooting touch and a huge frame, Marjanovic has all the tools but currently is not yet making the next step in his development

Stats: 7.0ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.3bpg

Mindaugas Kuzminskas is one of the major surprises of the beginning of the Eurocup season. Kuzminskas who signed a long term deal with Zalgiris this summer but was loaned back to Siauliai is doing a great job as starter for the Lithuanian team. Being present both as a scorer and rebounder, Kuzminskas is doing an all-around job in his second Eurocup season. The 2m05 tall and 1989 born player is currently hitting his three point shots with great accuracy. His shooting mechanics look excellent with a quick release. He understand the game pretty well and he can use his size to post up smaller defenders when playing SF. He is also very effective when driving to the basket as he attracts the help defense and knows how to dish the ball to his open team mates. Fundamentally, he is at a very high level and athletically, he is above average for European standards. On the downside, he looks to be kind of a soft player when it comes to contact, especially in the lower body. He loses his balance in the air easily when going for the layup against defense and struggles to convert his attempts then. However, he is one of the most promising players in the Eurocup this season and I won’t be surprised to see him playing Euroleague with Zalgiris in 2010.

Stats: 12.5ppg (63.6% 7/11 3FG), 3.5rpg

Deividas Gailius is the 2nd player of BC Siauliai in this report and the electric combo guard born in 1988 is doing a great job in his first season with the team. Gailius is a highly energetic guard that displays a relentless effort on the court. He is more of a scorer, that’s why Siauliai uses him a lot on the SG position, even if he is starting most of the times at PG. The 2m00 tall guard pushes the ball very hard on the break and tries to go for the score against anybody. He looks like being always at full effort, it is not sure if he can really slow the speed down. In general, he has all the tools to become a very good player, he can shoot the ball in catch-and-shoot situations or out of the dribble. He is not afraid to drive hard and tries to dunk the ball when possible.

Stats: 10.3ppg, 4.5rpg

David Jelinek saw some playing time in the beginning of this EuroCup campaign and he used the limited minutes to show his scoring talent. The Czech born forward from 1990 will probably have more impact in the coming years as the 2m03 tall player has the talent to become an interesting rotation on ACB and EuroCup level.

Stats: 5.5ppg, 2.5rpg

Pere Tomas is improving his numbers throughout the competition as the 2m01 tall forward gained the starting lineup position for the last two games. The versatile 1989 born player is showing his all-around talent combined with his athletic abilities make him a prospect that should fulfill all the promises during the next years.

Stats: 5.3ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.3apg

Tim Ohlbrecht has been featured in a very recent report here on the website so I suggest you to read that piece.

Dimitry Khvostov seems to be there for years, he was present with the Dynamo Moscow team back in 2006/2007 already with similar stats to today. For me it is difficult to say anything else on him as I did not see him play in EuroCup action for several years.

Stats: 4.0ppg, 2.5apg 2.3topg

Alexey Shved has made the move that finally will give him the playing time to showcase his talent. Coming to Dynamo Moscow during the season, he exploded immediately in the EuroCup behind 16pts and 8rebs. In the year of his automatic eligibility for the NBA Draft, it is important for him to put some numbers on the table that are in line with his incredible talent. Hopefully, we will have more on him later in the season.

Stats: 10.5ppg, 7.0rpg

Marko Keselj is doing a good job this year with Crvena Zvezda but still does not live up to the major hype that was built up around him several years ago. Being born in 1988, the long forward who excels from behind the three point line, is probably not on the board of a lot of NBA teams at the moment. The financial situation of his team though brought him in a situation where is looking for a different club as he has not received his salary since March.

Stats: 9.7ppg (5/11 3FG)

Elmedin Kikanovic has not been discussed that much recently but the Bosnian 2m10 Center is once again producing excellent numbers with Crvena Zvezda. Living mostly from his excellent jump shot, the 1988 born player is not a massive physical force which does not make him that interesting for NBA teams. However, Kikanovic will certainly be a major target for Euroleague teams in the future.

Stats: 14.3ppg, 3.3rpg

Nemanja Bjelica is more interesting in terms of NBA potential as the 2m09 tall forward is showing excellent athletic abilities and large versatility in his game. Bjelica is also an excellent defensive player and one of the best rebounders on the forward position. Bjelica is however struggling with his shot at the moment as he connects only 34% of his attempts.

Stats: 4.5ppg, 6.8rpg

Donatas Motiejunas raised some eyebrows this summer when he announced that he will sign with Benetton Treviso. But the move seems pretty clever right now as the Lithuanian top talent is having a good role in the rotation of the Italian team and plays around 20 minutes every game. After the Euroleague qualifiers, I had no opportunity to see him play in the Eurocup thus far, so I hope to get a bit more on him later on in the season.

Stats: 7.5ppg, 2.3rpg

Alessandro Gentile is probably the biggest surprise of the whole Eurocup as the 17 year old player has cracked the rotation of Benetton and is putting on a scoring show during the minutes he is on the court. He scored 16pts in just 21 minutes against Dynamo Moscow and did better than the highly regarded Shved on the same game. Gentile plays with the Benetton Junior Squad at the Stella Azzurra tournament these days, so I will get a more complete report on him in the next days when I am back from Rome.

Stats: 7.3ppg, 4.3rpg

Kevin Seraphin has been covered recently in a longer report which you can find here.

Stats: 7.0ppg, 6.3rpg, 1.3bpg

Carl Ona Embo is getting some back-up minutes at the PG in Biella. He is currently doing a correct job as his three point shot is falling in the Eurocup competition. Still, Ona Embo is not a real PG but more of a scoring combo guard combined with PG size which makes it quite difficult for him to find the right position for the future.

Stats: 4.3ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.5apg

Pietro Aradori is simply among the best players of the competition. I had a long report on him a few weeks ago which you can read here.

Stats: 16.7ppg (65% 2FG), 5.0rpg, 2.3apg

Karsten Tadda is probably the best example to see that hard work pays off. The defensive specialist has worked himself into the heavy rotation of Brose Baskets Bamberg during last season and has progressed ever since. Being used mainly as a defensive stopper, Tadda is able to hit the three pointer with ease when being open as shows his current percentages in the Eurocup where he is at an incredible 72.7% from behind the arc. Tadda is starting now for his team at SG and may also see minutes on the Point Guard in the next years. The 1m90 tall and 1988 born guard may be limited in terms of pure basketball talent but he is the perfect role player and shows this already now on the Eurocup level.

Stats: 8.5ppg (72.7% 3FG)

Tibor Pleiss has been covered this week in a long report.

Stats: 10.5ppg 6.3rpg 1.3bpg

Janis Strelnieks (Stats: 12.3ppg 4.0apg), Lauris Blaus (Stats: 2.5ppg 1.8rpg) and Dairis Bertans (Stats: 4.0ppg 2.0rpg 1.3apg) have been covered during the Euroleague qualifiers and confirm their talent level in the current Eurocup competition.

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 (Paulius) // Dec 28, 2009 at 9:12 am

    I think you are forgetting Arvydas Šikšnius, also from “Šiauliai”. He is ’87 born and it’s his first season in any of pan-European basketball events. He leads “Šiauliai” in scoring (16,5 ppg, 2FG 53,3%, 3FG 55 %) and ranking (16,8), is also a excellent clutch player (including buzzer-beater against “Aris” and his other buzzer-beaters in previous team, “Sakalai”) and surprisingly stable, has good 3-point-shoot and also can tear down the rim on a point-break or just after one-on-one. His athletic abilities are also amazing – though he’s not that good shot-blocker as his teammate Kuzminskas, he does defensive job very well, and as I have also mentioned he is a one of the most impressive Lithuanian dunkers (winner of LKL Slam Dunk contest’ 09 – Also, as far as I know, both “Žalgiris” and “Lietuvos Rytas” are after him and we may see Arvydas Šikšnius in Euroleague the next season.

  • 2 Christophe // Dec 28, 2009 at 11:53 pm
    I agree with you, however, I only considered players born in 1988 or younger

  • 3 (Paulius) // Dec 29, 2009 at 8:11 am

    Ah, in that case he’s too old. But there’s a quick link in your blog for ’87 born, so I thought you’ve just forgotten him.

  • 4 Mindaugas Kuzminskas Video Recap // Apr 20, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    […] below a report I had written on Kuzminskas at the beginning of the Eurocup season. Mindaugas Kuzminskas is one of the major surprises of the beginning of the Eurocup season. […]

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