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Panagiotis Vasilopoulos NBA Draft Scouting Report
by:
February 27, 2005
Strengths
Panagiotis Vasilopoulos is a player with very specific strengths to his game, which is based around his mental strength and defensive play. Looking more experienced than his age, he understands well the need of a player to work for his team and attempt fewer shots than expected in order to make sure that all baskets will be a product of team work and that the best shot possible is found to maximize the possession. When he is needed, he can take over on the offensive end; he is a fine shooter, confident, fairly athletic, versatile, has a nice vertical leap and his passing abilities are above average. Defensively, he uses his strong and well-built body in order to stop his opponents, either in the post or more successfully on the perimeter. He can control his body well and is able to commit smart fouls when needed, while it is no problem for him to chase smaller players, as his feet are strong enough for him to simply do it. He is a really good rebounder and despite his small size, he is a steady blocker. In general, although he has very good offensive characteristics, his role on his team is more defense-oriented.

Weaknesses
Vasilopoulos' skill level just isn't that high. One cannot find any specific field that he excels in and that's something that hurts NBA potential. The same way that he doesn't have many flaws to his game, it becomes clear that he is not extremely gifted in any field.
Moreover, he is not selfish enough offensively. This is a similar case to Sergei Monia, but Vasilopoulos does not play for Europe's best team. He plays for more than 20 mpg and only attempts 2-3 shots per game. This is pathetic for a player who does not lack offensive skills. His athleticism is fine, but he is still raw and he will struggle for a couple of years, if he ever joins the pros. Players like him with potential, but with small size and limited penetration skills usually need to work more in Europe in order to be contributors for an NBA team.




Competition
He is a 2nd-year starter for the team of PAOK, a top-5 team in Greek A1 and one of Uleb Cup's top-8 teams. In A1, he plays for 24.6 mpg and averages 8.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.8 spg and 0.7 bpg, while he shoots by 78% for 2pt-FG. In the Uleb Cup, he averages 4.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.3 bpg.

Comments
I cannot see any way that this player will not improve. It is very rare to see mentally strong players not making their goal. The issue is what is his goal. Because if he wants to play in the NBA, he has to take over his team as soon as possible. If a team wants to make him a draft pick may see him improve instantly, but someone has to explain him that he has to have some initiative too.

Facts
He was the 4th best scorer for the Greek Junior National Team in the Junior World Championships of 2003, for a team that finished third. He was the top rebounder and 2nd best scorer for the U-20 National Team in last year's European U-20 European Championships, where Greece finished 4th. He is considered as one of the best defensive players in Greece. Statistically, he ranks in the top-10 for blocks per game in A1. It is quite likely that he will be called up for the 18-man squad of the National Team of Greece for this year's Eurobasket, but has limited possibilities to make it in the final-12 squad.

 


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