Víctor Claver, 6-9, SF/PF, 1988, Pamesa Valencia, Spain
2 games Total: 19 points, 8 rebounds, 6 steals, 5 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover, 3/10 2P, 3/9 3P
After his excellent performance in the ACB playoffs he's pretty much matching the expectations, emerging as one of the very top prospects in the camp. Still, he's combining spectacular actions (he finished an alley-oop with a jaw-dropping reverse dunk) and general solid play with a few silly mistakes. Claver missed various easy layups and sometimes seemed a bit out of focus, but those are just flashes of inconsistency in a player that seems to have gained a lot of character and steadiness over the last year.
Anyway, he delivered plenty of stuff for the scouts to drool over. Easily handling the ball either in the open court (he loves to take the ball up-court in quick transitions) or attacking his matchups, he felt pretty comfortable on the court, ready to try and make things happen during most stretches. His perimeter shot remains inconsistent, though. He seems to enjoy a good stroke, but perhaps he gets unnecessarily unbalanced during the release too often. Claver particularly shined passing the ball, showing a nice understanding of the game. He was very active on defense, looking for the passing lanes, working hard on his man, but also helping out his teammates. Still, he hasn't solved the doubts about his lateral quickness when facing perimeter guys. Actually, he's spending extended minutes at the power forward position, which is a bit surprising in a setting like this camp that usually promotes its participants in the most intriguing position they can play. It seemed to work out pretty well for him today, though.
Will Buford, 6-5, Shooting Guard, 1990, Committed to Ohio State, USA
24 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 7/15 2P, 3/10 3P
One of the best players on the very young US squad, Buford showed some nice talent to put the ball in the basket, particularly displaying very intriguing shooting potential. He converted a number of jumpers with very good range, and sweet, fluid mechanics. He's an athletic guy, skinny but with a good enough frame to grow into his body, a very nice wingspan, and decent size (essentially putting all the ingredients together) to work in the shooting guard position. However, he will need to work hard on his ball-handling skills and off-the-dribble game, becoming a more creative player, as he looked pretty ineffective whenever he put the ball on the floor if it wasn't to shoot right after. Still, at age 16 there is a lot to look forward for in regards to his future at Ohio State.
Mantas Kalnietis, 6-5, PG/SG, 1986, Zalgiris, Lithuania
11 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 4/4 2P, 1/2 3P
Kalnietis finally showed up yesterday, on time to deliver some of the impressive stuff he's capable of doing. A very athletic player, usually something spectacular happens when he puts his leaping ability to full use. He can easily explode to the rim off the dribble, showing a nice first step and the ability to finish with a powerful dunk. Although he's not a consistent shooter, he did knock down some perimeter jumpers with nice mechanics. In terms of distributing the ball, he delivered a few drive-and-dish actions, even some passes from the perimeter, where he showed solid court vision. Still, he's yet to solve the doubts about his ability to effectively run an offense. He doesn't always come up with the best solutions, and his basketball IQ doesn't look like the best around. He's a sort of a combo, which is not that bad of a thing for a guy listed at 6-5 (even if with a poor wingspan).
Ali Traore, 6-9, PF/C, 1985, Le Havre, France
10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 3/6 2P
Fresh off his good showing in Orlando, and everyday exhibiting better conditioning, Traore has been pretty effective in the paint. He's a very strong guy able to overpower virtually every other player at the camp. Just attacking the basket from the lane using a reverse in motion to gain room and beat his opponent, it worked well for him to get consistent production, actually making it a sort of go-to move. Showing good footwork and nice quickness in his moves, he has struggled a little bit with his jump-hooks, particularly with the left hand. Besides, he has also showed a decent mid-range spot-up jumper to compliment his inside production.
Still, despite his superb wingspan, Traore is not tall or athletic enough to escape the "undersized" label considering his style of playing, pretty much center oriented. His shooting range is limited, his ball-handling not good enough to play off the dribble and his defensive mobility questionable against perimeter oriented power forwards.
Aleksandar Ugrinoski, 6-4, point guard, 1988, Arcadia Traiskirchen Lions, Croatia
2 points, 3 steals, 2 assists, 3 turnovers, 1/3 2P, 0/3 3P
Even though he keeps showing flashes of the great talent he enjoys, it still looks like he's wasting a big part of it. He's certainly not the player who gives the best effort all-around effort, often looking disinterested or showing poor body language around his teammates. From time to time, Ugrinoski emerged with nice passes in pick-and-roll settings or feeding cutters, while he tried to run the offense, but looked very inconsistent, lacking aggressiveness at times, rarely attacking his rivals to create offensive opportunities for his teammates, staying inconsistent with his perimeter stroke, while doing a poor job on the defensive end. Hes obviously an athletic guy with very nice tools at his disposal, but is still not able to translate that into actual production on a consistent basis.
Vladimir Dasic, 6-9, SF/PF, 1988, Buducnost, Montenegro
3 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 0/1 2P, 1/4 3P
Not a very impressive showing for the Montenegrin forward. His superb physical profile is there as always, as well as his nice athleticism, but he didn't provide consistency on the offensive end, especially considering that he's a well-known scorer in youth categories. After all, he's a player stuck between the two forward positions that still hasn't shown go-to moves here. Some good rebounds, igniting afterwards the fastbreak off the dribble, some ineffective spot-up perimeter shots (although showing good form), some penetrations (where he often tends to overdribble), a bunch of nice passes, he went pretty unnoticed though for what you expect from a top international prospect.
Giorgos Printezis, 6-9, SF/PF, Olimpia Larisa, Greece
14 points, 1 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 6/7 2P, 0/3 3P
The Greek forward is looking good in this camp. After a whole year playing the power forward spot, he's getting playing time at the three position and is faring pretty well, taking advantage of his very nice combination of strength and athleticism.
Actually, his physical profile seems tailor-made for a small forward, standing somewhere around 6-8, with broad shoulders, a strong upper body, but also relatively quick and light feet. Most of the positional concerns about him revolve around his skill repertoire, certainly a bit limited for what you would like from a wing player.
Starting with what he can do, Printezis is a decent shooter with three-point range, but only in static situations. He can also put the ball on the floor to attack the basket, looking aggressive and incisive. He can go all the way to the rim taking advantage of his explosiveness to dunk the ball or leave a high layup. His first step is quite good, although he needs to find a clear path since his ball-handling skills are not that good. He can also pass the ball off the drive showing nice criteria. He's runs the court very well, being able to explode towards the rim. He's also nicely aggressive on defense, with lateral quickness that seems to work against orthodox small forwards.
On the negative side, his average ball-handling skills limit his off-the-dribble abilities. He's not a good dribbler in traffic, he doesn't seem to be able to pull-up for a mid-range jumper, and in general he seriously lacks some ability from inside the arc.