Nike Hoop Summit Preview: International Team

Nike Hoop Summit Preview: International Team
Apr 07, 2006, 07:37 pm
The Nike Hoop Summit features the USA Basketball Men's Junior Select Team, comprised of the top high school boy senior players, playing against a World Select Team, comprised of top players 19 years old or younger from around the world.

The Hoop Summit game will be played on Saturday, April 8th at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. FSN will broadcast the game live at 4 PM EST.

Because of the age limit, NBA scouts will only be allowed to attend the World Select team practices and the game itself, but DraftExpress scout Mike Schmidt will be in Memphis covering everything.

Last year, Tyler Hansbrough gave UNC fans a taste of what to expect in his freshman season by absolutely dominating the game with 31 points and 10 rebounds en route to a 106-98 win by the US.

US Roster

World Roster

Daniel Clark, PF, 1988
6’10, 230, Estudiantes Club Madrid (Great Britain)

Luis Fernandez

This Englishman might get lost somewhere in between “too young to be a factor” and “limited-potential player”, but you never know; after all, Clark is a scorer, a big guy with a nice shooting touch who might get hot and deliver an offensive outburst at the right time. He fits European stereotype for bigs rather well: skilled, productive from the perimeter, not super athletic and not too intense. Daniel lives primarily off his jumper. He enjoys range all over the court, while he has the ability to create his own shots with spins and fadeaway moves in the low post or the mid-range area. He’s even capable of shooting off the dribble, although his quickness limits his production when he puts the ball on the floor facing a rival. Naturally, he’s still a streaky player, and he takes advantage of his superior size over less athletic competition at the junior level. Last time we checked, he needed to work on his footwork in the low post as well as his hook skills. But he might get particularly exposed at the defensive end and his lack of intensity doesn’t fit well with the more physical American style. Daniel Clark is a bit of an immature player, but his body is not so underdeveloped that he can’t present some physical competition if he delivers enough aggressiveness.

Luigi Datome, SF, 1987
6’8, 200, Sana Basket Siena (Italy)

Carlo Sandrinelli


Datome is probably the most experienced player in this year's Hoop Summit, having played meaningful minutes for Siena, a decent Euroleague team. Although his role on the team has become less important lately, in the first months of the season he enjoyed some very good outings, showing he is on his way to becoming a legit small forward, after being more of a 4 throughout his career at junior level. Standing between 6'8" and 6'9", Datome has perfect size for a SF, (even if he needs to add some muscle) and enjoys a nice overall athleticism: he's very fluid running the floor, has a fairly quick first step and a good vertical leap. He has good shooting touch out to the 3-point line, and the form on his jumper has been improving over the past two seasons; he likes to slash to the basket as well, and he finishes strong. Datome still has to work to improve his ball-handling skills, though. Defensively speaking, his attitude looks OK. His length and athleticism could allow him to become a good defender on SFs, but right now he may still lack a bit of lateral quickness (The fact that in Europe it's often another SG who plays at the 3 doesn't help him). He's an active player, and can be dangerous on the offensive boards. Generally speaking, he's a very solid and complete player at junior level, and the matchup between him and the athletic forwards of the US team could be one of the most interesting aspects of this game.

Rafael Hettsheimeir, C, 1986
6’9, 250, Akasvayu (Brazil)

Giancarlo Giampietro

Rafael Hettsheimeir is a rarity in Brazil, as a center capable of playing with his back to the basket. The youngster has just a few years of organized basketball experience, but has worked hard and is really progressing well. Last year, Rafael dominated the Basketball Without Borders camp in Argentina, being named MVP. Rafael also played sparingly on the National Team at the America’s Cup last year, after working out with the seniors for two months.

Hettsheimeir plays for Akasvayu Girona, and he’s currently playing for Akasvayu Vic, on LEB2 - the Spanish third division. He averages 10 ppg, 5.3 rebounds, 0,6 blocks, and shoots 50% from the floor. This high rate tells you what he likes to do: score on the block, with a very good wingspan and nice hands. However, he also has a decent outside shot (38% on 3-pointers).

Rafael left Brazil with very raw moves and wasn’t very developed in Ribeirão Preto’s offense. His points came on garbage buckets, crashing the offensive boards or waiting for a pass underneath the basket. On defense, he is very strong (and he clearly can still add some bulk on his upper body) and isn’t afraid to bang with the big guys. In his last games with Ribeirão, he clashed in the playoffs against two National Team’s centers (Estevam Ferreira and Murilo Becker), dominating the boards and even blocking a few shots.

One concern is about his size (he’s listed as 6’9), because Rafael doesn’t have the agility to guard the Power Forward spot. Playing against the cream crop of United States can give us an idea regarding whether or not he has an NBA future.

Dragan Labovic, 1987
6’9, 235, KK Borac Cacak (Serbia & Montenegro)

Luis Fernandez

Labovic is expected to be one of the top top options for the international team after he earned MVP honors in the European Junior Championships last summer. We are talking about a rather mature player, with a fantastic skill set, even if he’s not the most interesting guy around in terms of potential. Standing 6-9 (not far from 6-10), Dragan is an excellent low post threat, showing footwork, footspeed, intelligence using his body and ability to finish with both hands. He’s consistent delivering his jumper from the mid-range area and he can even knock them down from behind the arc. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor and he’s a very good passer, both from the low or high post. Labovic’s basketball IQ is truly remarkable, showing an excellent understanding of the game. Displaying good attitude at both ends of the court, his shortcomings arise in terms of average athleticism, although he enjoys nice mobility. Leading Borac, Labovic currently averages around 18 points and 7 rebounds in the Serbian League (this is a sort of second division, since the best Serbian teams play the Adriatic League). It will be really interesting to see how he deals with the very gifted American athletes.

Igor Milosevic, PG, 1986
6’4, 195, KK Crvena Zvezda (Greece)

Dmitris Ritsonis

20 year old PG Igor Milosevic is Greek, but has Serbian roots and this is quite obvious in his game. He is a shoot-first PG, without the size to move to the SG position and also lacking the ability to become something more than a streaky shooter, something he has definitely looked like over the past three seasons. Not having given many playing time opportunities outside the Greek junior teams, Milosevic is a fair ball-handler who has improved his court vision. Offensively, he presents a fine shooting touch and a decent ball handling, which make him an interesting offensive prospect. He can shoot well and can also create for himself, often attempting to show off as a team's leader on the offensive end, even though his jumper is not steady enough to make him trustworthy every single night. He also slashes well and is a nice finisher, even though he lacks the strength and athleticism that would turn him into an NBA caliber player. Defensively, he may not be quick enough to follow more athletic guards, but he defends aggressively and uses his smarts in order to gain steals. Unfortunately, he is betrayed by his weak legs and his small frame, thought his energy and passion make up for his physical weaknesses some of the time.

Overall, Milosevic’s physical tools are poor and he does not stand out in many areas. He has not improved as much as once expected, while his go-to abilities rarely convince his coaches to give him playing time and experience at the senior level.

Mouhamed Saer Sene, C, 1986
7'0, 232, Verviers-Pepinster, (Senegal)

Luis Fernandez

The main attraction on the International team is no other than Mouhamed Saer Sene. There are other very talented players, but likely none of them feature the kind of potential that this center from Senegal displays. He is also much more of an unknown that Datome, who has enjoyed exposure at Euroleague level. Far fromthe top European showcase, Saer Sene fights for playing time in the Belgian League, and not very successfully. He only averages around 10 minutes, and averages 3 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block per game. Sene has been blessed with perfect physical characteristics for a center: excellent size, terrific athleticism, and a nice frame, tools that make him a very prolific rebounder and shot blocker. However, he's still a very raw basketball player. Having taken up basketball very late, he still hasn't learned the game. Still, the potential is there, and it will take him all the way to the NBA if he manages to fulfill it to a certain degree.

Artur Urazmanov, PG, 1987
6’0, 175, CSK VVS Samara (Russia)


Luis Fernandez

Here we have an interesting case, a player with the athleticism to keep up with his American counterparts. Gifted with explosive legs, Urazmanov is a point guard who likes to play off the dribble, taking advantage of his quickness. Not a great distributor in the set offense or a consistent shooter from beyond the arc, Artur looks to beat his matchup with his nice handles (although his left hand can still improve), in order to force defensive rotations and feed an open teammate, find space in the mid-range area to deliver a jumper, or attack the rim thanks to his excellent leaping ability. He also feels comfortable playing in the open court, while he shows all the tools to be effective on defense. All in all, most of his characteristics are closer to an American type of playmaker rather than a European one. His basketball IQ looks average at this point, as well as his leadership on the court. He needs to work on playmaking basics, focus on distributing the ball, make better decisions, improve his shooting and gain general consistency, but he has the potential to become a useful player. This season, Urazmanov has been loaned by CSKA Moscow to Samara, where he combines the SuperLeague and the Russian Second division. His stats in the top Russian league are nothing to talk about, while in the second division he averages around 10 points and 5 assists per game.

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