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Nike International Junior Tournament Istanbul Scouting Reports
by: Jonathan Givony - President
May 17, 2012
Scouting Reports of the top prospects seen at the Nike International Junior Tournament in Istanbul, including Dusan Ristic, James Birsen, Augustinas Jankaitis, Gao Shang, Dominik Mavra and more.

Dusan Ristic, 6-11, Center, Red Star Belgrade, Serbia, 1995

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:

-Terrific size
-Fairly mobile big man
-Incredibly long wingspan
-Body looks substantially improved since last time we saw him
-Excellent hands
-Very good offensive rebounder thanks to length, hands, instincts
-Good scoring instincts
-Solid skill-level in post. Hook shots. Very nice touch
-Can hit a mid-range jumper
-Makes 74% of his free throws
-Only 16 years old

Weaknesses:

-Not a very physical player. Needs to get tougher
-Gives up deep position in post. Doesn't like fighting with stronger big men
-Can't always establish good position offensively. Needs to continue to get stronger
-Average defensive rebounder
-Missing some character?
-Doesn't always look like he's giving 100%?

Outlook:

Has significant upside with his size, length, mobility and skill-level. Needs to get tougher both physically and mentally. Still at a very early stage of his development. A prospect to follow closely to see how he develops.

James Birsen, 6-8, SG/SF, Fenerbahce, Turkey, 1995

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:

-Terrific size for a wing player at 6-8
-Solid frame that will fill out nicely in time
-Extremely versatile offensive player
-Somewhat of a point forward at this age group
-Can handle the ball in transition
-Can create his own shot with either hand
-Very good footwork
-Outstanding shooter with feet set or off the dribble
-Deep range on jumper
-Can create good looks in mid-range with spin-moves and fade-aways. Hits contested pull-up jumpers with ease
-Solid passer

Weaknesses:

-Not incredibly explosive
-Little bit upright on defense
-Can get a bit passive at times
-May lack a degree of mental toughness
-Falls in love with pull-up jump-shot, floaters
-Struggles to get all the way to the basket and finish strong

Outlook:

Tremendously talented player in the Hedo Turkoglu/Danilo Gallinari mold. Can do pretty much everything offensively. Has been known to get passive, disappear at times. Sometimes shies away from the moment.

Dominik Mavra, 6-5, Shooting Guard, KK Zagreb, 1994

Jonathan Givony

Strengths

-Good size for a shooting guard
-Outstanding shooter with feet set or off the dribble
-Makes deep pull-up 3-pointers with a hand in his face
-Plays with great confidence/aggressiveness
-Terrific scoring instincts
-Good feel for the game. Makes extra pass
-Can play some pick and roll, mostly to pass up high to roller or shoot mid-range jumper

Weaknesses:

-Average frame
-Average athlete
-Played exclusively at the point guard position, but clearly a 2-guard
-Lacks the ball-handling skills, strength and first step to create own shot on a consistent basis
-Turned ball over 5 times per game over course of NIJT (seven games)
-Rarely gets into paint
-Rarely gets to free throw line
-Struggles to finish at rim. Settles for difficult floaters
-Average defender at best. Struggles to stay in front of quicker guards. Lacks great lateral quickness. Plays defense with hands, not feet

Outlook:

Already seeing solid playing time at the senior level. Team seems to be developing him as a point guard. Great upside for Europe. NBA upside still yet to be decided.

Dario Saric, 6-10, Small Forward, KK Zagreb, 1994

See our profile from Saric's performance last month at the Nike Hoop Summit

Augustinas Jankaitis, 6-9, Center, Lietuvos Rytas, Lithuania, 1994

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:

-Scored 17 points in 21 minutes of action in 9 NIJT games
-Strong, physically developed big man
-Tough, aggressive player
-Unstoppable presence inside the paint at this level of competition
-Posts up hard, fights for position inside
-Relishes contact
-Seals his man well, shows solid moves scoring in the post
-Good footwork, spins
-Excellent hands
-Very good offensive rebounder. Nice timing, moves opponents around en route to ball
-Made 80% of free throws in Istanbul

Weaknesses:

-A 6-9 center
-Perimeter game a work in progress
-Needs to improve jump-shot
-Defensive potential is limited
-May lack the lateral quickness to defend most power forwards
-Not explosive enough to offer a weak-side presence defensively
-Average defensive rebounder

Outlook:

Physical, aggressive lefty who scored at will whenever he was on the court in Istanbul, ala Pekovic. Some question marks persist about how his style of play will translate to the senior level, but tough to argue with how effective he is in his age group.

Gao Shang, 6-6, SG/SF, Guangdong, China, 1994

Jonathan Givony

-Good size for a wing
-Solid frame
-Very good athlete
-Quick feet
-Can elevate around the basket
-Outstanding scoring instincts
-Led the tournament in scoring at 33 points per game
-Can create his own shot with either hand
-Good ball-handler
-Can change speeds, directions with ball
-Strong crossover
-Great footwork
-Uses Eurostep moves well
-Takes the ball strong to the basket
-Solid shooter from beyond the arc
-Deep range
-Very competitive player
-Rebounds
-Shows nice toughness

Weaknesses:

-Extremely wild and forces issue badly at times
-Doesn't know limitations
-Extremely turnover prone
-Underwhelming passer
-Poor shot-selection
-Extremely poor defender
-Short arms
-Poor defensive fundamentals
-High-level basketball experience looks limited
-Doesn't really know how to play against similarly talented/organized teams

Outlook:

Scored over 30 points in all three games he participated in. Led tournament by a wide margin in scoring. Helped Team China have a very competitive tournament, including a surprising win over KK Zagreb. Looks to have a significant future in international basketball. Extremely unpolished at the moment on both ends of the floor, but shows great talent. Speculation is he was born in 1992, not 1994 as listed.

Nikola Rebic, 6-1, Point Guard, Red Star Belgrade, Serbia, 1995

Jonathan Givony

-Solid frame
-Good quickness in open court
-Effective in transition
-Can create own shot, and find teammates on drive and dish
-Can drive left or right
-Gets to the free throw line at good rate
-Very good shooter off the dribble
-Can make tough shots
-Effective pulling up in mid-range area after pick and rolls
-Can make a 3-pointer
-Plays with confidence/aggressiveness
-Puts very good pressure on the ball defensively
-A year younger than most of the players here

Weaknesses:

-Has just decent size for a point guard
-Overly aggressive looking for own shot at times
-Average court vision?
-Struggles to finish around basket due to lack of size
-Very streaky outside shooter, primarily due to shot-selection
-Settles for deep, tough shots out of offensive rhythm
-Pounds ball relentlessly, only passes as last resort
-Loses focus in half-court in man to man defensive settings

Outlook:

Talented point guard with nice scoring tools. Needs to improve playmaking ability in half-court, but has great potential for international basketball. Will be a fixture on the international level for Serbia for years to come, particularly if he's still growing.

Brano Djukanovic, 6-4, Shooting Guard, Red Star Belgrade, Serbia, 1995

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:

-Shot 47% from 3 in eight NIJT contests
-Averaged 14 points per game in 23 minutes on excellent percentages
-Quick, effortless shooting mechanics. Near automatic with feet set
-Can pull-up off dribble off pick and roll
-Moves off ball intelligently
-Makes extra pass
-Extremely high basketball IQ for his age
-Just turned 17 years old

Weaknesses:

-Average size
-Average frame
-Average athlete
-Somewhat one-dimensional at times with outside shooting
-Struggles to get to rim and finish
-Only got to free throw line 12 times in 8 games
-Doesn't contribute in many other facets outside of scoring
-Poor defender
-Needs to get stronger, more physical fighting through screens and staying in front of opponents

Outlook:

Knock-down shooter whose upside appears limited somewhat by average physical tools. Still young and has time to grow and fill out. Needs to diversify all-around game to not be labeled a one dimensional player.

Han Delong, 6-5, Shooting Guard, Team China, China, 1995

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:

-Saw time at both point guard and shooting guard
-Good size
-Very quick
-Excellent footwork
-Solid ball-handler
-Effective in transition
-Can shoot the ball with feet set
-Nice basketball IQ
-Solid court vision
-Only 17 years old

Weaknesses:

-Struggles to finish through contact at rim
-Inconsistent shooter, particularly off the dribble
-Average defender
-Needs to get stronger

Outlook:

After a nice showing at the adidas Nations camp in Los Angeles last summer, Delong had another strong international performance here in Istanbul, doing a little bit of everything alongside super-scorer Gao Shang. If his age is legit, and he continues to develop accordingly, he could be a very intriguing prospect for the Chinese national team down the road.

Ludde Hakanson, 6-4, Shooting Guard, Barcelona, Sweden, 1996

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:

-One of the youngest prospects here, born in 1996
-Big, strong upper body
-Terrific shooter with feet set
-Deep, deep range on jumper
-Can shoot off the dribble as well
-Good scoring instincts
-Nice basketball IQ

Weaknesses:

-Early bloomer?
-Average athlete
-Struggles to make plays inside the arc

Outlook:

Transferred to Barcelona from Sweden at a very young age. Already getting major hype in Spain. Long term upside will be determined by how much he grows and develops athletically.

Edvinas Seskus, 6-4, Shooting Guard, Lietuvos Rytas, Lithuania, 1995

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:

-Strong frame
-One of the best scorers at the Istanbul NIJT, averaging 15 points in 24 minutes
-High basketball IQ
-Extremely efficient scorer
-Very good in transition
-Terrific shot-creator inside the arc
-Can handle ball with either hand
-Fluid player with good body control on drives
-Very nice footwork
-Finds angles to get to rim, and finishes extremely creatively using glass and both hands
-Solid passer
-Strong character. Very aggressive player

Weaknesses:

-Lacks great size for a shooting guard
-Not incredibly explosive
-Physically mature for his age
-Only made 4/20 3-pointers in 9 NIJT games
-Needs to improve pull-up jumper

Outlook:

Incredibly effective slasher in this age group. Shows outstanding scoring instincts for a player his age. Shot 67% inside the arc over 9 games. Looks to have a great future in European basketball. NBA upside still yet to be determined as he doesn't possess great size and is just an average shooter at this stage. Nevertheless, seems to be the type of player who will make the most of his potential.

Tomas Dimsa, 6-4, Shooting Guard, Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania, 1994

See our profile from Dimsa's performance in February at the NIJT Kaunas

Cedi Osman, 6-6, Point Guard/Shooting Guard, Anadolu Efes, Turkey, 1995

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:

-Excellent size for a guard
-Legitimately plays point guard
-Fluid player
-Very talented shot-creator
-Uses hesitation moves, crafty footwork, Eurosteps extremely well
-Can drive and dish, find open man
-Great anticipation skills
-Gets in passing lanes at prolific rate

Weaknesses:

-Struggles to finish the shots he creates around the basket. Fades away from contact. Lacks strength, maybe toughness?
-Limited outside shooter
-Ugly shooting mechanics. Flings ball at basket
-Average defender on the ball

Outlook:

Talented ball-handler at 6-6. Considered one of the bigger talents in his age group in Europe. Needs to improve ability to play off ball, particularly perimeter shooting ability.

Burak Yildizli, 6-8, SF/PF, Anadolu Efes, Turkey, 1994

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:

-Good size
-Strong frame
-Nice mobility
-Versatile offensive player
-Can create his own shot
-Can handle the ball in transition
-Can step outside and make a jumper

Weaknesses:

-Stuck between 3 and 4, especially defensively
-Wild player. Doesn't know limitations
-Averaged nearly 5 turnovers per game
-Decision making, shot-selection extremely poor
-Looks lazy getting back on defense at times
-Body language very poor at times

Outlook:

Has intriguing instincts offensively for a 6-8 player. Still figuring out how to harness his talent. Mentality looks questionable, possibly due to immaturity.

Nick Spires, 6-11, PF/C, Barcelona, Sweden, 1994

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:

-Great height and length for a 4/5
-Extremely intelligent player
-A guard who grew to the height of a big man
-Very fluid athlete. Can play above the rim
-Excellent ball-handling skills
-Nice footwork
-Can shoot a little bit
-Very elegant with his moves—hook shots, floaters
-Good hands
-Good passer

Weaknesses:

-Frame is extremely frail
-Lacks toughness, physicality in a major way
-Floats in and out of games. Doesn't always look focused
-Doesn't have a consistent means of contributing to team at this stage
-Streaky outside shooter
-Limited post game
-Gets beat up on defense
-Average rebounder

Outlook:

Intriguing prospect with a high skill-level, solid physical tools and a nice basketball IQ. Long-term upside depends largely on the amount of weight he can add to his frame. Looks to be at a very early stage in his development physically. Will likely be a completely different player at age 23-24. Someone to look out for, but will likely take plenty of time and patience.

Alexandr Zhigulin, 6-9, PF/C, Barcelona, Kazakhstan, 1994

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:

-Big bodied big man
-Solid frame and size
-Plays hard
-More explosive than he looks on first glance
-Very good outside shooter
-Made 42% of 3-pointers in Spain this season

Weaknesses:

-No post game
-Average defensive rebounder
-Lacks some lateral quickness to guard power forwards
-Rumored to be 2-3 years older than listed age

Outlook:

Zhigulin dominated the NIJT qualifiers in L'Hospitalet (20 points, 7 rebounds), but was fairly quiet in Istanbul (9+5), partially due to seeing fewer minutes. With his size, perimeter shooting ability and intensity level, he seems to fit the mold of an ACB rotation big man, although Barcelona may be out of his league.

Ayberk Guleryuz, 6-9, SF/PF, Fenerbahce, Serbia, 1995

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:

-Size of a power forward, game of a small forward
-Good athlete
-Shows good versatility offensively
-Solid scoring instincts
-Finishes well around the basket
-Can make a jump-shot
-Nice touch
-Will put ball on the floor on occasion
-Good instincts for blocks, steals rebounds

Weaknesses:

-Little bit stuck between positions
-Very thin frame
-Skill-level a work in progress
-Jack of all trades master of none
-Inconsistent shooter
-Average ball-handler
-Who will he defend at the next level?
-Doesn't mix it up on the glass
-Body language around teammates not great

Outlook:

Has a lot of tools to work with, but nothing consistent at this stage to hang his hat on. Will be interesting to see which direction game develops—towards the 3 or the 4. May hinge on the way his frame fills out. At the very least has good potential for Turkey. Only 16 so likely too early to put a ceiling on his upside.

Tautvydas Jodelis, 6-5, SG/SF, Lietuvos Rytas, Lithuania, 1994

Jonathan Givony

Strengths:

-Decent size at 6-5.
-Phenomenal shooter. Made 48% of his 3-pointers in Istanbul on over 7 attempts per game.
-Averaged 13 points per game in 21 minutes throughout the NIJT, on very good percentages
-Near automatic with feet set
-Can come off screens
-Deep range
-High basketball IQ
-Rarely turns ball over
-Team player
-Can pass a bit
-Solid defender
-Gets in passing lanes

Weaknesses:

-Average athlete
-Fairly one-dimensional. Rarely takes a shot inside the arc or gets to free throw line

Outlook:

Operated as somewhat of a Lithuanian Steve Novak for the NIJT champions Rytas. Tremendous shooter with unlimited range.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com .

 

Dusan Ristic
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 245 lbs.
Birthday: 11/27/1995
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Sunrise Christian Academy
Current Team: Arizona , Freshman
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
2.4 Pts, 1.6 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


James Birsen
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 223 lbs.
Birthday: 04/06/1995
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Eskisehir , International
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
3.7 Pts, 2.4 Rebs, 1.9 Asts


Augustinas Jankaitis
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Birthday: 08/16/1994
20 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Pasvalys , International
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
3.0 Pts, 1.0 Rebs, 0.2 Asts


Gao Shang
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 08/10/1994
20 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Guangdong , International
Positions:
Current: SG/SF,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: SG/SF
Quick Stats:
4.6 Pts, 3.3 Rebs, 0.9 Asts


Dominik Mavra
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 202 lbs.
Birthday: 06/15/1994
20 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Cibona Zagreb , International
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
1.2 Pts, 1.0 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Hedo Turkoglu
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 03/19/1979
35 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Clippers , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #16 in 2000 Draft
by the Kings
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
3.4 Pts, 1.0 Rebs, 0.6 Asts


Dario Saric
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 223 lbs.
Birthday: 04/08/1994
20 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Anadolu Efes , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #12 in 2014 Draft
by the 76ers
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
12.4 Pts, 5.0 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Nikola Rebic
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Birthday: 01/22/1995
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Red Star , International
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
0.0 Pts, 0.0 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


Brano Djukanovic
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 03/21/1995
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Radnicki Basket , International
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
3.4 Pts, 0.6 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Han Delong
Full Profile
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 01/11/1995
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Bayi , International
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG


Ludde Hakanson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 194 lbs.
Birthday: 03/22/1996
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Barcelona 2 , International
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
0.0 Pts, 0.0 Rebs, 1.5 Asts


Edvinas Seskus
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 180 lbs.
Birthday: 03/10/1995
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Lietuvos Rytas , International
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
0.0 Pts, 0.0 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Tomas Dimsa
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Birthday: 01/02/1994
20 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Zalgiris , International
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
3.0 Pts, 0.5 Rebs, 0.5 Asts


Cedi Osman
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 04/08/1995
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Anadolu Efes , International
Positions:
Current: PG/SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: PG/SG
Quick Stats:
8.6 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 1.3 Asts


Burak Yildizli
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Birthday: 04/22/1994
20 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Pertevniyal , International
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
14.9 Pts, 5.9 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Nick Spires
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 215 lbs.
Birthday: 02/25/1994
20 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Fuenlabrada (LEB) , International
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
Pts, Rebs, Asts


Alexandr Zhigulin
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 04/26/1994
20 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Huesca , International
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
4.9 Pts, 2.9 Rebs, 1.1 Asts


Ayberk Guleryuz
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Birthday: 09/14/1995
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Fenerbahce , International
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
4.2 Pts, 2.4 Rebs, 0.4 Asts


Tautvydas Jodelis
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Birthday: 05/03/1994
20 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Lietuvos Rytas , International
Positions:
Current: SG/SF,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: SG/SF
Quick Stats:
2.0 Pts, 1.3 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


Steve Novak
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 216 lbs.
Birthday: 06/13/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Brown Deer HS
Previous Team: Jazz , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #2 in 2006 Draft
by the Rockets
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
2.1 Pts, 0.8 Rebs, 0.2 Asts


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