|2007 RBK Eurocamp: Day Four|
June 14, 2007
After three days of unimpressive showings, Joao Gomes finally had his breakout performance in the last day of the camp. For some stretches, he reproduced the shooting orgies he had delivered in the Vilagarcia Basket Cup (where we saw him two months ago). He put on display his very nice array of jumpers and ability to create them: in catch-and-shoot fashion coming off cutters, after a jab step with the opponent in front of him, off the dribble with a slight fade-away move, pulling up after a hesitation move...he looks very difficult to stop when he's on fire like that. Still, it wasn't only about shooting the ball. Gomes also shined in slashing situations. He's not that much of a ball-handler, but can take advantage of favorable situations to attack his rivals going both ways and showing very solid footwork and terrific balance flying towards the basket, which allows him to executes moves in the air to avoid defenders and still get the layup off with either hand.
Even if he's not the guy with the best basketball IQ around, lacking some creativity and passing skills, he's a good athlete with an excellent stroke and very nice ability to finish near the rim, while he works pretty well on defense and rebounding the ball. If the scouts were still paying attention, this late performance should leave him with a pretty solid status in the second round.
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2007 RBK Eurocamp: Day Three
June 12, 2007
If yesterday’s outing was just an average showing for the Portuguese swingman Joao Gomes, today’s double-header was even worse than that, struggling to get his shot going and looking fairly out of control in his drives. He’s clearly athletic and strong enough to get to the basket, also featuring long, nice strides to the hoop, although his ball-handling skills and feel for the game certainly leave something to be desired. Gomes has a reputation for being a pretty good shooter, but today his perimeter shot wasn’t falling for him at all, which further dampened the outlook for him on the day. Defensively he was very active and played extremely hard, but even here he was a bit out of control at times. He did hit the glass very well on both ends of the floor, though, taking advantage of his strong upper body, nice wingspan, and excellent quickness.
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2007 RBK Eurocamp: Day Two (Part One)
June 11, 2007
This was a decent first game for Joao Gomes, although nothing quite to write home about at this point. He made some athletic moves to the basket, showing average ball-handling skills but plenty of aggressiveness to make his presence felt, and also showed nice touch on his jump-shot .His defense was very solid, mostly thanks to his quickness and solid upper body strength, but also due to his excellent activity level. This writer’s first impression from seeing him outside of the film we evaluated was that he’s a solid prospect with good potential, but just an average feel for the game. We’ll see how he bounces back tomorrow.
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Roundup: Tiago Splitter Back to the Final Four
April 10, 2007
…Joao Gomes, flat-out impressive this past weekend in the Vilagarcía Basket Cup, a youth tournament in Spain. Leading his team Barreirense to the final, he averaged 31 points and 6 rebounds, including a sick 49-point performance in less than 30 minutes against Galicia Xove. Gomes has enjoyed a nice season in Portugal, averaging 17.4 points and 5.7 rebounds in the first division (25.2 points in the last 5 games), although it’s a rather weak league among the European scene and he plays for the bottom-ranked team.
Gomes, also known as Betinho, is a 1985-born wing player, and therefore automatically eligible for the draft. We did have the chance to see him in the EuroCamp in Treviso last June, and although he showed some intriguing characteristics then, he failed to make a strong impression. Basically, we could see a very nice physical profile, being a well-built 6-7 player with an excellent wingspan and frame, also displaying nice athleticism. In terms of skills, he looked a fluid player, but totally ineffective. He was delivering jumper after jumper, looking in love with his own shot, but missing most of them, and by a wide margin. His mechanics didn’t look bad, with a fluid release and nice elevation, but he was so off in terms of accuracy, while he rarely used his athleticism to attack the basket or contribute on the offensive end, that he couldn’t crack into our reports.
Fast-forward to today and we again see the same shooting maniac, but this time Betinho was actually knocking his bombs down with really solid accuracy. Not only that, but he showcased a nice ability to release his jumper against opposition, proving to be a player capable of creating his own shot. He can go for a turnaround jumper, take his opponent to the low post and release it from there, use a slight fade-away move to create separation, go for the step-back or fire off the dribble, and almost always releases the ball rather high, both because of his mechanics and the vertical separation he creates elevating off the floor thanks to his athleticism. Actually, whenever Gomes put the ball on the floor, chances are he will go up at some point to release the jumper. He’s not much of a slasher right now; even if he’s a nice ball-handler, his first step is just decent and he’s not super quick while dribbling. So it’s usually a resource to unbalance his rival and find a more comfortable shot. However, he can eventually penetrate and finish nicely with both hands around the basket, or in powerful fashion taking advantage of his hops.
Beyond his offensive efforts, it was very interesting to see how he didn’t slow down much on defense, staying active in the various zone defenses usually displayed by his team, looking very aware of the passing lanes (he came up with a nice amount of steals), showing nice lateral quickness, as well as good positioning. After all, he enjoys the tools to get the job done. He also did not forget about the rebounding department, staying alert and making good use of his wingspan and leaping ability.
One of the reasons why Gomes could have struggled so much back in Treviso last year was the fact that he uses quite a lot his legs to display his elevated and/or fade-away jumper. In these cases, it’s rather usual that a player losses a lot of accuracy as he gets tired. Indeed, Betinho barely could make a shot in the last 12-14 minutes of the final in Vilagarcía. It was the second game of the day for him, and he had been playing for various consecutive days. An exhausting setting as the Treviso Camp could very well work against his shooting accuracy.
According to Solobasket.com, he will be back in the EuroCamp again this year, so we’ll see if his stroke lives up to the challenge. Besides, the competition Betinho has faced in Vilagarcía was significantly younger than him, as he has usually matched up against under-20 players, even junior kids. So it will be interesting to see if he’s able to generate the same advantages against his peers in Treviso; our personal guess is that he’s skilled enough to remain fairly effective against stronger competition, but it would probably be a mistake to get carried away by his dominance in the Basket Cup. For the moment, he’s emerging as a very serious candidate to consider in the second round for the next draft, and a guy to closely monitor in the following months prior to the draft.
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