, 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 its 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 didnt 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 couldnt 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. Hes not much of a slasher right now; even if hes a nice ball-handler, his first step is just decent and hes not super quick while dribbling. So its 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 didnt 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, its 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 well 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 hes able to generate the same advantages against his peers in Treviso; our personal guess is that hes 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, hes 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.