|Team: NON-NBA College Team: Flamengo|
H: 6' 9"|
W: 230 lbs
(32 Years Old)
|Agent: Noah Croom ||
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Drafted: Pick 43 in 2006 by Hornets
Best Case: Rashard Lewis
Worst Case: Bostjan Nachbar
Another product of the lately very prolific Brazilian pool, Marcus Vinicius Vieira de Souza is not your typical 22-year old player.
He first and foremost went through a very strange season for a player his age, rather than already being established with a competitive team. Marquinhos played for a very weak Brazilian team early in the season, and then devoted himself to private training to prepare for the draft. Second, you might expect a guy his age to be a bit more mature at this point, especially considering that he’s not a player who learned the game yesterday, nor any kind of newcomer.
Still, Marquinhos shows a very intriguing package. He’s a legit wing player with excellent size at 6-9. He enjoys nice athleticism, because even if he’s not a great leaper, he is a quick guy, really quick considering his size. Marquinhos is a nice shooter, being especially worthy of mentioning his ability to create his own shot, as he’s really hard to stop given his size and his ability to deliver pull-up jumpers off the dribble. On the other hand, he’s rather inconsistent, and tends to fade away on any given shot, even when firing open in catch-and-shoot mode, failing to keep steady mechanics.
This season Marquinhos looks quite improved in the ball-handling department. He looks really comfortable driving the ball, and this circumstance helps him immensely with his slashing game, where he shows a nice first step and the footwork to operate in traffic. Again there’s a downside here, as he really suffers to consistently put the ball in the net. Marquinhos lacks some ability to perform layups against any opposition, and he rarely explodes to dunk the ball in traffic. At least, he passes quite well off the dribble, looking for the open man on the perimeter. This is another area where he’s much more active now, also willing to take a few more risks.
Defensively, although he looks improved in one-on-one situations, he’s not a stopper and his team defense is still very poor. He lacks a bit of activity here, more commitment if you will. In general, he’s not a particularly aggressive player, and you can see it on both ends of the court.
All in all, Marquinhos’ current status comes down to lack of reliability and predictability. His game is not very dependable; not having any source of consistent scoring, and not exactly being an asset to his team on defense. However, he’s still a bit of an immature guy who could very well manage to polish his game and find that consistency, which would make him a valuable player. After all, the potential is there, and not every player fulfills it at the same age. Still, it might not be enough for him to crack the first round based off how much of a wildcard he is at this point and already being age-eligible.
We’re starting to wonder how much of a first round prospect Marquinhos is. The third day of the camp hasn’t been kind to him either. He has regressed to his first day here in terms of accuracy with his shot, although his legs are not fresh anymore. And while he keeps looking for his lost shooting touch, he hasn’t been able to provide consistent scoring in the set offense though any other route.
Which brings us back to his slashing game; it does look improved, but simply ineffective. As a sample, yesterday he delivered an impressive move, attacking his rival and performing an excellent direction change in traffic that left him in a relatively easy position to score. He executed the move with remarkable quickness, showing a very good first step, footwork and general coordination. But when it was time to go for the layup, left-handed in this case with some weak opposition coming from his right side, he clearly missed, showing once again that he has very little ability in these kinds of shots.
It’s a problem we’ve voiced since his days in Italy, and he still hasn’t managed to sort it out. Considering that he’s not much of a high-flyer to comfortably finish with dunks, Marquinhos has a problem with trying to hide by passing the ball in most occasions. In the end, you have to wonder who is going to bet in the first round for a player who’s still not ready and already 22 years old.
We’re also starting to question the purpose of his whole season, and the reasoning behind showing up here in the Eurocamp. Marquinhos went from playing in the Italian second division, which happens to be quite a good league, stronger than most first European divisions and easily traceable by scouts, to lead a very weak team in a regional Brazilian league for a few months, and then focus on individual work, meaning that he hasn’t played competitive five on five basketball for several months.
If the purpose was to hide the player, as some might think considering the facts, why expose him in Treviso? Shouldn’t he have stuck to private workouts, for which apparently he had been preparing himself for in the last months? Otherwise, wouldn’t it have been better for the player’s development and maturation process just to find a good spot for him in Europe, in a more competitive environment than he has enjoyed in Brazil?
Draft day will judge.
This was a better showing for Marcus Vinicius Vieira de Souza in the second day. The Brazilian recovered his perimeter stroke and even his jumper looked better in terms of mechanics, staying a bit more balanced while releasing his shot. It’s remarkable to see how easily he can fire over his matchup thanks to his size, elevation on the release and fade-away move if necessary.
Besides, while Marquinhos had clearly abused one on one situations in the first day, taking his time to execute them while his teammates simply stood watching him (which also tells you something about the special status he has here as a potential first rounder), yesterday he looked much more integrated in the offensive flow of his team, waiting for the game to come to him instead of forcing situations.
It’s also interesting to note that, on tune to what most guys are showing in the camp, he’s delivering a nice effort in the defensive end, which contrasts with his days in Montegranaro, where he used to look a bit passive in some situations, particularly team defense.
No player here draws as much attention as Marcus Vinicius Vieira de Souza does. He’s the only guy with the potential to land in the first round in the upcoming draft, except possibly Yotam Halperin. However, his first day here hasn’t helped that much to achieve that goal.
This has been a really awkward season for Marquinhos. Free of his contract from Scavolini Pesaro after this historic Italian team went bankrupt last summer, he played early in the season for one of the worst teams in a very weak regional league in Brazil, just to devote himself during the last months to individual training for the NBA draft.
Much like what happened with Marko Tomas in the previous season, it looks like those reports about Marquinhos becoming some kind of point forward were a bit out of place. His ball-handling and passing do look improved from what we had seen in Lega Due in the 2004/05 season, but getting stats in a lousy team while playing the point does not automatically turn anybody into a playmaker for high competition.
Still we have a very intriguing 6-10 wing with a nicely built body and some serious skills. Besides the aforementioned improved ball-handling and passing ability, where he takes advantage of his superior size to see the court over his rivals, we’ve learned in Treviso that he’s making some strides as a slasher, an area where he had showed a lot of room for improvement last season. Using his handles, a long first step and solid quickness (remarkable for a guy of his size), Marquinhos shows better decision making attacking his rivals off the dribble, although he still shows problems finishing successfully near the rim. His ability to deliver layups is limited, and he’s not really dunking the ball. The result of the vitals might be pretty illustrating for this matter: Marquinhos only managed to reach 26 inches in the one-step vertical jump, settling for only 20 in the static vertical jump. Of course the kid can dunk the ball, but it’s clear that he’s not a high flyer.
Anyway, we’ve also seen Marquinhos using his size to post up smaller matchups, releasing over them a pretty much unstoppable turnaround jumper with a fade-away. The funny thing about it is that his spot-up jumper doesn’t look much different even if he’s widely open, because he always gets unbalanced in the air. Regardless, Marquinhos is heralded as a very solid shooter, but that’s not what he showed yesterday, going off for a horrible shooting series in the evening.
Vinicius clearly looks head and shoulders ahead of everybody in terms of potential, but we want to see him translating that potential into a somehow dominant performance. Let’s remember that he’s not 19 years-old anymore.
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The first thing that jumps out at you about Marquinhos is his much improved body. Coming into Speed Strength, the Brazilian weighed a meager 215 lbs. He has since bulked up to 237 lbs, and there is room for him to add even more weight if need be. His frame is all you could ask for in a small forward, and he even has the bulk to even play a little power forward a la Boris Diaw should his team ask him to.
In the drills, Marquinhos showed excellent ball-handling skills for a small forward. His handle was tight and low to the ground, and it was clear that he had been taught well by Donewald. He showed off a great crossover and inside-out dribble while running full speed, leading to Donewald’s mid-range shooting drills, where Marquinhos was downright automatic. The Brazilian was hitting off the dribble, coming off screens, and stepping back. Donewald taught him the “Mashburn move”, which for those of you who don’t remember, is a slight fade away shot along with a high release that is virtually unstoppable. Jamal Mashburn made a living on this one move his entire NBA career, and his personal trainer made sure that Marquinhos added it to his repertoire for NBA workouts.
In terms of long range shooting, we never saw Marquinhos shoot the ball outside of the collegiate three point line. His range did extend to around 21 feet, but we were unable to tell beyond that due to the nature of the drills. Athletically, he looked great in his dunk routine and displayed nice quickness in all of the shooting drills. Attributes such as defense, passing, and basketball IQ were impossible to evaluate in a setting like this, but there really wasn’t a whole lot more that you could have asked for out of Marquinhos from the drills he did.
Marquinhos is automatically eligible for this year’s draft as a 1984 prospect and is looking to come over and play in the NBA next season. We were told that Marquinhos will be working out for 12 teams, all of whom will be picking in the top 20 of this year’s NBA Draft. His manager, Greg Dole, added that Marquinhos will be working out for 4 teams in the top 10 of this year’s draft as well.
Workouts will be extremely crucial as to where Marquinhos is selected, largely due to the fact that it is virtually impossible to obtain game film of him from Brazil. After playing (well) in the 2nd division of Italy in the 2004-2005 season, he moved back to Brazil but barely got to play in front of NBA scouts before his season abruptly ended due to difficulties his team was having. Right now, he looks to have all the makings of a first round pick, with the potential to move up with strong workouts. Marquinhos’ people made it no secret that he would like to go up against the Rudy Gays and Andrea Bargnanis of this year’s draft in order to prove how talented he actually is. If he does this and fairs well, Marquinhos could definitely be a player who shakes up the first round of this year’s draft. He will be playing in the Eurocamp in Treviso right after the Orlando pre-draft camp, where NBA GMs will finally be able to watch him play in a 5 on 5 setting.
Bob Donewald on Marquinhos:
“He’s 6’10, 230...235. He’s a kid for me that in Brazil, played the point. I don’t think he’s a point in the NBA, but he’s definitely a skilled kid for his size. He can go down inside. We’ve given him a lot of Mashburn’s footwork down inside where he can come off the back foot and either shoulder down inside. He’s at his best when he’s in the open floor. He’s at his best when he’s handling the ball making decisions in the open court or coming off screens shooting. He’s just one hell of a shooter. We had an open workout where at one point, I believe he made 18 3’s in a row. He’s a kid who can put it in the bucket. As you describe it, he’s more of a feel player, more of a flow player. He likes to get guys involved. He likes to make decisions. That’s why I put the ball in his hands. If you come at him, he makes the right decision. He’s a hell of a passer and just a joy to coach.”
On where Marquinhos will be selected in the draft:
“In my opinion…I don’t know the draft from the standpoint that I wasn’t here. I don’t know college basketball as well as I need to. From what I’m gathering from the teams that are interested, I see him going anywhere from as high as 10 to no lower then 18. I think he’s going to be in that range from guys that are not only looking at him, but guys that have seen him play.”
It's rather difficult for someone with the physical attributes of Marcus Vinicius Vieira De Souza (Marquinhos) to go unnoticed. He's a true wing player in a 6-9 (on his way to 6-10) body with nice quickness and athleticism. It's not that he's anywhere close to a freak athlete, but when you mix it with his size to get the whole picture, the outcome is pretty intriguing.
The player himself has taken care of making it clear that he's in no way material for the paint by spending most of the time on the perimeter, where he frequently uses his most dangerous weapon: the three-point shot. Having gained consistency throughout the season, it has become quite effective by now. His mechanics are not those of an automatic shooter, but they are ok, making his stroke look pretty comfortable. His size gives him a good advantage over his defenders in this area obviously, and it's not just the typical static shot of a forward; he can make it off the dribble too. He can also play in the post, although mostly to release a turnaround jumper.
While it's still a skill for him to develop, he has great tools to become a very dangerous slasher, starting with a nice first step, his quickness and general athletic ability, and the size to finish easily when he gets to the basket. At the small forward position, he should be quick enough to beat his matchups, and still have the size advantage to operate comfortably. Indeed, if you combine that recipe mentioned above, it's easy to picture that he can create his own shot (faking and shooting over his rivals), even if he's not too effective at it right now.
On defense, he shows decent lateral movement for a small forward, and it shouldn't be a matter of concern in the future if he works hard enough. He takes advantage of his size and good wingspan to grab a decent amount of rebounds. Those same characteristics, along with his quickness and activity with his hands, allow him to get away with a good number of steals per game as well.
Even if his basketball IQ doesn't look too high, Marquinhos has a certain feel for the game. He's a pretty fluent and smooth player, both in static and the transition game, and he loves to run the floor.
Marquinhos still has a long way to go in terms of skills and physical development.
To start with, he doesn't take advantage enough of his size. He rarely leaves the perimeter, and when he does take his defender down low it's usually to keep on shooting. He's too focused on his perimeter game, and could certainly use a little more versatility, working on ways to finish near the basket with higher percentages. Besides, his love for the perimeter is correlated to his movement without the ball, it's too poor right now. He should be cutting much more often, trying to take advantage closer to the basket, or just to find open positions in the mid-range area.
His slashing skills need refining too. He could benefit from having better handles (not that they are bad, but certainly improvable) and footwork. It would dramatically improve his ability to create his own shot too. Most importantly, the Brazilian doesn't show any special skill to finish around the basket in traffic. He lacks a certain soft touch there, and it limits the effectiveness of such a potentially effective weapon for him as the penetration might be. Another flaw in his game is his passing. He's not particularly gifted in this department, not showing any special court vision.
His defense is not one of his best virtues. He's not intense enough on this end of the floor. He can be quite active at one point on his matchup (even abusing his hands sometimes), but it isn't a continuous effort, particularly when it comes to team defense, where he rarely shows up. He's still a very skinny player. And being headed to the small forward position, he better start (or continues) to add some strength in the weight room, or he will be regularly outmuscled.
Marquinhos' rights are owned by Scavolini Pesaro since 2002, a pretty strong Italian team that competes in the Euroleague, but due to his youth and his status as a non EU-citizen, the team has been loaning him so far every year to other teams. Prior to that, he was a member of Bauru, a Brazilian team that won the national championship in the 2001/02 season. After signing with Pesaro, he spent two more seasons in Brazil, with Vasco de Gama (2002/03) and Corinthinas (2003/04).
For the current season (04/05), he has finally arrived in Europe, but he's playing in the Italian second division, the Lega Due, for Premiata Montegranaro. While this isn't the most glamorous league to play in, it's not bad competition at all for a kid like him. The Italian second division is arguably the best second division in all of Europe (only the Spanish LEB is close), and has a level that is similar to a mid-to-low first European division. Right now he's averaging 15.5 points (netting almost half of his shots, including 45.6% of his treys), 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals, while helping his team to qualify for the playoffs that will determine the second team that will be promoted to the first division (the other team will be the regular season leader).
For next year, he still isn't expected to play for Scavolini, but they will likely try to find him a place in the Italian first division, so Marquinhos can keep on improving, while facing better competition.
In 2004, he played in the Nike Hoop Summit, although he went rather unnoticed after having only 2 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists in 15 minutes.
04/05: Look him to declare this year to draw some attention to himself, but to withdraw in order to improve his stock for the next season. Right now, he wouldn't be anything more than a second rounder. He's too raw and unproven. But with another year of experience and development under his belt, particularly if he manages to get a spot in the Italian Lega (the premier division there), he might sneak into the first round next year when he is automatically eligible. He declared for the draft last year as well, and participated in some NBA workouts during the Chicago pre-draft camp and in some NBA cities, but an injury held him back a bit from what DraftExpress saw (see links) and were later told.
Marquinhos is a very intriguing prospect. You don't find legit wing players of his size and incipient skills everyday. He can become a good scorer and has the tools to eventually translate his game to the NBA. He's not a safe bet, certainly not one of those can't miss youngsters, but the chances for him to reach a high level are fairly good.