Not in any ranking or draft
Height: 6'5" (196 cm)
Weight: 200 lbs (91 kg)
Position: SG
Hometown: Montreuil, France
Current Team: Souffelweyersheim
Win - Loss: 0 - 1


Roundup: Rising Star Rudy

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Apr 27, 2007, 03:32 am
Souarata Cisse hasn’t been able to materialize his hopes of playing time as he moves out of Pau Orthez on loan to Paris Basket Racing. Only 6 minutes per game, not even seeing the floor in many of them, and less than 2 points per contest are very disappointing numbers for a guy who fared pretty well last summer in the U-20 European Championship.

The Reebok Eurocamp in Treviso

Pooh Jeter
Pooh Jeter
Jun 17, 2005, 12:30 am
by Marco Fracasso

The Reebok Eurocamp was held for the fifth year in Treviso, at La Ghirada, the practice facility of Benetton Treviso's basketball team. The camp has quickly become an important pre-draft event, a great opportunity to see some of the best prospects from all over Europe and above, with the oldest being Damir Rancik (22) and youngest Danilo Gallinari (will be 17 in August). The camp was held between June 12th to 14th, and it will be followed by the Big Men Camp also organized by Reebok.

As in previous editions, it was organized with teaching stations held by NBA international coaches like Donnie Nelson, Jack Sikma and Dennis Lindsey in the mornings, with the afternoons reserved for games between the prospects. The third day was dedicated to some competitions like the slam dunk and 3 point contests before the All Star Game in the afternoon.

The innovation of this year were the two exhibition games, played on the 2nd and 3rd days, between a selection of All Stars of the camp and the Under 20 Italian and Israeli National teams. Those exhibition games came at the expense of the All Star Game on the third day, but they were more interesting because you could see those guys playing against true teams, teams who put forth a lot of energy to win the games.

Finally, on the first day there were measurements and the vertical jump tests. At first glance the players' heights, taken with their shoes on, seemed inflated by a good inch, and that was indeed confirmed speaking to the players themselves. Drago Pasalic for example measured in at 6-11 earlier in the week in Chicago, and came out at 7 feet in Treviso. In this article we'll report the official measurements released at the camp.

The players: (year of birth, height, weight, wingspan)

Ivan Chiriaev (Shiryaev the correct spelling according to Reebok, 1984, 7-1, 220 pounds, 6-11)

We'll start with the story that tells a lot about draft hype and the effect it can have on a young man's career. You may have already heard about Ivan, he's the guy who played basketball at a small high school in Canada and who was hyped to the point he was projected by one site as a high lottery pick. Others in the media bought this story without seeing play at all, while everything around the young kid made him lose touch with reality. But at the end, once his game was scouted properly, his talent level was finally exposed, building a very bad perception and reputation for him. Ivan was probably the least guilty person in the process, who's only fault was listening to the wrong people and believing his own hype. What we saw here was a pretty good player; tall, coordinated, with very good ball-handling and court vision, and probably just an average outside shot , but who's lacking the athleticism and energy to be a interesting NBA prospect, much less a top pick. Ivan was working hard at the camp, trying to follow the coaches instructions, but how long is he going to be remembered as the joke someone projected as a top pick? And how is this going to affect his future career in Europe?

Roko-Leni Ukic (December 1984, 6-6, 189 pounds, 6-7):

Last year he was the best player in the camp, above top prospects like Nemanja Aleksandrov or Martynas Andriuskevicius. After a great season playing for KK Split, he came back to Treviso. Roko has great size and the athleticism, along with the quickness and the skills for the point guard position, as you already know from our ongoing coverage of him all season long. He's at his best in the open court, while in the half court game he sometimes dominates the ball too much and his shot is decent but not deadly. He can drive and dish, even if his ability of beating his man off the dribble still needs to be tested at a higher level, just like his ability to finish around the basket considering the fact that his body still needs to fill out. He proved last year that he can defend smaller PGs, while being a threat in the passing lanes. This year he didn't look as focused as he was last year on defense, but his talent was there to see even though he was apparently fighting the flue. He's projected as a mid-first rounder if he stays in the draft.

Viktor Keirou (1984, 6-7, 200 pounds, 6-9):

Keirou is an athletic guard who impressed the scouts with a complete game and hard-nosed defense. He can hit the jump shot from outside and can go aggressively to the basket, not shying away from contact and finishing with both hands or finding the open man. He can effectively move off the ball and shoot a mid-range shot off a screen. He is a little skinny at this point, and could definitely improve his ball-handling. He declared for the draft this year, as could go as high as at the top of the second round, if he stays in.

Pawel Mroz (1984, 7-2, 220 pounds, 7-0):

Mroz is tall and has a good frame, with the possibility to add some meat to his body to handle the center position. He has some ability to play while facing the basket; being a great shooter with unlimited range and the ability to put the ball on the floor, something that has improved since last year. Mroz is athletic and coordinated, but not very explosive, surprising everyone here by winning the dunk contest. In the games his shot wasn't always falling, but he proved in other circumstances that this was just a bad run, He also showed good defensive ability and a nose for blocking shots. What he really lacks is a back to the basket game at this point. Could be a potential draft pick next year when he'll be automatically eligible, maybe even a first rounder if he can do something interesting during the season.

Souarata Cissé (1986, 6-6, 195 pounds, 6-7):

His game looks very similar to Keirou's, just at a rawer stage. The Frenchman is smaller than the Russian, but seems to be a better athlete and more of an energy player, with some interesting hustle plays you like to see in such a young player. The best part of his game seems to be his mid-range game right now, making some heavily contested shots from this area to back that up. His three point shot wasn't always falling, but he's mechanics looked ok and he looked confident and not tentative at all while taking it.

Andrea Bargnani (1985, 7-0, not measured at the camp):

Bargnani was only seen at the exhibition game between the RBK All Stars and the Italian U20 NT. Andrea would have been a lottery pick this year, and scouts guarantee that he's set to become a high pick in the 2006 draft. You can learn much more about his game from his scouting report. Bargnani played in the exhibition game far from the basket, showing his ability to put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket, but was limited by foul trouble. He finished the season really strong in the Italian League playoffs, something which we'll discuss in more depth in the next few weeks on DraftExpress.

Young prospects with potential:

Here we'll list a group of very young players, who showed the potential to become impact players down the stretch. These guys showed some glimpses of their talent, but still have a long way to go to fulfill their potential, after letting both their body and their games mature.

Vasily Zavoruev (1987, 6-7, 195 pounds, 6-7):

We'll start with a guy who is at this point a little more than just a promising kid. A member of the junior level juggernaut CSKA Moscow, who were European champions many times over, he even had a little experience with the senior team this past season. We included him on this list because this guy really has all the tools to become really a special player. Since last year, he dramatically improved in every facet of the game, especially since he's playing much more under control. He struggled sometimes with his outside shot, but he has the right mechanics and was hitting it regularly in practice. He has great handles with both hands and is explosive enough to be a threat off the dribble to drive to the basket, going left or right, knowing how to use screens in the process. He can slash inside finishing with both hands, find the open man or stop and pull up for the midrange jumpshot. He even played some point guard with decent results, showing what kind of a complete game he has at such a young age. What's more impressive is that he didn't look like one of the youngest players at this camp. He is already a star at this level, something you can't say of the other guys in this list.

Nikola Dragovic (December 1987, 6-9, 215 pounds, 6-11):

An athletic small forward with a good frame, coordinated finishing near the basket and with range out of 3pt line. Like Zavourev, it wasn't obvious that he was one of the youngest players on the court. Didn't have as much of a complete game as the Russian kid, and some might question his wild decision making, but this guy showed a strong personality and will, having an impact even on defense thanks to his energy. He needs to refine his handles and his midrange game, but if he keeps working on his game you might find him in the first round in a few years.

Danilo Gallinari (August 1988, 6-9, 210 pounds, 7-0):

Just like in the last's years camp, he's the youngest player in the camp. Looks like he's grown to 6-9 while letting his body mature in the past year. The son of a former Italian league first division player, Danilo has perfect fundamentals that players from basketball families often develop. He can play any position from point guard to small forward, and shows a perfect stroke while doing so. He's a fluid, but not explosive athlete, still looking like the kid he actually is. Gallinari was often matched up against smaller and quicker players, and didn't look to have quick enough feet to guard them at this point. He looked a bit too timid in game situations, having some bad turnovers and rarely trying to create something for the team or for himself, but the talent is there to see. Plays in the 3rd division in Italy, rumors say he could be headed in the first division to Milan.

Roman Gumenyuk (September 1987, 7-4, 235 pounds, 7-3):

This guy raised some eyebrows in the 2004 edition of the camp, even if both his body and his game were very raw, because of his size, quickness and coordination. He has vastly improved in all aspects during the last year. And while still being very skinny, he has added some meat to his body, and improved his shot and his post moves. He was supposed to be still growing, but looks just as tall as he was a year ago. At this point he's still a player who could be impressive in practice and have some good short stretches in games, but he has a long way to go in his understanding of the game, on both sides of the floor to be effective. A player to follow in the future, he could become a lottery pick in 2-3 years because of his physical attributes, but he has his work cut out for him until then.

Good for Europe:

This is a list of players who've been dominating the camp during some stretches, but who seem more fit for a great career in Europe rather than to find a place in the NBA at a young age. It doesn't mean that these guys don't have the talent to cross the ocean, but we expect them first to develop in Europe and then, once in or near their primes, if they will succeed, might find a chance to play in the NBA. These are guys who might lack size, athleticism or who simply are solid in everything, but brilliant in nothing.

Steve Markovic (1985, 6-4, 220 pounds, 6-5):

Played just the first day, and sidelined the next one by a groin injury. Very mature and strong physically, and it helped him a lot, as he was maybe the most dominating player at the camp. He has the shooting, the passing ability, the vision and the ability to drive and finish. He just knows how to play the game. He has to translate all this at a higher level, but could have a great career in Europe. He's Australian born, but his father comes from the former Yugoslavia. He's supposed to get a double passport and it will help him in the European career he's looking for.

Drago Pasalic (1984, 7-0, 245 pounds, 6-11):

A player who is well known to NBA scouts, having played both in the Eurocamp and in the Chicago Pre-draft Camp twice in the last two seasons. Pasalic is a very solid player who knows how to use his body inside, but can also hit shots from the outside too, being one of the smartest players in the camp. He doesn't look very athletic, which makes you wonder how well he could translate his game in the NBA, considering that he seems to be one of those guys who does nothing exceptionally well.

Mirza Teletovic (September 1985, 6-9, 255 pounds, 6-10):

Teletovic is a really big and strong kid. Last year he impressed with his toughness and mean streak under the basket. While he is athletic and explosive for a PF, he might lack the height to make it in the NBA from the four spot, and therefore needs to move down a position most likely. For long stretches he played small forward at the camp. He has the shot, but not the quickness, which is why he might get exposed at a higher level at that position. Has the potential to become a dominating power player in Europe, but his lack of height makes it unlikely that a NBA team will try to play him at his true position, at least at this point. Someone could try to convert him into a small forward, but the risk is to make him a tweener. The guy is already trying to show he can play far from the basket, but he needs to be careful and not lose his inside game, because it would be a waste to see such a strong guy hanging out on the perimeter jacking up threes.

Costas Vassiliadis (1984, 6-7, 215 pounds, 6-6):

Got some attention because of the great game he had against the Italian U20 national team (26 points, 7/10 FG, 8/9 FT). Has a strong body, knows how to play off the ball, but as a pure shooting guard he's not explosive enough to be considered a NBA prospect at such a young age.

Top of the camp:

Height: Roman Gumenyuk, 7-4
Standing Reach: Obi Kenechukwu, 9-7
Weight: Volodymir Orlenko, 260 pounds
Wingspan: Obi Kenechukwu, 7-6
Vertical jump (standing): Olivier Iilung, 32 inches
Vertical jump (w/approach): Rudy Mbemba, 36 inches

Special thanks go out to Pete Philo, the Director of the Reebok Eurocamp.

Zaragoza, The Best of the Rest: Frontcourt

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Sep 09, 2004, 01:00 am
Draft City concludes our look at the best prospects seen during the European Junior Championships at Zaragoza. Aleksandrov, Andriuskevicius, and Petro were not the only frontcourt players impressive enough to merit our attention. Here are some other guys about whom we might be hearing in the future.


Viktor Sanikidze
(Georgia; SF; 1986; 6'8; 35 mpg, 17.6 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 2.6 spg, 3.6 topg)

The absence of Andris Biedrins left Viktor as the only NBA draftee of the tournament. Sanikidze is a long small forward with good wingspan and promising athleticism and skills, although he is still quite raw. Physically, he is very skinny, and despite good quickness and a good vertical, he needs to improve his explosiveness. He gets knocked around the post and needs to learn how to fully translate his quickness to lateral defensive movement.

He shoots with good range and mechanics but is inconsistent and uncomfortable spotting up. Near the basket he abuses his right hand to finish. He shows capable handles, but like the majority of Georgians, he has a tendency to over-dribble. He sees the floor quite well and makes good decisions when passing the rock. In general, Sanikidze displays a good attitude on the court and is quite an active player, as his rebounding production attests.

The San Antonio Spurs made a smart play by drafting this kid in the second round. He is raw, still several years away, but he could very well develop into a first-round caliber player.

Souarata Cissé
(France; SG/SF; 6'5; 25.3 mpg, 10.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.1 topg)

One of the best athletes revealed at the tournament, Souarata was a key component of the Bronze winning French team. Given his strength, explosiveness, quickness, and leaping ability, his 6'6 frame looks like the prototypical body for an NBA wing in the making. What is quite uncommon about him is that he combines his wonderful physical profile with a very nice perimeter stroke. Cissé is a consistent shooter behind the arc, better than the 34% clip on threes he shot in Zaragoza would make you think. He shows little in the way of a midrange game, but when he doesn't opt for the trey, he will look for penetration. Surprisingly, his first step isn't significantly better than average right now. Further, he is not a superb ball-handler, especially with his left hand. But he finds ways to succeed, often thanks to long strides that make it hard for his defenders to keep him under control. Defensively he is very solid, making use of his superior strength and athleticism.

Cissé is a player with some great characteristics, mostly physical, and therefore, with good potential, even for the NBA. He has played small forward in Zaragoza, but I think he will evolve into a shooting guard. He has the tools; now he just needs to polish some skills. He is not the kind of guy who looks as though he was born playing the game: his movement is a bit mechanical, and he lacks some fearlessness and basketball instincts. But he's a player to watch for the future.

Yaroslav Korolev
(Russia; SF; 1987; 6'9; 17.6 mpg, 4.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2 apg)

This Russian small forward has tremendous potential, perhaps among the most seen in the tournament. His combination of athleticism, size, and skills is just wonderful. But in Zaragoza he played poorly, far from the expectations he raised last year in Rivas at the Europan Cadet Championships. He appeared unfocused, as he made some bad decisions against the older and more physical competition. His disappointing performance is even stranger considering this past season he enjoyed some minutes with Avtodor Saratov of the Russian league and at the FIBA European competitions (his father Igor is the coach of Avtodor and was assistant coach of the Russian team in Zaragoza). I was expecting a more mature kid than the one I saw.

But we're still talking about a 6'9 kid with nice quickness and vertical leap, and one who plays some point forward. He likes to play far from the basket and loves to lead the transition using his good handles. He sees the court very well, whether on the break or in the offensive set. He can penetrate toward the basket, but his first step is not outstanding, and he is a bit timid when it comes to attacking the rim, preferring instead to simply pass the ball. I think he's a little bit soft right now. His jumper is pretty good, but he struggled from the field here. Like Sanikidze, he favors his right hand even when he should finish with his left. On defense he needs to work on his lateral quickness, which is just average right now.

Korolev's limitless potential could carry him all the way to the NBA. But as we learned in Zaragoza, he has an awfully long way to go.

Luigi Datome
(Italy; SF/PF; 1987; 6-8; 19.1 mpg, 9.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.1 bpg)

The first thing you notice about this guy's game is his great instict to score. Indeed, he was last year the top scorer at the European Cadet Championship. Datome has played a lot of power forward given the lack of big men in the Italian Team, but he looks completely like a three. He's athletic, showing nice quickness and vertical leap, and loves to run the court. With the ball in his hands, he will look first to shoot or to penetrate. He has a consistent mid-range game, including great free-throw percentajes, and can also make treys, although he's rather streaky from that distance. He likes to shoot off the dribble, although he fires from static positions too, specially from the three-point area. In Zaragoza, being defended frequently by big (therefore usually slow) men, he tried many times to drive to the basket. He has a decent first step and handles enough to do it by both the right and left side, although he feels much more comfortable going to the right. Then, depending on the situation, he can stop midway to go for the jumper, or try to reach the basket, or feed a mate given the chance. Despite being a shoot-first pass-later player, he doesn't force situations, passing the ball decently. You still can see his power forward instincts by the way he looks for the offensive rebound and his nice timing blocking shots. His long arms are a good help. On defense, he usually had to fight with bigger men, trying his best in one-on-one defense, although being a little bit lazy on rotations. With their small line-up, Italy played also a lot of zone defenses. So in the end, I'm not sure about his ability to stop quick wing players with his lateral defensive movement.

Anyway, Datome is an interesting player. He has very nice upside, but nothing out-of-the-charts in my opinion. He was one of the youngest players among the tournament, and you could notice by his thin body. He's the kind of guy you can see easily develop into a very good Euro baller, but beyond that, the odds are considerably lower.

Carlos Suarez
(Spain; SF; 1986; 6'7; 32.9 mpg, 20.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.9 spg, 2 topg)

What an outstanding tournament for this kid! There were very few players in Zaragoza as focused and hard-working as the Spaniard, and he was a big reason for his team's success. So in the end, his selection to the all-tournament team came as no surprise, the right reward for his amazing performance.

Carlos is the perfect role player. He is a great defender, especially team-wise: he is one of those guys who seem to be everywhere on court. His activity and good positioning allow him to grab a great amount of rebounds, too. On the offensive end, he took full advantage of playing alongside Sergio Rodríguez. They are teammates in Estudiantes and, as you might supposse, they understand each other very well. Besides, Carlos is particulary good moving without the ball. Suarez has also quite a reliable jumper, up to the three point range. His release is quite fast because he doesn't need a full shooting movement, being able to realease his shot while barely bending his arms. He's the kind of player who scores a lot more points than you notice during the game.

The biggest knock on Carlos is his athleticism. I think he's faster than it seems, but still not fast enough. He lacks explosiveness. He probably will not be able to create his own shot at higher level. Summarizing, I don't see NBA potential in him, although he will probably be very good at European level.


Dusan Sakota
(Greece; SF/PF; 1986; 6'10; 37.8 mpg, 18.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.5 spg, 3 topg)

Dusan is the son of Dragan Sakota, former Serbian player and current coach in Greece. And it doesn't come as a surprise when you observe his more refined skills. Sakota's main strength is undoubtedly his shot. He is a consummate gunner, capable of realeasing his jumper from any position as soon as he recieves the ball. He never needs to draw a precise route for the ball to leave his hands. For example, he can recieve the ball over his head and simply throw it from there. It makes him really quick and hard to stop, especially when you consider that he's 6'10. A 40% clip from behind the arc with nearly 9 tries a game is a great percentage.

Beyond his shot, there is nothing really outstanding about his game. He can put the ball on the floor using some nice handles, but he is rarely able to light up his defender. He is not all that quick (he isn't slow either, just average), although that seldom gets him into trouble, as he passes the ball quite well against pressure, even when double-teamed, to find the open man on the other wing. Right now he doesn't seem to be a player capable of creating his own shot at the next level, at least not on a regular basis. Despite his 6'10 frame, he is not a post player. If he finds himself with the ball in the low post he usually looks for a turnaround fade-away shot. He doesn't seem to like the contact too much.

And that is at the heart of what I dislike the most about his game: his lack of aggressiveness. He is too cold on both ends of the court. He gets knocked on defense, which is quite logical considering he is still rather skinny, but sometimes it looks like he is not even trying. Offensively, it's too much of a shooting one-act, and he doesn't show passion in his game. Having said that, it deserves mention that he is a player who doesn't hide when it comes to taking the decisive shots. He's very confident and makes many of them.

So, Sakota is a most intriguing player when you consider his stroke and his fairly athletic, 6'10 body, but he leaves many questions up in the air. Will he play small forward or power forward? In Zaragoza he played the four position, but he lacks aggressiveness to defend the paint. From the wing he is too slow at both ends of the court. NBA potential? Sure. But he doesn't look like the kind of guy capable of fulfilling it.

Dragan Labovic
(Serbia & Montenegro; PF/C; 1987; 6'9; 22.9 mpg, 10.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2 apg, 2.5 topg)

The Serbian big man had amazed last year at the European Cadet Championships with skills resembling such players as Vlade Divac and Zoran Savic. A matter of concern then was his apparent physical maturity and growth potential for a guy just 6'9 tall and not particulary athletic. This year he has responded with considerable flashes of his great talent for this game, but he has also confirmed those concerns, as he doesn't look improved at all, and his physical profile impresses less as the competition gets older.

Labovic is fundamentally sound, excelling in several skills. He has a very good shot out to the international three-point line. The good mechanics are there including a nice, speedy release. He prefers to shoot while static, though. His post-up game is remarkable, boasting great footwork and very good footspeed. He passes well from the post and facing the basket. He handles the ball nicely and runs the floor pretty well. He also can penetrate using his decent first step. And he's quite intense on defense. But above all of this, it is the way he understands basketball, how easy he makes it look, that makes him such a great ball player. He definitely has a feel for the game.

Nevertheless, the concerns arise when you recall that he is just 6'9 and probably won't grow anymore, and that his athleticism is average at best for a power forward. So, where does all of this leave Dragan? Probably playing in Europe at good level. But being such a talented kid, I won't rule out anything.

Engin Emre Bayav
(Turkey; PF; 1987; 6'10; 25.4 mpg, 11.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.5 bpg)

Bayav is a very long power forward and a nice athlete. He might not show blazing quickness, but for a 6'10 player with very good wingspan, he is rather fast running the court, and he displays a good vertical leap. Those gifts and his decent timing make him a good shot-blocker. He's also skinny—awfully skinny.

Engin likes to play on the perimeter, facing the basket to shoot treys or pass the ball. He sees the court well and usually chooses the best option. He is a decent shooter from behind the arc or from the midrange, but mainly from static positions, not showing off-the-dribble skills. He has a long way to go toward a reliable post game. For the present, he prefers shooting turnaround jumpers to anything else down low. Besides, although he is an able handler, he rarely looks to penetrate and get inside. Defensively he has to work on his lateral movement if he wants to defend smaller power forwards and needs to bulk up to gain consistent presence in the paint.

Bayav is still quite raw. He needs to polish his skills, to expand his game and, especially, to physically develop his body. But he hints at nice potential, especially considering that he's a 1987 guy.

Jose Angel Antelo
(Spain; PF; 1987; 6'8; 31.9 mpg, 19.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 1.3 spg, 1.1 bpg, 3 topg)

A scoring and rebounding machine at the youth level, Antelo seems to have a god-given instinct for those purposes. Indeed, he was the best player born in 1987 in both statistical categories. When he rebounds, it is as though his hands were magnetic, and, of course, he displays a great sense for positioning. When it comes to scoring, he loves the jumper. Despite peculiar mechanics, his shot is reliable. If his defender will not allow him to shoot over the top, he will try to break him down and beat him. For a power forward, he is quick and handles nicely, but he abuses the dribble and gambles too much, and he also tends to favor his right to the point of predictability. He is a fearless player, always willing to assume offensive responsibilities. On the other hand, he has little post-up game. His decision making is questionable, and he's not always consistent on defense.

Antelo's potential draws some serious concerns. At 6'8 he is undersized for a power forward and lacks the athleticism to make up for it. He's too slow for the small forward spot. He would have to grow at least a couple of inches before we could start talking about NBA potential. While still young, he seems not to have enough growth left to make such a leap.


Ian Mahinmi
(France; C; 1986; 6'10; 20.6 mpg, 7 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.8 bpg)

One of the most pleasant surprises of the tournament was this 6'10 French and very athletic paint player. His vertical leap is simply amazing for a guy of his size. He can jump out of the gym to grab a board or to block a shot. 7.4 rebounds and 1.8 rejections are not bad at all for 20 minutes of playing time, although he needs to improve positioning and timing. He is extremely raw, but he already shows some incipient movement in the low post and -what's really important- a very good attitude. This kid works very well without the ball to position himself under the basket. As yet he shows neither midrange nor, obviously, perimeter skills.

Physically his body is quite skinny and underdeveloped, not common at all among the French ballers. For that reason he suffers on defense getting banged around the low post. His lateral quickness is more than sufficient for his position, though. Given his physical profile, he's a guy to keep an eye on for the future.

Semih Erden
(Turkey; C; 1986; 6'11; 21.4 mpg, 6.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.5 bpg)

Like his countryman Bayav, he's a very long, athletic, and skinny big man, but even rawer while also one year older. Erden's game seems more oriented to the paint, showing some budding movements in the low post, but there remains a lot of work to do there. A great wingspan means his is a solid shot-blocker, too. His jumper is downright horrible, looking sometimes like he is throwing a brick. His sub-50% free-throw percentage is indicative of his ability. He needs to improve his mechanics because he doesn't follow through, and so he loses control over the ball. Despite his decent athleticism and speed, it seems as though he is the kind of player who arrives a little bit late to all the action, and that is a product of his physical immaturity. He needs to gain explosiveness.

This guy's all about potential right now. He doesn't transmit a great feeling for the game. But a big, athletic body like his always draws attention.


Some other players shined brightly in the paint, but as in Antelo's case, they don't look like NBA prospects. All-tournament team selection Nikita Kourbanov from Russia is the best example, a tough, physical player, too much for most of his competitors, but at 6'7 he's vastly undersized for the power forward position, and he shows no aptitude for the skills and athleticism of a small forward. His countryman, Nikita Shabalkin, was probably the most skilled big man of the tournament, possessing a great post-up game and deep range, but he's only 6'8 and would face athleticism issues at the wing. The same goes for Deyan Ivanov and Kaloyan Ivanov, the Bulgarian twins with relatively poor combinations of size and athleticism. Turk Oguz Savas is another highly skilled player and is possibly the most intelligent big man seen in Zaragoza, but he is way too slow and too poor an athlete. Even if he keeps improving his conditioning I don't see him getting anywhere near where an NBA prospect should be.

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