|Team: Lietuvos Rytas|
H: 6' 4"|
W: 187 lbs
(26 Years Old)
Current: PG |
Hometown: Alytus, Lithuania
Lithuanian lefty Zygimantas Janavicius remains a player to follow up on thanks to his very good quickness and speed. Showing a strong frame, Janavicius is an average leaper, but is a pretty skilled ball handler and passer. The main drawback here is the lack of decision making skills and court savvy Janavicius shows. He pushes the ball well on the break and is a very strong slasher, mostly going to his stronger left hand, but he lacks patience and too often drives blindly to the basket. Janavicius registered 3.8 turnovers per game during his 9 games here on the Greek island.
Defensively he is a very reliable piece, looking very intense in man to man settings and pressuring his opponent with good lateral footspeed. He came up with plenty of steals a in this championship (2.3). He also shows a great rebounding mentality, boxing out on the defensive end and collecting a strong 4.9 rebounds per game in turn.
The potential is clearly there, but a few years after we first looked at him, we must begin to ask whether he ever be able to make the most of it? Heíll surely be given the opportunity with the very best Lithuanian teams to show how good he can become.
With Zalgiris Kaunas having to let Marcus Brown go due to financial difficulties, young 1989-born point guard Zygimantas Janavicius has surprisingly stepped into a position of receiving significant playing time in the Euroleague and Baltic League. He started this past week in a blowout loss against Siena, and has seen over 34 minutes in two of the last BBL contests. His team is in the midst of an awful season thus far (0-2 in the Euroleague, a shocking 2-3 in the BBL) and Janavicius has seen his ups and downs, but that doesnít change the amount of experience and exposure he is garnering as a key cog for a Euroleague team. Whether his minutes stabilize remains to be seen, but heíll be a player worth keeping an eye on, especially if he emerges as a starter.[Read Full Article]
Though he shows good size and quickness for a point guard, Janvicius must really learn to run a team before we can call him a legit prospect to play in the NBA. The guard played out of control in the half-court offense, showing good penetrating ability, but either holding onto the ball too long, or making the wrong read. This resulted in 6 turnovers throughout the game for the guard. He also showed a very inconsistent release point and poor mechanics on his jumper throughout the week, and this was on display throughout the game as well. On the bright side, Janavicius plays solid defense and seems to make decisions more effectively in transition. The only time the guard looked for his own shot going to the hoop, he made a very nice finish in traffic while taking the foul. The young Lithuanian has a lot of work to do, but he does have tools that could lead him to develop over the next three to four years.[Read Full Article]
Whenever a player goes from being a clear-cut all-championship player as a first-year junior to going home without any awards in his second year, you know something is probably not going in the right direction. He didnít play a bad tournament, probably even better than what he showed a few weeks earlier at the U-19 Worlds, but he pretty much confirmed that he hasnít evolved much this past season.
As usual, he was a high-tempo playmaker for Lithuania, a kind of wild player that sometimes gets too out of control. Very incisive as always, the pick-and-roll play was often his first option, usually setting for one-on-one plays deeper in the shot-clock, always trying to split defenses and feed his teammates (he ended up third in assists in the championship) or finish himself with his left-handed layups. Heís certainly an aggressive guy, and even sometimes goes too far and commits offensive fouls in the process. Although pretty erratic in all his actions ending up with very low percentages, he looked a bit better with his mid-range jumper off the dribble, but still showing awful accuracy from behind the arc. If thereís something he will have to work hard on this following season, itís his shooting stroke. Itís probably the biggest difference with the brighter Janavicius we saw last summer. On defense, he was solid, using his quickness and showing that aggressiveness that drives his entire game.
Anyway, despite this small step back, heís a guy who transmits good vibrations regarding his future development. He looks passionate and just seems to love this game, while thereís no reason why he canít sort out his biggest flaws with maturity and proper work.
Janavicius finished the tournament ranked first in assists, and it was still a pretty average showing for him, actually for the whole Lithuanian team, that performed far worse than expected. Playing too out of control, not capable of making his shots on a regular basis, he also suffered the pressure of being the virtually only shot generator for his team, without even a decent point guard to back him up (again, we donít understand why Vasiliauskas didnít make the team).
The pick and roll is the go-to move of Lithuania, with Janavicius being the protagonist most of the time. The objective is to get free of his defender and attack the basket searching for a layup or to feed an open man. He also can beat his match-up off the dribble, usually using crossover dribbles. All in all, heís a very aggressive player that tries to step into the lane again and again. Left-handed, Zygimantas tends to deliver the layup going left and pass the ball if he goes right, of course also depending on the situation. Actually, heís a much better dribbler with his good hand. Too often, he didnít take appropriate care of the ball, particularly when passing it, allowing opponents to anticipate the passing lane. A simple bounce pass would greatly help him in many situations.
Not outstanding in the physical department (heís tough and enjoys nice size and quickness, but nothing special), not a terrific defender, Janavicius needs to work on his game, taking better decisions, exceeding his drive-and-dish habits to become a more complete distributor, and especially, improving his jumper. He was completely off shooting behind the arc, and neither found any scoring rhythm with his mid-range jumper off the dribble.
While it was his teammate Donatas Motiejunas the one who stole most of the attention of the NBA scouts in attendance, it wouldnít shock if Zygimantas Janavicius ended up being the better player of the two, at least in the short-term.
A 6-3 guard with very nice physical attributes and a pretty complete all-around game at this stage, Janavicius is the kind of player that is hard not to fall in love with. Heís tough as nails and a fiery competitor, showing outstanding leadership skills and a winning attitude.
Janavicius has good body control and a very nice first step that he loves to use to put pressure on the defense and get into the lane. He can change gears quickly and is extremely aggressive creating offense for himself and others, and shows nice vision off the dribble to find open teammates on the drive and dish. He could stand to improve his ball-handling skills to a certain degree and can get a little bit wild lowering his shoulder and bullying his way into the lane with a full head of steam, but you have to admire the toughness he shows taking responsibilities on himself.
Although there is nothing technically wrong with his shooting mechanics, Janavicius still has some work to do improving his range and accuracy, something that will likely come in time as long as he continues to put the time and effort in. And while he can certainly make plays for himself and others, he still has to learn the fine nuances of consistently running an effective half-court offense like a true playmaking point guard is expected to. He shows nice potential in this area, though, so it could just be a matter of time and experience.
Defensively, Janavicius puts a lot of pride into this part of his game. He does a great job getting into the passing lanes, and is capable of playing tough-nosed pressure defense when the situation calls for it. His size, quickness and instincts all serve him extremely well here.
Right now, Janavicius is way ahead of the curve compared with his peers. The key will be to continue to improve on his weaknesses and begin to carve out a niche for himself at the senior level. He has definite NBA potential as long as he keeps getting better.
Janavicius was the best point guard in the championship, being rightfully rewarded with a spot in the all-tournament team. A first-year junior, he led Lithuania to the final with an impressive display, especially for a kid as young as him. Last year, in the European U-16 Championships, he had already shined playing on a very talented team that made it to the semifinals, and he has managed to reproduce that leading role, even improving it, while playing against older guys. He has certainly made nice strides in the last year.
The basics of Janaviciusí game revolves around splitting defenses and dishing the ball to his teammates. In this fashion, he ended up as the clear-cut assist leader in the tournament, although he eventually might have forced a bit too much looking for a way to the basket. Still, in general he has succeeded setting the tempo of the game, running when needed, sharing the ball, and showing good criteria.
The Lithuanian point guard enjoys a nice physical profile. He has good size for his position, nice strength considering his age and not a bad frame, while his body still shows some decent potential to keep developing. Janavicius is a quick player, with some explosiveness, not a superb leaper or a tremendous athlete, but with the tools to potentially hold on in top competition.
A very good ball-handler, he can consistently beat his matchups using either hand, showing nice footwork and body control while quickly slashing towards the basket. Very left-handed when it comes to finishing around the rim, Janavicius barely uses his right unless heís fully open, which sometimes causes him troubles when he faces opposition going by his right and hasnít found anybody to send the ball to. Thatís usually his first option (definitely when he goes to his right), to pass the ball to some open mate taking advantage of the defensive moves that his penetrations cause. Heís well aware of the situation of his teammates, feeding equally well somebody in the paint or another one on the three-point line, even on the weak side.
Shooting is another realistic option. Heís pretty good coming off the dribble from the mid-range area, where he looks rather smooth and comfortable transforming his quickness into his left-handed jumper. Heís also reliable from three-point land, where he can also fire off the dribble. All in all, he shows good mechanics, not awfully quick, but neither slow.
On defense, heís a solid guy, with nice lateral movement, who keeps his hands active on help defense to steal balls.
His talent and excellent performance, as well as the lack of a reliable replacement off the bench, made him indispensable on court for Lithuania. The semifinal against Turkey was good proof, as after being fouled out still with a few minutes left in the clock, Lithuania started burning a wealthy lead playing totally out of control, and risking a game that they had virtually won.
This terrific Zalgiris team was trapped into playing a slower pace than they probably wanted in the final game by CSKA Moscow, and one of the players whose game was harmed the most by this match-up was the Lithuanian point guard, Zygimantas Janavicius.
The curly haired kid from Alytus had a dominant afternoon on Saturday against Barcelona, showing glimpses of brilliance when he was leading his team with an up-tempo rhythm. Running the floor pretty quickly, slashing also particularly well and definitely having a very good shooting touch, he was the best example of your typical Lithuanian point guard from the moment that Sarunas Jasikevicius appeared on court. Quick, athletic, with a good rhythm, pass-first-for the most part, team-oriented and terrific when it came to running set offenses, he was constantly providing his team with easy baskets and nice assists. He is also a steady shooter and a nice, patient ball handler, showing that he is a natural point guard talent. His court vision is above average and, although he was used at shooting guard for long stretches, especially against CSKA, he is definitely much more important as a playmaker than as a scorer. His alertness also makes him a nice defensive contributor. He can come up with many steals (leading the tournament in this category) due to his quick legs and hands, which he uses to overcome his relatively small size. Heíll sometimes allow his opponent to start slashing, only in order to come up with a steal from behind, while he can be particularly effective in zone defenses, where he can cooperate with teammates.
However, his lack of size, leaping ability and physical strength limits his overall potential. Zygimantas has little moves except from the slashing and passing, while his use at shooting guard was Ė like with Shved Ė a move that cost his team a lot of creativity. Offensively, he may be patient and confident, but he is not the best player for creating easy shooting opportunities for his teammates. He prefers open defenses by passing the ball to the very creative Cepukaitis, with whom he been playing together with since childhood and knows very well. On defense, his frame is again too narrow, as most Lithuanian kids at this age seem to be. He is not big enough to prevent opponents from slashing towards the basket and is not good enough at defending spaces either. He may be a fine help defender, particularly in a zone defense (the reason Alexey Shved was shut down in the final), but he cannot prevent the opposing point guard from moving relatively easily through space, filling the stat-sheet, dishing out many assists and coming up with rebounds.