Not in any ranking or draft
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
Weight: 180 lbs (82 kg)
Position: PG/SG
Hometown: Makarska, Croatia
Current Team: Dinamo Bucuresti
Win - Loss: 14 - 19


U-19 World Championship Player Evaluations, Part One

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Aug 03, 2011, 08:35 pm
Jonathan Givony

Croatia was clearly one of the most talented teams at this tournament, as evidenced by their thrilling win over the U.S. in the group stage. An untimely injury to Toni Katic, their star point guard, contributed to a disappointing eighth place finish and emphasized the important role he plays in their success.

Katic has decent size for a point guard. He stands about 6-2 and has a solid frame and pretty good athleticism for a European prospect. He's a creative ball-handler who can score in pick-and-roll, transition and isolation situations, and has a first step that allows him to get into the paint on a regular basis at this level.

A fluid player with excellent body control, Katic shows fancy footwork and the ability to change speeds. He also uses a polished Eurostep move to keep his defender off balance and has a nice feel for scoring around the basket and in the mid-range area. He's a creative scorer—his repertoire includes floaters, pull-ups and reverse lay-ups--and he's good at finding teammates in drive-and-dish situations and at the 3-point line.

Katic is more of a modern scoring point guard than a natural distributor. He still has room to improve on his court vision and his decision making in half-court sets. He tends to get out of control and turns the ball over excessively.

What's more concerning for his long-term potential is his inability to consistently knock down 3-pointers, though. He showed limited range from the perimeter at this tournament—he converted just 2 of 8 attempts from beyond the arc—and hasn't fared much better over the course of the season in the Croatian league.

Katic's body language also left something to be desired. He was easily frustrated and didn't show much in the way of leadership skills on a young team that desperately needed his experience as one of the oldest members of the roster.

Defensively, Katic was similarly inconsistent, showing average length and not displaying the best effort in terms of staying in front of his man. How much he's able to improve in this area may well dictate how high of a level he'll be able to play at.

All in all, Katic is an extremely talented player who appears to have benefited greatly from the experience he garnered this season in the Croatian league with KK Split. He has some adjustments he'll need to make to his game to reach his full potential, but he was one of the more intriguing guard prospects we saw at this event.

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