2007 Douai International Tournament Recap
By Simon Dresden *Intro by Max Weber
The 21st edition of the Douai International tournament took place this week, concluding on Sunday. Israel, Lithuania, USA, Australia, Germany and France each took part. French rising star Nicolas Batum confirmed his status as the top prospect in Europe, while Australian center Andrew Ogilvy showed that there's a new bigtime center prospect developing "down unda"
With the defection of NIKE from the organization, the USA Elite team was not up to the level of past teams, especially the exceptional team of last year (Chase Budinger, Thaddeus Young, Brook Lopez…). Without offensive system and without defensive spirit, the USA Elite Team lost 4 of 5 games. Jordan Hamilton said he “didn’t think the European players could play physically like that”.
The Australia NT showed a great passing game and they defended well behind their inside outside combination of Patrick Mills and Ogilvy.
Israel U20 won the tournament behind tournament MVP Omri Casspi, who plays with a lot of energy. He also excels from 3pt line and mid-range.
The following is a recap of the top NBA prospects that participated in the event.
[img_assist|nid=3830|title=Andrew Ogilvy|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=300|height=400]Andrew Ogilvy 7'0" 240 lbs: The top center here and the second best overall prospect. Outstanding body already, big and strong, good athleticism. Solid mature inside game, decent passer. Has no problem running the floor and mixing it up inside. He isn't afraid of contact and can finish in the lane. Absolutely a solid defender and shot blocker but not blessed with outstanding foot speed to guard out on the perimeter. Heads above every other Australian inside player in development. He could be ready for the NBA draft right now!
Patrick Mills 5'11" maybe: Pure Point Guard, tough as they come, blessed with outstanding speed and court leadership, can hit the open shot but is more of a pass first player. In this tournament there was nobody who could match his speed.
Zygmatas Janavicius: A pure point guard who can handle pressure, he's mostly under control and tends to get stylish whenever he can. He is not typical Lithuanian since he lacks a perfect shot. His game is mostly about slashing and dishing which he does great. He is not top flight athlete but above average and his handles are sick.
Vaidas Cepukaitis: Center 6'11" with a slim body, only average speed but good size and good skill set. Couldn't show much here because he was mostly overpowered by the more mature players. Still young and worth to keep an eye on.
Martynas Gecevicius 6'4" : An outstanding shooter with unorthodox form, he is outstanding in using screens to get open and has long range. NBA wise he is missing the needed athleticism Because of the only average defender even at this level. Understands the game on a high level.
Pranas Skurdauskas: 6'10"½ Center with good body, decent athleticism who likes to mix it up inside and is a good rebounder. Fluid in his motions and running the floor, he is worth keeping an eye on, should have a prosperous career in Europe for year to come.
Nicolas Batum 6'8" small forward -- What more can you say about this outstanding talent? He seems to be able to switch it on and off at will at this level of competition. He cant be guarded by anyone, is outstanding athletic and totally committed to his France team. His ability to get to the rim whenever he wants seems to be bad for his jump shooting ability since he doesn't need to use it. He showed some senior level experience and toughness on defense, where he is a force whenever he wants, getting called for intensity fouls that are never called at Euroleague level. The only thing that could speak against him is his willingness to take a backseat to his less talented teammates too often. Scored 35 points versus Australia.
Antoine Diot 6'3" point guard -- Got exposed as a right hand only player. Whenever there is a little pressure he will exclusively turn to his right even if that is not a good choice. He is very intense going full speed all the time and being very enthusiastic. He tends to take too many crazy out of control jumpers, mostly out of right dribble pull ups even in difficult situations but amazingly he makes a good share of them. His body hasn't developed since last year. He is more of a scorer than a playmaker.
Alexis Ajinca 7'0" small forward/power forward -- Still no weight gain to see, he is an outstanding shot blocker with his rare combination of size and athleticism but except from put backs he cant get anything going even against average strong and smaller inside players. His 3Pt. shot is very streaky and there is no in between game. Right now he seems to be a more of a defensive specialist.
Ludovic Vaty 6'9" power forward -- Has lost some muscle definition on his body since last summer but gained some experience in his game. You could easily tell he has practiced a lot with senior men since his inside game has matured a lot. It is by no means outstanding but he seem to know what he is doing inside now, not just relying on his brute physique.
Kim Tillie: Has gained much upper body strength and arm definition, seems to be even more explosive now. He doesn't seem to be the smartest guy out there in basketball terms looking out of sync with his teammates mostly. Has long arms and good athleticism and speed. The tools are there to become something special.
Omri Casspi 6'8" small forward -- Has gained some upper body strength since last summer and worked on his shooting mechanics which should make his shot a little more reliable in the long long but makes it look a little mechanic right now. Israel used him as an inside player on numerous occasions which doesn't fit his style of play since Casspi thrives when he can use his superb body control and above average offensive speed to beat his defender into the zone. He's became more aggressive taking it to the hoop instead of settling for pull up jumpers. He should have been a little better on defense since he was mostly matched against fours but his mind didn't seem to be in it too much. For a player that is so coordinated it shouldn't be a problem to at least stay in front of those kind of players. Where he didn't appeal as an NBA prospect was his on court behavior, he was always complaining to the refs whenever he got a little contact or missed a shot and he somehow didn't fit in Israel's Team approach sometimes staying out of on court team huddles or sitting on the floor instead of the bench. a top prospect with a little attitude. But when things are going his way he is a force. He won MVP and led his team to win the tournament, but there were some red flags raised along the way.
Yogev Ohayon, 6'2"-6'3" point guard -- (lefty) with good speed, decent athleticism and a ripped body. Plays intense defense. He is more of a scorer at this level which could be a problem against bigger and stronger guards. He doesn't stand out in any particular thing but is rock steady in everything without any glaring holes to his game. Seems to have a lot of experience since he always knows what is going on. Because of his size, he needs to be tracked but I kind of don't see any blazing speed to compete with NBA level points.
Gal Mekel 6'2" point guard -- Gained some arm and upper body strength as well as more control over the point position and plays strictly under control which wasn't the case last summer. He shows leadership on every occasion to his teammates. His speed is good, as is his shot and defense are on level. If he can get some more in game experience at Wichita State he should be a player with second round potential.
Nikita Khartchenkov 6'5" SG, with a solid body and good but streaky shot. Shows good form and range. Is missing out on athleticism and foot speed to be a top prospect.
Tom Spoeler 6'9" SF: A poor mans Casspi, solid athleticism, good shot. Can do everything Casspi can just less skilled but definitely one too keep on the radar.
Jordan Hamilton 6'6" SF volume shooter, solid penetrator and good athlete but very selfish and has a mean streak when things don't go his way.
Laron Dendy 6'10" Center very smooth in his motions with good athleticism and good frame, just not top notch.