2007 Reebok Eurocamp: Day Four

Wed, 06/13/2007 - 12:16pm

By Aran Smith

The final day's morning practice began with stations. Then Bob Hurley Sr. gave the entire camp his final practice drill. Steve Nash's 20 minute shooting routine. Nash sets the clock at 20 minutes and does a variety of shots starting in close for 5 or so repetitions then moving further from the basket, alternating on each side and making sure he never fumbles the ball and always leaves the area after a make, shooting over from the same place on a miss. He has a running tear drop from the lane and a spin move and fake and step through and shot.

The entire routine takes 18:30 minutes followed by 12 three pointers of which Nash makes 8. Hurley Sr. is in the Hall of Fame as a high school coach, which is an amazing achievement. It's no wonder he's been such a tremendous coach with his level of intensity and way that he's able to connect with the kids. He commended the kids in camp for their tremendous attitudes and willingness to learn and was given a big ovation by the players, coaches and number of scouts after the drill.

Team 5 (Royal Blue) 83 - Team 3 (Orange) 43

[img_assist|nid=3826|title=Joao Gomes|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=300|height=400]Joao Gomes blew up on the final day of camp with the best single game performance of anyone in the event. He was white hot from deep hitting 4-5 and perfect from inside the arc going 9/10 overall for 26 points. He certainly looks the part as he has a tremendous wing player's body. A number of scouts wrote him off after the first 3 days as too soft and not skilled enough, but his performance on the final day may have changed things. He has a solid shot, and is a great rebounder. His skills are that of a 3, but with a chance to stay in Europe and keep developing, a team may decide he's worth a late second round pick.

In a battle of the wonder twins (well not exactly wonder, but two solid European small forwards) Deyan Ivanov and Kaloyan Ivanov played very well. Deyan was second on his team with 16 and 5 while Kaloyan led his team with 12 points and 7 boards. Neither is incredibly athletic, but both have solid agility and effort level. The players will surely go undrafted if they stay in the draft and appear to be high European level players.

Team 1 (Carolina Blue) 62 - Team 4 (Black) 46

With fatigue beginning to set in everywhere, scouts and coaches included, the teams played the final regular camp game. In a well balanced (scoring) game, Brazilian Julio Toledo and Russian Andrey Vorontsevich paced the victors with 12. Toledo is a 6-4 power forward who has an amazing wingspan and thrives in the open floor but lacks any real skills on the perimeter. Vorontsevich is a 6-10 highly skilled bigman with decent shooting and athleticism.

Checking in with 11 were Spunky Lithuanian shooting guard Mantas Ruikas and Serbian forward Luka Bogdanovic. Russian bigman Alexander Rindin brought a roar from the crowd after he dunked the ball and held onto the rim and came down the the floor while still holding the rim. Rindin finished with 7 points.

Pacing the losing squad with 15 was sharpshooting 6'5 shooting guard Dusan Mladjan who is a solid athlete but lacks great strength and all around skills. Anton Ponkrashov was less impressive with some scouts using the term black hole to describe his play in camp. He seems to be trying to prove that he can score, but it has taken away from his passing which is his greatest strength.

Reebok Euro Camp All Stars 89 - U20 Russian National Team 56

The Russian National team was out of this game by the half trailing by over 20. The talent and level of experience for the RBK team proved too much for the Russian team as they quickly fell behind. Their precision on their passes and ball handling was very impressive as they made few mistakes, but their shooting and rebounding could not match the level of the RBK Eurocamp guys.

The real story of the game was the play of Russian 1988 born point guard Alexey Shved. Despite scoring just 7 points, Shved showed why so many in Europe and Russia are hailing him as such a wonderful talent. He came off the bench and struggled to make a huge impact, but a lot of that was due to the opposition and lack of talent playing with him.

He still has a lot of filling out to do as he's around 6-7 with a 170 pound frame, but he has big hands, a huge wingspan, and he displayed tremendous leaping ability in warm ups. His vision and passing skills are truly special and his feel for the game is extremely impressive. He makes the game appear effortless and his handle and quickness allowed him to handle the pressure from Rudy Mbemba easily.

He hustles on defense although he will need to get stronger, but as an 88 born kid, he has time. He matched up some against Ponkrashov, and though Ponkrashov is 2 years older, his feel for the game and passing is already better. Shved won't be ready for the NBA for a few years but he's a bigtime prospect nonetheless.

Redeeming himself after his worst performance of the camp, Georgos Printezis impressed in the camp's final knocking down a number of three pointers and hustling all over the court finishing with a game high 19. He is definitely a favorite among scouts and stands a good chance to be drafted.

Also impressive for the RBK Eurocamp team once again was Rudy Mbemba who had a scary injury towards the end of the game and let out a yell. He writhed on the floor in pain, with his leg twitching for a few minutes and many expected the worse. His agent Bill Duffy looked on with a face of horror, but it turned out Mbemba had just banged knees with a Russian player and suffered a bruise.


After the Final All Star Game, the awards ceremony took place.

Co-MVP: Marco Belinelli, Rudy Mbemba

All RBK Eurocamp
Giorgos Printezis
Victor Claver
Joao Gomes
Martynas Mazieka
Anton Ponkrashov

Best Defender: Aleksander Rindin

Best Hustle: Ivan Paunic

Sportsmanship: Boban Marjanovic

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