Archive - Article
November 16th, 2015
It’s not even a week into the 2015-16 college hoops season and some very compelling matchups are staring us smack-dab in the face.
A “Final Four-flavored” double-header in The United Center in Chicago will tip off at 7:30 (ET) with Kentucky against Duke, with Kansas and Michigan State next up at 10 or so. Yes, that would be a nifty set of semifinals on Final Four Saturday (April 2) in Houston.
Heading into the 2015-2016 college basketball season, the ACC figures to be one of the deepest and most entertaining conferences in the country. The conference is three-deep in terms of teams that can legitimately win the conference and challenge for a national championship. Those include the defending national champions Duke Blue Devils, the North Carolina Tar Heels, and the Virginia Cavaliers. With that said, there are plenty of intriguing teams behind the big boys that can make noise with winning seasons and deep tournament runs in March.
A late bloomer, Vanderbilt 7-foot junior center Damian Jones shined in front of NBA scouts this summer at the Nike Academy and won the individual match up with Utah sophomore 7-footer Jacob Poeltl. He flashed high level explosiveness and athleticism, blocking shots and finishing at the rim. He also measured extremely well at 7-foot-0 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan. Most encouraging was that he displayed a developing face up game with the ability to knock down mid-range and even outside shots, consistently.
The European professional basketball season has officially started over the last couple of weeks, with national leagues beginning. Euroleague will starts October 15th, so it's time to make an overview on the top international prospects potentially available for the next NBA draft. We have intentionally left out the players that are too young to declare this year or most likely won’t declare until 2017 (i.e. Hartenstein, Ntikilina, Zubac, Slavica, Arapovic).
Dragan Bender (’97, 7-0, PF, Croatia, Maccabi Tel Aviv)
The trend of International players having an effect on the landscape of the NBA may have begun as early as the late 50’s. But the international presence really took a foothold in the 80’s with Hakeem, Detlef, Vlade, and many others, as improved travel, technology, and foreign affairs, opened the league to new, nearly heretofore untapped resources of foreign players.
Bosnia Herzegovina won the gold medal at the 2015 U16 European Championships held in Kaunas from August 6th to August 16th. The winning team clinched gold after a close game in the final against the home team of Lithuania. Following the 4th place finish of the U18 Bosnia team, this result confirms that the Balkan state is a surging powerhouse in European basketball.
Turkey claimed the bronze medal over Spain. Talented Germany lost in the quarterfinal round with underachieving results. Here is the list of the top talents seen in this competition:
As a high school junior, 6'8 small forward Jarred Vanderbilt, won't be eligible for the NBA Draft until 2018, but he is one of the most talented prospects in the nation regardless of class. The versatile forward shows tremendous potential and figures to become a household name in the coming years. NBADraft.net had the opportunity to talk with Vanderbilt at the Nike Global Challenge, where he had a great showing earning a spot on the USA All-Tournament Team.
NBADraft.net: How has Chicago been so far?
The home team of Greece won the 2015 U18 European Championships held in Volos from July 23rd to August 3rd. The winning team clinched the gold medal after a close game in the final against a loaded Turkish team, which counted on top talents Korkmaz and Yurtseven. Lithuania claimed the bronze medal over surprising Bosnia Herzegovina. Talented teams France and Germany lost in quarterfinal games, with underachieving results. The moral of this competition is that the average level of the 1998 generation in Europe is higher than the 1997 (of course with some exceptions).