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Player of the Month

Juan Hernangomez (‘95, 6-9, PF, Spain, Estudiantes Madrid)

Juan HernangomezJuan HernangomezThe younger brother of Willy – "Juancho", currently playing with Real Madrid – is definitely the breakout player of the early part of the season. After a solid U20 European championship with the Spanish national team, Hernangomez is shining in ACB, where he’s putting up 11.8 points and 9.5 rebounds on average with a season high 20 points and 10 rebounds against Badalona, following another remarkable performance with 16 points and 14 rebounds against Real Madrid. During the offseason, he has worked a lot on his upper body, without losing any mobility and explosiveness. His game perfectly suits the evolution of modern basketball, with the need for big men able to switch in the P&R and hit shots from distance. As a 6-9 PF, Hernangomez is excellent in P&R, perfectly exploiting his ability to screen and slide with timing and quickness. Furthermore he has showing intriguing range, from 15-20 feet, to be combined with his ability to attack the basket when served in movement after the cut. What impresses the most about him is his stamina, he’s constantly moving, hustling for a rebound or a loose ball, finding ways to impact his team, even when not directly involved in the offense. He still has to work on his offensive skills, as he lacks a solid traditional post game, and on his defensive positioning, but if he improves upon his consistency, he might end up in the early second round.

Hot

Timothe Luwawu (‘96, 6-7, SF, France, Mega Vizura)

Luwawu moved this summer from a second division team in France (Antibes) to a solid ABA league team, following the path taken by other French prospects like Lauvergne, Dallo and Westermann. This transfer was made possible by the solid relations between his agent and the powerful European agency BeoBasket, who owns Mega Vizura. It’s quite clear that Mega Vizura is a farm team for players within the agency. The move has been intriguing and it’s giving solid results. In fact, this year Luwawu is showing improvement in his shooting (42% from 3 points) and game comprehension, facing a higher level of competition on a daily basis, which is definitely improving his draft stock. He is averaging 15.6 pts, 4.5 rb and 2.3 as thus far.

Furkan Korkmaz (‘97, 6-7, SG, Turkey, Efes)

The Turkish talent began playing with Efes' senior team last season, becoming a legit first round prospect. This summer he also had great results with Turkish National teams, as well as playing at Eurobasket. This season he has been confirming his status thanks to his solid performances, playing on a contender for both Euroleague and the Turkish national title. He’s averaging 5 points and 7 rebounds in 18 minutes in TBL and slightly less in Euroleague , with 3.3 points in 12 minutes on the court, with some glimpses of his offensive talent. With Bender he’s definitely the frontrunner of international platoon.

Ante Zizic (‘97, 6-11, C, Croatia, Cibona Zagreb)

Zizic is one of the breakout players of this season, waiting for the complete recovery of his teammate Ivica Zubac. Standing as 6-11 he combines the size with great mobility, ability to run the floor and solid post skills. He’s not extremely athletic, especially compared to NBA standards, but he compensates this shortcoming with his great instincts and sense of position. He’s currently averaging 13.2 pt and 7.5 rb in ABA league, but his digits are destined to rise in the following seasons, when he might be a solid name at least for a second round pick.

Marko Arapovic (’96, 6-9, PF, Croatia, C, Cedevita Zagreb)

Arapovic’s name has been written down in the notes of the NBA scouts since he was 15, when he was dominating European youth championships with Croatia. When he started to play at the senior level with Cibona, the adjustment wasn’t as quick as it was for other stars of his generation such as Saric or Hezonja, but after a couple of years, he has established himself as a legit Euroleague player and as a potential second round prospect. Playing in one of the most talented Balkan teams like Cedevita, Arapovic has found his spot within the rotation, playing consistent minutes both in ABA league – where he’s having 7.7 pts and 4.1 rbs – and in Euroleague, with 4 points and 2.6 rebounds. He’s a little bit undersized to excel as a PF at the NBA level, but he compensates this shortcoming with technical skills and the ability to spread the floor.

Cold

Dragan Bender (’97, 7-0, PF, Croatia, Maccabi)

There’s no doubting the talent and potential of Bender, who’s a legit top 10 prospect, thanks to his combination of size, athleticism and technical skills. After a season spent with Maccabi farm team in Israel second division Bender has been officially enrolled with senior team, playing in Euroleague and Israel first division. The adaption to the higher level has been quite difficult for the time being, especially from the physical standpoint and the intensity level of the competition. He’s currently averaging 3 pts and 1 rb of average in Euroleague in 12 minutes on the court, a little bit under the expectations for a player of his talent.

Guerschon Yabusele (‘95, 6-7, PF, France, Rouen)

After an amazing summer, in which he was one of the top performers at adidas Eurocamp and at U20 European championships, Yabusele has struggled thus far. Playing on an average team in French first division such as Rouen, Yabusele is struggling against bigger opponents, collecting bad stats on the rebounding side. His coach is forcing him to play as a stretch forward, instead of exploiting his explosiveness and quickness to crash the boards. Consequently his numbers are rather disappointing at the moment, with 6.3 pt and 4.3 rb of average, with a season high of 10 pts and 6 rbs against Chalon. His draft stock is not pointing up.

Aleksandar Vezenkov (’95, 6-9, PF, Bulgaria, Barcelona) and
Moussa Diagne (’94, 6-11, C, Senegal, Barcelona)

Two of the most intriguing prospects from last season, if they would have declared last summer, they likely would have been selected by the 50th pick. Up to now, after their transfer to the European powerhouse of Barcelona, the situation is quite different. Moussa Diagne is not playing in Euroleague, Vezenkov is playing less than 10 minutes per game with 2.3 pts per game. The situation only slightly improves in ACB with Diagne playing in only 3 games, with 11 minutes of average on the court and 3 pts and 1 rb. Vezenkov had 4 pts and 2 rb in 6 games played. Seems quite clear that the higher level of competition faced, and the consequent struggles are affecting the stock of these prospects.

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I don't know if Yabusele is

I don't know if Yabusele is "cold" or if you just overrated him a bit all summer. I don't think a lot of scouts see him as a first round pick,if any. As for Luwawu,Hernangomez must be playing out of his mind to be the player of the month,considering Luwawu is just lighting up the ABA Liga. 16 points per game on 42% from three,adding 4.5 rebounds,2.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Really the only negative in his game right now is his FT %(63%),and rather inexplicable.

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I don't know if Yabusele is "cold" or if you just overrated him a bit all summer. I don't think a lot of scouts see him as a first round pick,

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I don't know if Yabusele is "cold" or if you just overrated him a bit all summer. I don't think a lot of scouts see him as a first round pick,

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