Euroleague Juniors Preview: Group C
By Simon Dresden
Euroleague Preview -- The Next Generation including draft eligible players born 1986-1989.
Intriguing prospect with his combination of size and athletism. Had an injury early last year but came back strong in the playoffs to significantly help his team in their championship run. Instead of playing with the senior national team over the summer, he decided to focus on adding some bulk and is now ready and a firm part of the rotation. He is already putting up solid numbers in the domestic league. Rumors say he is just killing former NBA player Luke Schenscher in practice and because of that he's taking away Schenscher's minutes from the start. Should see some quality minutes as his coach is relying on him and he has the tools at his disposal to turn some heads.
Sajmen Hauer (6-1 PG 1988)
No speed, no athletism, ne defense, no playing time.
Tepic is following a long line of big Euro combo guards, (Marko Jaric, Zoran Planinic, Jiri Welsch etc.) most of whom have not lived up to expectations at the NBA level. After a strong summer of junior national team competition, Tepic will now move to the forefront of Partizan as full time leader. He has size and a good mixture of all around skills to compete for years at the highest level in Europe. He may lack the needed explosiveness and athleticism to make an NBA team but an excellent year or so against Euroleague competition could easily intrigue some GM.
Dejan Borovnjak (6-10 PF 1986)
His body is still lacking that little bit of muscle to be elite. He has the size and the shot to become a great SG at any level, his decision making and feel for the game just haven't developed to where they were expected to be at this point. He is kind of an everlasting talent that has this final year to prove that he can make the next step or will likely stay a talent that never reached his full potential.
One of the most talented players in Serbia born 1986. Velickovic exploded last year. He gained enormous self-confidence and experience playing with the Serbian National Team over the summer. He is type of player that does all the dirty work and loves to defend and rebound. Has a heart of a lion and is not afraid of anyone on the court. Coach Vujosevic loves him and will give him a lot of playing time this year. He has good physical attributes. He still needs to improve his offensive game (dribbling and shooting). It will be interesting to see him compete in Euroleague against the toughest European teams this year.
The stage is set for him to shine bright this year. Having been a solid contributor last year and now with Kosta Perovic gone to the NBA it should be his season as a full time star player. He has decent athleticism, a solid shot and a body that allows him to bang with other bigs, combine that with his experience and it is no wonder that he is off to such a fantastic start.
Marko Vitkovac (6-8 SF/PF 1986)
Played in the 2006 Hoops Summit and flashed some all around skills with the ability to pass the ball. Lacks great strength and athletic ability for the NBA level but a contributing player with a solid future in Europe at the least.
Came out of no where last year to make an impact. He should be a serviceable player for Fenebahce. He's not a superstar athlete, just a meat and potatoes type who gives high energy and effort at all times.
Intense banger with massive body, who has decent skill level but lacks prime athletism to complement his game. Has had some exposure to this level of competition and with some more experience he should become a solid player for year to come. His heavy build and slow feet make him a virtual NBA no chance, since he cant make up for it with that one special skill.
Long and lean, he is more of a shot blocking and rebounding specialist. He has decent athletic but his body just cant seem to gain any significant weight which makes it hard for him to hold his own against the big centers he is about to face. If he could be morphed together with Savas, the player would be a great talent. Scouts soured on him when he came to the US for the Hoops Summit a few years back and showed a lack of effort and motivation.
Athletic inside guy with some NBA potential. He'll likely see limited playing time once again this year as he's being brought along very slowly. Has a chance to get drafted based on his size and athleticism but the team will probably try to hide him until after his draft year has passed.
Simone Bagnoli (6-8 SF 1987)
Has been on the radar some time now being a Junior National Team member every single year for Spain. He never was considered a special talent but rock solid and ever improving is what makes him a player and prospect. Arriving and tackling the highest level of men's competition now on a top team is the next logical step for him but the quality backcourt that Madrid features will make his playing time hard to come by in the Euroleague. In preseason he had a great showing against Memphis and some GMs were intrigued by that. Maybe he has some Calderon in him anyway. Will star in Europe for years to come.
An energy bolt that will provide speed and passing but is a liability in scoring. His defense is intense in the open floor, where he can always raid any passing lane but when taken into the post he is helpless. Will be a solid role player PG in Europe for his respective teams but never a star.
Raphael Wilson (6-5 SG/SF 1989)