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Player(s) of the Month

Moussa Diagne (’94, 6-11, C, Senegal, Fuenlabrada)

Moussa DiagneMoussa DiagneDiagne has been the breakout player of the season, thanks to his solid performances in ACB (Spanish league) with Fuenlabrada. Playing 15 minutes per game in the most competitive domestic league in Europe, he’s averaging 5 points and 5 rebounds per game, with a couple of impressive performances against Real Madrid and Barcelona, when he had 11 points and 11 rebounds in each game. The 6-10 big man from Senegal has a solid frame, combined with a great wingspan which makes him a solid defensive presence. With his excellent lateral speed and mobility, he’s really effective in P&R situations on both ends of the court. His post fundamentals and positioning are still rather raw, but he has a great motor, intensity and good hands, showing intriguing upside. Definitely the prospect who could climb several spots on the draft board.

Aleksandar Vezenkov (’95, 6-8, SF, Bulgaria, Aris)

Vezenkov is currently the top performer in Europe among the International prospects, showing impressive maturity and a complete skillset. Standing 6-foot-8, he has solid size for the role, with the ability to use his body and physical strength to outpost smaller opponents. He shows an effective turnaround jumper and hook shot from post position, both taking the baseline or the painted area. His lefty shot has range and fluidity, making him a serious threat both from midrange and beyond the arc. His game style reminds of Mirza Teletovic, but with a better handle and ability to attack off the dribble. His draft stock is really high at the moment, with a concrete likelihood to be selected if he declares for the 2015 NBA draft. He’s averaging 17.5 pts and 9 rebounds in the Greek first division.

Rising

Kristaps Porzingis (’95, 7-1, PF, Latvia, Cajasol Seville)

With an average of 8 pts and 5 rebounds thus far and playing an important role for his ACB team, the Latvian prospect is confirming his status as the frontrunner of the international platoon headed to next NBA draft. His limits are still the same, but he’s starting to face and attack the basket with better confidence and consistency, even if his narrow frame limits the effectiveness of his game in the painted area. On the other hand, his mobility and smoothness is amazing for a 7-1 big man, granting him continuous mismatches on both sides of the court. A lottery pick is likely, but he’ll have to spend considerable time in the weight room before being ready for NBA physicality.

Cedi Osman (’95, 6-8, SF, Turkey, Efes Pielsen)

Osman is one of the most improved players in Europe, especially in terms of NBA prospects. Last season he wasn’t playing a lot with Efes, but after a victorious U20 European Championship with Turkey (he was named MVP of the competition) he’s having the opportunity to play solid minutes in Euroleague under coach Dusan Ivkovic. His maturity and basketball IQ are really impressive, with Osman often playing as a point forward thanks to his nice handle and passing skills. He’s a solid athlete even if not extremely explosive, but in a couple seasons he could become a solid back up forward even for NBA standards. He’s averaging 8 points and 4 rebounds, with a season high of 16 and 7 against Real Madrid.

Falling

Tomas Dimsa (’94, 6-5, SG, Lithuania, Zalgiris Kaunas)

Dimsa was considered one of the most solid names for next NBA draft among the prospects in the international platoon, but after a couple of months during this 2014/2015 season his draft stock has fallen. He's averaging less than 5 minutes in Euroleague, 11 minutes in the Lithuanian league with 4.4 points per game. He has the size and skills to compete at a high level, but he needs to play with consistency.

Ilimane Diop (’95, 6-10, PF/C, Spain, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria)

At the end of last season Diop was included in Vitoria’s rotation, and started this season playing a fair amount of minutes on the court. The situation has changed, and in a team struggling both in ACB and Euroleague (Vitoria recently fired their coach Marco Crespi) his minutes on the court have decreased at a steady rate, with several DNPs in the last few games.

Mario Hezonja (’95, 6-7, SG, Croatia, FC Barcelona)

2 points and 1 rebound per game in ACB in barely 10 minutes on the court, this is not what everybody was expecting from the best European backcourt prospect in years. The problems remain the same: consistency and attitude, with glimpses of amazing talent (like during last Euroleague game against Milan) and just a minute later a turnover or an argument with a teammate or a referee. There are no doubts that he has the physical and technical potential to become a solid NBA player, but the task left in order to reach this goal remains substantial.

Flying Below the Radar

Rade Zagorac (’95, 6-8, SG/SF, Serbia, Mega Vizura)

Zagorac is one of the most intriguing young players in Europe, and a standard member of all Serbian youth teams. Standing 6-8, he has terrific size for the role, combined with a great wingspan which makes his shot difficult to block. His lefty stroke is quick and fluid, even if the trajectory of the ball still tends to be too flat. He has a nice handle, but he has to work on his ability to attack the basket and create from the dribble. Definitely a name to track, he’s averaging 11 points and 4.4 rebounds thus far in the Adriatic League, with a season high of 19.

Furkan Korkmaz (’97, 6-6, SG, Turkey, Efes Pielsen)

Korkmaz is probably the most NBA ready ’97 born player in Europe, playing more than 10 minutes on average in Euroleague at the age of 17. Standing at 6-6, he has solid size for the position, combined with good athleticism and leaping ability. His game sytle is reminiscent of Ibrahim Kutluay (even if he’s more athletic than him but less of a pure shooter), a legendary Turkish gunner, and one of the best European shooters all time. He’s playing with maturity on a really competitive team, showing the ability to hit both from three points and attacking the basket. He had a season high of 9 points and 7 rebounds in Euroleague against Novgorod.

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Moussa Diagne

Moussa Diagne is one the best player of this season he plays perfectly plus his height give him edge on other players Speedy Coursework service

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