Euroleague Watch Overview

Tue, 12/01/2009 - 1:40pm
Welcome back to this years edition of the EUROLEAGUE WATCH.

Jan VeselyJan Vesely The first edition will be a general overview of all teams participating in this years Euroleague competition and an analysis of all draft eligible players. For this years WATCH we will sort the prospects into categories. For one there are those players that are automatically eligible this year (1988 born) and the early entry candidates (1989 and younger) with real chances for this years draft (Draft Eligible Prospects DEP). We will additionally group those prospects, into a keep an eye on in the future (KAEOL), category. And finally we will track those players that already have been drafted last year but will spend this year in Europe (WATCH).

Group A

Siena features two draft eligible players in Lorenzo D’Ecole (88) G 6’1 and Nika Metrveli (91) F 7’0. While D’Ecole is not even a borderline NBA prospect, the very young Gerogian big man Metrveli is in our KEEP AN EYE ON LIST (KAEOL), as he is very young, but also very tall. And since he is already considered to be good enough to be on a roster for a EUROLEAGUE team, he is worthy of making our list.

Barcelona features two players on their roster, WATCH player Ricky Rubio, already drafted by the Timberwolves and playing in Spain. This year he has averaged 6 pts./3 reb./5 assits in 20+ minutes as a full time starter for this inaugural powerhouse. Xavier Rabaseda (89) 6’7 F is only getting scrub minutes.

Fenerbahce Ülker Istanbul
has a history of putting out bigmen prospects, but not this year. All their young studs have exhausted their eligibility and there is only marginal talent remaining. Now only Can Maxim Mutaf (91) G 6’0 remains, and he hasn't seen any minutes as to today but we will keep him on the KAEOL List because of his age and the good summer he had as a junior national team player.

Zalgiris has Sarunas Vasilauskas and Adas Juskevicius both (89) G 6’1 & 6’3 on their roster, but we will focus more this year on Zygmatas Janavicius (89) G 6’1 who showed some promise last year and in junior competitions, but right now is averaging a disappointing 5 minutes per game, while having zero points through the first 4 gamedays. He will make our DEP list, because of his past accolades (Hoop Summit/ Euro Championships) and his age.

Cibona, as almost all Balkan Teams, does a fine job of getting young prospects early exposure on this high level. This years team fatures Bojan Bogndanovic (89) SG 6’7, a typical shooter with solid physical attributes who gets 18 minutes a night and once he gets accustomed to the speed of the game will make more than 14% on his threes and consequently will raise his 4 pts , 2 reb. production. A true sleeper is Leon Radosevic (90) C 6’9 who went scoreless for three games but exploded on the radar with a week 3 explosion: 10 Pts. 6 Reb in 35 min. Tomislav Zubcic (90) SF 6’9 is the best prospect of Cibona in terms of NBA potential. He averages 13 minutes 3Pts. 3 Reb. But his production dropped off from his strong debut in week 1 as he produced 5 Pts. 8 Board. His body needs work to bang with the big guys on a constant level but anyway all three make our DEP list.

Asvel sports four youngsters on their roster Paul Lacombe (90) G 6’2,Octavio Da’Silvera (89) F 6’8 and Jerome Sanchez (90) F 6’6 will not see the floor any time soon, but Bangali Fofana (89) C 7’0 got of to a good start in week 1, going for 4 Pts and 7 Boards in only 11 minutes, and even so his production pipped after this, is age size and athletism make him a lock for the DEP list.

Group B

League leading Unicaja has only Augusto Lima (88) a 6’8 PF/C from Brazil, who got action in only 1 game but there he had 5 points in 7 minutes proving he has some range on his shot. Makes the DEP list for now,also because of his solid showing in the NIKE EUROLEAGUE Junior Competition but is only a marginal NBA prospect.

Olympiakos sports on of the hottest prospects coming out of the summer in U20 Euro MVP Kosta Papanikolaou (90) SF 6’7 the versatile youngster is learning the ropes but flashing some versatility in close to 10 minutes of action, sure DEP list. At Olympiacos we also have WATCH list candidate Patrick Beverly who went undrafted last year but is under watch due to his US history at Arkansas. He performs with some consistency scoring 6 points in each of his games while not hurting his team with high shooting percentages and 3 Reb, 1 Assist and 1Steal in 17 Minutes as a starter.

Lietuvos has the hottest prospect in Martinas Gecevicius (88) G 6’3 he averages 15 pts, 3reb, 3 ass. in 34 big starter minutes, hitting 60% on threes while going 100 % from the line. He is the leading candidate for the EUROLEAGUE Rising Star award up until now.

Efes has only Ali Isik (90) 6,8 F who will not see the floor this year.

Partizan, the hotbed for top prospects, will once again be the location for scouts to flock to. The main attraction will be Jan Vesely (90) F 6’10 a full time starter this year with 20 minutes and production of 7 pts and 4 reb. making him the player with the most eyes on in terms of NBA potential. He may follow in the line of Pekovic, Velickovic as a good candidate for the Rising Player Award. Youngster Branislav Dekic (91) F 6’9 seems to be the next in line with already 13 minutes and 5 pts 2 reb. Stefan Sinovic (88) G 6’2 and Alexander Mitrovic (90) 6’7 receive only low playing time up to now.

Orleanaise has some prospect to look out for, mainly Ludovic Vaty (88) C 6’9 grew into his role, he got better each day culminating in a double double on gameday 4. on the season he's averaging 5 Pts 5 Reb. but his tendency is clearly upwards. He has been dropped from the radar the last few years after being a prospect early on in his career, but he appears to be finally putting that great body to work. Adrien Moerman (88) 6’7 a poor mans David Lee type of hustle player is playing good minutes but can not reproduce the results that made him a standout at the junior level. Johwe Caseus (89) C 7’0 is making his professional debut this year after coming over from illustrious INSEP program. He brings a lot of tools but seems not to be able to put them to work on that level. Mael Lerun (91) 6’3 G is smelling the air of the big basketball world for the first time after a successful summer with the junior national team.

Group C

Maccabi Tel Aviv features only Gal Mekel (88) G 6’1 he was an automatic entry last year, after ending his college career at Wichita State early, but went undrafted.

Lottomatica Roma have Dario D’Alessio (91) G 6’0 and Giulio Casale (90) G 6’0 on the roster but they receive no burn.

Caja Laboral Vitoria have Unai Eizaguirre (88) G 6’0 listed.

CSKA features two of the biggest hopes (and apparently dissapointments) in Russian basketball in Artem Zabelin (88) C 7’1 (once considered to be one of the biggest prospects to come out of Europe in years) is still receiving no playing time on the biggest stage. A torn ACL last year didn’t help his cause either. Still intruiging because of the skillset he possesses he’s a long shot to be drafted in more than a late 2nd round gamble. Alexey Shved (88) SG/PG 6’6 is also not performing well. Being the protégée of coaching guru Messina last year to some extent he is once again glued to the bench even with CSKA going to a more Russian approach with poor 2 minutes. Same projection for him as for Zabelin - no more than a second round flyer on potential right now.

Maroussi has Christos Lakkas (91) G 6’0 listed.

Olympia was formerly known as a good jumping board for youngster. This year they have only Dejan Radojevic (89) 6’10 and Milorad Sutulovic (90) G 6’5 listed, but they receive no chance up until now.

Group D

Real in the summer signed NBA hopefull Vladimir Dasic (88) F 6’9 to a long term contract. He has only seen the floor in 2 games for 9 minutes, in which he had good 6 pts. 3 reb. Depending on his buyout situation its hard to see Dasic, for all his potential as more than a second round pick, to be stashed in Europe. He made the right decision anyway signing for big money with this powerhouse.

Panathinaikos appears to have one of the top prospects on their roster in George Shermadini (89) C 7’1 who is steadily improving. He gets 12 minutes on a stacked team and produces, with 7 pts 3 reb. Getting the chance to go up against former NBA draftee Nikola Pekovic and former NBA player Mike Batiste on a daily basis isn’t to shabby either. He is making good strides in development and will be a hot commodity for the draft this year, always depending on his contract situation. Nick Calathes (89) G 6’5 was drafted last year after coming out of Florida early, but competing for playing time with EURO greats like Diamantidis, Jasikevicius and Spanoulis does not seem to be the best developmental situation right now.

Khimki has skinny Viatcheslav Zhaitsev (89) G 6’2 on their roster but this team is attempting to win now, not to develop youngsters.

Armani Milano has no players born 88 or younger, and the same with Oldenburg.

Prokom has Alexander Krauze (89) G 6’0 and Matheus Kostrewski (89) F 6’6 listed, but neither are really prospects to speak about. Although Kostrewski at least does see the floor at times.

The second division Euro Cup strarted this week so check back as we will discuss the top prospect's performances next week.

Rank DEP (Draft Eligible Prospects)

1. Jan Vesely (90) F/C 6’10 Partizan
2. George Shermadini (89) C 7’1 Panathinaikos
3. Vladimir Dasic (88) F 6’9 Real Madrid
4. Kosta Papanikolaou (90) SF 6’7 Olympiacos
5. Artem Zabelin (88) 7’1 CSKA
6. Alexey Shved (88) SG/PG 6’2 CSKA
7. Bojan Bogndanovic (89) SG 6’7 Cibona
8. Ludovic Vaty (88) C 6’9 Orleans
9.  Martinas Gecevicius (88) G 6’1 Lietuvos
10. Zygmatas Janavicius (89) G 6’1 Zalgiris
11. Bangali Fofana (89) C 7’0 Asvel
12. Adrien Moerman (88) 6’7 Orleans
13. Augusto Lima (88) C 6’8 Unicaja


1. Ricky Rubio (90) G 6'3 Barca
2. Patrick Beverly (88) G 6'1 Olympiacos
3. Nick Calathes (89) G 6’2 Panathinaikos
4. Gal Mekel (88) G 6’1 Maccabi

KAEOL (Keep an Eye on List)

1. Tomislav Zubcic (90) C 6’9 Cibona
2. Leon Radosevic (90) C 6’9 Cibona
3. Branislav Dekic (91) F 6’9 Partizan
4. Nika Metrveli (91) F 7’0 Siena
5. Johwe Caseus (89) C 7’0 Orleans
6. Can Maxim Mutaf (91) G 6’0 Fenerbahce

Check back later in the week for our first Euro Cup Watch featuring top non Euroleague prospects including Donatas Motiejunas, Nemanja Bjelica, Kevin Seraphin, Tim Ohlbrecht, Milan Macvan, and others.
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I sure hope whoever measured

I sure hope whoever measured Nick Calathes at 6' 2" doesn't measure me. I may not get over 5 feet.

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Alexey Shved is a 6'7 point

Alexey Shved is a 6'7 point forward ala Marko Jaric

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shved is a bust he cant

shved is a bust he cant play...

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Great write up Simon. This

Great write up Simon. This is always the place to come for basketball!:D

Ryan @ Gangster Fancy Dress

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