Euro Cup Watch
In addition to the EUROLEAGUE WATCH by Simon Dresden, NBADraft.net will also cover the EURO Cup Competition (formerly known as the ULEB Cup), because even if it is only the second level of European basketball, this years edition features even better NBA draft prospects than the Euroleague. Because teams are not necessarily out to win this competition at all costs, young prospects get a lot of playing/developing time here. With the competition kicking off in week 48, we take a preview at some of the draft eligible prospects in their respective teams.
Donatas Montiejunas (90) F 7'0 Benetton
All eyes will be on him this year. He has the total package (size, athleticism and offensive skills) making him the biggest prospect to come out of Europe for some years. He will be on a strong team and will have to fight for playing time with seasoned pros, nothing will be handed to him and he'll have to work hard to fulfill his promise. Making the transition from playing at home in Lithuania to playing in Italy could take some adjustment for him. Regardless, his skill set should offset all obstacles and allow him to shine.
Milan Macvan (89) F 6'8 Hermofarm
A star and multiple MVP at every junior level he has played on so far. Shined at the 2009 Nike Hoop Summit event in Portland helping lead the International squad to upset victory (along with Donatas) over a stacked USA squad. His stock skyrocketed last year, but he withdrew from the draft. Can he improve on his already great numbers from last year ? Very smart and versatile, but not blessed with much athleticism. His expectations are sky high this year. If Kevin Love can go 5th, why can't he be drafted?
Boban Marjanovic (88) C 7'3 Hermofarm
Promising big man in for his final chance at the draft. Very coachable and positive attitude. Has to stay healthy and add some mass. Always competes hard and size is always a desirable attribute. His speed and reflexes are a concern.
Nemanja Bjelica (88) F 6'10 Red Star
Is supposed to be the main man this year for Belgrade. Has all the tools to be an excellent player at any level, as he can shoot and is versatile. He has to find a natural position for good, as he is somewhat stuck between being a SF in a PF body or vice versa. Its also his last season but he has the chance to make some noise.
Tim Ohlbrecht (88) F 6'11 Bonn
Has been on the radar forever it seems. Finally seems primed for a breakout season. He tripled his scoring average in the domestic league after being named a full time PF and changing teams and coaches. Athleticism is superb, as is his three pointer. NBA ready body and an expanding arsenal of moves make him a prospect to watch.
Kevin Seraphin (89) 69 Cholet
The out of nowhere rising star of last year's Hoop Summit. Cholet cleared their roster to get him some serious playing time and he has the tools (namely explosiveness) to make it work for him. The question for him will be, is he able to be a go to guy instead of living off his athleticism.
Marko Keselj (88) F 69 Red Star
Excellent size make this pure shooter a lock for scouts to look at this year. His body is very slim, which makes it hard for him to guard stronger inside players, while his footwork is not yet good enough to guard the athletic small forwards in Europe, not to mention the NBA. Anyway shooting and size are always intriguing and a great season would make scouts take notice.
Pietro Aradori (88) G 6'3 Biella
This crafty guard is in for a breakout season. He will be featured by his team Biella in every way possible. He may not be the fastest or strongest guy around but he always finds ways to get his shot off anyway. Has proven he can be the go to guy in multiple Euro junior competitions and is primed to be the next big thing out of Italy in the heritage of Bargnari, Gallinari. Although they all have better size, a poor man's Bellinelli is not out of the question.
Tibor Pleiss (89) C 7'1 Bamberg
Excellent size and long arms make this crafty bigman a nice commodity. Got his first taste of senior elite level competition throughout the summer with the German national team in the EUROS, where he was solid to surprising in sparse usage. The questions this year are can he stay healthy, as he battled serious foot problems in the past and can he take the next step as he changed teams from a doormat to a contender.
Antoine Diot (89) G 6'3 Le Mans
Had a great summer playing with the senior men's national team. Improved on his shooting. Has a good feel for the game. Lacks typical NBA guard speed and size. Should be his make or break season. Can he make another step up?
Dimirty Khvostov (89) G 6'2 Dynamo
Guard with swagger and serious speed. This year will feature a major role in Dynamo's rotation and will therefore be primed to increase his Euro Cup averages for a third straight year. He may not be a sure NBA prospect this year. But he still has a year remaining and a chance to open some eyes.
David Jelinek (90) G 6'6 Badalona
Hot prospect, as PG with his size don't come to often. May need another year or two, but Badalona is exactly the place for talents like him to flourish.
Toni Prostran (91) G 5'11 Zadar
High scoring guard, who has a nice feel for the game. His average speed and size will not make it possible for him to be an NBA prospect.
Ryan Richards (91) C 6'10 Gran Canaria
Promising youngster from GB, who choose Gran Canaria wisely as his destination. Canaria is known to work players from prospects to NBA draftees through playing time and intense 1-1 practice. This year is to early to consider him a draft prospect but he is worth keeping an eye on, as he is a verstile big man.
Pavel Antipov (91) 6'7 F Spartak
His age and his previous showings at the junior level make him worth keeping on the radar.
Thomas Hampl (88) 7'0 C
Automatically eligible prospect, who is a longshot for the second round, but his size and good results last year in Spain's division 3 make him worth mentioning.
Pere Tomas (89) F 6'7 Badalona
Solid talent, who lacks that one special skill to be more than a longshot. Younger brother Joan is one to watch.
Carl Ona Embo (89) G 6'2 Biella
Young Guard who is already contributing for a quality team. Since he is decent athlete and still very young, he could be on the radar for next year with a big season.
Janis Strelnieks (89) G 6'3 Ventspilts
Guard with good size, who already had some good production early . Longshot sleeper.
Arturs Berzins (88) F 6'7 Ventspilts
Has been a good contributor in European junior competitions so far, should have a solid career in Europe.
Lauris Blaus (90) C 6'8 Ventspilts
Steady improving young big man, who is getting his first exposure at high level competition, could be a prospect down the line.
Stefan Markovic (88) G 6'3 Hermofarm
Had a breakout season last year, but has to back that up. NBA potential is lacking in speed and athletism. Makes a living as a shooter.
Vyatcheslav Bobrov (92) 6'7 F Azovmash
The Ukrainian youngster put up nice numbers for a 92 born in domestic competition so far. Another one worth keeping an eye on.
"If Kevin Love can go 5th, why can't he be drafted?"
Do you understand how good K Love was in college? Dude, just because their both white doesn't mean their the same player...K-Love had been doing great in the NBA if you haven't noticed.
i understand your frustration, but the comparison goes beyond the color of their skin. Macvan is the same type of high-skill/IQ, low athleticism,undersized type of F-C. Yes Kevin Love was amazing during his brief time at UCLA, but do you understand how good Macvan has been so far in his career? He's the guy that beat team USA with the World team. I agree with you a little though. Macvan is even shorter than Love and depends more on his post dominance, where Love has all sorts of useful little skills (outlet pass, jumpshot)
dude milan is better then kavin love is...