Day Two was highlighted by Paul Zipser’s morning match up with Petr Cornelie and the inspirational, boisterous, young and overmatched USA Select Team battling a group of Eurocamp All Stars into the closing minutes, despite being mostly Top 50-100 National level kids (Jaylen Hands is the one elite USA kid) that are 3-4 years younger than most of their European counterparts. Other highlights included Luka Samanic and The Next Gen Prospects and a passionate speech made by European coaching legend David Blatt, the key message being that basketball needs to be your main focus if you want to be great. Blatt claims to not be watching the NBA Finals but was quick to sing LeBron’s praises, and his level of commitment to the game.
Paul Zipser German
The German wing took over the spotlight in the morning session in front of scouts, (many of whom were likely still drowsy after watching the Cavs-Warriors game four). He has been the best performer through two days. Playing as a 4 but showing 3-man skills, Zipser won the individual battle with Petr Cornelie. After going baseline for a two handed dunk on a close out, Zipser gained confidence making a smooth 3 on a pick and pop on the following play. He ended up 5-for-5 on threes including finishing off a couple of nice drives with floaters and a sweet move in the post on fellow draft prospect Cornelie.
He was a nightmare to guard for everybody, and he used his maturity, explosivness and craftiness at the 4 to attack other big guys on mismatches making it clear that we are talking about a player that will have a huge impact in European Basketball in the near future. On the downside, and despite showing 3-man skills it is tough not to get a little worried about his NBA role. Will he have to become a 3pts shooter spacer playing the Small forward or can he bring his current game to the States? Today he didn’t seem to struggle too much defensively but bigger athletic guys could represent a challenge, and on switch situations in Pick and roll he will not be able to easily exploit small, strong guys in the post. Despite this he certainly helped himself with what he did today and rised up to the occasion as the best player, in a scrimmage, so far in Treviso for 2016. Zipser is clearly the best 1994 born Euro prospect, and may be one of the only ones from the class drafted this year.Petr Cornelie
His size, length, fluidity and athleticism are the most interesting things about him. When playing he is pretty explosive, runs the court really well and has a good motor for rebounding (though balance and hand strength are huge question marks). He had a pretty good morning in the exciting match up vs. Zipser and despite losing the battle, he competed really hard, and had a couple of nice plays inside the paint, some offensive rebounds and showed some very passing skills for a big guy, reversing the ball quick after a short roll read.
Then the afternoon came playing for the Eurocamp All Stars he couldn’t match the effort of any of the young USA select team, showing a concerning lack of quickness, strength and balance (high center of gravity) in any part of his game against tougher opponent. He doesn’t seem to have consistently faced a high level of intensity and speed to match up with the young American counterparts. Something he clearly will need to focus on. He had an hard time finishing in traffic, was hit pretty hard a couple of times and he certainly didn’t help his cause as he had in the morning. Perhaps the most disappointing thing was his shooting. He’s been built up as a potential NBA stretch four but hasn’t connected at all thus far in Treviso, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of scouts and observers. His shot isn’t bad, but still appears to be a bit mechanical and takes a little while to get off. With the athleticism and length, plus high motor, he can become a solid defender, but the lack of wide shoulders puts some question marks into his ability to gain strength to play in the paint against NBA guys. The potential is clear, but due the fact that he’s a long ways away and limited, he’s probably a player that will be taken in the 40s or 50s on draft night.Zoran Nikolic
Once again we’ll discuss Nikolic, as he’s probably the most skilled 5 man in the group of players in Treviso. In the last couple years he has made a great transformation of his body, getting stronger and losing the baby fat and now runs the floor well, but didn’t lose a bit of his strength and balance in the post. He has good footwork, knows his role sticks to what he does well, rolling hard to the basket and making quick moves in the post.
Not a flashy player by any means and lacking the athleticism that other players have in the paint he relies on fundamental, toughness and smart plays to have success and today he put up a very solid performance. His strong hands are another of his positive assets and he uses that more than anything to grab contested rebounds in his area. At the moment, he looks more like a European prospect due to the lack of size and athleticism, but if can continue to build upon his strength and gain experience, he will have t to keep rising up in the basketball world.