Player of the Week
Evan Fournier, Poitiers, G, 1992, 6-5
The young French guard had two great week-ends: two weeks ago, in the defeat against Cholet, he played 24 minutes and scored 17 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and gave 3 assists. In his last game he played against Paris-Levallois and scored 25 points, (12-22) shot 10/16 from two points and 2/6 from the arc, in 33 minutes on the court. Fournier is having an amazing season, his third in the French top league, and is scoring over 13 points, with 3 rebounds and 2 assists per game; he has also been selected for the French All Star Game, in which he scored 14 points. Fournier is a complete player, he’s a good rebounder and can score in many ways; probably, his only defect is his outside shooing consistency, that appears too much inconsistent (he is shooting 11/54 from long range). With two more seasons at the highest level in Europe, he will be definitely ready for the NBA.
Nikola Mirotic, Real Madrid, PF, 1991, 6-10
Despite being chosen by the Minnesota Timberwolves (traded to Chicago) in the last draft with the 23rd pick, Mirotic has decided to stay another year in Europe to improve, and it appears that he made the right choice. After a great U20 European Championship, in which his team won the title and he won the MVP trophy, Mirotic is having a great season. In the last two games, he averaged 13.5 ppg, on 8/13 from two points and 2/4 from threes; but Mirotic showed his improvements in the Euroleague: against Maccabi and Partizan, he scored 26 points with 8 rebounds against Maccabi, and against Partizan he scored 21 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, and was named Euroleague Week-8 MVP.
Jonas Valanciunas, Lietuvos Rytas, C, 1992, 6-11
Toronto’s 2011 5th overall pick played a great game against Baltai in the last round of the Adriatic League; in 25 minutes on the court, Jonas scored 21 points, on 10/13 from the floor and 1/2 from the free throw line, and grabbed 9 rebounds. What is surprising in Jonas’ game is his ability to rebound the ball: his instincts, his ability to box-out the opponent and his long arms make him a double-double machine.
This season, Valanciunas is scoring 16.6 points per game and is grabbing over 7 rebounds in the Adriatic League, while in the Eurocup, the second European competition after Euroleague, he is averaging 8.5 points and 6.2 rebounds.
Alessandro Gentile, EA7 Milan, G, 1992, 6-7
After a great start with his new team, EA7 Milan, Gentile lost his rhythm: in the last three games, he has avraged 6 ppgs, shooting 6/17 from two and 0/11 from the distance. It is not a coincidence that in these three games his team has not won. Despite these stats, the Italian sharpshooter is playing a good season, with 12.8 points per game in the Italian league, and now has the chance to play in the Euroleague with Milan; this is a great opportunity for him to compete against the best players in Europe, and with at least another season playing at this level he should be ready for the NBA.
Tomas Satoransky, Cajasol Seville, PG, 1991, 6-7
The Czech player deserves a separate discussion; he is an enormous talent, but he shoots too little! In the last two games, he shot just five times from the floor, scoring a total of 3 points. He is a classic playmaker, with a great basketball vision and a good ability to rebound the ball, but he has to become more selfish and shoot more. Moreover, he is a good shooter, with good technique. Above all that, he is having a nice season, with 6 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists per game in 20 minutes on the court.
Joan Sastre (Cajasol Seville, SF, 1991, 6-7), is back playing after being out for a long while with a shoulder problem: good luck!
Michal Michalak (Warsaw, G, 1993, 6-5) and Mateusz Ponitka (Warsaw, G, 1993, 6-5), each scored 10 points in the victory against Koszalin.