Player of the Week
Bojan Dubljevic (1991, PF, Montenegro, 6’9”, Valencia Basket)
Dubljevic signed a contract over the summer with Valencia after his breakout season with Buducnost Pogdorica in the Adriatic League and Eurocup. During the 2012 Eurocamp in Treviso he was really impressive, showing great maturity and effectiveness on the court.
This year his performances have been really solid, showing that he’s a consistent player: 12.9 points and 3.4 rebouds of average in ACB, with 20 points and 4 rebounds in the last game against Fuenlabrada. But his stats are even better in Eurocup, where he averages 16.5 points and 7.5 rebounds.
Standing between 6’8” and 6’9" he’s a bit undersized for the role, but his solid frame and excellent post game makes him a complete offensive threat. He can finish with a reliable hook shot using both hands, plus his range extends out to 3 point land. He’s really polished from a technical stand point and not scared to fight below the boards.
A mature prospect with limited upside that has already reached the status of a top player at the European level, definitely worthy to be tracked for a late second round pick, despite having athletic shortcomings
Dario Saric (1994, PF, Croatia, 6’10”, Cibona Zagreb)
Saric made his season debut with Cibona December 9th, after 3 months of inactivity due to the legal battle between KK Zagreb and Bilbao about his buyout. After one month of games his stats are not astonishing (7.9 points 4.4 rebounds 1.6 assists), but he’s showing some significant improvements, playing with confidence in both forward roles and showing a more consistent outside shot. His draft stock remains rather high, and there are at least 4 months of official competitions left to work on his game and make a decision.
Sergey Karasev (1993, SF, Russia, 6’8”, Triumph Lyubertsy)
Karasev is averaging 17.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in Eurocup, without any signs of a drop in efficiency, in fact he had 17 points again this week against Budivelnik Kiev. He’s definitely the top ’93 born prospect in Europe, playing with maturity and effectiveness in a European caliber team . This summer he’ll be one of the stars of the U20 European championships, with real possibilities to join senior national team next September for 2013 Eurobasket.
Raul Neto (1992, PG, Brazil, 6’1”, Lagun Aro)
The Brazilian talent played a solid 2011 Eurocamp before coming to the ACB team Lagun Aro last summer. His development is still ongoing, but this season he is playing with real maturity and consistency, averaging 9.8 points 3.4 assists in ACB. In his last game he had 14 points and a 15 of ranking in 31 minutes against Joventut Badalona. He’s a bit undersized, but really fast and crafty, with a solid frame. His jump shot is reliable and he’s really effective in pick and roll situations. He’s probably destined to play for a top European team.
Klemen Prepelic (1992, SG, Slovenia, 6’2”, Olimpija Ljubljana)
Prepelic is having his breakout season with Olimpija Ljubljana, where he is showing all of his offensive potential. He had 14 points against Cedevita in Lubiana in his last ABA League game against Cedevita, and in the previous against Zadar he dished 5 assists. His average stats are 11.3 points and 2.2 assists with a career high of 26 points.
Lucas Nogueira (1992, PF/C, Brazil, 7’0”, Estudiantes Madrid)
Lucas "Bebe" Nogueira’s stock is really increasing in the last couple of monts. Even if he still needs to add consistency to his game, his progressions are rather remarkable. This season he’s averaging 5 points and 3 rebounds in 12 minutes in ACB, and the last game he had 10 points with 4 boards in the huge victory for Estudiantes over Barcelona. During this summer he has worked on his frame, bulking up in order to better withstand contact, and his feel for the game has improved significantly. Wperformances first round could really be a concrete possibility for him.
Joffrey Lauvergne (1991, PF, France, 6’10”, Partizan Belgrade)
Lauvergne was scoring 6.6 points with 3.6 rebounds in Euroleague with Chalon, before leaving the team due to an altercation with a teammate. He initially signed a monthly agreement with Valencia, where he was expecting to play in a more competitive team but he didn’t succeed. He’s now playing with Partizan Belgrade where he’s struggling to find a space in the rotation. Eventually the decision to leave Chalon wasn’t really wise, his draft stock is definitely dropping and he will definitely need a strong performance at the adidas Eurocamp next June.
Leo Westermann (1992, PG, France, 6’6”, Partizan Belgrade)
The legitimate heir to Antoine Rigaudeau moved this summer from ASVEL Villeurbanne to Partizan Belgrade, where he aims to become one of the best point guards in Europe under the guidance of Dusko Vujosevic. He’s averaging 6.6 points and 2 assists in this ABA league season. After a good start his performances have fallen off, as he’s struggling from the scoring standpoint (32,7% overall from the field). In the last game he went scoreless, with 0 points in 27 minutes against Buducnost.
Alex Abrines (1993, SG, Spain, 6’6”, FC Barcelona)
Abrines scored 31 points last year when he was playing with Unicaja Malaga, gaining the status of top European prospect and a contract with FC Barcelona. This year his hype has significantly reduced, with a few minutes on the court and just 4 minutes in the last game against Valladolid. He’s averaging 8 minutes on the court with only 2 points
Augusto Lima (1991, PF, Brazil, 6’9”, Unicaja Malaga)
His name has been on the notebooks of NBA scouts since his first year of eligibility, but every year he has withdrawn his name from the draft simply because he wasn’t ready yet. Lima is 1991 and this year he wil be auto-eligible, but the situation hasn’t improved since last year. He’s averaging 3.1 points and 2.6 rebounds, and he had 0 points in 8 minutes during his last game against Real Madrid. He could clinch a spot in a late second round, but that’s the best case scenario.
Mohammadou Jaiteh (1994, C, France, 6’9”Boulogne-sur-Mer)
Jaiteh has impressed during the last few summers with French national youth teams, especially during the last u18 championship. He grew up with INSEP, but this year he moved to France second division (PROB), with Boulogne-sur-Mer. His performances are quite intriguing for a guy his age, where he’s averaging 15.1 points and 9.8 rebounds.
Standing 6’9”, he has an astonishing frame, that makes his body NBA ready despite just turning 18 years old recently. He has soft huge hands and long arms, with great agility for his body and height, but he’s not a great leaper. He’s a rather raw prospect from the technical standpoint but his ceiling is high, and he’s showing a humble personality and a great will to improve. According to rumors he plans to declare for 2013 NBA Draft with high likelihood to be part of international team in next Hoop Summit. Jaiteh suffered a stress fracture in his foot on December 23rd, which will keep him out for at least a couple of weeks. He could be this year’s Bismack Biyombo, but without the hoopla.
Emir Sulejmanovic (1995, PF, Bosnia Herzegovina/Finland, 6’8”, Olimpija Ljubljana)
The MVP of l’Hospitalet tournament made his debut in ABA league against Zadar last week, scoring 8 points and adding 4 rebouns for a remarkable 11 of ranking in 15 minutes. Sulejmanovic is playing on a regular basis with Olimpija Ljubljana’s senior team in ABA league, putting forth a solid effort. His future will probably be in Spain, maybe already next year.
Matteo Imbro (1994, PG, Italy, 6’3”, Virtus Bologna)
Imbrò is one of the most talented players of Italian youth teams, and probably the future of the Italy national basketball team for the point guard spot. After having shined with Virtus Bologna’s junior teams, he’s now playing with senior team in Italian first division, where he averages 4.4 points and 1.2 assists in almost 20 minutes on the court.