Ivica Zubac (1997, 7-1, C, Croatia, Mega Lecs)
After months of waiting, Zubac finally has received the chance to play. And although at times he has looked a little rusty, he took advantage of his recent opportunity, highlighted by a monster performance in his last game against Borac, with 31 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks! The reality is that Zubac couldn’t have chosen a better time to showcase his skills, reminding everybody that he is a player with great upside due to his big, agile body and ability to score the ball. His defense needs a lot of work of course (especially on pick and roll situations) and the same applies to his rebounding, but Zubac is definitely on the draft map again. Could this late surge be enough to convince a team to promise him in the mid-first round area, and see him leave his name in the draft? Possibly.
Guerschon Yabusele (1995, 6-8, PF, France, Rouen)
With his team destined to finish at the bottom in France Pro A and not qualify in the postseason, Yabusele knew that he had a few more chances to show what he could do. And he didn’t fail to capitalize on it, since in his last game had 16 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals. The French forward has really taken his game to another level since March, averaging 16.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.3 steals over his last 10 games, displaying every aspect of his game that has piqued the interst of NBA scouts. Yabusele is a high energy guy, with length, athleticism and great quickness for his size, a very good rebounder and has shown the ability to become a good Stretch-4 in the future, aspects that might convince a team to pick him at the end of the first round.
Ante Zizic (97’, 6-11, C, Croatia, Cibona)
Ante Zizic has been phenomenal all season and last month was no exception. The Croatian center was dominant in May, posting double-doubles or close in every game for Cibona but one, in which he played just 8 minutes. Zizic has definitely gained the attention of everyone this year with his productivity, high motor and rebounding ability, with his stock rising by the day. He is not the most athletic big of his generation and he still has flaws on his game, but the talent is there and it won’t be a surprise if a team selects him in the first round.
Timothe Luwawu (1995, 6-7, SG, France, Mega Lecs)
An ankle injury prevented Luwawu from playing in Adriatic’s League Finals against Crvena Svezda in the end of April and as result many scouts lost the opportunity to watch him playing on the big stage. He returned to action in May and slowly managed to find his rhythm, although it was obvious that he was still bothered by injury, which might explain why he shot just 25% from 3-point line this month. Luwawu is still viewed by many as a modern 3-and-D player with upside, but at the same time is pretty clear that he has a lot to work, with his ball handling being first and foremost.
Juan Hernangomez (95’, 6-9, SF/PF, Spain, Estudiantes)
After a long period of inconsistency and bad performances "Juancho" finally looks like he found his mojo. The Spaniard forward was terrific in May, averaging 12 points and 6 rebounds, connecting on 40.9% from beyond the three point line in 25 minutes of playing time. Hernangomez has a lot of fans among scouts, mainly because of his ability to score from the 3 point line and his versatility, since he can play both forward positions with ease and his recent performances surely helped his stock, with some suggesting that he might even be a first round pick in this year’s draft.
Furkan Korkmaz (1997, 6-7, SG, Turkey, Anadolu Efes)
The firing of Dusan Ivkovic was supposed to be a good thing for Korkmaz, who had fallen out of the rotation of Anadolu Efes with the Serbian Legend as the coach of the team. And the truth is that his playing time has increased since the removal of Ivkovic, but the Turkish prospect hasn’t really been able to stand out. Korkmaz’s age, past performances on the National Junior level and upside are the main reasons he is still considered a potential lottery pick by many scouts, who really like his size for a wing and his ability to do just about everything on the offensive end. But that doesn’t change the fact that he has been disappointing this year.
Dragan Bender (97’, 7-0, PF, Croatia, Maccabi)
The roller-coaster season of Dragan Bender continues. The Croatian prospect played either sparingly or not at all with Maccabi over the past month. And one of the reasons is that postseason started in Israel, so there is no time for Maccabi to wait for Bender to grow. Just like Korkmaz, it is Bender’s past performances on the Junior Level and upside that help him on any projection in the year’s draft, since he hasn’t really had the chance to show NBA scouts what he is capable of. One thing is for sure though: he is exceptionally talented, but it remains to be seen where this will lead him. He will probably benefit in the long run by not going too high, and having to deal with such expectations.
Petr Cornelie (95’, 6-11, PF, France, LeMans)
The past couple of weeks haven’t been good for the French Forward. Cornelie was highly inconsistent the past month, especially since the playoffs started in France’s Pro A. With Le Mans fighting for its’ life in the postseason, Cornelie hasn’t had a double digit point game in the playoffs yet and he has been outshined by the veterans of the team. The Frenchman is still considered an intriguing prospect due to his size and ability to become a prototypical Stretch-4 in the future. What’s even more obvious though is that he still has a long ways to go before being considered NBA-ready.
Isaia Cordinier (96’, 6-4, SG, France, Demain – Pro B)
Cordinier took NBA scouts by storm at the beginning of the season and he managed to impress almost everybody with his athleticism, energy and good shooting stroke. When the dust settled though, everybody had the chance to watch him more closely and the flaws of his game emerged, with the last couple of weeks being probably the greatest evidence. Cordinier had a lot of ups and downs and what makes things even worse is that he had all these ups and downs against low level competition, since he is playing in France Pro B. He has NBA potential, but all the hype that surrounded his name has vanished, which might prove to be a good thing for him in the future.
Paul Zipser (94’, 6-8, SF, Germany, Bayern Munich)
The ups and downs continued for one more month for Zipser, with the “downs” being more apparent than the “ups” this time. Zipser finds himself on a team with a lot of veterans and although that might help him from a maturity standpoint, it definitely cost him in playing time and as a result in draft stock. The German combo forward is an interesting prospect mainly because he is a good (but not great) athlete, with good size for a wing and a good shooting stroke. Will those things be enough for him to get drafted? We’ll see.