Vitor Benite was the best player in the Pan American Games in Toronto last week. Higher profile perimeter players like Marcelinho Huertas, Leandrinho Barbosa, Alex Garcia and Marcus Vinícius Vieira rested in order to be available for the FIBA Americas, so Benite had a prominent role leading Brazil to the gold medal and impressed many people with his shot making – averaging 18.2 points per game in five apperances.
Benite is an excellent three-point shooter, not just spotting up on the weak-side but also on the move – off the dribble and sprinting around screens. He is very good at setting his feet in a hurry and has a quick release, making it hard for opponents to contest his shot effectively. More impressively, Benite proved himself able to make difficult shots from deep range off the bounce against better athletes.
According to RealGM, Benite converted 39.4% of his 155 three-point shots in 1,132 minutes with Flamengo in the Brazilian league, the FIBA Americas for clubs and the Intercontinental Cup against Maccabi last season. He converted 40.7% of his 550 three-point shots over the last four years and 16 of 30 such shots with the Brazilian national team last week.
Benite showed to be more than just a one-dimensional shooter, though. He proved himself able to attack closeouts fairly well against that level of competition. Benite didn’t create separation but has enough speed to get into lane off a live dribble. He didn’t attack the rim with any sort of explosiveness but exhibited balance to hang in the air and draw some shooting fouls, as he averaged 4.3 free throws per 36 minutes.
Benite also surprised with his ability to create against a set defense. He doesn’t blow by anyone and can’t turn the corner out of the pick-and-roll but can change speeds well enough to force a rotation and bend the defense, aside from being able to get around big men on switches and drives off curls.
When he got by his man, Benite showed good court vision and the ability to pass the ball on the move, averaging 2.8 assists per game last week and assisting on 11% of Flamengo’s scores when he was on the floor last season.
Benite has below average size (six-foot-three, 194 pounds) and athleticism for someone his position, which limits what sort of impact he can make on that end. He gets on his stance and works hard to navigate over screens and chase shooters around baseline screens but lacks strength to contain dribble penetration through contact and length to shut down passing lanes and contest shots effectively. According to RealGM, Benite had the second worst defensive rating among rotation players on Flamengo.
Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at Upside & Motor, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara