Filip Petrusev had a very good appearance at the U19 FIBA World Championships in Crete last month – averaging 30 points per 40 minutes on 69.7% true shooting. He ranked first in the tournament in PER, third in true shooting percentage, fourth in defensive rebounding percentage and fifth in blocks per 40 minutes.
The six-foot-11 center got most of his offense from the low post, where he leveraged his strength advantage over most of the competition to just power through and set up short hooks – converting 67.1% of his 73 two-point shots, while impressing with his touch in a crowd and proving himself able to finish through contact.
Though there were glimpses of sleek footwork on a pivot move, his attempts to create separation were most often contact-based and earned him the benefit of the whistle a good chunk of the time too, as Petrusev averaged 11.5 free throws per 40 minutes, which he converted at a 71.2% clip.
When opponents doubled him aggressively, the 19-year-old impressed with his quick reactions, his patience through pressure and his court vision. He showed impressive dexterity for someone his size with touch passes against immediate double-teams, escape dribbles against half doubles and crosscourt passes to the opposite wing against late doubles.
Petrusev didn’t do much as a roller with this team in this tournament but flashed some ability to catch-and-drive or pass out of short rolls – assisting on 18.2% of Serbia’s scores when he was on the floor.
Other than operating with his back-to-the-basket, his second most productive area was generating second chance opportunities. Petrusev was a regular tip-dunk threat against his level of competition and was active pushing weaker opponents out of the way – collecting 14% of Serbia’s misses when he was in the game.
In a disappointing development, he barely even looked at the basket from three-point range, taking just one shot from beyond the arc in 180 minutes after averaging 3.3 such attempts per 40 minutes in his first year at Gonzaga.
But there were flashes of some face-up driving in emergency situations, though without particularly promising results. He can play through contact but can’t blow by higher caliber athletes and doesn’t have the coordination needed to get to the rim off the bounce in a position of strength.
On the other end, Petrusev was a mixed bag in pick-and-roll defense.
He was asked to hedge-and-recover quite often and proved himself nimble enough to stop the ball far beyond the three-point line.
On drop-backs, the Belgrade native showed decent agility to slide and backpedal in order to prevent the ball-handler from turning the corner and batted a lot of poor feeds to the roll man, as he averaged 2.4 steals per 40 minutes. But there were also times when that roll man got behind him without a challenge.
When matched up against stretch big men, Petrusev was not quick enough to show on the ball-handler and then recover well enough to contest catch-and-shoot’s out of the pick-and-pop.
Switching on the fly on occasion, he showed some ability to hang with smaller players on straight-line drives but doesn’t seem suited to pick up shiftier types out in space regularly.
He did his best close to the basket, as Petrusev was active stepping up to protect the front of the rim as the last line of defense and proved himself a quick enough leaper off two feet to make plays on the ball – averaging 3.1 blocks per 40 minutes. He dominated the defensive glass as well – collecting 29.7% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.
 DOB: 4/15/2000
EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara