Obadiah Toppin Scouting Report

Toppin logged 873 minutes for a Dayton team that won just 21 of its 33 games and got bounced in the first round of the NIT last season. But in that limited playing time, the six-foot-nine combo big got to show a number of impressive traits.

Check the rest of the post at RealGM

Usman Garuba Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Six-foot-eight big man viewed as the next teenage phenom coming out of Europe;
  • Currently the second-ranked prospect with European ties, among those born in 2002[1];
  • Turned 17 in March[2];
  • As previously written about, played a key role in the dominant year Real Madrid’s junior squad had last season;
  • Madrid native who has already logged 71 minutes with Real Madrid’s senior team in the Spanish ACB so far this season;
  • Played a key role in the Spanish National Team’s title-winning campaign at the U18 European Championships in Volos;
    • Statistical profile in that event: 33.2 PER, 22.5 points per 40 minutes on 21.1 live-ball attempts per 40 minutes and 4.8 foul shots per 40 minutes, 48% effective shooting on 28.4% usage rate, 31.2% defensive rebounding rate, 17.1% offensive rebounding rate, 16.3% assist rate, 3.1 blocks per 40 minutes, 2.3 steals per 40 minutes in 193 minutes[3];
  • Got quite a lot of his offense from the low post but also a fair amount as the roller in pick-and-roll, impressing with the versatility of his screening at such a young age;
    • Spaced out to the three-point line only on occasion and has a shooting stroke that seems viable, but the ball doesn’t go in yet;
  • Was asked to venture above the foul line in pick-and-roll defense and proved himself capable of impacting the ball handler in a multitude of ways: contesting pull-ups effectively, playing with active hands to go for strips on the ball, stopping the ball on dropbacks and switching on occasion;
    • Exceled as a help defender and dominated the defensive glass too;
    • Ranked second in the tournament in defensive rating.

OFFENSE

  • Has a fairly diverse arsenal of moves operating with his back to the basket for someone his age;
    • Has a 229-pound frame[4] to set a deep seal consistently within his age group;
    • Can create separation with a couple of bumps, has good coordination and shows nice touch on hiked-leg turnaround fadeaway jumpers off the defender’s right shoulder;
    • Unleashed some power moves to back his way into short toss-ins against opponents too overwhelmed by his size and physicality;
    • Showed some enticing footwork and dexterity while drop-stepping into shot-fakes or head-fakes to get his defender out of position;
    • Flashed decent feel for double teams coming off the blindside and has the court vision to hit shooters drifting around the opposite wing;
    • Prone to moving his pivot foot quite a bit and struggles with the touch in his deliveries at times – averaged 3.5 turnovers per 40 minutes in Volos;
  • Very good screener for someone his age;
    • Widens his stance to draw contact in an attempt to disrupt the on-ball defender and free up the ball-handler;
    • Re-screens;
    • Mixes in slip-screens against opponents overcommitting on blitzes or hard hedges;
    • Hustles as a weakside screener, setting moving picks to free up shooters sprinting around the side of the floor;
  • Showed some versatility as a rim roller as well, proving himself capable of scoring on more than just basic catch-and-finish’s, but struggled with his efficiency and his tendency of turning the ball over;
    • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense;
    • Has good hands to catch the ball on the move diving down the middle and can go up powerfully off two feet with a little bit of room to load up but struggled with his touch on non-dunk finishes;
    • Flashed an impressive combination of body control, coordination and agility handling traffic between him and the basket –rolling into quick post-ups, rolling into spin moves and passing out of short rolls;
    • Has enough of a handle and coordination to catch the ball around the foul line area and go around slower defenders on straight line drives;
    • Showed glimpses of advanced footwork on drives in traffic, euro-stepping and spinning into shot-fakes or head-fakes, but struggled a little bit to play through contact and was prone to having the ball stripped of him in a crowd;
    • Showcased a right-handed scoop finish to score with a rim protector parked between him and the goal but didn’t show enough body flexibility to complete reverses or explosiveness elevating off one foot with the ball in tow and generally struggled with his touch on non-dunk finishes;
    • Posted a disappointing 22.5% free throw rate for someone who got up as many shots as he did, most of them within close range;
  • Active and effective in the offensive glass;
    • Worked to get inside position;
    • Had a very clear edge in quickness reacting to the ball off the rim and going up off the ground within his age group;
  • Spaced out to the perimeter only on occasion, taking just eight three-point shots in 193 minutes in Volos;
    • Shooting stroke seems viable, though he needs to be wide open to get through his motion;
    • Fully extends himself for a high release and tends to get a decent arc on his shot;
    • Questionable if he has the touch to be expected to develop into a more real floor-spacer in the near future – missed 52.2% of his 23 free throws in the tournament;
  • Has enough ball skills and coordination to grab-and-go off a defensive rebound and take it end-to-end on a slow break if left unchallenged, even flashing some dexterity on drop-offs.

DEFENSE

  • Was asked to extend pick-and-roll coverage above the foul line on hard shows and proved himself capable of disrupting it in different ways;
    • Bends his knees to get down in a stance;
    • Nimble, coordinated and agile moving sideways and backpedaling fluidly to stop the ball out in space;
    • Played with active hands going for strips on the ball;
    • Leveraged his length into getting deflections and picking up steals challenging feeds to the roll man;
    • Can keep pace with smaller players on straight line drives and block shots defending on the ball;
    • Picked up smaller players on switches from time-to-time and had the lateral quickness to stay in front of these players out on an island;
  • Excelled as a help defender as well;
    • Plays with good activity and intensity coming across the lane on longer rotations;
    • Attentive to his responsibilities stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense;
    • Flashed very good awareness making preemptive rotations that intimidated the ball handler from driving to the rim;
    • Despite good energy, constant involvement in contact plays and making common teenage mistakes such as biting on shot fakes from time-to-time, was not foul prone – averaged just 2.5 personal fouls per 40 minutes;
  • Dominated the defensive glass with physical boxouts and quickness chasing the ball off the rim – ranking third in the tournament in defensive rebounding rate;
  • Played surprisingly soft post defense but was still effective guarding with his arms up near the basket, which discouraged some opponents from trying to finish over him;
  • Played very poor weakside defense on the perimeter, either not closing out at all or getting blown by on half-assed closeouts.

[1] According to Eurospects

[2] DOB: 3/9/2002

[3] According to RealGM

[4] According to Real Madrid’s website

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

Victor Wembanyama Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Seven-foot-two French center who emerged as a surprise standout performer at the FIBA U16 European Championship last month, where France placed second;
    • Is said to have struggled during preparation and started the tournament as the third center in the rotation but eventually became the most productive player on the team;
    • Statistical profile in that event: 34.5 PER, 15.3 points per 40 minutes on 51% effective shooting, 27.1% defensive rebounding rate, 16% offensive rebounding rate, 11.5% assist rate, 20.2% turnover rate, 9.0 blocks per 40 minutes, 2.2 steals per 40 minutes in 165 minutes[1];
  • Turned 15 in January[2], which meant he matched up against players on average a year-and-a-half older than him;
  • Nanterre, Ile-de-France native currently being developed on Nanterre 92’s youth system;
  • Exceled on defense, not only due to his combination of supreme height and length for someone his age but by showing remarkable quickness going up off two feet to put a lid on the basket and dominate the defensive glass;
    • Led the tournament in defensive rating;
  • Acted as a constant threat to score around the rim on catch-and-score finishes and, despite a very thin frame for someone his height, on a few deep seals posting up within close range;
    • Helped facilitate offense by flashing to the foul line or as a reset mechanism at the top of the key;
    • Flirted with some outside shots and his release looks quite projectable but it’s more theoretical than real for now.

RIM PROTECTION

  • Active stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense and coming across the lane in help defense;
    • Quick leaper off one foot on longer rotations and off two feet out of a standstill position;
    • Averaged a jaw-dropping 9.0 blocks per 40 minutes;
    • Without fouling – averaged just 1.9 personal fouls per 40 minutes;
  • Showed great awareness shadowing isolations and post-ups;
    • Can leverage his length to block or alter shots even without being in the finisher’s personal space;
  • Can keep pace with smaller players getting downhill from the foul line down and proved himself quick enough to block shots defending on the ball;
  • Struggles to boxout all that well due to lack of strength and gives up inside position at times but still managed to dominate the glass due to massive rebounding area, length to rebound outside of his area and supreme quickness chasing the ball off the rim;
    • Collected 27.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor;
  • Can’t hold his ground in post defense due to lack of strength but guards with his arms up to wall off and intimidates opponents from trying to shoot over him.

PERIMETER DEFENSE

  • Asked to venture above the foul line regularly, showed some versatility in pick-and-roll defense;
    • Dropping back: showed a good deal of nimbleness sliding laterally to intimidate the ball handler from turning the corner but not yet fluid back-pedaling and let the roll man get behind him a couple of times;
    • Hedging: so-so at influencing ball handlers with his hedges, moves OK in recovery and leverages his length into deflecting passes or generating steals on his way back – averaged 2.2 steals per 40 minutes;
    • Switches: hunches rather than bends his knees getting down in a stance but proved himself able to stay attached on straight line drives well enough to block shots defending on the ball;
  • Sprints on closeouts to the three-point line and isn’t just effective contesting shots but can even block a few jumpers.

OFFENSE

  • Flashed some ability to grab-and-go off a defensive rebound and even ran a break when left unchallenged but doesn’t appear to have the sort of dexterity bringing the ball up to be expected to develop into a capable ball handler;
  • Decent screener for someone his age: has a thin frame but widens his stance to try seeking contact and set some clever moving screens;
  • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense and going up in traffic diving down the lane in pick-and-roll;
  • Active on the glass, not just to generate second chance opportunities with his ability to rebound outside of his area or reach the ball higher than most of his opponents within his age group, but acting as tip-in and tip-dunk threat as well;
    • Collected 16% of France’s misses when he was on the floor;
  • Iffy touch on non-dunk finishes and is unable to finish through contact at this point of his physical development;
    • Shot just 54.5% on 44 two-point shots, which is pretty low for the sort of close-range looks he got;
  • Flashed to the foul line to facilitate high-low action on occasion and often acted as an escape valve floating to the top of the key to aid the ball reversal process but attempted some reckless passes at times;
    • Assisted on 11.5% of France’s scores when he was on the floor;
    • Averaged 3.6 turnovers per 40 minutes, which is a sky-high rate for someone with a 20% usage rate;
  • Got some deep post-ups against overwhelmed opponents on occasion but lacks the strength and physicality to get such a seal regularly;
  • Took six three-point shots in this tournament, not all of them in emergency situations, showing a fairly projectable stroke on spot-ups;
    • Hopped into his shot, got some unexpected elevation for a seven-foot-two guy and went through comfortable mechanics with good guide hand discipline and follow through;
    • Touch is questionable, though – made just 12 of his 21 free throws.

[1] According to RealGM

[2] DOB: 1/4/2004

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

Ousmane Dieng Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Six-foot-seven French wing currently being developed within INSEP’s system;
  • Turned 16 last May[1];
  • Drew interest with his appearance at the FIBA U16 European Championship earlier this month, where France placed second;
    • Statistical profile in that event: 18.6 PER, 15.9 points per 40 minutes on 42.5% effective shooting, 29% assist rate, 4.1 turnovers per 40 minutes, 11.3% defensive rebounding rate[2];
  • Got a lot of opportunities to create shots against a set defense, most often acting as the team’s primary escape valve late in the shot clock;
    • Logged 23.5% usage rate;
    • His shooting percentages were bad, but his shooting stroke looked great and suggests there is a chance of him developing into a high-caliber shooter in a role as more of a floor-spacer;
    • His work in pick-and-roll was promising but lack of dexterity and explosiveness at the rim limits his potential in that role for now;
    • Proved himself a willing shot creator for others but shouldn’t be considered as a great passer just yet;
  • Did well as a weakside defender by executing the scheme but didn’t play with regular intensity as an individual defender on the ball or flying around to create events away from it.

SHOOTING

  • Shooting stroke looks great for someone aged 16: fluid mechanics, dips for rhythm, fully extends himself for a high release, pulls the trigger quickly;
  • Efficiency isn’t there yet: nailed just 32.4% of his 34 three-point shots at the U16 European Championship, at a pace of 8.7 such attempts per 40 minutes;
  • Besides basic spot-ups, took some shots off the catch on the move as well, by relocating around the perimeter to get open;
  • A chunk of his looks materialized via pull-ups;
    • Has a knack for getting to his spots in pick-and-roll, especially by showing a good feel for using re-screens;
    • Showed an appealing combination of handle and rhythm to create separation to get his shots off in isolation: crossover into step-back pull-up and going behind the back into step-back pull-up;
    • Adept at shot-faking to try baiting the defender into leaving his feet or destabilizing him just enough to create space for a short-range jumper;

FINISHING

  • Has a thin frame for someone his height and is only so-so at playing through contact at this point of his physical development;
  • Got downhill in pick-and-roll some but didn’t attack the lane all that often;
  • Has good court vision in terms of not insisting on drives when the path to the goal isn’t apparent and rarely drove into crowds;
    • On the other hand, didn’t show good speed with the ball when he did turn the corner;
  • Tucks the ball to protect it in traffic;
  • Showed no floater to act as a scoring threat from the in-between area;
  • Didn’t attack the basket with power and didn’t show a particularly diverse finishing package to deal with a rim protector parked between him and the goal;
    • Showed just 34.6% on 26 two-point attempts in the tournament;
    • Earned just 3.6 foul shots per 40 minutes.

PASSING

  • Assisted on 29% of France’s scores when he was on the floor but at a low 1.56-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio;
  • Most of his assists materialized of him being a willing passer on drop-offs and kickouts to the strongside off drawing two to the ball;
  • Plays with a nice rhythm in pick-and-roll, which afforded him opportunities to deliver some neat passes on delayed reads: hitting the dive man over the top on a slower-developing roll off a shot-fake, jump-passing back to the stretch big in pick-and-pop and flashing the ability to make a pass over the top to the opposite end.

DEFENSE

  • Impressed with his hustle in transition;
  • Executed the scheme pretty well as a weakside defender;
    • Rotated in to pick up the roll man and leveraged his length into deflecting some passes from the side;
    • Disciplined, consistently aware not to help off the strongside – averaged 1.5 steals per 40 minutes;
    • Stepped up to help crowd the area near the basket on rotations off the weakside – not an explosive leaper to act as a shot blocking threat but guards with his arms up to challenging via walling off;
    • Shows good awareness making preventive rotations to take away a clean path to the basket when he was the lowest defender;
  • Bends his knees to get down in a stance and put together a few possessions heating up opposing ball handlers somewhat impressively but doesn’t often play with that sort of intensity;
    • When engaged, has enough lateral slides to stay in front out in space and leverages his length to contest shots effectively but can’t contain dribble penetration through contact;
  • Doesn’t go over picks at the point of attack quickly enough to be considered an option to crossmatch or switch onto smaller players;
  • So-so discipline on closeouts: at times sells out to run the shooter off his shot and gives up a clean path to the middle, at times showed great body control to contest catch-and-shoot’s effectively without crashing into the shooter;
  • Played solid post defense against similarly sized wings;
  • Diligent boxing out whoever was closed by but wasn’t of much help going after the ball whenever others did the dirty work;
    • Collected just 11.3% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.

[1] DOB: 5/21/2003

[2] According to RealGM

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

Deni Avdija Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

Deni Avdija is coming off a season where he got to experience the pro level for the first time – logging 349 minutes with Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Israeli BSL and the Euroleague, while also spending parts of the year with the junior squad participating in a couple of stages of the Adidas Next Generation Tournament.

As a pro, the six-foot-eight combo forward acted more as a floor-spacer with little shot creation responsibility. Though he’s shown some versatility in his release, in terms of being able to take shots off light movement, Avdija is more of a shot taker than a shot maker at this point of his development.

He has a fluid shooting motion, fully extends himself for a high release, rises in good balance, doesn’t need to dip for rhythm and tends to get a good arc on his shot but the ball isn’t going in at a decent clip yet, as Avdija missed 72.3% of his 130 three-point shots last season, at a pace of 8.1 such attempts per 40 minutes.

This summer, the 18-year-old led the Isreali National Team to the title of the FIBA U20 European Championship in home soil, matching up against players on average a year-and-a-half older than him.

He was the focal point of the offense – logging 28.6% usage rate and 27.6% assist rate in the event, with the chance to create on post-ups, in isolation and middle high pick-and-roll against a set defense.

His court vision stood out, as Avdija can see over the top in a crowd and impressed with his dexterity delivering passes in a multitude of ways – with his back-to-the-basket to the opposite wing, with skip passes to the stretch big in the pick-and-pop, with darts to shooters sprinting to the corner in transition and with well-timed jump-passes to the roll man.

He wasn’t as impressive as a scorer, though. His average of 22.8 points per 40 minutes was achieved on just 48.6% effective shooting. There were some glimpses of three-level of scoring, as Avdija made pull-ups against the on-ball defenders going under the screen in pick-and-roll, flashed the ability to over-extend finishing around rim protectors and flashed a floater to score from the in-between area.

But he doesn’t have a quick first step, is not particularly fast with the ball, has a fairly basic handle for the most part and hasn’t yet developed advanced footwork to get his pull-ups off via step-backs or side-steps. Avdija is not very shifty, looks to gallop into two-foot leaps in traffic and hasn’t shown much body flexibility to adjust himself mid-air in a crowd.

With that as the case, the most developed dimension of his scoring profile is his post-up, as he’s shown an arsenal of moves operating with his back-to-the-basket – patient approach, power moves to back his way into short toss-ins, head fakes to bait his man out of position and short turnaround jumpers over the defender.

On the other end, Avdija does not project as an ace defender capable of picking up star opponents for the entire game but impressed with his awareness as a help defender and proved himself capable of hanging with smaller players out in space from time-to-time.

He was particularly impressive with his activity rotating off the weakside and surprised with his quick leaping ability off two feet to not only challenge shots via verticality but act as a constant shot blocking threat as well – averaging 3.0 blocks per 40 minutes at the U20 European Championship.

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

Deni Avdija Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Top-ranked prospect with European ties born in 2001[1];
  • Beit Zera native who has been developed in Maccabi Tel Aviv’s youth system since the age of 13;
    • Logged 349 minutes with the senior team in the Israeli BSL and the Euroleague last season but also spent parts of the year with the junior squad in a couple of stages of the Adidas Next Generation Tournament[2];
  • Turned 18 in January[3];
  • Combo forward listed at six-foot-eight, 210 pounds;
    • Measured with a six-foot-nine wingspan at the 2018 Basketball Without Borders[4];
  • Just led the Israeli National Team to a title at the FIBA U20 European Championship in home soil – going against players on average a-year-and-a-half older than him;
    • Statistical profile in that event: 26.8 PER, 22.7 points per 40 minutes on 48.6% effective shooting, 27.6% assist rate, 22.8% defensive rebounding rate, 3.0 blocks per 40 minutes, 2.6 steals per 40 minutes in 227 minutes;
    • Named MVP of the tournament;
  • Played as more of a floor-spacer with little shot creation responsibility with Maccabi at the senior level but was the focal point of the offense with the Israeli U20 squad last month;
    • Logged 28.6% usage rate;
  • Showed he can create decent separation for pull-ups out of pick-and-roll and in isolation against a set defense + took some catch-and-shoot three-pointers on the move as well;
    • Capable shot maker but the efficiency within those roles wasn’t really there and it’s questionable if that sort of dynamism can translate if asked to play that same role against tougher levels of competition;
  • Might be best suited for a role as a connective tissue, considering his court vision is his most developed feature on offense but he lacks the speed and the efficiency working on the ball to project in a role as shot creator against tougher levels of competition;
  • Did interesting things on defense at the U20 Euros: switched a lot and exceled as a help defender;
    • Proved himself capable of hanging with smaller players out in space and made a lot of plays off rotations – both while creating events and in the hidden areas of the game;
  • Slotted fifth on ESPN’s way-too-early 2020 mock draft released prior to the summer events.

PASSING

  • The versatility of his passing consistently stands out, as Avdija has shown impressive court vision in transition, in middle high pick-and-roll and with his back-to-the-basket;
    • Assisted on 27.6% of Israel’s scores when he was on the floor at the U20 European Championship, though with a merely so-so 1.85 assist-to-turnover rate;
  • Pushing the ball up the court on a grab-and-go off a defensive rebound, he’s shown dexterity on outlet passes, throwing darts to a shooter sprinting to the wing or the corner and tossing a skip pass to a trailer joining the offense late;
  • Rarely turns the corner and attacks the lane off a ball-screen but can drop-off off engaging the last line of defense or use his length for wraparound bounce passes when he does get deep dribble penetration;
  • Hits the roll man over the top with great timing but tends to impress more with shovel or skip passes to the stretch big in pick-and-pop;
  • Sees over the crowd very well and consistently looks for the shooter spot-up or drifting around the opposite wing on post-ups.

SCORING OFF THE BALL

  • Volume shooter off the catch but more of a shot taker than a shot maker right now;
    • Nailed just 27.7% of his 130 three-point shots in 51 total appearances with Maccabi last season (combining the senior and junior levels), at a pace of 8.1 such attempts per 40 minutes;
    • Nailed just 28.6% of his 42 three-point shots at the U20 European Championship, at a pace of 7.4 such attempts per 40 minutes;
  • Besides basic spot-ups, took shots on the move as well – off pindown screens, as the trailer in transition, on handoffs and as the deep screener in Spain pick-and-roll;
    • Doesn’t sprint in these actions, though – mostly jogs;
  • Has a fluid shooting motion, fully extends himself for a high release, rises in good balance, doesn’t need to dip for rhythm and tends to get a good arc and a good spin on his shots;
  • Questions remain over his natural touch, though;
    • Shot just 51.2% on 82 foul shots last season;
    • Shot just 60% on 45 foul shots last month.

SCORING ON THE BALL

  • Acted as a little bit of a ball stopper at times;
  • Can make a pull-up three-pointer against opponents going under or getting stuck in the screen in pick-and-roll but didn’t impress much in terms of getting to his spots operating off a pick;
    • Might have some potential as an ace scorer if he manages to develop dexterity snaking the pick-and-roll;
  • Rarely turns the corner and attacks the lane in pick-and-roll – doesn’t have a lot of speed with the ball but can mix in a hesitation move to get the defender on his side;
    • Flashed some explosiveness elevating off one foot with space to load up but looks to gallop into two-foot leaps in traffic;
    • More of an up-and-down finisher in the sense that he hasn’t yet shown a lot of flexibility to adjust himself mid-air;
    • Can overextend for scoop finishes with either hand but has only shown so-so touch in a crowd;
    • Flashed a floater off a jump-stop;
    • Earned 7.9 foul shots per 40 minutes in this tournament;
  • Doesn’t have a quick first step in isolation and rarely gets all the way to the basket one-on-one but can create separation for his pull-ups via craft;
    • Struggled badly when guarded by Usman Garuba in the Munich qualifier of the Adidas Next Generation Tournament last season;
    • Has a bit of a stiff posture and isn’t very shifty but has flashed some side-to-side and stop-and-start suddenness;
    • Despite underdeveloped upper body strength, can play through contact some and tends to get the benefit of the whistle;
    • Can go between-the-legs into a pull-up but didn’t really flash particularly advanced footwork in terms of step-backs and side-steps;
  • Posted up smaller players and weaker wings somewhat regularly in this tournament;
    • Showed glimpses of a versatile scoring package with his back to the basket – patient approach, power moves to back his way into short toss-ins, head fakes to bait his man out of position and short turnaround jumpers over the defender.

HELP DEFENSE

  • Impact player as a help-defender at the youth level;
  • Active rotating off the weakside – not just to help crowd the area near the basket but to make plays as well;
    • Impressed with quick leaping ability off one and two feet to challenge shots via verticality and act as a shot blocking threat – averaging 3.0 blocks per 40 minutes at the U20 European Championship;
    • Sometimes to a fault, though – prone to help off the strongside in somewhat reckless fashion;
  • Executes the scheme pretty well: picks up the roll man, clogs driving lanes by getting his hands on the ball from the side and made some plays jumping passing lanes too;
    • Averaged 2.6 steals per 40 minutes last month;
  • Did a generally poor work with his closeouts in this event;
    • Lacks the footspeed to run shooters off the line regularly;
    • Didn’t show great body control on hard closeouts to stop his momentum without crashing into shooters;
    • Can stay attached against less aggressive shooters putting the ball on the floor but didn’t show the combination of quickness and physicality needed to contain;
  • Didn’t help the helper with boxouts and generally didn’t involve himself on scrums but flew to the ball pretty well;
    • Collected 22.8% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.

SWITCH DEFENSE

  • Picked up smaller players on switches regularly and held up reasonably well out in space against this level of competition;
    • Doesn’t bend his knees to get down in a stance, has more of a hunched posture defending out on an island;
    • Can slide laterally with good agility to stay in front and flashed some toughness containing dribble penetration through contact against smaller guards;
    • Needs to become more active guarding with his arms up to discourage shots, rather than just reacting to contest them;
  • Doesn’t seem suited to crossmatch onto smaller players regularly – hasn’t shown the sort of quickness to tenacity needed to navigate screens and hustle in pursuit.

[1] According to Eurospects

[2] According to RealGM

[3] DOB: 1/3/2001

[4] According to Eurospects

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

Filip Petrusev Scouting Report

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[1], 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[2] 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.


[1] According to Real GM

[2] 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