By Ruben Alcaraz

Another edition of Adidas Eurocamp is on the books and like every year a lot of players to check and evaluate. Eurohopes attended the event for seventh year in a row and this is our recap.

Adidas Eurocamp

MVP: Paul Zipser (’94)
1st Team All-Eurocamp: Kenan Sipahi (’95), Vanja Marinkovic (’97), Dejan Todorovic (’94), Petr Cornelie (’95) and Michael Fusek (’95).
Best Defender: Deryk Ramos (’94)
Most Improved Player: Dario Brizuela (’94)


This edition the average level of guards was high but not spectacular. The most talented point guard on attendance was Kenan Sipahi (’95). The 6’5 player of Fenerbahce, loaned this season to Pinar Karsiyaka, did not dominate any game but exhibited his floor general abilities handling the tempo of games and showing his good P&R skills. He also showed his perennial problems to shoot and his poor percentage when he does. As a pure point guards also deserves a mention French players Benjamin Sene (’94) and David Michineau (’94). 6’1 Sene played very solid whole weekend running his team with maturity and scoring with ease when team needed it. Also took care of the ball and barely committed turnovers. Michineau, 6’3 point guard with skills to be a combo, scored consistently all Eurocamp and displayed aggressive mentality to attack the basket.

Probably the best point guard of the Eurocamp was Dario Brizuela (’94) that received the Most Improved Player trophy. Brizuela usually plays as a shooting guard but he displayed great confidence and leadership as a playmaker. Brizuela created from picks and he showed great court vision to kick the ball to open teammate. Also he displayed his already known scoring skills. It helped that most of the time that he spent on the court he was surrounded for Spanish players. After missing first day of action Diego Flaccadori (’96) came to the camp with fire in his veins and raised the level of the camp when stepped on the court. His performance at morning scrimmage was great but he did not keep that level during the rest of the weekend. Flaccadori struggled in 3point shots but he got points on regular basis and was one of the craftiest players on attendance. One of the players that finished the tournament in a great shape was Dejan Todorovic (’94). The member of 1st All-Eurocamp Team was practically unnoticed Day 1 with 0 of 6 from perimeter and no impact in the game. At final day Todorovic, a 6’6 shooting guard, scored 11 points in each of two games without solve his problems to hit from deep but imposed his athleticism to score in drives. Other player selected to 1st team was Vanja Marinkovic (’97). Serbian 6’6 shooting guard was the most reliable shooter of Eurocamp but all his game turns around his shooting threat. Marinkovic is great in catch and shoot situations but he did not show a big evolution in terms of create his own shot off the dribble. One of the players who had to focus more looks, Kostja Mushidi (’98) did not participate in any drill, scrimmage or game but apparently made a workout on Court 3 away from the spotlight.


Best player, not best prospect, was clearly automatically eligible Paul Zipser (’94). Zipser got the MVP award despite he only played a scrimmage at morning of Day 2 and did not participate in any game. Zipser surprised nobody, dominated with ease and did not try to impress with fancy plays. Playing as power forward most of the time he took advantage of his physique and speed in pick and pop situations. Zipser was particularly hot from the arc, shooting with big confidence. At defensive end he showed his experience and poise communicating, calling screens and defending mismatches. Another player that probably will hear his name at NBA Draft is Petr Cornelie (’95). The 6’11 power forward also appeared only for Day 2 but his impact was different from Zipser. Cornelie, selected to 1st All-Eurocamp Team, showed his high ceiling as a stretch forward with good athleticism and quickness for his size. Although one of his main offensive weapons are his 3point shot he had a bad day in percentage and barely hit once. During morning scrimmage against Zipser’s team Cornelie left a good impression but during the afternoon game against US team he struggled in many ways. Despite his below average performance Cornelie displayed great attitude in defense pressing the ball and aggressiveness to rebound at offensive board.

A big amount of forwards had their moment during the weekend and one of the best performance was the one that Kenan Karahodzic (’96) displayed Day 1. The 6’10 power forward set the level high in drills and the first game but he was unable to keep it during whole event. Karahodzic displayed great versatility as a complete forward being able to play at post and perimeter although he did not hit a lot from deep. With not a lot of minutes at Unicaja Malaga (Spain) first team and low international experience Karahodzic presented himself as one of the best prospects of his generation. One of the funniest players to see during the weekend was Oriol Pauli (’94). The 6’7 Spanish small forward played with high energy and no pressure and put a show every time he entered the court with Brizuela. Pauli played great in transition situations and showed his capacity to play above the rim. As most of the players he also struggled in 3point shooting percentage, one of his weaknesses. Vlatko Cancar (’97) also had his moment. The 6’7 Slovenian small forward possesses great physical tools to play at that position in any level. He limited himself to play open and wait his chance to take open shots, and although his shooting skills and feel for the game are really good he had below average percentage from perimeter. Mohammad YousofVand (’96) showed glimpses of solid player and good skills. The 6’8 power forward from Iran has a strong body but his legs are average, thing that limited him to fight in the paint against taller and stronger players. YousofVand has good mobility and exhibited good shooting mechanics with poor percentages though. One of the players with highest ceiling at Eurocamp was Arnoldas Kulboka (’98). Lithuanian 6’8 small forward struggled Day 1 with his lack of strength comparing with the rest of campers and poor shooting performance besides committing too many turnovers. While the Eurocamp advanced he felt comfortable on the floor and showed his shooting tools and great length for his position.


The center position seemed on the paper the most interesting to track with projected first round Ante Zizic (’97) and intriguing Africans Youssoupha Fall (’95) and Jordan Sakho (’97). Zizic only competed Day 1 doing pick and roll drills at morning and playing first half as a member of the All Star team against Ukraine. His team oriented the game to him and the only way that Ukrainians found to stop him was fouling him. Zizic played in a solid way, scoring in the few attempts that Ukraine’s defense let him take, showing confidence from free throw line, intimidating in defense just with his presence and committing a couple of turnovers in bad passes. 9 points, 8 rebounds and 3 turnovers in 19 minutes of play. Due shoulder pain Zizic didn’t participate in the second half and did not step the court again. Something similar happened with Fall, the 7’3 Senegalese had toe problems and was forced to stop. Already with pain Fall was feeling better on the court while the day advanced and he finished his scrimmage showing what he can become in a near future. Fall was surprisingly with low activity during drills, maybe for his foot problems, but his tremendous frame and impressive 9’9 standing reach makes him a really interesting prospect for next year NBA Draft. Sakho, instead, was probably the biggest disappointment between early entries. Maybe for the big amount of workouts that he already did in States Sakho showed little physical freshness and he struggled the whole weekend. Sakho, listed at 6’9, is very raw in skills terms and he lacks soft hands. Being his first big event he will improve with the good attitude that he exhibited on the floor.

The nicest surprise came from Michael Fusek (’95) that received a well-deserved selection for the 1st All-Eurocamp Team. 7’4 Fusek is still on his way to become a solid player but the specific diet program, 222lbs according BAM test, and workouts that he did during the second half of the season already is paying off. Fusek struggled in some spans of the game when teams played transition up and down but in half court he is already a threat in both ends of the court. Fusek did not hesitate to put the ball on the floor and play one on one at low post although he is still unable to beat defenders by quickness. Fusek also attempted a few mid-range jumpshots displaying a soft shooting release. At defensive end he did not avoid contact and was very productive blocking shots without committing fouls. Fusek struggled when tried to get offensive rebounds, and was easily boxed out. In the other way he was dominant at defensive board. Last year member of the 1st Team All-Eurocamp Zoran Nikolic (’96) only appeared during the last day being practically unnoticed during first two days. After a disappointing season Nikolic showed last day that he still deserves to be tracked. The 6’11 from Montenegro combined both inside positions with quick moves in the paint and surprising scoring his only attempted 3point shot. Leon Kratzer (’97) completed a solid Eurocamp displaying good attitude, toughness and great rebounding skills. 6’10 Kratzer is a center that loves to do all the dirty work, screening, hustling, boxing out, communicating and rebounding. At the offensive end Kratzer is limited and had a bad weekend from the line. A similar player to Kratzer in terms of strength and solid contribution is Lithuanian Martynas Sajus (’96). Sajus, listed at 6’9, seems undersized but he played in a solid way all days. Sajus loves to play hard and he uses his strength to produce for his team. Raw in terms of skills Sajus has not a jumpshot which we can talk and his upside looks low.
Adidas Next Generation Camp

The level raises every year and the roster of players for this 2016 had really high level with some of the best prospects born in 2000 and 2001. The group of 20 players practiced twice on Court 3 of La Ghirada far from the eyes of the attendance and played one game in the main court during the Day 2. Team B won the game 72-64 but the most impressive players were at Team A: Filip Petrusev (’00) and Luka Samanic (’00). Petrusev was simply dominant from the moment he stepped on the court playing with maturity and doing everything on the court, post plays, hitting mid-range and three point shots and showing good defensive tools. He finished the game as a scoring leader with 20 points and 6 rebounds. The 6’9 Serbian PF of Laboral Kutxa (Spain) was unstoppable with the ball at low post and he did not avoid contact and beat all the players that guarded him. His soft touch let him score from all ranges. Samanic, that recently signed a two years amateur contract with FC Barcelona (Spain), impressed with his high athleticism and mobility for a forward. The 6’9 Croatian forward showed his big time athleticism and high explosiveness in some transitions where he feels comfortable dribbling the ball. In some aspects of his game he has big room to improve even though his perimeter skills as create off the dribble and shooting range are remarkable. At the same Team A another intriguing prospect is Cameroun wing Paul Eboua (’00). The Stella Azzurra (Italy) player showed his tremendous athleticism, running the floor with big strides and sweeping the boards with his leaping ability. Eboua is 6’6 but his wingspan is almost 7’3. Thanks to these tools he grabbed the game-high 9 rebounds.

For the winning team the most outstanding player was INSEP (France) player Joel Ayayi (’00) with 13 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. French 6’3 guard uses to play both guard positions but he exclusively played as a point guard during the Adidas Next Generation game showing great tools to become a solid combo guard in the future. Equipped with good physical tools like light speed and solid strength Ayayi highlighted with great defense that kept scoreless point guards of Team A, good direction of his team handling the pace of the game and good shooting percentages, one of his weaknesses. Ayayi found in Oton Jankovic (’00) and Gleb Bednyakov (’01) his better allies to overcome the double digit deficit and win the game. Jankovic, a Croatian 6’9 forward that plays for Cibona Zagreb (Croatia), left good impressions thanks to his already solid frame and size, his elite lower body and his skills to score off the dribble. The biggest concern about him is his shooting consistency, a part of his game that needs to improve to be a solid small forward. Bednyakov is a 6’4 Russian shooting guard with great scoring instincts. Although his skills and shooting mechanics are not very accurate he scored from perimeter and in drives with different finishes like floaters and lay ups. The Novosibirsk (Russia) player possesses a great first step to beat his defender but besides points he barely contributed in the game. Also deserves a mention local Matteo Nicoli (’01) that showed a good variety of shooting tools. The 6’2 Virtus Bologna (Italy) player is a skinny guard with small body that played with no fear and finished with 12 points.
U20 Ukraine

With two solid wins and only one loss against the All Star team the first day the U20 Ukraine national team went from less to more. Ukraine, that will compete at U20 FIBA European Championship Division A this summer has a great group of individuals and during the weekend they improved ball movement and team chemistry on the floor. The main player and the guy that has the most the ball on his hands was Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (’97). 6’7 Kansas Jayhawks shooting guard seemed eager to take offensive decisions and he played hasty and took too many contested shots in the first game. Although Mykhailiuk struggled in shooting percentage during whole weekend he showed his tremendous shooting potential in short lapses of games hitting couple of jumpshots in a row many times. His athleticism is great and this summer is a great chance for him to claim against who doubt him. The biggest offensive weapon of Ukraine is undoubtedly Oleksandr Kobets (’96). The 6’5 shooting guard is a scoring shooting machine with huge skills to create his own shot with the ball or coming from screens. Kobets, who was the 6th man and did not start a game, has no big athleticism but his basketball IQ and his killer instinct is off the charts. Shooting a poor 1 of 13 from the arc in the first couple of games Kobets found his rhythm against US Select team scoring 33 points with 8 of 12 from 3point line in one of the best performances of the weekend. The most intriguing prospect of Ukraine, and the youngest one, was Dmytro Skapintsev (’98). The 7’0 center of Cherkassy Mavpi (Ukraine) struggled to find his spot in the paint during first game but as the competition progressed he felt more comfortable on the floor and adjusted well against players older than him. Skapintsev did not evolve a lot in last seasons but he still has promising tools as his soft touch, toughness and rebounding ability. In the last game he ended perfect from the field and 18 points.  Coming from the bench too Serhii Pavlov (’97) contributed well taking advantage of Mychailiuk-Kobets oriented game that Ukraine plays. Pavlov, a 6’7 power forward that plays with Khimik (Ukraine) showed interesting tools as a stretch forward being effective during the event in pick&pop situations. With Ilya Sidorov (’96) struggling at poing guard position, back up Vitaly Zotov (’97) ran the team with creativity and involving all the players on the court. Zotov, a 6’1 playmaker that plays in Budivelnik Kiev (Ukraine), has good quickness and every time he stepped on the court speeded up the game. The only player that did not find his rhythm was Arizona State commit Vitaliy Shibel (’97). Shibel started showing his abilities as a stretch forward and guarding top inside players as Ante Zizic and Kenan Karahodzic in the first game but his poor shooting performance affected his game. Ukraine will be an interesting team to follow this summer in Helsinki (Finland) during the U20 European Championship.

Sviatoslav Mychailiuk: 15 points, 6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers, 33.3% FG and 36.6% 3P in 29.4 minutes per game.
Oleksandr Kobets: 17.3 points, 4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.3 turnovers, 47.5% FG and 36% 3P in 26.8 minutes per game.
Dmytro Skapintsev: 9.6 points, 6 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1 block and 68.4% FG in 22.5 minutes per game.
Serhii Pavlov: 11.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 50% FG, 60% 3P and 100% FT in 18.7 minutes per game.
Vitaly Zotov: 8.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 75% FG and 80% 3P in 17.8 minutes per game.
Vitaliy Shibel: 4.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 28.5% FG and 16.6% 3P in 17.5 minutes per game.

U20 France

An U20 France national team with weakened roster due the big amount of absences did not play a good tournament in Treviso winning only one game against the US team. But France is France and they always have a lot of intriguing prospects like Cyrille Eliezer-Vanerot (’96). Eliezer-Vanerot is a 6’7 small forward that currently plays at Paris Levallois (France) and was the most intriguing player of France. Eliezer-Vanerot has average frame but his athleticism is above average and took advantage to beat defenders in transition and finished some plays with dunks even in half court plays. He also displayed a solid long range shooting performance in catch and shoot situations. One of the players who raised more excitement was 6’2 lefty combo guard Elie Okobo (’97). Okobo did not has a great performance but he impressed with his high athleticism and his good frame. Okobo did not find his moment on games due too many missed shots that he usually makes. Inside the paint, Olivier Cortale (’97) was the weapon to score and the most solid player of the team. The 6’10 PF/C from SIG Strasbourg (France) showed his strength inside and his good mobility. Cortale played in attack mode all the time and showed his versatility not only at low post but also driving and shooting beyond the arc although he missed his four attempts. Another player to notice was Assane Ndoye (’96), a 6’7 small forward that plays in Elan Chalon (France). Ndoye has a very interesting frame with good athleticism and physical tools to develop. Like the rest of the team he did not displayed his best game but was effective in isolations and drives to the basket. Sylvain Francisco (’97) is a class of 2017 6’1 point guard with light speed that currently plays at Liberty Christian Prep and already has received some high major offers. Francisco struggled adjusting to different pace and was unable to score any point inside the arc. All his points came from deep shots off the catch and off the dribble. In the last game against All Star team he found comfortable thanks to his effectiveness from the arc and exhibited his best abilities, running fastbreaks and scoring from far. Francisco finished with game-high 17 points. Lucas Dussolier (’96) a 6’7 swingman with good shooting skills was able to play only a game and a half due a small pain and caution. Dussolier has good size for a wing but his lack of athleticism is his biggest weakness. He completed a good game in the only French win with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.

Cyrille Eliezer-Vanerot: 10 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 50% FG and 50% 3P in 19.7 minutes per game.
Elie Okobo: 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 26.4% FG and 18.7% 3P in 23.2 minutes per game.
Olivier Cortale: 10 points, 6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 61.9% FG in 24.5 minutes per game.
Assane Ndoye: 6.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 47% FG in 17.6 minutes per game.
Sylvain Francisco: 8.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 turnovers, 28% FG and 36.8% 3P in 20.6 minutes per game.

Photo: Adidas Eurocamp