by Albert Robledillo

2005-born Romanian guard Tudor Somacescu will be part of U-BT Cluj senior team for the upcoming season, the team announced. Somacescu completed the preseason with the senior squad and earned a spot in the final roster which will compete for the Romanian National League championship and also in the Champions League.
“He showed many positive things with his performances since the first week”, U-BT Cluj sports director, Branko Cuic, tells Eurohopes. “He showed up and he was accepted by his teammates from the very beginning. And it's meaningful when older guys accept a young kid”.
Somacescu’s talent and maturity have always given him the opportunity to play and shine against older players. He was the only 2005-born player in the last U16 European Division B Tournament, where he averaged 10 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2 assists per game against players two year older than him. He also helped U-BT Cluj junior team to finish in the third position in the European Youth Basketball League with 13.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. In the U16 and U15 EYBL competitions, Somacescu averaged double figures in points (20+) and rebounds.
 “Since I arrived to Cluj-Napoca we tried to increase the volume of practices and send our academy teams to play international tournaments”, Cuic says. “We started practicing individually with some players before classes, at 6 am. Also, we brought one of the most experienced coaches, Dusko Vujosevic, who is known for giving opportunities to young players. He also shares his experiences with our academy and it is starting to give us results”. Somacescu decided to remain at Cluj-Napoca despite having offers and interests of some of the top academies in Spain.
Standing at 6’2, the feel for the game and the versatility he shows as a guard, make Somacescu one of the most interesting prospects in Europe of his generation. He has tremendous scoring abilities, a promising shot and solid ball handling skills for a kid at his age. Somacescu also can be a prominent pure point guard thanks to his court vision, passing skillset, and instincts which also helps him on the defensive end despite having some issues such sliding his feet and moving laterally due to his lack of strength in the lower body. “Now he needs to show everything he has in a tougher competition where he will meet adults who are physically stronger than him”, Cuic admits: “We need to work on his body and we expect him to get better every day”.

Photos by: FIBA