By Pietro Cristofori
From June 1st to June 3rd the Adidas Eurocamp was back in Treviso. The only NBA pre-draft camp sanctioned in Europe featured 70 of the best international prospects from age 16 up to age 22.
Here you find the European standout prospects of the event.
Eurocamp MVP:
Nikola Djurisic (2004, Mega Belgrade)
Finals MVP:
Brice Dessert (2003, SIG Strasbourg)
Defensive MVP:
Mohamed Diawara (2005, Cholet Basket)
Rising Stars:
Caleb Holt (2007, Buckhorn HS)
Michael Ruzic (2006, Joventut Badalona)
All-Eurocamp Team:
Taran Armstrong (2002, Cairns Taipans)
Darryn Peterson (2007, Huntington Prep)
Andrej Kostic (2006, Red Star Belgrade)
Bogoljub Markovic (2005, OKK Belgrade)
Mouhamed Faye (2005, Pallacanestro Reggiana)
Team Eurocamp 1:
Thijs De Ridder - 2003, 6'8, Power Forward, Belgium, Bilbao Basket
Skilled big-man, De Ridder plays in a very mature way for a 21-year old. Lacks of elite athleticism and explosiveness. Length and strength are fair to withstand a high European level. He has smooth touch and impressive footwork to find ways to shoot the ball. He plays at his own pace, not quick. Good manipulating defense. Shoots on pick&pops. Doesn't project in the NBA, but long-term he can be Euroleague shooting PF.
Brice Dessert - 2003, 6'11, Center, France, SIG Strasbourg
Latest signing for SIG Strasbourg, Dessert comes off a solid season with Blois. In Treviso he didn't look in the best shape, but he made big impact in the paint. Good mentality overall, tough. Lob-threat. He knows how to use his body well: looks for contact. Doesn't provide floor-stretching options yet. Comfortable on switches on the perimeter. Euroleague potential big-man. He's one of the main French big-men on the rise.
Nikola Djurisic - 2004, 6'8, Small Forward, Serbia, Mega Belgrade
Djurisic probably was the most awaited player in the event and he earned the MVP honours at the end of it. Didn't shy away from responsabilities and he took over multiple times during the weekend. Standing at 6'8, he has solid mix of physical tools and handles to play in the league. He can create from the dribble and score in multiple ways. Fair athleticism. Lack of consistency is still an issue, but he's slowly improving making him a legit first-round pick in the upcoming draft.
Mohamed Diawara - 2005, 6'8, Small Forward, France, Cholet Basket
Cholet announced Diawara's signing a couple days before the camp. The 2005-born forward displayed versatility on the defensive end, and that's what gives him NBA potential. Versatile perimeter defender archetype. Sized and strong: he can switch on multiple positions at the pro level. Although, he has to add some offensive threat. Below average 3-point shooter, lacks of touch all-around. Right now he's just straight line slasher with questionable decision making. Tough mentality, he's a fighter. Doesn't back down. Versatile perimeter defender
Team Eurocamp 2:
Yannick Kraag - 2002, 6'8, Small Forward, Netherlands, Joventut Badalona
Kraag had an underwhelming performance in Treviso. He's known as an off-ball spacer and versatile defender. Although, it was legit to expect something more from him given his noticeable pro-level background. At the NBA level he would provide versatility on the defensive end, and he projects as a sized perimeter defender, although his lack of offensive skill hurts his stock considerably. Didn't show on-ball creation during the event, he played off the ball and finding some easy looks as a cutter. Inconsistent spot-up shooter.
Musa Sagnia - 2003, 6'7, Small Forward, Gambia, Manresa
Sagnia didn't have much playing time during the event, but when he was on the floor he made his impact felt. During the season he proved to be an ACB caliber role player. Small-forward with legit size and athleticism. NBA prospect that will enter his auto-eligible season in a couple months. In Treviso he guarded multiple roles on the perimeter, navigating screens and at times guarding primary handlers. On offense he was mainly a finisher.
Lucas Mari - 2005, 6'5, Wing, Spain, Valencia Basket
Despite being one of the youngest players on the Eurocamp 2 team, Mari proved himself as one of the most impactful players in the lineup. Sized and strong wing, he was able to find consistently his way to the rim thanks to his mix of burst, explosiveness and size. Lacks of elite handles to provide shot-creation. High defensive potential. He can guard guards and wings at the pro level. Legs are strong. Euroleague potential as defensive specialist.
Mouhamed Faye - 2005, 6'10, Center, Senegal, Pallacanestro Reggiana
Mouhamed Faye took part in the camp for the second year in a row. Faye was recently named best Under-22 player in the Italian 1st Division. The 6'10 big-man has unmatched motor and power. He outplayed older and more experienced players during the weekend showing above average focus and attitude. He looked stronger than he did couple months back. Dominant rebounder at this level of competition. Paint threat. Easily switches on smaller players. He's not skilled and versatile enough on the offensive end to be NBA player in the short term. Euroleague potential.
Bogoljub Markovic - 2005, 6'11, Power Forward, Serbia, Mega Belgrade
Markovic's stock has risen over the weekend. This season, the 6'11 Serbian big-man has played with OKK Belgrade in Serbian 1st division league. He has NBA level physical tools and coordination. He has added some kilos over the last months and he also played in a more mature way. Focus and willingness stood out. It looks like the senior experience was valuable for him. To play in the league he should turn into a face-up PF imo, and it looks like his development is going that way. In a couple occasions he put the ball on the floor on the move and showed impressive coordination and feel to finish at the rim for a 6'11. At times he's still out of control with his body, and commits unforced TOs. He's not able to play the 5 position at this level.
Team World:
Nikola Bundalo - 2006, 6'9, Forward, Serbia, Western Reserve Academy (HS)
Bundalo was one of the best prospects in the event. Lefty and sized forward. NBA prospect, he has everything to play at that level. He's smart and he knows how to play: advanced basketball IQ. He acted as primary handler multiple times, doesn't play up-tempo, goes pretty slow but doesn't force plays. Can shoot, creates his own shot from the dribble as well. Good feet, stays in front of wings and forwards. His wingspan looks below average, but this shouldn't be an issue. Also, his body is pretty lanky still, but makes up for this with elite skillset. Average athleticism. Bundalo projects as a skilled face-up forward in the league.
Mohammad Amini - 2005, 6'6, Wing, Iran, SLUC Nancy
Amini recently signed a three-year deal with Nancy after he rose his stock with AS Monaco youth teams this season. Poised wing with legit size to play at high European level long term. Shoulders are wide and he has room to become more muscular and even stronger. Solid shooter, handles the ball well for the size. He brings many things to the table at good level. Feet are not quick enough to stay in front of guards. Mentality is good, focused and positive attitude.
Mor Massamba Diop - 2005, 6'11, Center, Senegal, Gran Canaria
Diop went back on the international scene after moving from Real Madrid to Gran Canaria during the Summer. Diop has NBA potential frame: he has filled-in with muscles and now he's strong and tough. What makes him very intriguing is his mix of physical tools and smooth touch all-around. His decision making is not good still (committed some unforced TOs during the weekend), but he shows some real talent and coordination overall. Rim-runner, outplayed opponents on full-court runs. Pick&roll threat. Feet are quick, switches on pick&roll with good timing. NBA-upside.
Assane Sankare - 2007, 6'9, Forward, Senegal, Vis 2008 Ferrara
Sankare ended the season that put him on the European radar with a good showing in the camp. Athletic and high energy forward. Handles are slowly improving, but he's far away from being a reliable shot-creator. Slasher, above average explosiveness and tools. Below average shooter. Sankare was able to guard pretty much from 1 to 4. Defensive effort is what stood out the most. Aggressive on passing lanes and reliable shot-blocker. Euroleague potential, he has potential to become a full-time small-forward at the pro level, but he's not there yet.
Next Gen Team:
Andrej Kostic - 2006, 6'7, Wing, Serbia, Red Star Belgrade
Kostic had a stand-out 28-point game in the final day that definitely put him among the top performers in the event. It looks like he has grown one inch during the season, and now he's a legit 6'7. After coming off a strong end of the season with Red Star Belgrade, in Treviso he showed some relentless shot-making ability, scoring spot-up threes and displaying smooth handles to create for himself. The main concern with his game is given by his motor, quickness and defensive instincts.
Michael Ruzic - 2006, 6'10, Power Forward, Croatia, Joventut Badalona
Ruzic had an impressive season with Badalona exploiting a tough season injury-wise for Penya's big-men. I don't think his physical growth has ended yet. Skilled power-forward with NBA potential. Puts the ball on the floor, finishes with creativity at the rim. Reliable shooter on pick&pop. Decent athleticism. Overall, his mix of skill and size is impressive. Projects as a skilled PF in the league.