Final tournament of Roda U19 Serbian league is about to start on Friday 19th April. Venue of the event is Zeleznik hall, Belgrade. After 22 rounds of regular season, total of 8 teams got a chance to fight for a title game on Sunday.
Quarterfinal matchups are:
Borac Čačak- Dynamic
Crvena Zvezda- Mladost Veternik
Mega Bemax- Mladost Čačak
Take a look on our reports on the best players from each team:
Dušan Tanasković- ’01, 6’9, C
Well sized big man had 18.7ppg and 10.4rpg in U19 regular season this year. Very dominant inside at this stage. Old school kind of big, can score hooks, baby hooks and some close range shoots. Can score with either hand, but relies mostly on stronger, right hand. Nicely polished, has very versatille post skillset. He is able to create and maintain position for himself down low and wait for the pass. Smart player, has high basketball IQ, good decision maker. One of the tallest players in the league, knows how to use his size advantage. Solid enough passer for a big guy, can find open shooter outside or cutters inside. Has major problems with lack of mobility and athleticism, but it shouldn’t be an issue at this level.
Đorđe Pažin- ’01, 6’7, SG
Top scorer of this Partizan’s U19 team with 20ppg. Scoring first type of guard. His versatile shot is his offensive weapon #1. Can score shots off the screen, catch and even off the bounce and stepbacks. Regardless being able to score various kind of shots, shot selection is still not the best. Solid driver at this level, can finish drives with runners, floaters and close range shots. Body is a problem, has really thin frame which doesn’t allow him to finish easily through contact. One of the oldest players in the team which makes him team leader, but not always the greatest team player.
Lazar Stefanović- ’02, 6’5, SG
Underaged guard who had season full of ups and downs, still managed to average 11.7ppg, 5.1rpg and 3.5apg playing with 2 years older players. Shifty guard who can play as a primarly ball handler if needed. Smart ballhandler, doesn’t complicate, has no tends to overdribble. Aggressive driver with quick first step, can finish in contact with both hands. Solid shooter, can score off the dribble or when spotted but shot wasn’t constant enough throughout the season. Plays with a lot of energy on both ends.
Vuk Borovićanin- ’01, 6’7, SG/PG
Above average sized guard had solid all around season averaging 13ppg, 6.4rpg and 2.4apg. This is his second year playing U19 league but first one with a leading role. Good ball handler, not that flashy but very sure with the ball. Can drive both sides, uses his size and length to adapt body and finish inside the paint. Improved aggressiveness and toughness this year, doesn’t shy away from contact game that much. OK shooter, can score open long range looks and mid range jumpers off the dribble. Needs work on footwork and release. Body needs work, still very skinny.
Ognjen Mićović- ’00, 6’2, PG
The MVP of this year’s U19 league. Had 21.9ppg, 7.6apg, 3.8rpg and 2.5spg. One of the biggest positive surprises this season in U19 league. Lefty PG led his team to a second place in regular season. Was unstoppable off the PnR throughout the season thanks to ability to shoot mid range shots, drive and finish both sides but also to see everything on perimeter and kick out pass for shooters. Very versatile player with impressive basketball IQ and feeling for the game. Beside PnR, able to do bit of everything. Had very constant year when it comes to shooting, even though his shot form is not the prettiest one. Not so quick, but very shifty. Real team leader, plays with good motor. Lack of size didn’t cause him any problems at this level. Has good body control and ability to score running hooks over bigger guys. On defensive end, not really aggressive on ballhandlers but has great feeling when to reach out and steal the ball.
Srđan Krsmanović- ’00, 6’10, C
Ended up second in MVP race after his teammate Ognjen Mićović. Had 14.5ppg and 8.8rpg in regular season. Was very constant through whole season, had only one single digit points game. Great sized big, uses his height advantage pretty well. Body got better, stands contact inside and finishes through it. Able to finish above the rim with both hands. Can create position for himself on the low post. Not really skilled center, oftenly scores off the pass or after rebounds. Has good footwork and coordination for his size but could be more mobile.
Luka Jovanović- ’00, 6’8, SF/SG
Athletic wing who came from KK Crvena Zvezda before the season has started had very good numbers this year. Averaged 14.2ppg and 6.7rpg. High energy type of player. Had ups and downs during the season but had some great games, too. Very reliable shooter off the catch from long range. Has good footwork and high release. Aggressive finisher above the rim, thanks to great athletic abilities he possesess dunks everytime when it is possible. Can drive both sides, prefers to go right. Had an injury a month ago so his performances on final tournament could be worse than expected.
Toma Vasiljević- ’00, 6’9, C
NT big guy had another pretty constant season in U19 league. Had 13.1ppg and 7.1rpg, 2.3apg, as well. One of the best bigs in this league, with mixture of good size, solid enough post skillset and above average body strength and control. 6’9 big can score inside with both hands but also can play a bit outside. Not a ball handler, but he is able to make one or two dribbles to drive by much slower defender. Shot is not a major threat but showed he can score some wide open threes. Solid floor runner as a trailer, but could be more mobile and agile. Defensively, has problems with taller guys.
KK Crvena Zvezda
Lazar Vasić- ’01, 6’3, PG
Crvena Zvezda’s U19 team captain had 11ppg, 4.4rpg and 3.3apg this season. All around team player, does everything his team needs. Plays with a lot of energy and tireless motor. Quick and shifty guard, can drive both sides, not afraid to finish in contact. Can create off the PnR both for him and his teammates. Wasn’t really constant this year, had ups and downs, specially scoring wise. Solid shooter, can score off the dribble and catch. Prefers to shoot three pointer rather than mid range shots. Likes to take responsibility in decisive moments.
Nemanja Popović- ’01, 6’9, PF
Versatile forward was second top scorer of his team in regular season with 13.4ppg, added 5.7rpg and 3.3apg, as well. In and out forward with great size and length which he uses in proper way. Very talented player with nicely polished post skillset, can go either side and finish with both hands. Became more aggressive finisher above the rim, oftenly dunks the ball or try to posterize defenders. Outside shot is still major weakness, even though big improvement is visible. Regardless shot, Popović improved his perimeter game, ball handling got better, can drive by slower defenders. Good rebounder thanks to long arms. Grab and go type of player, likes to push the ball to frontcourt as soon as grabs rebound. Solid passer for a big guy. Still has room to improve decision making a bit.
Marko Pavićević- ’01, 6’9, C
Another well sized big guy from KK Crvena Zvezda. Had some great moments during the season, but also some really bad games. Finished regular season with 11.5ppg and 5.2rpg. Talented big, can score from low post and close range. Has sure touch around the rim with both hands. Has high basketball IQ, feels the game well. Good passer for his size and position. Shot is slowly getting better but still needs work on shot motion. Body frame is really thin, has problems with stronger bigs. Solid defender.
Nikola Ćurčić- ’00, 6’9, PF
Ex player of KK Crvena Zvezda and Vojvodina was the best player of his team this season. Averaged 15.1ppg and 9.8rpg in regular season. Ćurčić is an above average sized big man with really good level of body strength. Can stretch the floor and score some mid and even long range looks occasionally. Takes too much of them sometimes. Good scorer inside the paint, specially with stronger hand. Good body strength helps him to stay ground in defense, but could be better rim protector with size he has.
Aleksandar Langović- ’01, 6’9, PF
One of the biggest prospects on this tournament. Langović played only 8 games in U19 league since he has played KLS league for OKK Beograd. In 8 games he averaged 21.1ppg, 7.8rpg and 2.3 apg. Athletic wise he is on another level comparing to players on his position. Very mobile for his size, runs the floor well, light on his feet, has good vertical leap. Able to play in and out. Finishes mainly with stronger, left hand inside. Not that skilled post player, but uses his advantages very well. Outside he can blow by slower defenders thanks to long first step. Improved as a shooter, became more reliable from long range. Good rim protector in defense.
Luka Cerovina- ’00, 6’7, SF
Just like Langović, he played more in KLS league than in U19. For only 4 games he played, Cerovina averaged 14ppg, 7rpg and 5apg. Primarly a wing, but he can play as a ball handler when needed. Old school type of player. Not really athletic and quick, but good pace changer. Knows how to uses his size advantages. Can attack smaller guards from low post. Finishes in almost all cases with his left hand. Has good body control so he can finish inside over big guys. OK shooter, has room to upgrade it on another level. Not always giving 100% of his energy.
Marko Brekić- ’01, 6’8, PF
Forward who transferred from Partizan before the start of the season. Averaged 12.4ppg and 4.8rpg. Very aggressive player on both ends, gives enormous amount of energy and plays with tireless motor. Nas nice frame, uses his strength specially in paint when backing down his defenders. Not afraid of finishing in contact. Has markable outside shot, specially off the catch. Good defensive player, can guard equally well bigs and guards.
Nikola Radovanović- ’01, 6’5, PG
Decent sized guard had great season this year. Was very constant all season long, ended up averaging 14.5ppg, 4.9apg, 4.2rpg. Real floor general, true PG, all around player. Creates well for himself and for his teammates. Very sure with the ball in his hands. Can go both sides, but finishes at the rim only with his right hand. Has good body control and ability to finish inside the paint. Above average athleticism helps him dunk the ball when there is room for it. Good passer, sees everything on the court. Decent rebounder for his position, has good timing and long arms. Long range shot is major weakness, not able to score from downtown.
Matija Dragićević-’00, 6’4, PG
Another guard from Mladost who has excellent season behind him. Was the top scorer of his team by far, averaging 20.5ppg with 5.9apg and 4rpg, too. Scoring first type of PG, can create well for himself at first, but also for his teammates. Good passer. Just like Radovanović, lack of long range shot is major issue. Solid ball handler but could be more sure with the ball in his hands. Good in 1 vs 1 defense, has good feeling for stealing the ball.