Mega Bemax is new Serbian U17 champion after beating KK Crvena Zvezda 102-100 in final game. Host team won games against Mladost Veternik and Partizan on the way to the medal. Crvena zvezda was second, Partizan took third place, Vizura fourth.

Petar Kovačević, Montenegrian forward from Mega Bemax was MVP of the tournament.
Stefan Todorović, Vizura’s guard was tournament top scorer.

Top performers:

Marko Andrić- ’02, 6’2, PG, Mega Bemax
Starting PG from title winning side. Andrić averaged 13ppg with 7.3apg in 3 games on the tournament along with double double(21 point, 11 assists) performance in the final game. Shifty guard is playing with good motor and decent level of energy all the time on the court. Even though he is already pretty well developed, he is still way faster and more athletic than majority of the players on his position. Proved he is good straight line driver who can finish through contact with either hand. Shot improvement is visible. Became more reliable and way more confident mid range shooter. Still lacks of long range shot. Good ball handler, sure with the ball in his hands. Creative passer, unselfish, likes to share the ball. Decent decision maker on this stage. He can be really aggressive defender at this level, thanks to quick and agile legs he has.

Mihailo Mušikić- ’02, 6’11, C, Mega Bemax

The tallest player on the tournament and starting C for Mega Bemax had 12.6ppg and 6.3 rpg despite the fact he played only 7 mins in QF game. 6’11 big really improved his mobility and agility comparing to start of the season. His biggest asset on the low post are his unreachable size and soft touch with both hands inside. Even though he is still a bit raw inside he uses his advantages very well. Showed ability to stretch the floor and shoot the ball from downtown, had 4/6 3p shot in the final game. If he improves ball handling skills and becomes faster, might even play as a fourman in perspective. Good passer for a center, has good feeling to pass the ball to a player that cuts inside. Didn’t have problems with stronger bigs on this stage because of size advantage, but it can be an issue at higher level. Good rim protector on defensive end. Still has room to be more mobile and much stronger.

Nikola Manojlović- ’02, 6’6, SG, Crvena Zvezda

The best player of second seeded team- Crvena Zvezda. Manojlović ended tournament averaging 20.6ppg, 8.3rpg and 5.6apg. 6’6 wing played on expected level and led his team to a silver medal. Proved himself to be a great all round player and do it everything type of player when team needs it. He was very productive offensivelly. Unguardable driver at this stage thanks very long first step and versatile finishing ability in the paint, but also great shooter off the catch who is able to score shots in a row. Smart decision maker with decent level of basketball IQ and ability to create both for himself and his teammates. Lack of athleticism might be his issue at higher level, not so quick on his feet. If his team won the title would be named MVP of the tournament, most likely.

Vuk Dobrašinović- ’02, 6’6, SF, Crvena Zvezda

Talented wing who didn’t perform in the best way throughout the season, had some shinning moments on Final8 Tournament. In the end, averaged 14.3ppg along with 5.3rpg. Good sized SF primarly, played really well, specially in QF and SF games. Dobrašinović finally showed what he is capable of and used his advantages in proper way. Not so flashy and creative ball handler, but showed ability to drive straight line both sides. Good shooter off the catch with proper motion and high enough release, which could be much quicker, though. Improved his toughness and aggressiveness and finished few times through contact inside. Nice length helps him with it, too. Body is far from developed so it lacks of strength at the moment.

Luka Tarlać- ’02, 6’8, SF, Partizan

As we have said in our preview of the tournament, he might be the biggest prospect coming out of this stage. Tarlać averaged 19ppg and 6.6rpg, even though he had terrible game in the SF scoring only 2 points and having 5 fouls in 7 mins on the court. His athleticism and body control are way above this level so he had no troubles to blow by his defenders with very long first step and to finish inside the paint over bigs. Played a lot as a primary ball handler, managed to create few points for himself but still needs work on ball handling skills. Improved shot accuracy a bit, scored three 3 pointers in two games on the tournament, still long range shot is in process of developing. Had unlimited freedom in offense so he took more than few irrational shots that went nowhere close to the rim. Showed his presence on defensive end, had 6 blocks in 3 games, mostly thanks to his light feet and long arms. Good rebounder, specially in defense. Was active on helpside, too.

Stefan Todorović- ’02, 6’7, SG, Vizura

Todorović was best scorer of Serbian u17 league regular season and Final8 tournament, as well. Averaged 25.6ppg with 4.3apg in 3 games. Confirmed that he is natural and versatile scorer. Outside shooting with his quick release made him best scorer of the tournament, had above average FG percentages. Solid enough driver at this stage, even though it is not his primary offensive weapon. Stands contact well in most of situations in offense. Good body control and good size help him in finishing around the rim. Certainly one of the best offensive players in his generation. When it comes to defense, that’s his main weakness. Moves very slow laterally so he has problems in guarding 1vs1 ball handlers. Body still developing.

Marko Gušić- ’02, 6’6, SF, Vizura

Gušić had excellent tournament, which made him arguably one of the biggest positive surprises. Scored 19ppg along with 5.6rpg and and 5.3apg. What separates him from other guards and wings on this tournament was his game on the post and skills around the paint. Used every situation to play down low and use his height advantage. Also scored some shots from outside. Has above average body strength, specially in upper part so he had no problems to finish through contact after one or two dribble drives. Showed decent ability to pass the ball, what made him team’s second best passer on the tournament. Was one of the best rebounders for his team. Needs to improve 3-pt shooting. Signed with Crvena Zvezda day after tournament was finished.


photo: Mega Bemax/ Ivica Veselinov