The last Final Tournament of Serbian youth basketball is about to start on Friday 10th May in Belgrade. After semifinal tournaments that were played a month ago, total of 8 top teams advanced to Final8.
Crvena Zvezda- Banjica Mega
Players to watch:
- Marko Đorđević- ’04, forward, FOKA
All around forward from Foka played really well on Semifinal tournament in Belgrade and was one of the players that led his team to the final stage. Relies a lot on his pre mature body, can stand contact and finish inside without troubles. Prefers to drive inside rather than shooting the ball. Sometimes even forces inside too much. His big asset is ability to finish inside with both hands. Perimeter shot is still thing in progress, but showed he can score few mid and long range shots. Very mobile for his size, has pretty quick legs, runs the floor well. Can guard equally well inside and outside in defense.
- Nenad Filipović- ’05, guard, FOKA
Underaged guard is playing whole year with older guys having a major role on the court. He has great size for a guard with nice athletic potential for future. Very creative ball handler, plays with poise, has minor problems with TOs, likes to try too much occasionally. Already solid shooter, but shot motion is something he should work on. Drives mainly to the right side, has good body control and ability to finish inside. Plays with great motor and ton of energy. Very active rebounder, specially on offensive end even though he usually plays outside. Has room to work on mobility and quickness.
- Momir Tonić- ’04, guard, Zemun
Tonić is a left handed primary ball handler with already high level basketball IQ. Has great playmaking skills, smart decision maker with nice ball handling skillset. Creative passer, has good court vision. Drives mainly to his stronger, left side. Due to lack of size, finishes drives usually with floaters, runners or close range shots which he hits in high percentages. Long range shot is not there yet, but he can score when stays wide open. Lacks of athleticism, he is usually slower than other PGs he plays against. Solid on ball defender.
- Đorđe Ćurčić- ’04, guard, Borac Čačak
At the moment, the best scorer of his generation. Average sized guard who plays with tireless motor and enormous level of energy. Natural team leader. Scoring first type of guard who can score in various ways. Perimeter shot is his main offensive weapon. Already very reliable shooter who had games this season where he was scoring 5+ 3p shots. Has quick release. Can drive both sides, but usually finishes with right hand. Even though he is a scorer first, has above average passing skills and ability to dish the ball to an open teammate. Body is bit pre mature, has pretty strong upper body right now. Has no problems to finish inside through contact. Not so aggressive defender, but has great feeling to steal the ball and run fast break right after.
- Uroš Stanković- ’04, forward/center, Trijumf
Decent sized forward with nice body frame. Body strength is already on solid level, but has potential to get even stronger in future. Scores majority of the points around the rim with stronger hand. Not so polished on the low post, needs work on skillset. Uses his size advantage in right way. Can stretch the floor but shot is still not so reliable. Has ability to dribble the ball down the court, usually does it only with right hand. Not so tough defender but has good feeling for shot blocking. Plays with nice level of energy.
- Marko Krstić- ’04, forward, Vizura
One of the biggest prospects on this tournament. Well sized forward who can play in and out. Had already some double digit games in U17 league this year. Versatile scorer with soft touch around the rim and already decent perimeter shot, specially off the catch. Tends to overdribble from time to time, even though he is very solid ball handler who can push the ball down the court. Can blow by his opponents thanks to very long first step. Usually drives stronger side. Great size and length help him in finishing around the rim. Low post skillset could be more polished for higher level. Has high basketball IQ and feeling for the game, uses his advantages in proper way. Mobility is on good level, moves fluidly and runs the floor well. Not so active defender, but good rim protector.
- Luka Ivanjac- ’04, guard, Vizura
Ivanjac is quick and shifty PG. Real team leader with good playmaking skills. Good ball handler, able to create equally well for himself and for his teammates. Has nice feeling for the game. Reliable shooter from mid and long range. Has quick first step. Rarely finishes inside, usually takes close range shots or floaters occasionally. Plays with good motor and level of energy. Aggressive defender, can lockdown ball handlers. Lack of size is his major weakness, along with pre mature body which is already almost fully developed.
- Ilija Milijašević- ’04, guard, Partizan
#1 ranked player in his generation. Even last year he looked ready to play on higher level than just U15. Still unguardable in offense at this stage. Has unique mixture of talent, basketball IQ, polished skillset and feeling for the game. Great shooter both off the bounce and catch with not so proper but very smooth motion and quick enough release. Can drive both sides thanks to extremely good ball handling skills and long first step. Creative finisher inside, can score over big guys. Overdribbles the ball sometimes, but still he is very smart decision maker on this level. Excellent passer, strong enough to throw outlet passes, likes to share no look dimes to shooters outside or bigs inside. Not always playing with highest possible level of energy.
- Nemanja Šarenac- ’04, guard, Partizan
One of the best shooters in generation. Had slow start of the season but managed to find rhytm and play on needed level. Versatile shot is his major offensive weapon, can score equally well off the catch and off the dribble. Has very quick release and good footwork when catching the ball. Solid ball handler, not so creative, usually doesn’t complicate with the ball. Well sized for position he plays, will grow up more in future most likely. Not so athletic and quick, but has long step so he can drive by or outrun his opponents. Body will need time to develop, has above average frame.
- Filip Radaković- ’04, wing, Crvena Zvezda
Radaković is really good sized outside player who plays with a lot of energy on both ends. Has nice body frame which should be filled in coming years. Not really creative offensivelly, scores most of the points from right side drives or spot up shots. Can finish through contact or over big guys around the rim. Sure enough ball handler, has no tends to overdribble or make turnovers. Improved shot in past year, became more reliable threat than it used to be. Still has room to work on it, though. Aggressive on ball defender. Active on helpside, as well.
- Nikola Đurišić- ’04, forward, Banjica Mega
The most interesting prospect on this tournament, beside Krstić and Milijašević. 2004 born forward who already played few good friendly games of U16 NT. Great sized with nice athletic potential. Very mobile for his height and age, able to run the floor very well with and without the ball. Can play in and out. Improved ball handling skillset, became very good ball handler. Still has slight problems with decision making, forces tough shots occasionally. Improved long range shot, started hitting shots off the dribble and over defenders. Can blow by slower defenders without troubles. Has solid level of post skillset and ability to score around the rim with either hand. Not the most aggressive defender, but solid rim protector inside. Able to switch in defense with guards thanks to quick enough legs.
Other notable mentions:
Uroš Vidosavljević- ’04, Foka
Dušan Šviković- ’04, Zemun
Jovan Filipović- ‘04, Zemun
Bogdan Zagrađanin- ’04, Partizan
Marko Tojagić- ’04, Partizan
Luka Vudragović- ’04, Vizura
Predrag Savić- ’04, Crvena Zvezda
Petar Avlijaš- ’05, Banjica Mega