The last FIBA youth competition for 1999. born players starts on July 13th in Tel Aviv, Israel. In second competition of the summer, Serbia will play in Group B along with national teams of Italy, Ukraine and host team Israel.
Majority of the players in Serbian roster were members of gold winning team at FIBA U18 EC in 2017.
Read more about them in next couple of lines:
The biggest star of this team and most likely the biggest offensive threat. Forward from Mega Bemax was on the NBA workouts throughout June but decided to pull out his name from the NBA draft. Mišković had great season in ABA League, used chance and more room he got after Bitadze left to Budućnost end finished year in ABA league with 11.6ppg with 4.1rpg. 6’9 forward was the MVP of U18 EC in 2017 where he led Serbian team to a gold medal. Mišković can score from in and out thanks to his length and versatility. Not an elite ball handler, but can score from dribble drives against slower defendery. Comfortable shooter from mid and long range off the catch. Started shooting from off ball movements and screens but it is still work in progress and not something he relies his game on. Attacking from low post, he uses his good size and solid enough post skillset to score with either hand or from fadeaway jumpers. On ball defense is his major weakness, along with lack of body strength, but both of those shouldn’t be big minus at this stage.
Quick and shifty primary ball handler played really well last year in ABA league having 7.2ppg, 2.3rpg and 2.8apg. Uskoković will play most likely in a starting five on this EC. 6’3 PG plays with tireless motor and provides ton of energy on both sides. He can create equally well for himself and his teammates. Good perimeter driver who can finish drives with floaters and runners. Plays well in transition, able to outrun players guarding him. Not an elite shooter, but markable hitter around penalty line. Thinny body he has might be problem, lacks of strength at the moment. Not always the best decision maker, likes to try too much occasionally.
We already wrote about Pecarski in our previous article about U19 WC. Pecarski decided to join U20 team and play with year older guys after being the best scorer of recently finished FIBA U19 WC where he averaged 22.1ppg for 25.4 mins per game. He was member of both U18 gold medal teams in 2017 and 2018, being a MVP in 2018, as well. Didn’t have much playing time through the year in Partizan, but played on his level in Crete on the WC. Should be one of the main players and offensive weapons also at U20 level. Pecarski is very creative and productive inside the paint and around the rim which will make him play most of the time as a fiveman due to lack of centers in this team. Beside his very soft touch with either hand around the rim and ability to create position for himself to score inside, he can stretch the floor, too, thanks to very solid long range jumper. Just like we wrote in U19 preview, lack of strength and athleticism could be his biggest weaknesses, specially on defensive end.
Vulikić is an above average sized PG, standing at 6’4 currently. He had solid season both in ABA 2 League where he averaged 5.6ppg and 2.4a, but also in KLS where he played even better averaging 6.5ppg, 3.6apg and 2.3rpg. Most likely will play as a backup PG on this U20 European championship. Vulikić is an all around PG who is very poised ball handler with high basketball IQ and good decision making skills. Reliable shooter, specially behind the 3p line, can score shots in rows when catches rhythm. Good passer, sees everything on the court, thanks to good size. Not that productive in 1vs1 situations, can’t really beat his defenders off the dribble. Lack of high level speed and athleticism could be issues against smaller guards.
One of the best shooters in this team. Matić played his freshman season in the NCAA for North Alabama without a big role nor freedom on the court. Ended it up with 2.6ppg in 9 minutes per game. His biggest offensive asset is versatile shooting ability. Can score shots spotted up or coming off the screens. Has solid footwork and quick release. Not a ball handler primary, but has ability to knock down off the dribble jumpers from mid range. Improved his upper body a bit in past year, but it still needs work. Not so aggressive defender. Will play off the bench in upcoming EC.
Another player from Mega Bemax who was a NBA draft early entrant, but pulled his name out before the draft. Had fair role for his team in ABA league but wasn’t that efficient averaging 5.5ppg with 2rpg in bit less than 17 mins on the court. Marjanović is an athletic wing with strong body. He plays with a lot of energy on both ends of the court. Offensivelly he lacks of ball handling creativity so he plays mostly off the ball. Can drive both sides with one or two dribbles and finish through contact thanks to his good body strength. Able to hit spot up shots, mostly from the corner, but long range shot is far from his major threat. Can guard multiple positions in defense, thanks to good level of athleticism and strength.
Tadić is a primary ball handler who has more than solid season behind himself. Originally Partizan player but played on two loans in previous season. Averaged 8.2ppg, 4.5apg and 3.4rpg playing for Mladost in regular season before going to Sloboda Uzice for the playoffs where he had 7.5ppg, 3.9rpg and 3.4apg in 10 games. Just like Vulikić, he is well sized with proper ball handling skills, but also lacks of high level athleticism. Solid 1vs1 player, can drive to the rim when guarded by slower player. Skilled passer, likes to share the ball and create for others. Can score shots off the dribble but shot overall lacks of consistency. Plays with good motor and level of energy.
Momirov is a three and D type of player. Proper sized wing averaged 3.8ppg and 1.8rpg in around 12 mins on the court for FMP in ABA league. Didn’t have big time role on the court, mostly played off the ball and in the corners waiting for the ball. Lacks of ball handling creativity, so he does the best shooting off the catch or scoring off baseline cuts and drives. Good mid and long range hitter. Being 6’6 makes him able to guard few positions in defense and to occasionally switch to guard undersized fourmen. Will wait for his chance off the bench in Israel.
Stajčić is a 6’10 big guy who has just finished his freshman season at Campbell university. Played only around 5 minutes per game and manage to average 1.3ppg for that time on the court. In absence of Pecarski, he had some significant playing time during preparations and Turgut Atakol tournament with some solid moments. His biggest asset is his size and ability to stretch the floor thanks to his above average long range shot for that sized big. Improved his body and athleticism a little bit in previous year but still it is not on elite level.
Well sized wing played for Vrsac on a loan from FMP. Averaged 5.5ppg and 3.6rpg in ABA 2 League and 5.4ppg with 3.8rpg in KLS league. Simović is not really creative on offensive end, usually scores off the one dribble straight line drives. Plays with a lot of energy on the court, specially in defense. Can guard multiple positions, able to play aggressive defense on ball handlers. Good rebounder. Body strength and athleticism are on solid level. Will start off the bench on EC.
4th PG that is on Serbian roster for this competition. Played for OKK Beograd in KLS on a loan from Mega Bemax. Had really good all around season, averaged 9.8ppg, 4.2apg and 3.5 rpg in 27.7 mins on the court. Very quick and aggressive ball handler who plays with good motor and a lot of energy. Good perimeter driver who is not afraid to finish through contact. Decent passer, has nice court vision and timing to dish the pass. Fair mid range hitter, but lon range shot is not something he can rely on. Good defender, has ability to lockdown ballhandlers.
Đorđević is a average sized forward who was scoring 12.8ppg with 4.7rpg in Serbian 2nd division in regular season. Played KLS playoffs for Sloboda Uzice scoring 6.7ppg with 3.1rpg. Has ability to play inside and outside of the paint. Good perimeter shooter for a big guy, can score from long range off the catch. Solid low post attacker, nice skillset, but can only finish with his right around the rim. Above average passer for his position. Not so athletic, but moves fluildy on the court. Had few good games in preparation period. Will play as a back up PF on upcoming European championship.