2015 Basketball Without Borders Camp Roster Analysis

2015 Basketball Without Borders Camp Roster Analysis
Feb 05, 2015, 09:29 am
A detailed look at the rosters for the NBA Basketball Without Borders Global Camp, to be held in New York City during NBA All-Star Weekend, that were released today.

Basketball without Borders camps, run by the NBA and basketball governing body FIBA, began in 2001 and have been held in 19 countries on five continents. In a late-November press release the NBA announced that it would be holding a new Global edition of the camp in concert with the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend at Baruch College in New York City from February 13th-15th.

A truly novel addition to the scouting calendar, the camp will bring together the top-39 (mostly) 1997-born international prospects in the world, continuing the great tradition of the Basketball without Borders program while simultaneously granting NBA team personnel unparalleled access to the future of global hoops on American soil.

DraftExpress will be in attendance covering all three days of the camp and evaluating the prospects in attendance.

Directors and Staff
The inaugural camp will run under the direction of three staples of the Basketball without Borders programs abroad: Gersson Rosas, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Houston Rockets (Colombia), Toronto Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri (Nigeria), and longtime Nike Hoop Summit coach and current 76ers international scout Marin Sedlacek (Serbia).

Much like the annual camps held overseas, the camp staff will include some of the NBA's top international players and a number of NBA Coaches including: Steven Adams (Oklahoma City Thunder, New Zealand), Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves, Senegal), Danilo Gallinari (Denver Nuggets, Italy), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs, Brazil), Matt Brase (Houston Rockets), Kaleb Canales (Dallas Mavericks), Pat Garrity (Detroit Pistons), Patrick Hunt (FIBA, Australia), Jama Mahlalela (Toronto Raptors, Swaziland), James Moran (Portland Trail Blazers), and David Vanterpool (Portland Trail Blazers).

Daily Schedule
Friday, February 13
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Movement Efficiency Training
10:05 AM – 10:45 AM Position Skill Stations
10:50 AM – 11:50 AM Five-on-Five (3, 12-minute games)
11:50 AM – 12:03 PM Shooting Competitions

Saturday, February 14
10:15 AM – 11:05 AM Movement Efficiency Training
11:10 AM – 11:50 AM Position Skill Stations
11:55 AM – 12:55 PM Five-on-Five (3, 12-minute games)
12:55 AM – 1:10 PM Shooting Competitions

Sunday, February 15
9:30 AM – 10:15 AM Movement Efficiency Training
10:20 AM – 11:00 AM Position Skill Stations
11:05 AM – 12:00 PM Five-on-Five (3, 12-minute games)
12:00 AM – 12:15 PM Shooting Competitions

The campers will attend the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, State Farm NBA All-Star Saturday Night, and the 64th NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden.

Camp Roster
The roster for this year's camp features plenty of familiar names, some unknowns, and plenty of future NBA prospects, although none of the players in attendance will be draft eligible until 2016, aside from lone 1996-born prospect Ryogo Sumino from Japan. The 39 attendees hail from 23 different countries.

Silvio De Sousa6'8"PF10/7/1998 16.3 Angola
Maximo Fjellerup6'5"PG/SG11/25/1997 17.1 Argentina
Ayan Carvalho6'4"SG9/5/1997 17.4 Argentina
Agustin Mas Delfino6'4"PG/SG1/10/1997 18.0 Argentina
Dejan Vasiljevic6'1"PG4/26/1997 17.7 Australia
Isaac Humphries6'11"PF/C1/5/1998 17.0 Australia
Thomas Wilson6'3"SG6/24/1997 17.6 Australia
Guilherme Santos6'2"G3/20/1997 17.8 Brazil
Yuri Da Silva6'10"C3/30/1997 17.6 Brazil
Jamal Murray6'4"PG/SG2/23/1997 17.9 Canada
Justin Jackson6'8"SF2/18/1997 17.9 Canada
Edward Ekiyor6'8"PF5/3/1997 17.7 Canada
Yanhao Zhao6'5"SG10/25/1997 17.2 China
Jinqiu Hu6'11"PF9/24/1997 17.3 China
Zijie Shen6'9"C9/3/1997 17.4 China
Dragan Bender6'11"SF/PF11/17/1997 17.2 Croatia
Lovro Mazalin6'8"SF6/28/1997 17.6 Croatia
Jacob Larsen6'10"C5/5/1997 17.7 Denmark
Luc Loubaki6'3"SG1/30/1997 18.0 France
Stephane Gombauld6'7"PF5/5/1997 17.9 France
Niklas Kiel6'9"PF9/4/1997 17.4 Germany
Andrea La Torre6'7"SG6/14/1997 17.6 Italy
Martynas Varnas6'5"SG1/21/1997 18.0 Lithuania
Mamadou Diarra6'9"PF10/4/1997 17.3 Mali
Matthew Freeman6'9"PF12/9/1997 17.1 New Zealand
Umar Garba Nigeria
Agu Ibe Abuchi Nigeria
Jose Go6'0"G1/16/1997 18.0 Philippines
Ivan Gandia6'0"PG9/14/1997 17.3 Puerto Rico
K.J. Santos6'8"SF6/19/1997 17.6 Puerto Rico
Lamine Diane6'6"SG11/17/1997 17.2 Senegal
Ibrahima Faye6'9"PF/C1/10/1997 18.0 Senegal
Matar Gueye6'8"SF1/7/1997 18.0 Senegal
Nikola Rakicevic6'7"SF1/14/1997 18.0 Serbia
Luca Lunnemann6'3"PG/SG11/18/1997 17.2 South Africa
Xabi Lopez6'6"SF5/19/1997 17.7 Spain
Achref Gannouni6'2"PG/SG4/16/1997 17.8 Tunisia
Santiago Yusta6'7"SF4/28/1997 17.7 Spain

Roster Analysis
-The most recognizable name on this year's roster is likely Dragan Bender. After signing with defending Euroleague champions Maccabi Tel Aviv last year, fresh off an impressive performance at the FIBA U18 European Championship, the superbly talented Croatian forward has spent this season playing for Ramat Gan in the Israeli 2nd Division where he's averaging 11.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per-game. An impressively skilled, skinny 6'11 combo forward who can do a bit of everything on both ends of the floor, including handle, pass, shoot and make plays defensively, Bender's long-term position remains a bit of a question-mark, but he's widely considered the top 1997-born prospect in the world. His presence alone makes it worth the trip for NBA decision-makers, as he could certainly factor into the 2016 NBA Draft should he elect to.

-Past Bender, recruiting fans will likely remember Isaac Humphries, the 6'11 Australian big man who averaged 18.9 points and 11.6 rebounds per-game at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships before enrolling at La Lumiere (IN) as a 2016 high school prospect. Already holding offers from the likes of Arizona and Kansas, Humphries is a mobile big man with a high basketball IQ, solid fundamentals, and a nice scoring touch around the rim. A bit limited in terms of explosiveness and defensive ability, this will be a chance for Humphries to show how he's improved since entering the high school ranks.

-Canadian swingmen Jamal Murray and Justin Jackson are two of the country's top rising talents. Murray made an impression at the 2013 Jordan Brand International game scoring 24 points before getting an invite to last year's Nike Hoop Summit. A scoring guard with a terrific jump shot, rumors continue to swirl that Murray will reclassify from the class of 2016 to the class of 2015 and play college basketball next season. Murray isn't a particularly impressive athlete or defender, but highly fluid guards who can put points on the board in bunches from the perimeter like him are very much en vogue these days, and Murray has the scoring instincts and smarts to compensate for his limitations.

Jackson emerged on the radar after averaging 11.3 points per-game for Canada as a 15 year old at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championships. A 2016 recruit out of Findlay Prep committed to UNLV, Jackson is a strong, aggressive scorer who excels in the open floor. Scouts will be interested to see how his skill level has matured in recent seasons, as he elected to skip the U17 World Championship last summer. His extremely well developed frame made him a bit of an early bloomer physically, and it will be interesting to see how his perimeter game has evolved since the last time we saw him, especially now that he is listed as being 6-8.

-Among European prospects, Lovro Mazalin is a name to keep an eye on. Already seeing spot minutes with Cedevita in the Euroleague and Adriatic League, Mazalin is a highly versatile, athletic wing who can score in a variety of ways. Posting impressive rebounding and passing numbers at the junior level, this will be a chance for the Croatian youngster to show what the time he's spent at the senior level has meant to his development and if he's improved on his perimeter shot, considered his biggest weakness at the moment.

-France will be well represented with Luc Loubaki and Stephane Gombauld. Teammates on the INSEP team that features some of country's top young talents in its 3rd Division, Loubaki and Gombauld both bring intriguing athleticism to the table.
Loubaki is a 6'3 combo guard with an amazing frame whose skill level is still catching up with his physical tools. It will be interesting to see if he's improved his shooting mechanics and overall feel for the game, and how he stands out athletically in a setting like this.

Gombauld is an undersized power forward who brings tremendous energy to the floor. A terrific rebounder and defender, scouts will be monitoring Gombauld to see if his skill set will allow for a transition to the perimeter sooner rather than later. With a ripped frame and impressive athleticism, he was an early bloomer at the NIJT settings already two years ago, despite just having turned 16, and while he continues to put up impressive numbers at the junior level, there are some question marks about how his game will translate to the senior level since he's neither grown, nor developed an outside shot.

-One of the most interesting players included on the roster for a number of reasons is Jacob Larsen of Denmark. More of a traditional post player than his brother Rasmus Larsen, the younger Larsen is currently on the NCAA track. A near 7-footer with a nice skill level, Larsen posted one of the highest PERs in FIBA history at the 2013 U16 Division B European Championship averaging 20 points and 12.1 rebounds per-game. He didn't appear in FIBA competition last summer and has flown below the radar playing for some time now playing in the Danish 2nd Division for the Virum Vipers. This could be a chance for him to prove that his production at the junior level is more than just a byproduct of the level of competition he faced and solidify his place among the top European prospects in the 1997 age group. College coaches will want to get a feel for how he's developing, as he's considered one of the top international prospects available in the 2016 high school class. He could probably enroll in college already in 2015, but is rumored to be leaning towards staying in Denmark for the time being.

-Niklas Kiel is a skilled four man who can put the ball on the floor a bit, shoot the ball with range, and make plays with his versatility. Far from a finished product, Kiel's attendance will give scouts a snapshot of his growth as the 6'9 German begins to tap into his intriguing upside. He's been inconsistent thus far in international settings, so it will be interesting to see how he fares against other players his age. He's already seen some spot minutes in the German first division with Frankfurt, which gives him a bit of an advantage in this setting experience wise.

-Ibrahima Faye may be the top shot blocker scheduled to be in attendance. Though the 6'9 center hails from Senegal, he's playing for Chalon in France at the junior level where he ranks among the top per-minute rebounders (14.4 per-40) and shot blockers (3.6 per-40). His offensive production currently lags behind his defensive prowess seemingly based on his performance in the Espoirs league so far (8 points per game in 25 minutes, shooting 48% for 2 and 56% from the free throw line), but he's only at the beginning of his journey having recently left his home country to play abroad.

-Santiago Yusta, was, according to members of his camp, a late addition to the roster, but he's awaiting authorization from Real Madrid to attend as he's a member of their first team, having already appeared in a number of ACB games this season. Yusta is a physical and versatile 6'7 swingman who proves fairly creative off the dribble and can make an outside shot, albeit sometimes inconsistently.

-Angolan forward Silvio De Sousa is listed as the youngest player scheduled to be in attendance, though he played so well at the U17 World Championships, and looked so physically mature for a 15 year old, that some scouts questioned his true birthdate. A 6'8 forward with a strong frame and a good motor, he average 14.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game despite not turning 16 until a few months after the event. A bit undersized for a big man, this will be the first time many scouts will have seen him since last summer as he remained in his home country playing for domestic power Primeiro de Agosto. If his age is legitimate, scouts will be closely monitoring his improvement. Spanish team Gran Canaria was reportedly interested in signing him (and U17 teammate Bruno Fernandes) last month.

-Maximo Fjellerup is likely the most interesting South American prospect scheduled to be in attendance. An extremely creative combo guard who creates space and scores with a variety of dribble moves, eurosteps, and floaters, the 6'5 Argentinian prospect could improve his standing here if he can show improved defensive intensity or perimeter shooting. His ball-handling skills, passing ability and overall feel for the game makes him a very unique prospect. Like fellow camper Augusto Mas Delfino, he's appeared in a number of games in the Argentinian 1st Division, but hasn't had any particularly memorable performances playing against pros for the first time, which is understandable considering his age.

-Jinqiu Hu and Yanhao Zhao were far and away the top two players on the delegation China sent to the FIBA U17 World Championships.
Hu is a 6'11 big man with the skills of a power forward. Possessing a nice frame for a big man, Hu can score from the midrange, uses his size well on the glass, and can play inside where he displays nice footwork and touch. His toughness was tested defensively in the U17 World Championship setting, and he'll have a chance to show that he's improved in that area here. He was nevertheless one of the most productive and talented big men in attendance in Dubai, and represents a real glimmer of hope for the Chinese national team moving forward. It will be very interesting to see how his frame and skill-level have progressed since last summer.

Zhao is an athletic wing who gets a bit wild at times, but who can really put points on the board in a hurry, and has terrific instincts for putting the ball in the basket and getting in the passing lanes. A capable shot creator and shooter who excels in the open floor, scouts will be looking to see if he's developed as a defender and passer. Scoring 22 points per game at the U17s last summer, he scored efficiently (51% 2P, 39% 3P, 7 free throw attempts) and was a big reason why China was able to make the quarterfinals. He also is a unique and important talent for Chinese basketball.

There are a number of players we haven't seen enough of to properly introduce, and whom we're looking forward to learning more about. Lithuanian Martynas Varnas comes in with a strong reputation, having won MVP of the Kaunas NIJT in 2014 and helping his team win the event (now called the ANGT) again a few weeks ago. South African combo guard Luca Lunnemann (whose mother is Serbian) was MVP of Basketball without Borders Africa last summer. Senegalese wing Lamine Diane, a product of SEED academy, also drew praise for his play there. Spanish wing Xabi Lopez from Badalona is fresh off a very strong showing at the AGNT L'Hospitalet tournament in Barcelona last month, where he posted a gaudy 34.5 PER. Argentinian guard Ayan Carvalho (whose father is Brazilian) played hurt at the U17 World Championship, but regardless looked interesting as one of the best athletes on their roster.

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