The highlight of the day was easily the adidas Next Generation game, which pitted some of the top 2001 and 2002-born players in the world against one another. Unlike so many contests in settings like this, today's game was extremely crisp and well played. Both sides looked as if they had been playing together all season as competitive action featured few turnovers, tons of made shots, including many from deep range and off the dribble, and plenty of ball movement. Scouts raved about the level of play with a number of players solidifying themselves as long term prospects to watch, the most intriguing of which we'll get into below.
The camp was bolstered by the additions of potential draft picks Kostja Mushidi and Ognjen Jaramaz, who both competed in the five on five games and added a bit of intrigue from a scouting perspective, after missing the first day while finishing up their season with Mega Leks, who fell to Red Star in the Serbian League semi-finals. Playing in the final game of the day alongside Dzanan Musa, Ismael Bako, Isaac Bonga, and Gytis Masiulis for the EuroCamp All-Stars, Mushidi and Jaramaz helped their team cruise to a comfortable victory over a USA Select Team that pounded the Slovenia U20 team on day one.
Missing Nassir Little who got sick shortly after his terrific showing yesterday, and getting only a few minutes from Luguentz Dort who suffered a hand injury early on, the USA Select team fell behind early and struggled to catch up in one of the more physical games we've seen at the EuroCamp thus far. Serving as a great opportunity to see these European prospects compete against American athletes, this was among the more loaded All-Star teams assembled at this event that we can remember, and it showed as they controlled the game from start to finish with an impressive defensive performance.Thon and Matur Maker Workout
Tucked away in the back gym, DraftExpress had the opportunity in between games to watch Thon Maker and his younger brother, Matur Maker, work out with Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Josh Broghamer. Thon is an adidas endorser and is here on their behalf at the EuroCamp watching the games, talking to the players, and being a highly inspirational story as someone that was in their shoes not very long ago, having played here in 2014. Thon is coming off a fantastic rookie season and doesn't appear to be resting on his laurels at all. He has been lifting diligently (even while here in Treviso) and appears to be much bigger in both the upper and lower body. He shot the ball extremely well in the workout we watched, and is likely going to have an even better sophomore year for the Bucks based on what we saw from him as a rookie as well as here at the EuroCamp.
Working out alongside Thon was his younger brother Matur Maker. Thon offered a great deal of instruction walking him through different details of footwork and technique. In a unique situation being able to work with an NBA trainer and one of the more talented and hardest working rookies in the NBA, Matur is in as enviable a development situation as almost any player his age could possibly be.
In addition to filming the workout, we interviewed both players afterwards. Matur said he's still undecided on his next step. There seems to be a good chance he might enter the 2018 NBA Draft, but it is unclear where he will play in the meantime. We'll have more content from the Maker brothers in the coming days. In the meantime, here's an interview we conducted with Thon:
Measurements Analysis The measurements from the 2017 adidas EuroCamp were released today. This marks our first set of official measurements for a number of key current and long-term prospects as well as a chance to see how some players have grown in recent years.
Last measured at the 2015 EuroCamp at 6'8.25 in shoes with a 197-pound frame and a 6'8.25 wingspan, Dzanan Musa measured 6'9 with a 6'8.5 wingspan while tipping the scales at 195-pounds. Musa's lack of great length is a concern at the NBA level, but he offered some answers to those questions about his defensive ability and approach today playing with great intensity and awareness in the final game of the day. Willingly getting his teammates involved and showing the type of unselfishness and maturity that scouts want to see from him, Musa didn't post huge numbers, but had an extremely positive performance nonetheless guiding his team to a blowout win, doing a number of little things to help them come out victorious.
Getting a look at Goga Bitadze's measurements for the first time, it is easy to see why he's such an imposing player at the junior level, given he already stands 6'11.25 in shoes with a 251-pound frame and a 7'2 wingspan at just 16 years of age. This setting has been a major learning experience for the young Georgian center as this is one of the first times he's been tested against the caliber of athletes he's gone up against here. He's struggled quite a bit with the physicality and experience of the older players, and has looked very frustrated at times, demonstrating some poor body language along the way. There is quite a bit to like about the high skill-level the Georgian center brings at this size, but he'll have to continue to sharpen his mental approach, improve significantly defensively, and find ways to fight through adversity when his offense isn't there.
After his strong performance yesterday, Abdoulaye N'Doye earned a bit of buzz once again measuring 6'6.5 in shoes with a tremendous 7'2 wingspan and a sturdy 198-pound frame. Playing primarily point guard at this point in his career, N'Doye is the longest and among the tallest point guards or combo guards we have measurements for in our massive database. It is no wonder N'Doye is such a menace defensively given his freakish wingspan-to-height ratio is right on par with that of Kawhi Leonard. Here's an interview we conducted with N'Doye yesterday, after his very strong day one performance.
Cyrille Eliezer-Vanerot also stood out on paper measuring 6'7.5 in shoes with a 7'2.25 wingspan. Tipping the scales at 225-pounds, Vanerot has the type of length and strength that could allow him to defend either forward spot down the road. The 1996-born swingman is coming off a solid season, his first playing a substantial role for Paris Levallois's senior team. A fairly athletic forward making strides as a shooter, Vanerot has struggled to make his presence felt thus far at this camp, as his feel for the game and perimeter shooting ability are still major works in progress.
Lithuanian small forward Arnoldas Kulboka continues to grow as the 19 year old measured a hair under 6'10 in shoes with a 6'11.25 wingspan and a 206-pound frame here, all improvements on the marks he registered at this same event one year ago. Kulboka has had a hard time adjusting to this setting coming off a strong performance in his BBL debut to close the season, as his jumper hasn't been falling, he's struggled competing against athletes and dealing with intense ball-pressure.
Isaac Bonga measured 6'8.75 in shoes with a 6'11.75 wingspan, just off the marks he set the Basketball Without Borders Camp a few months ago. After showing well against his peers there, Bonga has faced an uphill battle here, as has traditionally been true of the 17 year olds invited to this camp. His jump shot remains a major work in progress and he wasn't able to create as freely off the dribble against the athletic, experienced group assembled here as he does at the junior level, raising some questions about his position against high level competition.
Michael Fusek was comfortably the tallest player in attendance once again measuring 7'4.5 in shoes, but has lost almost 10 pounds from last year weighing in at only 213 pounds at this year's camp.
Ukrainian center Dmytro Skapintsev, at just 7'0.5 in shoes, had the longest wingspan with a sensational mark of 7'6.25, the 4th longest mark in EuroCamp history edging Bismack Biyombo. He also measured a terrific 9'4 1/2 standing reach, which is elite for a center as well.
Competitive Action The adidas Next Generation game has historically been dominated by one player or another as Dzanan Musa and Filip Petrusev both imposed their will on their less advanced peers at the 2015 and 2016 EuroCamps respectively. This year's Next Generation game was a more balanced, team-oriented matchup due in large part to the quality and style of play of this year's group.
French guard Killian Hayes led all scores with 13 points to go along with 2 blocks and a steal. Measured at 6'4.75 in shoes with a 6'7.25 wingspan, Hayes is a 15-year-old combo guard with terrific size, a strong frame, and nice all-around athleticism. Adept at attacking the rim with quickness and making an impact with his competitiveness defending multiple positions, Hayes already earned minutes in the French junior league this season for Cholet competing alongside players as many as five years his senior. Still developing as a passer and jump shooter, Hayes, whose father, DeRon, was a tremendous scorer in the A10 in the early 90's for Penn State and spent almost 20 years as a pro in Europe, is a player to keep tabs on in the coming years given his tools, competitiveness, and pedigree. His ability to lock down up to three positions gives him tremendous versatility to build off, as its rare to see a player his age be able to make such a significant impact on the defensive end with his intensity, instints and focus.
Possessing an excellent physical profile for a combo forward, already standing 6'7.25 in shoes with a 6'11 wingspan, 200-pound frame, and terrific explosiveness, 15 year old Tristan Enaruna ranks as one of the more intriguing long-term prospect in a loaded group of young talent. A native of the Netherlands, with a Nigerian father, the young forward's skill level is still developing, but he shows more than enough promise as a shooter, slasher and instinctive multi-positional defender to leave plenty of room for optimism about his career trajectory at this point.
Another second-generation star, Tom Digbeu, whose father Alain was drafted with the 49th overall pick by the Hawks in 1997 and worked as a scout for the Atlanta Hawks this past season, also stood out here. Scoring a team-best 12 points in a winning effort, Digbeu impressed with his tremendous athletic ability, body control, potential as a jump shooter, instincts defensively, and team-first approach. Coming off a very strong showing in the Spanish U16 Club Championship with Barcelona and a nice effort at the Jordan Brand International Game, Digbeu continued his upward trajectory here. Measuring 6'5 in shoes with a 6'6.5 wingspan and a 163-pound frame that still appears to be growing, Digbeu seems like a strong candidate to develop into a fluid, explosive two-way guard down the road as his body fills out.
Standing 6'7.25 in shoes with a 6'9 wingspan, Lithuanian forward Modestas Kancleris played quite a bit of point guard today showing impressive ball handling, vision, and jump shooting ability for his size and age. Already seeing minutes playing up with Zalgiris's junior teams, Kancleris appears to have a bright future as a do-it-all type who will likely continue to grow.
A returning player from the 2016 adidas Next Generation game, Mario Nakic fared far better this season than he did last year. Growing to 6'6.5 in shoes with a 6'7.5 wingspan and a 193-pound frame, Nakic is a well-built wing who handles the ball well, rebounds, attacks the rim, and has a nice feel for the game. A productive player at the junior level for Real Madrid, Nakic is a mature player who will benefit from the improvement of his jump shooting consistency down the road.
One of the lesser known names among players at this event, Russian big man Pavel Zakharov acquainted himself well with scouts here. Standing 6'10 with a 7'0.75 wingspan, Zakharov has an excellent frame for his age, is light on his feet, and has nice touch around the basket. Possessing some potential as a shooter and showing impressive hands catching passes on the move, Zakharov emerged as one of the more interesting long-term prospects among frontcourt players in this group.
Germany prodigy Luc Van Slooten scored 8 points and pulled down 4 rebounds, but impressed with his polish in both the drills and competitive action here. Already standing 6'8 in shoes with a 6'10.25 wingspan and a 202-pound frame, Van Slooten was among the youngest players here, but his ability to play out of the pick and roll and overall feel for the game appeared impressively refined for his age. Coming off a dominant season playing up a year in the German JBBL, Van Slooten certainly looks like one of the more promising forward prospects of his generation.
Outside of the Next Generation action, Darius Garland was sensational once again, scoring 13 points on just 8 shots. His skill level, quickness and creativity with the ball have stood out in a major way through the first two days of the EuroCamp as he's made a strong case for consideration as the top guard in the class of 2018, at least as far as future college production is concerned. He is extremely poised and confident for a 17-year old guard, especially one who is as small and slight as he is.
6'10 Belgian center Ismael Bako warrants mention here for his play today. Scoring 11 points while pulling down 7 rebounds and blocking 4 shots in the last game of the day against the USA Select Team, Bako was a force inside. An impressive run-jump athlete who can protect the rim with his 7'2.5 wingspan and 9'3 1/2 standing reach, Bako lacks much in the way of skill and feel, but his energy, lob catching, and ability to switch defensively give him some upside. Seeing significant rotation minutes for the first time this season for Leuven in the Belgian First Division, Bako averaged 8 points and 4.1 rebounds over 20.1 minutes per game. Automatically eligible for the 2017 NBA draft as a 1995-born prospect, Bako did himself quite a few favors with his play today.
Elite 2018 recruit Romeo Langford scored 11 points and pulled down 6 rebounds in the early game, showing off his tremendous athletic tools. A capable slasher who can create his own shot, Langford is still developing as a shooter, but brings a lot to the table on the offensive end already. He played with nice energy on the defensive end today looking every bit the prototypical wing prospect he's been billed to be over the last few years, standing 6'6 with a 6'10 wingspan.