With the EuroCup (the second strongest inter-European competition after the Euroleague, formerly the ULEB Cup) group stage now behind us, and Montenegrin side Buducnost ousted after compiling a 1-5 record, this seems like a good time to check in on the progress of their top prospect Vladimir Dasic
The 6-10 forward has been going through a very inconsistent season thus far, with plenty of highs and lows and a great deal of playing time in both the Adriatic League and EuroCup. Leading his team in minutes and second in scoring through 24 games, Dasic definitely is shouldering far more responsibilities than the average 20-year old in Europe.
The intrigue around Dasic still centers around his excellent physical profile, being a fluid and athletic 6-10 wing player with a great frame. He is seeing plenty of minutes at the small forward position this season, and surely has the skill-set to look comfortable out on the perimeter.
The best part about Dasics game surprisingly might be his defense. He seems to have no problem guarding wing players from what weve seen this year, getting low in a fundamental stance, moving his feet extremely well and doing a great job containing penetration and contesting shots with his length. Hes doing a solid job on both SFs and PFs this season, playing with good intensity, and sees production in the stat-sheet as wellas he currently leads the Adriatic League
in steals per game.
Offensively, its been mostly a mixed bag, as Dasic has struggled a bit in his role as go-to guy. His jump-shot seems to have abandoned him, as hes only made 26/100 3-point attempts through 24 games. His shooting mechanics look solid, but his shot-selection and overall decision making is very poor at times, as he tends to rush at times and force up ill-advised jumpers early in possessions. He needs time and space to get his shot off effectively, and he appears to be relying way too heavily on this part of his game, as nearly 40% of his attempts come from beyond the arc. For a player with his combination of size, skill and athleticism, thats probably too much considering how erratic his shot has been this season. Even from the free throw line hes been streaky this season, converting just 63% of his attempts on the year.
Quick, and highly skilled facing the basket, Dasic looks very good creating his own shot with his left hand and getting to the rim. He can pull down a rebound and take the ball coast to coast himself, and generally looks very effective operating in transition. You dont see many players his size who are capable of putting the ball on the floor like him, but there is still improvement to be made in this part of his game as well. Dasic lacks a bit of strength and toughness to finish his drives around the basket at times, and the fact that he prefers not to drive right makes him a bit predictable at times. He almost never executes a jump-stop or pulls up off the dribble once he puts the ball on the floor, which makes him a somewhat turnover prone against better competition. Capable of operating decently with his back to the basket, he doesnt utilize this part of his game very much at all, which is a shame considering the mismatch advantage he typically enjoys against smaller players.
Even though Dasics season may not be going quite as well as hoped, hes still a big talent with a considerable amount of upside left to improve. Its likely that he will declare for the draft this upcoming spring, and hes more than capable of getting teams excited about the way he performs in private workoutsa setting in which hell likely thrive. His style of play might actually be better suited for the NBA than for Europe, as hes much better in wide-open settings where his ball-skills and athleticism can stand out. The streakiness of his jump-shot is a major concern, though, and if hes not capable of spacing the floor from the perimeter, hes probably not nearly as interesting for the highest levels of competition.