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Site Updated: 1.10.07 -- Articles | 2006-07 Rookie Watch | NCAA Senior Rankings | Stock Watch
Next Update: 1.11.07 -- Articles

The Next Pistol Pete

By Aran Smith

  Ricky Rubio

Spanish phenom Ricky Rubio has been completely dominating the competition in Spain and in junior tournaments for the past few years, but his performance at the U16 European Championships showed that he's just getting warmed up.

In one of the most thrilling games ever in European junior competitions, Rubio had the most dominating performance in a U16 competition with a staggering 51 points, 24 boards and 12 assists in the Championship game.

The 6-foot-3 point guard would not let his National team lose, nailing a desperation half court shot with 1.1 seconds on the clock to send the game into overtime.

The game would end up going into a second overtime where Rubio helped Spain defeat Russia to the delight of 3,000 plus home crowd fans in Linares, Spain.

His feel for the game and skill level is extremely advanced for a kid that hasn't even turned 16. He's drawing comparisons to "Pistol Pete" Maravich with his dazzling passing and ball handling and the way the game comes so easily to him.

Over 8 games of the tournament, Rubio averaged 23.3 points, 12.8 boards and 7.1 assists, leading the event in all three categories.

Rubio was the youngest player to appear in an ACB game seeing action for DKV Joventut, (the same team that draft prospect Rudy Fernandez plays for) at the age of 14.

NBA International scouts have already chimed in on Rubio calling him a can't miss talent who is destined to be a lottery pick. Rubio will be 16 in September, so he won't be eligible for the draft until 2009.

He proved beyond any doubt that he is Europe's top U16 player and one of the top U16 prospects in the world. Now the only question is, can he sustain his level of dominance as he matures into higher level basketball? Don't bet against him.

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