Friday, September 3rd, 2010 at 3:53 pm  |  20 responses

Top FIBA Draft Prospects

NBA scouts in Turkey had their eyes on these youngsters.

by Jeff Fox / @hoopsmanifesto

The FIBA World Championships are for the big boys, not the kiddies. While there are a handful of young players dotting the rosters of the 24 teams that competed in the tournament, for the most part countries rely on their older, more experienced players when they are battling on such a big stage. But, as mentioned, a few young bucks did make the cut for their respective natiRobert Sacreons this year and got to join in on the festivities in Turkey. Here are the top NBA Draft prospects that made the grade in Turkey.

Robert Sacre — Canada

The world championships were an utter disaster for Canada, as they failed to win even one game (no, they couldn’t even beat Lebanon). Things weren’t much better personally for Robert Sacre either, as the highly touted center barely got off the bench, only averaging 8 minutes a game. But he did produce when he was given an opportunity for a little extra burn, notching 8 points and 3 boards in 14 minutes versus Spain. In the fall, Sacre will be back on Gonzaga’s campus for his junior season with the ‘Zags. His size (7-0), physicality, defensive ability and decent athleticism should allow him to sneak into the second round of the NBA Draft whenever he decides to declare for it.

Bojan Bogdanovic — Croatia

Croatia had a much better opening round than Canada, going 2-3 and making it through to the round of 16, where they’ll meet Serbia on Saturday. Young small forward Bojan Bogdanovic was a big reason for the team’s success, as he went off for double-digit scoring totals in four out of their five games so far (including 17 points and 5 threes versus the US). The 6-8, 21-year-old, who plays pro ball for Cibona Zagreb in his native Croatia, is a three-point marksmen, hitting his long-range shots at a 50 percent clip (13-26) thus far in Turkey. Known for his strong all-around game, Bogdanovic should be a mid-second round pick next June.

Elias Harris & Robin Benzing — Germany

The Dirk Nowitzki-less German squad underachieved in the first round and didn’t advance to the round of 16, which is too bad because they have a couple of good draft prospects in Elias Harris and Robin Benzing. Harris will be familiar to most readers due to the solid freshman season he had for Gonzaga last year. The long-limbed, athletic small forward didn’t do much in Turkey, only putting up 3.4 ppg and 2.0 rpg despite playing about 17 minutes a game. But another strong season with Gonzaga could put him into the lottery next June. Teammate Benzing wasn’t much more effective himself, averaging 4.6 ppg in 18 minutes of action per game. The 6-10 small forward, who plays pro for Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany, runs the floor well and is a three-point bomber, taking more threes than twos. He should be a second round pick in 2011.

Arsalan Kazemi — Iran

Could the unthinkable happen — Could we really see two Iranian basketball players in the NBA at the same time? It is appearing to be very possible, as Arsalan Kazemi is on NBA scouts’ radar. A 6-7 combo forward with long arms, Kazemi had a great showing in Turkey, averaging 12.0 ppg and 7.4 rpg. The Rice sophomore still has plenty of work to do before he starts appearing on any mock drafts, but he is an athletic, high energy player that could turn out to be a solid NBA role player before all is said and done.

Read more of Jeff Fox at The Hoops Manifesto & The MMA Manifesto.

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  • Ryne Nelson Posted: Sep.3 at 3:57 pm
    Thanks, Jeff. Not much PT for the 21-and-under crowd at the Worlds, but I’m sure these cats could’ve helped. What would it have hurt Canada to play Sacre more?

  • T-Money Posted: Sep.3 at 4:04 pm
    Leo Rautins is a joke. Ran Sammy Dalembert off the team. Canada is going to be a problem when them Texas boys are going to be in the league (Thompson, Joseph, Kabongo)

  • Jeff Fox Posted: Sep.3 at 4:34 pm
    I would have liked Sacre to play more, sure, but he pretty much brings to the team what Joel Anthony already does - defense, not much offense.

  • Jukai Posted: Sep.3 at 7:50 pm
    Waiting for the greek douchenozzle to post something here.

  • Timprovise Posted: Sep.3 at 8:32 pm
    How is thomas Abercrombie from new Zealand not on this list??

  • COGGIE Posted: Sep.3 at 9:45 pm
    @ Timprovise, beats me

  • Jeff Fox Posted: Sep.3 at 10:07 pm
    Abercrombie is 23-years-old so he’s past his draft year already.

  • Pat Lok Posted: Sep.3 at 11:05 pm
    Sacre has offense. As long as you dont double team him. Still rooting for the North Van kid to make the L.

  • Darksaber Posted: Sep.3 at 11:30 pm
    Deutschland started the WBC well, barely lost to Scola & Co., beat Serbia in double OT, but that win was probably too emotionally draining (they went beserk at the buzzer, cute but unnecessary). Robert was what he always was, a reliable 3 pt bomber, but overmatched on D and hardly drove. Elias Harris was quite the disappointment imo. Didn’t know much about him, but he repeatedly passed up open jumpers or driving lanes, almost seemed scared, especialky against Australia.

  • Dacre Posted: Sep.4 at 9:26 am
    A QUESTION: Who was/is the OLDEST player at these world championships this year?

  • Jeff Fox Posted: Sep.4 at 11:35 am
    AN ANSWER: The oldest is Angola’s Miguel Lutonda (39), which makes me feel better about myself. The youngest is China’s Ailun Guo (17) - but the Chinese like to lie about their ages!

  • [...] got it going from outside with a three (he was quiet the rest of the game). For the Croatians the young prospect Bojan Bogdanovic (9 points, 3 boards) got going with a three early and a few nice takes to the rim. [...]

  • the Dude Posted: Sep.4 at 7:24 pm
    Ollynyk, Kendall and Shepard should be on this list as well. Sacre is big, but his attitude is poor. Watched him play against
    China here in Vancouver and only noticed that he lost his temper
    a lot for blowing a team out.

  • Jeff Fox Posted: Sep.4 at 7:38 pm
    Kendall & Shepherd graduated years ago so they are not draft prospects anymore. Olynyk someday, perhaps but I doubt it.

  • TimProvise Posted: Sep.4 at 8:05 pm
    @jeff foxx .. there is no age limitation for the draft, ben handlogten?

  • Basim TheDream Posted: Sep.4 at 9:13 pm
    What do you guys think about Rashiem (sic) Wright from Jordan? Even though he’s technically not a foreigner.

  • Toni Kukoc Posted: Sep.5 at 7:51 pm
    biggest omission: Kelly Olynyk! lol @ Sacre ever making NBA…

  • pasha Posted: Sep.7 at 1:16 pm
    ARSALAN KAZEMI… he’s the MAN

  • gelson Posted: Sep.13 at 10:41 am
    angola is the best team in africa.. but every scouts never take the time to look for players there they are bunch young guys and talented that are lookin for these oportunities,and probably the only country that has no player in the nba..

  • AI TO MIAMI!!! Posted: Sep.21 at 1:20 am
    kirk penny from new zealand!


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