Basketball Without Borders Global Camp Evaluations: Centers

Basketball Without Borders Global Camp Evaluations: Centers
Feb 17, 2016, 10:05 am
We take a look at four of the best center prospects to emerge at the 2016 Basketball Without Borders Global Camp held in Toronto during All-Star Weekend.
-BWB Global Camp Evaluations: Guards and Wings
-BWB Global Camp Evaluations: Power Forward

DeAndre Ayton, 7'0, Hillcrest Hoops, Bahamas, 1998

Jonathan Givony

-Physical specimen. Has a perfect frame for a modern day NBA center. Very well proportioned with long arms. 7' 4.5" wingspan and 9' 4.5" standing reach
-Moves exceptionally well for a player his size. Runs the floor. Quick off his feet. Highly explosive. Excellent body control
-Excellent hands. Catches everything.
-Shows some ability to stretch the floor. Can make a catch and shoot jumper, or even a pull-up at times. Better from mid-range spots but shows the potential to extend out to the 3-point line. Mechanics need to be cleaned up, but ball comes out of his hand nicely, and there's no question he can develop into a very good shooter in time.
-Can attack defenders off the dribble in a straight line using a powerful first step and very long strides. Will mix in an occasional spin-move
-Has very soft touch around the basket. Will drop in an occasional jump-hook
-Outstanding rebounder thanks to physical tools, soft hands and solid instincts. Not afraid to throw his body around.
-Shows huge potential on defense when he's locked in and playing with a high motor. Talks to his teammates and shows some real personality.
-Difficult to back down in the post with his strong frame. Has very quick feet stepping out on the pick and roll. Can get down in a stance. Covers ground extremely well
-Upside is simply off the charts if he can put it all together. Situation will be huge for him

-Shows average awareness defensively. Often a step slow reacting to things on the fly.
-Doesn't always protect the rim at the level you might hope. Partially due to a lack of commitment/intensity, but also partially due to the fact that his timing is not off the charts.
-Doesn't show much of a back to the basket game. Doesn't really want to catch the ball in the post. Struggles when he does get touches down low. Footwork is rudimentary. Not much in the ways of countermoves. Needs to develop his off hand.
-Jump-shot shows great potential but is currently on the streaky side. Shoots a line-drive jumper with inconsistent mechanics.
-Doesn't really know his limitations offensively. Gets impatient when he doesn't get his touches and can get somewhat wild with his shot-selection and decision making
-Never boxes out on the glass.
-Fundamentals in general are not great. Motor/focus comes and goes. Doesn't really know how to play strong defense yet without fouling
- Already shows a superstar attitude. Faked an injury “cramps” and refused to participate in final day of camp, which caused many NBA scouts and the coaching staff to shake their heads.
-Very emotional on the court. Body language can be extremely poor. Complains a lot when things don't go his way and is quick to point fingers at teammates, coaches, refs, etc.

Outlook: Big man with an unlimited ceiling. Can absolutely do everything on the floor when he's playing to his full potential. Was somewhat inconsistent at this camp, struggled with the physicality of the international bigs and the fact that the game didn't revolve exclusively around him like it has in every setting in his career thus far. Has undoubtedly been coddled quite a bit thus far and there are some question marks about whether he can/will achieve his incredibly high potential because of that. Does not seem to deal well with adversity. Maybe just a product of immaturity? Could really benefit from a year in college under a respected and strong-minded coach that will challenge him, but there are major question marks if he can get eligible due to the controversy surrounding his “high school.” Only time will tell, but may be too talented to pass up at the very top of the 2018 NBA Draft regardless.

Omer Yurtseven, 7'0, Fenerbahce, Turkey, 1998

Jonathan Givony

-Ample size for a center at around 7-feet tall. Has a strong, proportioned frame that will fill out really well in time
-Very nimble and mobile for a player his size. Quick off his feet
-Intelligent, mature and polished big man
-Fundamentally sound and extremely well coached.
-Solid passer for a big man. Feel for the game continues to improve
-Polished post player. Has excellent footwork and touch. Uses a variety of different angles and moves to get his shots off. Jump-hook is deadly. Uses both hands around the basket.
-Excellent timing for rebounds. Not a high flyer but is often the first one to the ball as it comes off the rim
-Very good feel for moving off the ball, setting screens, rolling and cutting to the basket
-Has very soft hands. Catches everything thrown his way.
-Competes defensively

-Possesses just an average combination of length and explosiveness for a top-shelf NBA center prospect.
-Struggled to make shots from the perimeter all weekend. Has decent shooting mechanics, but just couldn't find the results.
-Not always aggressive enough finishing around the basket. Has a tendency to go to his jump hook instead of a more emphatic move to the rim. Not incredibly long or explosive as it is, and his propensity for playing below the rim and relying on his finesse causes him to miss some good looks at times.
-Could add some more “nasty” to his game. Could be a little more physical at times throwing his body around. Doesn't always look like he's operating at max intensity.

Outlook: First player to come off the board in the BWB Draft when the coaching staffs selected their teams, and for good reason. High skilled big man with mobility and feel. Seems to be leaning towards going the college route, Evan Daniels reported. His head coach in Fenerbahce, Zeljko Obradovic came out emphatically stating he does not believe he should be eligible for college basketball: “He is three years paid by Fenerbahce. He took the money. The rule exists that if he tries to go to college basketball, it's not possible because for three years he's taken money. I don't know what will be the decision of the club, I don't want to go inside.”

When contacted by DraftExpress about these allegations, Yurtseven denied them, telling us “It is correct that they put money into an account that they opened up in my name, but I didn't want it or ask for it.” He also told us he has never signed any type of contract with the club and that he (or his family) has not taken “a dime” from this account that was opened by the club in his name.

NCAA schools we contacted who are recruiting him do not seem overly concerned by these allegations made by his head coach, and told us they will continue to do so, speculating the club may have had an inkling that he will elect to go to college, and that they were hoping this account they opened would prevent him from doing so.

Felipe Dos Anjos, 7'2, Real Madrid, Brazil, 1998

Jonathan Givony

-Gigantic human being. Listed at 7'2 without shoes. Has a nice frame that should continue to fill out. Big standing reach. Huge hands. Well proportioned frame
-Not unathletic by any means. Very mobile in fact. Moves his feet and can cover ground relatively well. Can get off the floor a bit
-Will run the floor at times for a strong catch and finish
-Solid touch around the basket and even out to mid-range. Knocked down a handful of jumpers.
-Plays hard. Competitive.
-Solid rebounder in and around his area
-Capable rim protector with his massive size and reach
-Good teammate
-Looks like he's been very well coached.

-Needs to continue to get significantly stronger. Only weighs 240 pounds at the moment.
-Everything he does is slow and methodical at the moment. Takes him a long time to get his shot off
-Big hands make it difficult for him to shoot the ball cleanly
-Game moves a little too fast for him at times. Can be very turnover prone
-Mechanical inside the post. Needs to improve his footwork, counter moves
-Not what you'd call a high flyer.
-Court awareness is still a work in progress

Outlook: Much improved Brazilian center who was brought to Spain when he was 13 years old. An interesting long-term project without a doubt. Not awkward or goofy like many young 7-footers his age. Has a lot of things you can't teach. Reportedly has made massive strides in the past year or two. Very productive at the junior level. Named MVP of the prestigious L'Hospitalet Euroleague junior tournament last month. Had his moments at this camp, even if he's obviously still a long ways away from reaching his full potential. Absolutely worth tracking to see how he continues to progress.

Florent Thamba, 6'10, Mountain Mission High School (Virginia), Congo, 1999

Jonathan Givony

-Has strong physical attributes, standing around 6'10, with very long arms (reportedly 7'4 wingspan), big hands and a tremendous frame.
-Moves well for his size
-Very well coached big man. Skilled and competitive
-Shows really nice footwork inside the post and soft touch with back to the basket. Uses crafty spin-moves and pivots.
-Has potential as a long-range shooter. Good mechanics, follow-through and touch. Doesn't translate to games yet.
-Goes out of area for offensive rebounds
-Showed some timing as a shot-blocker
-Comes from a strong background. Moved to South Africa and received some very good coaching. Looked very focused during the camp. Seems to have a good feel for the game
-Played up a year (or even two) at this camp and didn't have a problem making his presence felt

-Maybe an inch or so undersized for the center position
-Good, not great athlete. Does not get off the ground that well with second bounce
-Struggled to translate his shooting prowess to the actual games. Does not shoot it consistently every time. Tends to fade unnecessarily and contort body sideways on release, leading to some long misses. Easy to clean up, but needs to be done.
-Hangs his head a bit when things don't go his way. Needs to continue to develop his killer instinct and play hard all the time

Outlook: Relatively unknown big man who just arrived in the US this past fall. Isn't getting much buzz in recruiting circles so far, but will undoubtedly emerge as a high-level college recruit. Has all the tools you look for in top-shelf center from a college perspective.

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