In our previous report from Treviso we already reported some of the player measurements taken in the first day of the camp. Lets dig a bit deeper today.
Yesterday, in our comment on Anton Ponkrashovs brilliant performance, we committed an unforgettable omission describing him. The guy enjoys really a poor vertical, indeed the worst in the camp by far according to the published results. He could only achieve 16 inches in the no-step vertical and 21 inches in the one-step. However, he has certainly picked up the best position on the floor--point guard-- to hide this flaw, but its certainly a serious knock on his potential that deserves to be highlighted.
The other high flyer of the camp when it comes to showcasing himself (indeed the main one, as he does it excessively in my opinion), is Rudy Mbemba, who settled for a 36 one-step vertical jump. Hes a small (6-0 in shoes), very quick and strong point guard who loves to push the ball up the floor, shows flashes of some court vision and passing ability, also enjoys some shooting touch with good range, but struggles making good decisions and shows some selfishness. Indeed, he looks a bit like an American point guard.
In terms of wingspan, Olivier Gouez led the crop with a 7-6 mark. Hes one of the biggest players here at 7-3 on shoes, but hes a pretty unathletic and unpolished post player, despite being a 1984 born player.
Big-Man Standout: Joel Freeland
With so many wannabe wings, softies, eternally-promising-physical freaks or directly mediocre post players, Joel Freeland has emerged as one of the most interesting big man in the camp, enjoying solid foundations to realistically evolve into a very nice player.
The skill part is also there, even if he is still a bit raw. Joel has shown some shooting touch from the mid-range area, and although hes still rather inconsistent, his mechanics look promising. He can also produce in the low post, having the ability to use both hands and enjoying some soft touch, even if again he needs to work here, gaining more moves and more polished footwork. He can also put the ball on the floor, easily finishes strong under the rim, looks aggressive on defense, either denying the ball to his matchup or actively looking for the block, and also does good work passing the ball out of the low post or from the high post. Hes smart and plays with intensity, quite a nice combination. He should actively work on getting a complete power forward game, as he's not big enough to excel as a center, but he looks to be on the right way.
Freeland is coming off spending a season playing in EBA (Spanish fourth division) with Gran Canaria Fadesa, where he averaged 15.2 points and 7.7 rebounds. He has declared for the upcoming draft, although he would probably be way better off withdrawing and trying to work his game into the first round in the following years, as he is only a 1987-born kid. If he decides to stay, some team might take a long look at him late in the second round. For the moment, he has agreed to a three-year contract with Gran Canaria Grupo Dunas (the ACB team), a solid and established organization which is perfect to help develop him, but he can freely leave for the NBA if he gets love in the draft. The kid apparently really wants to try there, although in a position where he can keep progressing.
Besides, while Marquinhos had clearly abused one on one situations in the first day, taking his time to execute them while his teammates simply stood watching him (which also tells you something about the special status he has here as a potential first rounder), yesterday he looked much more integrated in the offensive flow of his team, waiting for the game to come to him instead of forcing situations.
Its also interesting to note that, on tune to what most guys are showing in the camp, hes delivering a nice effort in the defensive end, which contrasts with his days in Montegranaro, where he used to look a bit passive in some situations, particularly team defense.
The Players of The Day: Kalve and Halperin
In this second day of the camp, we couldnt stick to just one guy after both Ernests Kalve and Yotam Halperin had delivered such solid outings that greatly helped their respective squads to come up victorious in the evening games.
Fortunately, Kalve is not only about physical gifts. A solid shooter, he enjoys accurate mechanics and excellent elevation. Hes a decent ball-handler and can penetrate using his very good footwork, while he has the physical ability to finish strong, as he repeatedly showed yesterday with some remarkable dunks (easily finishing an alley-oop, a rather long slam-dunk in transition or another one in traffic challenging a rival). However, when it comes to creating his own shot, he still needs to learn how to effectively create separation between himself and the defender, but he should catch up soon, as he can easily knock down shots while pulling up off the dribble. Defense and intensity have been there too.
All in all, Ernests is playing some serious basketball these days, emerging as one of the better wing prospects in the camp, and already one of the most productive despite his youth, as hes as 1987 player.
After an average first day, where he looked for his own shooting opportunities, Halperin was much more willing to share the ball in day two, attracting defenses in penetration or pick-and-roll sets to feed the open man. The guy is so skilled its a please to watch him dribbling the ball, delivering a pass or taking one of his perfect-pictured jumper. Its pure silk.
The results of the vitals for him looked nice as he reached 27 inches in the in no-step vertical with a 31 one-step. Hes looking fairly quick here, although its crystal clear that hes not on par with the average NBA point guard. But talent as his will always eventually draw attention in the second round.