Seemingly every year there is a player who comes out of nowhere to have a great tournament after being invited at the very last minute. This year, that player was clearly Iowa State's Jiri Hubalek. Hubalek did it right out of the gates too, scoring 18 points in his first half at Portsmouth, and finishing the game with 27 points overall. He shot a fantastic 8-14 from beyond the NBA 3-point line over the three game stretch, and also rebounded the ball fairly well.
Iowa State had a fairly miserable season this year under new coach Greg McDermott, going 14-18 and finishing second to last in the Big 12. Hubalek only averaged 12.4 points per game to go along with 7.3 rebounds in 26 minutes, and did so shooting a fairly pedestrian 46% from the field. The biggest difference we noticed in the recent film we evaluated as opposed to the live games we just took in was how different Hubalek's role in college was compared to the one he just excelled at in Portsmouth. According to Synergy Sports Technology's quantified player report, 49% of his offense came on back to the basket moves in the post at Iowa State, with only 18% coming on spot-up jumpers. From what we could tell, he is a much better shooter than he is a post-up threat, which might help explain why he struggled somewhat this season.
Although he's 6-11 (actually a shade under 7-feet according to the Portsmouth measurements), Hubalek lacks the strength and explosiveness to be a great factor establishing position and finishing in the paint. He doesn't look very comfortable down low, as he doesn't have much in the ways of fluidity or great post-moves to be effective down there. He is much better moving off the ball, catching and finishing around the hoop with his size and decent touch. He can also put the ball on the floor a little and make his way to the rim. Hubalek's stroke looked absolutely fantastic in Portsmouth, with a high release point, a quick trigger, fluid mechanics, and NBA range. It didn't fall for him quite as well during the season, though, just 15-43 (35%) from beyond the arc, so this is something teams will have to look at. Hubalek's shot-selection and overall decision making seems a bit wild at times, his fundamentals and basketball IQ are not quite as strong as you might hope for.
Defensively, Hubalek is going to struggle in the NBA any way you slice it. His footspeed is poor, making it difficult for him to step out and hedge screens or stay in front of quicker post-players taking him off the dribble away from the hoop. He lacks great strength and also doesn't have much in the ways of length or explosiveness to contest shots. The fact that he plays hard and is pretty active helps him out to a certain extent, though.
Already 25 years old, without a great resume coming out of college, its very difficult to envision Hubalek getting much love from NBA teams in terms of being drafted this year, unless he absolutely explodes in the pre-draft camp. The fact that we're even talking about him as a prospect at this point after he almost wasn't invited to Portsmouth shows how well he did for himself, though, and he seems to have earned himself an invite to Orlando with what he showed. He'll get summer league looks and maybe an invite to training camp, but his size and Bosman status in Europe means that he'll surely make a fantastic living regardless of what happens over the next few years.