Kyrylo Fesenko had a really nice start to his D-League showcase, showing off a lot of potential in a number of different areas and being fairly productive at the same time. He doesnt appear to be in the best shape, suffering a bit with his conditioning after extended stretches on the floor, but still had himself a really nice game.
Fesenko was pretty aggressive looking to establish position deep in the paint, and Utah (and particularly Kevin Kruger) made it a point to feed him in a place where he can finish with a strong, simple move. He showed terrific hands coming up with a couple of deflected balls not intended for him, and was very active moving towards the ball and making his presence felt. A constant staple of Fesenkos game is the effort he brings to the offensive glass, and today was no exception. He was constantly in the mix for loose balls, using his big frame to the fullest and coming up with a couple of extra possessions for his team in the process, even if these werent always counted directly as offensive rebounds for him.
Fesenko surprised us with two parts of his game in particular that leave a lot of optimism regarding his long-term potential. For one, he made some terrific passes, both from the high post and when doubled out of the low post. He sees the floor nicely from his high vantage point and is extremely unselfish getting players around him involved, always looking to make the extra pass like everyone on this team.
Another was the way he moved his feet defensively. Fesenko is not what you would call a quick player by any stretch, but when stepping out to hedge screens and then recovering back into the post, he did a very nice job. On one occasion he was caught out on the perimeter on a switch and was forced to defend a 6-5 and pretty athletic wing player in Scooter McFadgon. McFadgon took him off the dribble and Fesenko slid his feet nicely matching him stride for stride in fundamental fashion, finally meeting him at the rim and getting off his feet to swat the shot away and then grab the loose ball. Thats a pretty impressive play for a guy that size to make, and should make Jerry Sloan and the Utah Jazz pretty happy.
Fesenko still has a long road ahead of him to become a productive NBA player, but he seems to be off to a really nice start.