By Simon Dresden
Studs / Rising
Nikola Pekovic was monstrous, just as we have come to expect from him. In a close battle with powerhouse Panathinaikos, he held his own against frontcourt beasts Batiste and Zizic. He amounted for 15 points and a game high 12 boards while drawing fouls at will. A big showing on one of Europe’s biggest stages that could earn Pekovic a big payday, if not in the NBA then in Greece for sure.
Stevan Stojkov is a newcomer to our rankings, we missed out on him last week when he made his debut but didn’t produce, but this week he exploded for 10 points and 7 dimes as a starter for his team. The 1989 born Italian guard playing for Bologna is the high riser of the week and seems to be ready to take on elite competition.
Welcome Paulo Prestes to our highest ranking. He only played 9 minutes but had 9 points on perfect shooting from the floor and 3 boards while doing so. He really had his way with Milano’s frontcourt and seems to have caught up with the speed of the competition. Way to go big fellah!
Andrey Vorontsevich is really getting some significant burn from Coach Messina, who seems to be very high on this youngster, 20+ minutes and 4 points as well as 4 boards reinforcing the confidence the coach has in him. He is by far the hottest youngster on CSKA right now.
Pietro Aradori is taking full advantage of the playing time that is being awarded to him. Again he produced 9 points in 27+ minutes and his Coach will give him some more pt if he continues to produce. He may not have the biggest upside but playing experience is precious at such a young age.
Emir Preldzic used his 25 minutes for 9 points and production across the board, 2 in each statistical category, to solidify his position as a prospect. He may not be the best athlete or strongest guy around, he may not be the fastest player but surely he is smart and versatile. He has upside intrigue could cause an NBA team to fall in love with him.
Sajmen Hauer got a surprise chunk of playing time from his coach since the starting backcourt couldn’t handle Madrid’s press. On his first possession he burned veteran Lopes for a three point play and that boosted his confidence for the rest of the game. 17+ minutes with 7 points is nice to have on your resume, if he can keep up this pace he will continue rising.
Marc-Antoine Pellin finally dropped out of our Stud ranking. We gave him the benefit of the doubt last time around but again he only had 2 points in 30 minutes and even his 4 rebounds and 4 assists production couldn’t reverse his downward trend this time around.
Omer Asik came back to earth with 6 points and 3 boards in 20+ minutes, which still is good just not sterling.
Milos Teodosic also had down week by his standards, he had 6 points in his usual 20+ minutes but he also didn’t produce in any other categories, which should be better.
Antoine Diot got the starting point guard job and used it for 30+ minutes. He had 4 points and boards and played with his usual swagger but for a point guard to go out with zero dimes is not enough from him. Anyway he is in the mix with his team and playing steady.
Martynas Gecevicius got to do what he does best this week, camp out at the three point line an launch it when he got the ball. In 15 minutes he made 2 out of 5 but not much more which is okay since he played his role to perfection.
Uros Tripkovic put up 7 points in 20 minutes which alone is okay but he went cold from threepointland going 1/6 and didn’t produce in other categories as much as needed to get more than an okay rating.
Pablo Aguilar even got 7 minutes in Real’s big win and managed 3 points and 3 boards along the way.
Jeremy LeLoup got heavy minutes 17+ because of the absence of Batum and the lopsided loss his team endured but he managed 3 steals and zero points in the process, which is okay but not more.
Sergio Llull was kind of disappointing as the opposing backcourt was weak at best, he only got 6 minutes and managed only 2 points and 2 assists while being outplayed by lesser talent Hauer along the way.
The game of Bamberg got so out of hand early that even seldom used Tadda got some minutes. He didn’t manage a point but had a rebound and one assist, which alone is nice to have.
Mantas Kalnietis went back to playing limited minutes and not producing while doing so. 5 minutes, zero points and only 1 dime and a board.
Michal Chlynski got 2 spare minutes but used them for a nice three point play, solid.
Alexey Shved got 2 minutes and managed 2 points, considering the big win and the 20+ minutes of Vorontsevic, it’s unfortunate to see him play such few minutes.
Jan Mocnik got 3 minutes of no production in a heavy loss to a powerhouse.
Anatoly Kashirov got 2 spare minutes which didn’t amount to anything.
Injured List / No Change
New Category this week because of so many players sitting out because of injuries.
Falling / Duds
Danilo Gallinari took a steep dive this week. He played 17 minutes but managed zero points and no other production to speak of except for 2 boards and 4 fouls. We have gotten used to so much more from this youngster and surely expect him to bounce back next week, but for this week compared to the level he has produced until now, it is a downfall.
Milenko Tepic again went for a big O in scoring, he had 2 boards and 1 assist but in 20+ minutes one has to expect more from a guy expecting to be an NBA draftee someday.
Omri Casspi seems to be in major trouble. Once again his parents went public about their displeasure with Casspi’s playing time. Confronting the management and the coach with heavy accusations of envy. Casspi didn’t play this week again and it remains to be seen if he is going to play another Euroleague game with Maccabi in the future. (www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/939522.html)