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Saturday, April 9, 2011

2011 Nike Hoop Summit Prospect Breakdown (Biyombo and Nogueira)

Team USA handled the World team easily in this years contest, but it was a good opportunity to see two potential 2011 first round draft picks - Bismack Biyombo and Lucas Nogueira. Both had an chance to show what they could do against an undersized USA frontline. Check out the box score here.

Bismack Biyombo - Biyombo's team lost by 12 points, but he stole the show with his athleticism. Earlier in the week he was measured with a 7'7'' wingspan and a chiseled (4.8% body fat) 243 pound frame. He used that length to help him record a triple double - registering 12 points, 11 boards, and 10 blocks. The loss was worse than the scored showed as the World team struggled to get into their halfcourt offense, but when they did, Biyombo worked hard inside to create space for himself in the post. His post game is very raw, but the USA didn't have a inside player that could handle him on the blocks. From my recollection, all of his points came off dunks, where it appeared no team USA player had a chance to contest his shots. He finishes strong and gets off the ground quick. He is constantly moving offensively, either battling for position or running out to set screens.

Team USA did manage to get a fair dose of alley-oops by him, but nobody could directly get a shot off against him. He blocked a shot with his elbow. He was one of the few players not intimidated by the talent on the opposing team. It was, in short, an all around great performance by Biyombo. The hype train is officially rolling. I've had him in the lottery since my initial mock on this site (mid-March) and now he could push even farther. We can compare him and Valanciunas another time, but the between those two will start to heat up. Personally, I would put Biyombo as the front runner.

Lucas Nogueira - He is definitely a project, but we already knew that. He reported into the event with only 218 pounds packed onto his nearly seven foot frame. With those measurements, he has a long way to go until he can handle NBA big men. I'd compare him to a Hassan Whiteside/Javale McGee type in terms of style and skills, but even though they weren't strong, they both were significantly bigger than "Bebe" is now. Whiteside weighed 227 pounds at less body fat than Nogueira last year (and he managed to pack on a lot of muscle after being drafted by the Kings) and McGee is a bodybuilder compared to both of them - 241 lbs at even less body fat when he was drafted. "Bebe" is a soft spoken kid too, which reminds me of McGee in a way. One would hope that wouldn't translate into lacking toughness when he does bulk up enough to battle in the paint.

Offensively, he shows solid potential like McGee and Whiteside. He can face up and hit a jumper and doesn't rush. He made a nice post entry pass in tonight's game against Team USA. He can even put the ball on the floor a little to get to the hoop. He moves well and gets solid lift off the ground. However, his strength prohibits him from getting many easy buckets and doing work in the post.

Defensively, he has to rely on blocking shots. He seems to be a very good shot blocker, but I would hesitate to put him on McGee's or Whiteside's level. I don't think he is as explosive off the ground as those two.

Overall, Nogueira seems to strongly be considering entering this years draft. He didn't help his stock in this game, but he is the kind of guy who would look good going up against a chair in workouts. I don't think he is a top 20 pick, or a guy who makes an impact anytime soon, but I could see a team taking him in the late first round. He could also slip into round 2 like Whiteside did last year.

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