Ivica Zubac (7'1''-C-97, agency: BeoBasket)sets the Lakers NBA Summer League on fire! Zubac helped to take the Summer League and the Lakers fan base by storm by playing exciting, aggressive basketball and giving hope that they have a young player they can build around. He's already been given a nickname 'Zublocka' and has endeared himself and has given hope that he and Timofey Mozgov can build a solid two headed rotation at the center position. The fact that he is 216cm and is only 19 yea... [read more]
Ivica Zubac (7'1''-C-97, agency: BeoBasket)sets the Lakers NBA Summer League on fire! Zubac helped to take the Summer League and the Lakers fan base by storm by playing exciting, aggressive basketball and giving hope that they have a young player they can build around. He's already been given a nickname 'Zublocka' and has endeared himself and has given hope that he and Timofey Mozgov can build a solid two headed rotation at the center position. The fact that he is 216cm and is only 19 years old and played so well gives fans and the team hopes he can grow well into the future.
In 5 Summer League games he averaged 23mpg 10.6ppg 7.2rbpg 2.6blks while shooting 64.7% from two, 81.8% from the FT line. He also averaged only 1 turnover per game, while keeping his fouls to a minimum at only 3.4 per game in the Summer League. The good news is this helps to translate into regular season games that he can defend and rebound without being a fouling machine. Gari Gorski of Hoopshabit points out 'look and watch how smooth Zubac is in rolling to the basket on the pick and roll. He displays great hands and the ability to finish strong. From the same game shows Zubac pulling down one of a handful of offensive rebounds. Notice how when he rebounds the ball he naturally keeps the ball high and immediately flows into a putback for the score. One of the most impressive abilities Zubac displayed at Summer League was his shot-blocking ability. He put on a display against the Jazz, swatting six shots. Zubac showed both the ability to be positioned properly on defense and have the instinct and timing to rotate over for the help side block. He displays very high level skills for a 19-year-old.'
Minimally if he can stay healthy he looks like a more athletic Zydrunas Illgauskas (who looked a lot different after three years off due to repeated foot injuries) on the upside his comparison has been Marc Gasol. Both comparisons are flattering and both players had long productive NBA careers. Questions about how he fell to the second round seemed to be answered already, he didn't want to be a draft and stash player and stew in Europe for a few more years. He had some bad experiences playing three different teams last year and in three different leagues. Two of his teams struggled to pay him and he had to play against some inferior competition while biding his time for the NBA. The fact that he was with three teams in one year and had some injuries problems in the past also led to him falling in the draft from once being a possible lottery pick.
One of the most impressive aspects of Ivica Zubac is the fact that he comes from a small town in Bosnia Herzigovina called Citluk which has produced two NBA first round draft picks in the last 15 years in himself and Zoran Planinic who backed up Jason Kidd for three years with the Nets. For a town of only 5,000 to produce two NBA first round draft picks in such a short period of time is impressive.
What is even more impressive is that Bosnia and Herzigovina has five players in the NBA next season in Mirza Teletovic, Ivica Zubac, Jusuf Nurkic, Bojan Bogdanovic and Dragan Bender. Of those five players four of them come from a small stretch from Jablanica, to Mostar to Citluk about a 30 mile radius of each other. No doubt Bosnia will be well represent this year but even more so the southern part of the country known as Herzigovina. No doubt that fans of Bosnian basketball will have plenty options of whom to choose to root for this season.
Bosnia at the Fiba U17 World Championship Recap! Bosnia 84 Dominican Republic 59: Bosnia starts out the Championship on the right foot, crushing an overwhelmed Dominican Republic squad. Bosnia outrebounded them almost 2-1 in the game, had eleven more assists in the game. Dzanan Musa had 26pts 11rbs 3ass and Emir Cerkezovic chipped in with 8pts 12rbs 6ass 3stls 1blk. France 84 Bosnia 65: In the second game the size and speed of France overwhelmed the Bosnian team who struggled with 23 t... [read more]
Bosnia at the Fiba U17 World Championship Recap!
Bosnia 84 Dominican Republic 59: Bosnia starts out the Championship on the right foot, crushing an overwhelmed Dominican Republic squad. Bosnia outrebounded them almost 2-1 in the game, had eleven more assists in the game. Dzanan Musa had 26pts 11rbs 3ass and Emir Cerkezovic chipped in with 8pts 12rbs 6ass 3stls 1blk.
France 84 Bosnia 65: In the second game the size and speed of France overwhelmed the Bosnian team who struggled with 23 turnovers. They also shot only 5-21 from three and 14-25 from the FT line. Musa struggled going 4-18 from the field with 6 turnovers. Cerkezovic did his part with 10pts 10rbs and but had 6 turnovers.
Bosnia 105 Korea 85: Bosnia bounced back in a big way against Korea and smashed the Koreans on the boards holding a 49-14 rebounding edge in the game. Musa had a dominating performance going for 34pts and 11rbs. The inside duo of Lazar Mutic and Emir Cerkezovic had a monster game going 14-15 from the field with 28pts 12rbs 6ass.
Australia 75 Bosnia 72: Bosnia lost a nail biter against Australia which put them into the consolation round. The game was super close, back and forth and Bosnia had a bunch of chances to win in the end but just couldn't pull it out. Musa had another big scoring day going for 34pts along with Sani Campara who had 17pts. Neither one was efficient with their shooting going a combined 14-42 from the field in the game.
Bosnia 105 Chinese Taipei 75: Bosnia crushed their opponent running away in the first half and never looking back. Musa had a record 50pts in only 27min in the contest he shot 18-26 from the field and 11-15 from the FT line. Adi Alikadic chipped in with 14pts 3rbs 3ass going 5-14 from the field.
Bosnia 96 Dominican Republic 73: No surprises in the second meeting between the two teams as Bosnia ran away with it again. Musa had another fantastic game 34pts and 10 rebounds. Alojsa Jankovic had a monster game and the first triple double in the U17 tournament history. Jankovic had 15pts 18rbs 10ass and 5stls! He shot a solid 7-15 from the field in the contest.
Bosnia 88 China 84: It was a tight contest between the two teams; Bosnia had a 5 point advantage in the last period which made the difference. Musa had 33pts 9rbs 4ass and Campara had 19pts and 5ass.
Adi Alikadic: Adi didn't get the chance to play a ton of minutes during the tournament but had a decent performance overall. He only shot 35.3% from two and 22.2% from three but shot 85.7% from the FT line and displayed the ability to develop into a solid player in the future given hard work, good coaching and the opportunity.
Lazar Mutic: Lazar struggled with fouls in the tournament, which impacted his ability to stay on the floor in close games. He did play a pivotal role for the team in the tournament with his size and inside presence. He averaged 20mpg 6.7ppg 5rbpg 1aspg .9blks in the tournament.
Miladin Vlacic: Miladin didn't get the chance to play much in the tournament, he got into three games for a total of 15 minutes and went 1-2 from the field and had 3pts 2rbs 2ass 1stl in his time on the court.
Amar Barukcija: Amar had the chance to play in all seven games but made less of an impact than when the BiH U16 team won gold last summer. He never hit double digits minutes in any games and only played a minor role with the team. He did rebound the ball well in the tournament pulling down 24 rebounds in 54 minutes in the tournament. The sample size is small but he struggled shooting going 3-11 from the field and 1-6 from the FT line.
Srdan Kocic: Srdan was playing a significant role for the team in the first four games averaging 26mpg before an injury knocked him out of the rest of the tournament. He a quality big who is versatile, he can rebound and he can pass the ball. He really struggled in the loss against France and their size and athleticism on the front end. He played in 103 minutes in the tournament and had 24rbs and 11ass even though he struggled with his shooting going 3-14 from the field.
Emir Cerkezovic: Emir was a key player in the tournament for BiH. He averaged 28mpg 9.1ppg 8.6rbpg 3.4aspg 1.3stls 1blk while shooting 56% from three and 83.3% from the FT line. He played well against France but struggled in the loss to Australia. He has been a favorite of mine for years but is just too small at 194cm to continue to play PF as a professional long term. His parents and siblings are of average height so there is not a lot of hope he will continue to grow at this point in his life. He needs to become more perimeter orientated playing small forward if he is to continue to improve and develop. He only went 1-5 from the three point land in this tournament but has shown the ability to shoot from the outside in practice, a key if he is to move to a more natural position for him in the future.
Sani Campara: Sani must have impressed some officials in the tournament in Spain because Real Madrid arranged his transfer from his Sarajevo club KK Spars. He struggled with his shooting in the tournament but still showed the poise, deep range and an excellent overall ability to stress a defense even when his shot isn't falling. He played in all 8 games averaging 15.9ppg 2.3rbpg 3.9aspg 1.1stls while shooting 41.2% from two, 30.2% from three and 80% from the FT line. He had too many turnovers at 2.9 per game and he needs to improve his passing and ball security but no doubt has elite European level skills.
Dzanan Musa: What can you say about the performance of Musa in this tournament? He was spectacular; his performance level has never been seen before in this tournament and he played with maturity and poise beyond his years. He could have had a significant increase of assists in this tournament if his teammates could have converted the easy opportunities created for them by Musa. He was must see TV during this tournament and didn't disappoint. His spectacular performance against Taipei will never be forgotten by those who seen the game. In 27 minutes he had 50pts shooting 18-26fg 11-15fts 3-4 from three. He added 7rbs and 4ass in the game. In 7 tournament games he averaged 32mpg 34ppg 8.1rbpg 3aspg 1.4stls .9blks while shooting 53.7% from two, 33.3% from three and 69.8% from the FT line.
Emir Bacvic: Emir had the chance to get into every game but only played 33min total in the tournament. He went 5-11 from the field and had 10pts 4rbs and 2 stls. Vedran Mirkovic: Vedran was a key big man for the team, especially with the absence of Njegos Sikiras. He played in all 7 games averaging 20mpg in the tournament. He struggled with his shooting but offered size, rebounding and physical toughness. He shot only 37.5% from two and 63.2% from the FT line. His best game was the last one, he scored 11pts and pulled down 5rbs with 1ass 1blk.
Drago Cvitanovic: Drago is another player who struggled to get onto the court for the team. He played in 3 games playing 20min scoring 11pts going 5-6 from the field with 5rbs 2stls 1blk.
Aljosa Jankovic: Aljosa was one of the breakout players in the tournament. He also was the first player in the tournament to have a triple double when in the rematch with Dominican Republic he had 15pts 18rbs 10ass with 5stls. In the tournament he averaged 25mpg 7.1ppg 9.1rbpg 3.1aspg 1.7stls while shooting 47.8% from two and struggled from the FT line at 42.9%.
Outlook: The team went 5-2 in the tournament and ended up finishing in 9th place. After starting out 2-2 they went on to win their last three games convincingly. The only bad loss the team had was against France. The loss against Australia was close and the team had lots of chances at the end but just couldn't finish it out. The team was able to beat Lithuania last summer to win the gold in the U16 tournament so it's reasonable to believe that with a healthy Njegos Sikiras they could have easily have finished in the top three this year. It would have been interesting to see a healthy BiH go against the athleticism of team USA. Even without Sikiras they could have easily have finished in the top four with a just a couple of breaks. No doubt that this was a successful tournament for the team even if they didn't finish where they wanted to.
Mirza Teletovic turns down more money to sign with the Bucks! Mirza Teletovic had the opportunity to make significantly more money by waiting out the NBA free agent process a bit more. If he was interested in money before fit he could have added another 10million to his contract over the next three years but money has never been the number one motivator for arguably the best basketball player in Bosnia's history. Mirza instead took less and signed with a team that had shown interest in h... [read more]
Mirza Teletovic turns down more money to sign with the Bucks!
Mirza Teletovic had the opportunity to make significantly more money by waiting out the NBA free agent process a bit more. If he was interested in money before fit he could have added another 10million to his contract over the next three years but money has never been the number one motivator for arguably the best basketball player in Bosnia's history. Mirza instead took less and signed with a team that had shown interest in him for the last two years and a coach who he knows and can trust. Mirza is widely considered one of the good guys of NBA basketball; some would even argue he is the nicest guy in the NBA. He has left behind a lot of fans of his in his first two NBA stops in Brooklyn and Phoenix. What Milwaukee got in Mirza is an excellent stretch four but also a team leader and a team first kind of a player. He has helped others adapt when new to the team and he was key in easing the transition of fellow BiH player Bojan Bogdanovic when he joined the Nets. Mirza is an excellent member of the community that no doubt will have a big fallowing in Milwaukee amongst the Bosnian community and likely will regularly bring in Bosnians from Chicago who wants to cheer on this basketball legend. He had one of the best seasons of any 6th man in NBA history last year and arguably should have had much higher consideration for 6th man of the year after setting an NBA record for three's off a bench in a season. He played in 79 games for the Suns averaging 21mpg 12.2ppg 3.8rbpg 1.1aspg while shooting 47.6% from two, 39.3% from three and 77.4% from the FT line last season. He is a tough competitor that no doubt will endear himself to the organization and the Milwaukee Bucks fandom this season.
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