The 20th annual Nike Hoop Summit concluded Friday night in Portland with Team USA beating World Select 98-87.
Germany’s Kostja Mushidi (14 points) starred in the game itself, but prospects had almost a full week to impress NBA scouts and executives in attendance.
After an embarrassing 34-point loss in last year’s game, the World team took a different approach when building their roster. Most of the guards were Canadians who are NCAA-bound and have experience playing against USA athletes, and some of the big guys attend American high schools.
Unfortunately there were also some big-name Europeans who didn’t make the trip. French point guard Frank Ntilikina turned down an invite, likely because he’s already a potential lottery pick, and Latvian wing Rodions Kurucs — another potential 1st-rounder — wasn’t in Portland either.
That said, there were some talented European prospects in attendance. Let’s take a look at how the four Europeans and Brazilian Felipe Dos Anjos (Real Madrid) performed during the week.
While most of the basketball world focused on lottery picks battling in the NCAA tournament, Rodions Kurucs made a quiet but promising EuroLeague debut on Friday.
He played just 3:20, missed a smooth (perhaps nervous) catch-and-shoot 3, and made a couple defensive mistakes. It was a pretty typical debut for a 19-year-old on Europe’s big stage.
Kurucs also showed the offensive aggression, quick first step, and length that have helped him remain a fixture on 2017 mock drafts.
He’s not draft-eligible until 2018, but 17-year-old Luka Doncic is an essential contributor for Real Madrid.
Olympiacos tested him physically throughout the game. They attacked him off the dribble, they posted him up, and they hit him at every opportunity. Despite the punishment and some unnecessary turnovers, Doncic kept fighting. Madrid coach Pablo Laso trusted him down the stretch and he earned his playing time, coming up with multiple key plays to seal the win.
Let’s look at the good and bad from Doncic’s first EuroLeague game of the 2016-17 season.