Hellenic Hoops Home InterBasket.Net Home InterBasket.Net Forums

 

Greek Prospects

Last updated February 5, 2004

CHRISTOS TAPOUTOS

Height: 6'7", 2m

Weight: 212 lbs, 96.2 kg

Birthday: September 21, 1982

Position: SF

Status: Plays for AEK

 

From NBA.COM:


"An early entry candidate for the 2003 NBA Draft. Originally applied for early entry into the 2002 NBA Draft, but withdrew his name from consideration Made his debut in the Greek League during the 1999-2000 season with Near East and also played there in the 2000-01 season. He switched to AEK for the 2001-02 season and also played there this season.

Career Notes:...was a member of the gold-medal-winning at the European Under-20 Championships. Played in the Greek All-Star Game as a member of Near East in 2000-01.

(2002-03): Established himself as a key reserve for AEK, playing 21 minutes per game. Contributed 7.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and one assist per game. Had season-best 22 points and 11 rebounds vs. Olympiakos. In Euroleague play, saw minutes cut to 17 per game, and averaged 4.1 points and 2.3 rebounds. Tallied 13 points and four rebounds vs. Cibona and contributed 11 points and five rebounds vs. Skipper Bologna.

(2001-02): Was a deep reserve as AEK won the Greek League championship. Played only about nine minutes per game in 18 games, averaging 3.2 points. In Euroleague play, highlight was 12-point outing vs. Partizan.

(2000-01): Quickly became a key performer for Near East, averaging 11.0 points in only 22 minutes per game. Also contributed 3.5 rebounds per game. Caught the attention of league power AEK, which signed him for the 2001-02 season.

(1999-00): Got into six games at the end of the season for Near East in top Greek League.

Strengths: Known in the Greek League for his above-the-rim play. He carries a reputation for playing hard and with lots of energy".

 

From NBADraft.Net, by Dimitris Armadoros:

"Christos Tapoutos is a slashing left-handed small forward with an all around game. Tapoutos has been considered one of the Top European prospects of his age group for a number of years. A very talented athlete with great leaping ability. He runs the court well, and heís more of a scorer than shooter. He attacks the basket. He wonít face problems with the pace of NBA games. A good offensive rebounder with very long arms which enable him to block shots. He easily posts up against smaller forwards. He is marvelous in the fast breaks, he usually ends them up slamming.

Weaknesses: Weak defensively, but shows willingness to defend. Needs work in the weightroom, otherwise he will be physically overmatched on defense. Needs to pass more. You canít rely on his 3p. shots, although he showed improvement. His jump shoot needs polish. His lack of a great jumpshot hurts him the most because this is usually an area where Europeans gain ground on more athletic American guys."

 


 

HARIS MARKOPOULOSMarkopoulos: young and impressive

Height: 6'1", 183cm

Weight: 164lbs, 74kg

Birthday: January 20, 1982

Position: PG, SG

Status: plays for PAOK

 

From Matt Blair for HH:

It's difficult to get a handle on Markopoulos. After winning MVP in the Albert-Schwietzer tournament (almost single handedly destroying the US team), there was great speculation that Markopoulos would go to the University of North Carolina. UNC fans were clamoring to get all available information about the youngster, as were other DI fans. He stayed in Greece, joining PAOK. His peers from the AS tournament have gone on to the NBA (Boris Diaw, Eddie Griffen, and Zoran Panicic) even though Markopoulos was named to higher positions in the tournament's All-Star team. His strong showing at the U18 tournament intensified speculation and rumors. Unfortunately, a debilitating injury took him off the court for nearly a year. He has yet to fully recover from that, and has been nowhere near his past form. Whether or not he can recover and where he will go from PAOK remains to be seen.


ANDREAS GLYNIADAKIS

A pure center who enjoys physical play, Glyndiadakis will make Detroit fans very happy.Height: 7'1", 2.16cm

Weight: 280lbs, 128kgs

Birthday: August 21, 1981

Position: C

Status: Plays for Peristeri, drafted by Detroit Pistons

 

From MSNBC.com:

"Originally declared early for the 2002 draft before withdrawing his name from consideration. Spent the 2002-03 season with Peristeri after playing with Panathinaikos Athens from 1997-98 through 2000-01, where he was a former teammate of Antonis Fotsis, drafted last season by the Memphis Grizzlies...[Was on a] team [that went] to four Greek League championships. Second international 7-footer drafted by the Pistons in this draft after Darko Milicic, the No. 2 pick."

 

Tony Ronzone, Pistons scout from an interview:

"Hey, this kid [Glyniadakis] can play, he'll bang you and push on you. He kind of reminds you of Jason Collins a little bit. We kind of tucked him away. If he were in the draft next year he'd be a first-rounder."

 

SOFOKLIS SCHORTSANITIS

Sofoklis has muscle and youth. Does he have anything else?

Height: 6'10", 2.06m

Weight: 287 lbs, 142.5 kg

Birthday: June 22, 1985

Position: C

Status: Plays for Iraklis, drafted by LA Clippers

 

From ESPN.COM, by Chad Ford:

 

"Greece's "Baby Shaq", Sofaklis Schortsanitis, is begging to impress a few folks in workouts. The good news is that "Baby Shaq" is measuring in at 6-foot-10 with shoes (6-8ĺ without) and a 7-2 wingspan. That official measurement in Memphis should be enough to quell all the naysayers who claimed he was much shorter. The bad news is that his weight, 314 pounds in Memphis, is raising a few eyebrows. While teams that have seen him claim it appears to be mostly muscle (wow!), they still wonder if he'll have weight issues down the road." - June, 2003

 

From Sports Illustrated:

 

"BIO: Schortsanitis is a Greek native who has drawn plenty of attention in this draft for his 6-9, 255-pound frame. His physique has earned him the nickname "Baby Shaq." The 17-year-old averaged 11.0 points and 6.2 rebounds last season with Iraklis in the Greek league and shot 58 percent from the floor. Like Shaquille O'Neal, Schortsanitis shot 52 percent from the free-throw line as well. In Greece, his coach prohibited him from shooting outside jumpers although he reportedly possesses a decent shot. Schortsanitis' size became an issue since original reports had him listed as closer to a true center at 6-11. Schortsanitis' mother is 6-3 and he has a brother who is 16 years old who is supposedly 6-6, 250 pounds.

ANALYSIS: Smart, aggressive and tough, Schortsanitis is an emerging talent. He's got some moves in the paint, shoots a jump hook and can also step out to about 18 feet. Schortsanitis is a hard worker who will only get better. The only knock on him right now is inexperience.he's just 18 years old.

POSITIVES: Just the size of Schortsanitis' neck gives you an idea about what the rest of his body looks like - and it is huge. For a kid who is just in his teens, that is impressive. Schortsanitis' strength is what allowed him to excel in one of the best leagues in the world so early on. Last season, his field-goal percentage and offensive rebounding totals were among the highest recorded in Greece. Given that Schortsanitis has a proven track record of quality production overseas - something many of this year's international prospects lack - it is a safe bet that he will not be a major bust in the NBA like a number of touted Europeans of the past.

NEGATIVES: Schortsanitis largely plays the game off of his physical talents, not knowhow [knowledge]. He makes errors on a regular basis due to his immaturity and will need a few years of schooling to tap into his potential. The other big knock on Schortsanitis is his height. Although he was listed as tall as 7 feet in Greece, he is actually just 6-8 1/2 without shoes. That cannot be categorized as undersized, but it certainly takes away from his intrigue."

 


DIMOS DIKOUDIS

Dikoudis has added more muscle and more air to his already powerful play. This picture is from several years ago.

27 2.06/6-8 PF Valencia:

Height: 6'8", 2.04cm

Birthday: 1977

Position: SF, PF

Status: plays for Pamesa in Spanish ABC, impressed NBA scouts at Boston summer camp

 

From Aristidis-Andreas Ikonomopoulos for HH:

About 5 years ago, nobody, not even the Greeks, had heard about a 22-year-old Power Forward whose playing abilities where too spectacular for the Greek second division. AEK was the first team to acknowledge Dikoudis' qualities. 3 years later, in 2002, the franchise was rewarded by winning the Greek Championship,that it had not won for decades. Dikoudis lead the the team averaging 16.5 pts and 7.7 rebounds per game. As a consequence, he won the ESAKE MVP award, succeeding Dejan Bodiroga as well as Peja Stojakovic and Dino Radja. At that time, Dusko Ivanovic, perhaps the most demanding coach in Europe,wanted to add him to his team at any cost, declaring he was the best PF playing in Europe.

Dikoudis played in the Boston summer league after winning the championship but had an injury that kept him out for about 3 months. It was the consequence of a year played under constant pressure at the highest level, as nobody in AEK could replace him under the boards. Two years have passed since that time and the NBA remains for Dimos a goal to achieve. But that's where he (probably) wants to be. And where he undoubtedly belongs.

Representing a new generation of basketball players, Dikoudis is a modern PF. In other words,he is a very versatile player. He has a wonderful technique, a nice shooting touch, even from beyond the arc, and he's strong in both offense and defense. His positioning is nice, and adding some weight should help him to occupy more space in the paint. Moreover, he is aggressive and has on several occasions the opportunity to lead his team to victory, as he is relatively good in the clutch.

Dikoudis actually plays for Pamesa Valencia, a team which has the best front line in Europe (Tomasevic, Oberto). So he has to play many times in the Small Forward position. That means out of position. And that is the main reason why his numbers and his playing time are low for a player his worth. He's averaging about 12 points and 4.5 rebounds in the Euroleague.


 

From From PamesaBasket.Com, translated by Matt Blair:

"[Dikoudis] has achieved all the expectations that have been have been raised since his days with his junior team. Right now, he is one of the best in his position on the entire continent. He has great presence and strength in the zone with a great capacity for hard, quality work. He has gotten better every year with his attack and has cemented his [offensive and defense] balance."

 

ANTONIS FOTSIS

Fotsis has a one-way ticket back to the NBA.

Height: 6'11", 2.11cm

Weight: 219lbs, 99.3kgs

Birthday: April 1, 1981

Position: PF

Status: Played for Memphis, released, plays for Real Madrid

 

From NBADraft.Net, by Christian Biagini:

"Selected by the Grizzlies in the second round (48th pick overall) of the 2001 NBA Draft. He has all the skills to be a star anywhere, but he hasnít shown the necessary maturity or consistency over the last few seasons. He played poorly in the NBA last year and it probably made him realize that he must be more focused. The result is heís playing the best basketball of his career with his former team, where he is the most utilized player in the platoon system of coach Obradovic. He has every skill you want from a wing player. He has size, he has talent, he understands the game, he can go 1on1 in the low post or he can step out and put the ball on the floor or shoot the 3. All-around player who needs only to be more determined to be one of the top players in Europe, or play in the NBA. His upside is scary! But he MUST become more aggressive."

 

From Aristidis-Andreas Ikonomopoulos for HH:

In 2000, Zeljko Obradovic designed Antonis Fotsis as being the greatest European prospect. Later, the 19-year-old Fotsis had offered Panathinaikos its second Euroleague title, coming off the bench and scoring 9 crucial points. The great European coach seemed to be doubtful nonetheless. As a matter of fact, he knew better than anyone that, although his young player was gifted with an incredible talent, his work ethic was not brilliant at all...

After one more year spent in PAO (Panathinaikos), averaging 10.5 pts and leading his franchise to a second Euroleague final in a row, as a major option this time, Fotsis decided that it was time to begin his NBA career. However, he was unlucky.

 

His bad luck started in the draft. He was selected by the Grizzlies in the second round(48th pick overall), while less-known European players, like Vladimir Radmanovic (11th pick overall), were picked much higher. Dejan Bodiroga, the Serb superstar himself, when he was called to compare his compatriot with Fotsis, answered without thinking that the Greek was a player of much greater quality.


Moreover, Fotsis was selected by a team that knew a transition period and had many rookies in its roster. And unfortunately, Fotsis was not given many chances. He only participated in 28 games, averaging 11.5 minutes, 3.9 pts and 2.2 rebs. In fact, his main problem was he had not a clear position at that time. In the NBA, he was actually too "soft" to play at the PF position and too slow to play as a SF. Consequently, not only he didn't have the opportunity to show his real skills, but the Grizzlies didn't extend his one year contract.
 

Following this unpleasant experience, Fotsis signed a contract with his former team, Panathinaikos. Averaging 14.5 pts and 5.8 rebs in the Euroleague, he was voted as the best under-22 player in Europe. At the same time, his relation with Zeljko Obradovic was growing worse day after day. So "Tony" accepted the offer of Real Madrid, the legendary Spanish franchise, and moved to Spain. He's actually playing there, averaging 13.5 pts and 6.5 rebs in the ACB league (Spain), considered to be the best in Europe.
 

Even if he has not reached the level of play he could according to his skills, Fotsis remains an excellent all-around player. He can run the floor very well for a player who is nearly a seven footer, and he is among the 2-3 best shooting PFs in Europe. His shooting ability beyond the arc is unbelievable indeed (he has a 45% percentage from downtown). He still needs to improve his positioning without the ball, although he is a relatively good rebounder. His greater weakness remains the lack of aggressiveness, a specially on defense, but his play becomes more and more mature.

In spite of the fact he was considered at the very beginning of his career as a greater prospect than actual NBA stars like Gasol and Radmanovic, Fotsis had not the evolution many basketball experts expected, probably due to a poor work ethic. Which is also undoubtedly one of  the main reasons why his recent impact in the NBA wasn't the one of a player his talent. And yet it all started so well...

 

But wait a minute! Fotsis is only 22 years old yet and, to my mind, one thing is sure--he'll be back... 

KOSTAS VASILIADIS

Vasiliadis moves with grace.Height: 6'6", 1.99kgs

Birthday: 1984

Position: SG

 

From Thanassis Gousgounis for HH:

Kostas plays for PAOK Salonica and the staff there expects him to become their new big leader. He is given jersey number 7 which is the same number the former PAOK legend Bane Preljevic (who now is the coach of the team) had.

 

Kostas Vasiliadis is one of the best shooters in the Greek league and so far has a career high of 7/7 three pointers. He has a good all around game and is a solid defender. His three point shooting is clearly his strongest side though. He still has a lot of untapped potential and his development the following years will be crucial on how good he can become. Will most likely become a member of the Greek NT pretty soon but probably wonít be in the Olympics NT.

 


DUSAN SAKOTA

Sakota: the kid has game.

Height: 6'11", 2.11cm

Birthday: 1986

Position: SF

 

From Thanassis Gousgounis for HH:

Dusan Sakota is one of the best prospects in Europe at his age. Son of a b-ball coach. Dusan was born in Yugoslavia but moved with his family to Greece at a very young age and plays for the Greek Junior NT. Dusan is tall, has a great wingspan (7-2) and is a deadly shooter. His family are good friends with Peja Stojakovic and Dusan has spent a lot of summers training with Peja whenever he is in Greece. Doesnít appear to be finished growing.



Hellenic Hoops Home InterBasket.Net Home InterBasket.Net Forums