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  • Straight forward
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    Good word on Jakucionis from day 1 impressions of NHS:

    Kasparas Jakucionis rocks. He's physical, defends, moves the ball, is a versatile scorer, and has really good feel.​

    The 2024 Nike Hoop Summit kicked off with a busy day full of awesome performances.


    I don't expect anything special from him in actual game between World and USA. I think he will be less played than some more higher projected and athletic at this stage players as it usually happen with Lithuanians in Nike Hoop Summit, but the most importantly that good scouts always say a good word on him and they see the broader picture. Most of them project that Kasparas eventually should exceed more prolific or ATM explosive players because he has fundamentals. And I'm a strong believer in fundamentals and IQ in basketball.

    If you look at best PGs of all time you get players like Stockton, Nash, Curry, B. Cosy, Chriss Paul, I. Thomas. They are not most athletic guards ever, not even close. They are all about fundamentals, feel for the game and IQ.

    I tend to think ESPN got this right, ranking top 10 best PGs of all time and 6 of those guys are not athletic freaks. They can be tough like Stockton, but they are not elite athletes on NBA standards. So my favorite players are always the ones with most fundamentals, IQ and feel and not athleticism, explosiveness.

    Who are the greatest point guards in NBA history? We count down the top 10 on All-Time #NBArank.


    Lithuania will never be the most athletic NT in the world. Thus we have to be superior in terms of IQ, feel, team coherence, unselfishness. That has been the direction and it should essentially stay. With that said, I think Jakucionis might have more individual talent than Jasikevicius or Jokubaitis and still develop that elite IQ and fundamentals of system player of whom our guys are best known. The Buzelis, as the most standing out individual, next big thing, has tons of system basketball IQ and unselfishness (not even talking about Sabonis who is essentially bonafide super role player). We should be prevailing with fundamentals, not sheer ISO talent and explosiveness. It always should be somewhere in the middle though, and individual talent is needed. But I believe the way talent pool is shaping up now, we might be exactly were we should be. Our individual standouts as Jakucionis, Rubstavicius, Sirvydis, Indrusaitis, Buzelis, Murauskas, Tubelis, Sabonis (those who can offer certain amount is sheer ISO game) at the same time has the obvious TEAM CULTURE side of theirs and almost never just sheer gunners (I think Macijauskas, Kleiza, Kaukenas and Brazdeikis are exceptions, so having one in the roster, specially if the guy named Macijauskas or Kleiza, off course can be beneficial, but essentially I want individual talent prevailed by fundamentals and superior team culture).

    That's how Lithuania has been taking down 10 times more individually talented USA and challenged it to very close margin several times. We move move the ball better, we rotate better, we shoot better, we better with tight angles (that's where IQ and skill is vital), we better fight for each other help to present each others advantages.

    We took down USA in 1998, 2004 and 2023, (but games like 1996, it was closer than you could think, in some stretches LTU was taking over and it was sneaky competitive game, obviously 2000 as the ground braking international game, the game that changed FIBA BB, in 2012 we challenged USA very nicely, and so on shouldn't be overlooked too). No-one caused USA more trouble that Lithuania historically. Thus I tend to treat USA and Lithuania the key NTs of Olympcs, the highest stage. USA off course is the king and no-one is even close, but next it's between Yugoslavia, Sovient Union, Lithuania, Spain and Argentina. Key LTUs players made huge impact to Soviet Uninion medals as well and later independent Lithuania became second most consistent Olympics NT after USA. That's why I call it USA and Lithuania traditionally the most essential NTs in FIBA game. That's why I want this tradition to be continued and LTU NT should make Olympics again. It would be nice to at least get among top 8 Olympic teams and in 2028 to fight for medals again. That's the direction I want to see.
    Last edited by Straight forward; Yesterday, 10:09 AM.

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  • Straight forward
    replied
    Good news from Nike Hoop Summit:

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  • Straight forward
    replied
    Cool vibe in the World's team it seems Couple of highlights from Kasparas. Nice mid ranger and that put back poster which seems to be the highlight of the camp thus far

    133 likes, 13 comments - ssvisualworksApril 9, 2024 on : "Got my money on the World Team this year‼️ @hoop.summit"


    Interesting how Jakcuionis will look in the game. He's one of the youngest out there and I think there's tons of guys who wants to shoot, like Will Riley with whom Jakucionis already played in BWB and who snatched the MVP. Dude's just shoots from everywhere and all the time, it's hard to keep the ball away from him. I expect more of such breed. Jakucionis is still very much 17yo, but physically he can go out there and meet the challenge.

    USA roster off course has one name to be excited and one that name is enough. Cooper Flagg. All the lights will be on this No.1 pick of 2025. He has it.

    I hope coach would give Jakucionis to run at 1 and dish the ball. Doubt anyone on world's team does it better.

    This paper on Jakucionis is false. His wingspan is longer and he surely doesn't weight as much, but it might be spot on on hands. Jakucionis has big hands:

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  • Straight forward
    replied
    Jakucionis already messing around in Nike Hoop Summit. Dude's special. I think he has a chance to be the second best guard historically after Sarunas Marciulionis. I get that kind of gut feeling observing him being still 17yo:

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  • Straight forward
    replied
    Couple of takes on Jakucionis. I'm starting to believe that our best 1 and 2 punch long term might be Marciulionis and Jakucionis. Augis guarding 1 and Jakucionis 2 who is better with size than super small agile players. As well as it may be complete money Jakucionis and Indrusaitis as 1 and 2 punch. Meaning these 3 players can offer pure 2 way presence. They will have plus game at both end for their positions. I don't know if D. Giedraitis can get there. I think he can't play 1 offensively and he's a bit too small at 2. He will adjust offensively with time in EL, but I don't see him being very good at offense even in his prime. I see him more as elite defender and solid role player offensively, playing relatively limited role for top EL clubs in his prime.

    At the same time there's Jokubaitis and Rubstavicius, two deadly lefties offensively, specially Rubstavicius. But it's important for them to improve their D to as much as possible, specially for contemporary basketball which transends and transends the limits of offensive these days. If you have no defensive presence it's hard to win with offensive elite EL or role NBA players these days. Basketball extended so far that you simply will be killed by such types as Doncic, SGA, Franz if you don't have defense. That's why 2 way presence is so precious these days.

    Talking about most dominant guards offensively this decade and early 30's, I think it will be between Jakucionis, Rubstavicius, Indrusaitis (Jokubaitis being close follow up in my book), but I'm kinda looking at the picture with 2 complete ballhandlers who are also defensive bulldogs. So to me ATM most intriguing picture is to see Marciulionis and Jakucionis playing 1 and 2 in some 2029 EB. Pure play making creativity and true positional size to fully deal with opposites at the other end. Throwing 2 true ballhanlders could be a game changer.

    Kasparas Jakucionis (Lithuania) | 6-4 Guard | 2006 | Barcelona

    Jakucionis was pretty quiet in the opening game but then really ramped things up after that and led undefeated Barcelona to the Championship, earning tournament MVP in the process. Along with teammate Dame Sarr, he helped form the best one-two punch in the tournament. Although Sarr may have more potential from an NBA perspective, Jakucionis is much more consistent and is clearly the alpha male leader on this Barcelona team. He’s a mature player with an advanced feel for the game. He still tends to hold on to the ball too much at times, but overall, I think his decision-making has improved a lot and he has cut down on his turnovers. He functions as a combo guard who is playing mostly as the primary ball-handler these days. He’s a good pick-and-roll player who can drive/kick well, too. He can also score when needed. He is a good slasher who can get to the rim with relative ease, thanks to his positional size — on top fo all this, he’s also a crafty finisher who draws a lot of fouls and gets to the free throw line at a solid rate. His three-point shot is very streaky but he seems to always make them when the game is on the line. On the defensive end, he is better against size than speed and will have to prove that he can defend smaller, quicker ball-handlers at the pro level. He outplayed Savo Drezgić in a clash between the two top lead guards in the tournament. Jakucionis would be a great college player, too, but the Barcelona program is grooming him to join the pro team sooner than later.


    In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight’s Jason Filippi compiles his scouting notes after spending multiple days evaluating the


    Kasparas Jakucionis 6’5 CG Lithuania 2006 Born FC Barcelona Highlights

    Kasparas Jakucionis followed up a strong BWB Global Camp in Indianapolis by winning MVP of this tournament in Belgrade. Averaging 17 points 7 rebounds 6.2 assists (to 3.5 turnovers) and 2.2 steals. He showcased a very mature game in half court sets. Using pick and rolls to get downhill and creating contact to get to the free throw line (where he was a perfect 27/27). He has a very compact and smooth jump shot, allowing him to be very efficient in the mid range. In addition he is very good off the ball with strong cuts and great footwork off catch and shoot opportunities. Will make and take side step and step back threes but at this event overall was surprisingly only 7/23 from long distance. Defensively competes to stop the point of attack and rotates well on the help side. Lacks elite athleticism or length on switches on the block but anticipates well in the passing lane which allows him to get a good share of steals. While he has improved dramatically in this category, there are still questions if he can man the point guard position at the highest level as he still has difficulties with his handles when pressured by a strong defender or double teamed. He is an unlikely one and done early entrant NBA draft candidate at this time, but after observing his progress over two seasons, there is no question that he is a worker and a high basketball IQ player who can shoot. It’s highly probable that he will eclipse players ranked higher in his class a few years down the road.


    The Adidas Next generation Tournament qualifier was held in Belgrade, Serbia from March 1st-3rd, 2004. This was the second of 4 qualifying tournaments where the best U18 clubs in Europe play each other for a for an auto bid to the finals that will be held in Berlin during the Euroleague Final Four (May 24-26,…



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  • Straight forward
    replied
    BTW, 2012 gen Lukas Jasikevicius might be good I watched some highs, it's soon to judge, but he has talent. In 3 more years when he will be 15-16yo it will be seen how talented it is, but my guess is that he might be the next elite PG after Jakucionis 2006.

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  • Straight forward
    replied
    I didn't say Giedraitis is a lock (he would be in my book), but he's much more than random youngster who could be tested. That's my point. IMO, he's the best small guard defender in entire EL. I have little doubt Maksvytis will want him.

    NCAA level droppe, but Marciulionis may already be better than Lekavicius and specially Kariniauskas. If Marciulionis will play friendly game against Slovenia and will look lost (as well as in practices) I'm all OK. But I'm not OK with simply ignoring him as last summer even when he really delivered in the reserve NT. That would not be understood. Maksvytis has not other option than to try him in the camp. If he won't do it he would come down in history as the biggest talent stopper of all NT coaches. He simply must do it. I'm all OK with Marciulionis being cut if needed, but he must be in NT environment already.

    We'll see if I'm wrong, but I think Marciulionis can impact the game more today than Lekavicius. Lekavicius today is too vulnerable defensively. Give Marciulionis any man and individually he will cope with that. Just as Giedraitis was ready for this since he was 20yo. Marciulionis now is even stronger than Giedraitis physically. These 2 lock down defenders would be on my team, unless Marciulionis would show clear signs that he's not mentally ready to play any offense yet at NT level which shouldn't be ruled out, but that's not what I expect. I think he can be OK offensively for a back up and great defensively for the NT already. Offensively you just want him to be aggressive with his drives and play rock solid p'n'r which he can. He really can get in and either find big or kick out and he can make some lay ups.

    In his prime Marciulionis will be a good scorer actually. He'll be a very good player. He made HUGE, actually amazing strides offensively this season. People who thought he's scoreless dude will be very very surprised when he will be balling in his prime.

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  • Shawshank
    replied
    Yes D.Giedraitis place in NT 2024 is not quaranted.I would take him personally,but his chances making team is 50/50.So he must be tested again in 2024.

    In 2023 Giedraitis wasnt ready. Offensively he has clear limitations and its hurts his chances

    Who had more experience of highest quality basketball D.Giedraitis in 2023 or Ncaa student that spent last 3 years playing 19-21youngsters?


    I know truth hurts about weak 2020s Ncaa players levels Especially when your beloved player shown that still raw player in most important season game even in that weak Ncaa.


    There were times when best Ncaa students would still doiminate best fiba men in 1970 and early 1980s

    But in 2020s Usa can collect all best ncaa students they arent making even top 8 in fiba fighting euroleague/nba players

    And some clueless fan imagine that Ncaa is still same powerfull league and give examples from those times as it would work today in 2024
    Last edited by Shawshank; 03-24-2024, 12:10 PM.

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  • Straight forward
    replied
    OK, we finish here When top 5 EL defender and the best small guard defender in the league D. Giedraitis can "only be tested" like some kind of talented 20yo, I finish discussion with you here No point to waist my time.

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  • Shawshank
    replied
    I repeating you 1990s and 2020s fiba and ncaa is diffrent times and levels. Dont compare orange with apples

    Tell me what Ncaa players did in last 5 fiba tournaments for top 10 NT ? nothing because 2020s Ncaa students is not ready to fight nba and euroleague players


    Estonia finished 1-4 and beat Great Britain in 2022 good for them.LTU standarts and requirements is bit diffrent.Im looking at NT who is trying to win, not just participate and live with raw PG up and downs.

    No time for tests in olympic short summer.Time for testing was 2021-2023.

    By 2024 coaches already knows how all players reacts to fiba tournament envirenments and act accordingly to that.


    When player like D.Giedraitis who has good euroleague season i get it,he is playing in level 4 and he surely can be tested. But NT coach have no time in most important summer start testing players from level 2.

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  • Straight forward
    replied
    Originally posted by Shawshank View Post
    in my opinion that was most important season game.Last year saint mary went further

    there is youth levels,student levels,men uleb leves and highest qaulity men levels

    jump from level 2 directly to level 4 for any player its adaptation time season or 2 seasons


    Jump directly to levels 4 with no past experience there youngster have no chance it wont be fair fight
    Not that experienced at PRO is not needed (Marciulionis has 1 season of LKL and CL), but you too fixated on this. Rememeber that all Karnisovas, Jasikevicius, Songailas, Kleizas and so on who went straight to the NT. And remember, specially, Kerr Kriisa who being 21yo has been dropping 10,8ppg and 5.8apg for Estonia in EB 2022. And that Estonia managed to lose only 3 pts vs Croatia, they swept Great Britain. In other words, Kriisa did really good job.

    Marciulionis is much more ready than 21yo Kriisa. Physically and experience wise. We should simply test him if he can give back ups PG benefits already. All cases are different and if Maksvytis won't test Marciulionis, BB community won't understand that. There have been enough protest last summer already.

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  • Shawshank
    replied
    in my opinion that was most important season game.Last year saint mary went further


    there is youth levels,student levels,men uleb levels and highest qaulity men levels

    jump from level 2 directly to level 4 for any player its adaptation time season or 2 seasons


    Jump directly to levels 4 with no past experience and ask them right away play well youngster have no chance it wont be fair fight

    All timers can jump through levels and learn on the fly,but for mortal players it takes seasons to adapt to increased physicality and levels.
    Last edited by Shawshank; 03-24-2024, 11:01 AM.

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  • Straight forward
    replied
    Damn, but that was one intense game. From extended highs it's pretty obvious what Grand Canyon offered extreme intensity defensively and they seemed to be more athletic, specially under the boards. So active and tough defensively, Gaels this time wasn't ready for this. I think winning WCC for the first time in 11 years and taking down Gonzaga kinda made them sleepy and not so hungry for the March Madness. But neverheless Gaels seems to always lack athleticism and they have to provide great shooting games to overcome the opponents. Nevertheless Marciulionis was feeding his teammates heavily and there's tons of action with him:

    Grand Canyon exploded in the second half to take down Saint Mary’s in the first round of the 2024 men’s NCAA tournament. Watch the extended highlights from t...

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  • Straight forward
    replied
    Originally posted by Shawshank View Post
    So after all those praises real pressure game came and they lost to team that never ever have won ncaa playoofs games before ... Marciulionis managed to score even 10pts shooting lousy 33%from the floor in 33min playing other youngsters

    Oh yeah he is ready for Puerturico emotional hell and olympic games facing euroleague and nba guards
    Now you're cherry picking. Last year in March Madness Marciulionis saved Geals and won them a first PO game. He was good in the second too. He wasn't entirely terrible in this game wither. 10pts and 8 assists. He turned the ball over too much though. IMO, that's very useful experience. You have to fail first to succeed later. Marciulionis came to this game as No.1 guy of his team generally. It could be pressure, it could be random bad game. Most importantly previously he showed he had it when Gaels won the WCC tournament and he was the MVP. Also in the regular season Marciulionis drained game winner three against Gonzaga too.

    Was it meh game? Sure. Does it reduce Marciulionis massive season? Only haters could think so. Good experience. He's in double digits in 3 Martch Madness games. Tubelis BTW failed in March Madness much more, but that doesn't make him a bad player.

    Anyway, I don't particularly like 3 months off now. Marciulionis needed a lot of playing time to get it going. 3 months off might not be good for him. I hope Maksvytis will select him to reserve NT together with Jakucionis (if possible) and later will invite him to the main camp too. Just give him a chance and see how he fairs with PROs now.

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  • Shawshank
    replied
    So after all those praises real pressure game came and they lost to unknown underdog team that never ever have won ncaa playoofs games before ... Marciulionis managed to score even 10pts shooting lousy 33% from the floor in 30min playing other youngsters

    Oh yeah he is ready for Puerturico emotional hell and olympic games facing euroleague and nba guards

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