Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 International Draftee Scouting Reports (Part I): Tornike Shengelia & Tomas Satoransky

We'll begin our series of international draft prospect scouting reports by focusing on two possible 2nd round prospects, Tornike Shengelia (Georgia) and Tomas Satoransky (Czech Republic).

Tornike Shengelia
6-9 PF
Spirou Charleroi (Belgium)
20 Years Old (Born 11/91)

In 12 Euroleague games, Shengelia averaged 7.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 1.7 TOpg while shooting 43.6% overall (31% from long range) in 18 minutes of action. His Belgian League numbers were similar, but he managed one more rpg in Belgium.

Spirou was one of the weaker teams in the Euroleague and were eliminated after the first round. Spirou lost in the Belgian finals 3-2 to Oostende.

What you like about Shengelia is his willingness to throw his body around vs. older players. An above-average athlete by European standards with a solid build. Could probably use 5-10 more lbs. but he handles contact fairly well.

Proven to be a reliable rebounder. Besides rebounding, his other strength is ball-handling. Good handle for player his size and combines it with solid footwork to drive the ball effectively.

Very adept utilizing spin moves. Also will use hesitations, crossovers and reverse spin fakes. Even adept with a Euro-step move on his drives. Uses his handle mostly to wind his way to the rim. But not a point-forward type like Hedo. Tornike's rarely looking to dish the ball to a teammate.

Spirou would call upon Shengelia to isolate quite a bit. According to Synergy Sports Tech, 20% of Tornike's offensive possessions came on isolations, where he produced at a solid clip. But it's either all the way to the rim, or nothing; has no intermediate game. It's pretty much all lay-ins and dunks for Tornike.

What holds Tornike's game back is a lack of a reliable jumper. Shows no inkling of being able to hit pull-ups. NBA defenders will likely give him a big cushion and this could temper his driving ability, considering he will be defended by better athletes. But still think his ball-handling/footwork combo can allow him to sneak by NBA defenders at a decent clip.

Got a fair amount of post touches this season and did a solid job scoring on the blocks. Dangerous spinning baseline on both blocks. Finishes well with his left hand. But if the defender can keep him a few feet away from the rim he has trouble finishing off his post moves. His lack of touch limits his post game as he can't reliably score with a hook or turnaround.

Decent (but not great) finishing ability. Capable scorer in transition, rolls and cuts (does move well off the ball). On plays close to rim tracked by Synergy, he managed 1.09 points-per-possession, which is average. You would expect a player of his athleticism to be a somewhat better finisher vs. European comp.

Would categorize him as a subpar defender by European standards which should raise concerns about his NBA prospects. Looks to be a liability on the defensive end. Tends to be slow moving his feet laterally. It doesn't help that he hunches forward and fails to bend his knees adequately. His post defense is suspect as well--he doesn't hold his ground well.

Another concern is propensity for fouls--averaged roughly three fouls in 20 mpg in both the EL and the Belgian league. His free throw shooting needs improving as well (68% in EL, 63% in Belgium).

Projects to be an energy forward off the bench in the NBA. Ideally prefer a NBA energy forward provide some rebounding, garbage buckets around the rim and some solid defense. Tornike can provide two of the three but not sure he's capable of quality defense in the NBA.

Nonetheless, he's proven to be a valuable contributor in the best league outside the NBA. That's enough to warrant consideration as a possible 2nd-Round pick.

Tomas Satoransky
6-7 PG
Cajasol Sevilla
20 Years Old (Born 10/91)

Tomas piques the interest of NBA decision makers because he's a 6-7 point guard with good athleticism. Satoransky was a quality contributor on Cajasol Sevilla, a team that finished a respectable 18-16 in the ACB and was bounced by Real Madrid in the quarterfinals.

In 36 ACB games, Tomas averaged 4.8 ppg, 1.3 apg, 2 rpg, 1.4 TOpg while shooting 43% overall in 17 minutes per game.

What's really holding him back from possible first round consideration is his poor shooting ability. Shot only 27% behind the arc. It's safe to give him plenty of cushion when he's handling the ball.

Satoransky's shot is in need of serious retooling. Doesn't possess an ideal follow-through: seems to twist his shooting arm resulting in a very labored release. Basically his shot needs to be overhauled. Shows no ability to hit pull-ups at a closer range.

Doesn't help his game that he's a mediocre finisher at the rim (1.06 points-per-possession on shots at the basket). A little disappointing considering his size and decent hops. Though, he does show promise with his floater.

Sometimes seems to take off on forays into the paint without any plan. This leads to haphazard shots or passes into traffic.

His athleticism doesn't really seem to shine through in half-court situations (at least on video). Satoransky doesn't really explode to the rim or swiftly turn the corner. And he doesn't really elevate at the rim on his half-court drives.

He did test out very well athletically at the Euro pre-draft camp and his athleticism becomes more apparent in transition situations.

Natural comparsion to another big, athletic PG, Alexey Shved, who was a being considered as potential 2nd-Round pick in 2010. But we were much higher on Shved's NBA prospects (even thought he should have been a first-rounder) than Satoransky's.

Shved's jumper was somewhat erratic a few years back but his mechanics were not too bad. Plus, Shved looked solid hitting shots off the bounce. Just think Shved was/is a more dynamic player with more bounce to his movements.

Don't find Satoransky to be a super creative playmaker or passer. He's not bad, just don't find his passing ability to be unique. Also, his assist rate was nothing special.

Though his defensive numbers were not great, Tomas impresses on defensive end with terrific effort and focus. Possesses a sound defensive stance, moves his feet and changes direction well. Also, works hard to get around picks.

Now how this translates to defending NBA guards, particularly opposing points... not sure. Some points will cause him problems, but think he will be able to hold his own defensively in the NBA. His length and good footwork should allow him to give a little more space than other guards.

Might to be to Tomas' benefit to be paired with an undersized 2-guard he can cross-match with so he can switch onto shooting guards sometimes.

Would constantly pick up the opposing point way up high and try to hound the ball-handler. Cajasol constantly asked him to be in ball-pressure mode. Sometimes this would backfire as the ball-handler had too much room to get by.

Like in Shengelia's case, would like Satoransky's NBA prospects better if he had a reliable jumper.

Not overly impressed with his overall game, but the fact he handles the ball so well for his size (and possesses enough athletic talent) makes him a 2nd-round target for teams looking for a reserve point.


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