HoopsHype.com Articles

Under the microscope
by Jorge Sierra / May 12, 2003

Anderson Varejao, FC Barcelona / 6-10, PF
Final Four stats: 1.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 50.0 FG%, 7.0 mpg

Hit one mid-range jumper in the semifinal against CSKA Moscow and one free-throw in the final against Benetton Treviso. That was all Brazilian forward Anderson Varejao brought to the table offensively for his team in the Final Four. Not that he got many chances to score. Being one of the last offensive options in FC Barcelona (which makes sense considering the amount of talented scorers in the squad), he barely got touches in positions where he could be a threat. He was very active on the other side of the court. If he keeps getting stronger, he could possibly guard both forward spots in the NBA.

Juan Carlos Navarro, FC Barcelona / 6-4, SG
Final Four stats: 6.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 25.0 FG%

With all the things going on in Washington right now, the good news for Navarro may be that the Wizards, which selected him with the 40th overall pick last year, have probably not paid much attention to his performance in the Final Four. Offensively, he had two consecutives off nights -- shooting a combined 3-of-12 from the field. Things didn't go better for him on the other end of the court. Not coincidentally, JR Holden had his biggest offensive explosion of the weekend when Navarro was the one in charge of stopping him. Doesn't look like he will be able to guard players like Holden -- which you can find everywhere in the NBA -- if he gets a chance in the league. His playmaking skills are still lacking. Still plays the two spot in Europe.

Viktor Khryapa, CSKA Moscow / 6-9, SF
Final Four stats: 5.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 50.0 3P%

Ever since his name began to surface as a major prospect, Viktor Khryapa has drawn comparisons to Andrei Kirilenko. While the similarities are obvious, Khryapa is not even close to the basketball level Kirilenko displayed in Europe before entering the league. That said, Khryapa has some qualities that make him NBA material. He is very athletic, can finish the break, has good rebounding skills and a reliable outside shot if he has a clean look. Defensively, he has the attitude -- just not enough skills. Barcelona superstar Dejan Bodiroga got him into early foul trouble after beating him off the dribble repeatedly in the first quarter of the semifinal game.

Sergey Monya, CSKA Moscow / 6-8, SF
Final Four stats: 6.5 ppg, 2.5 ppg, 50.0 FG%, 13.0 mpg

Made the most of his minutes on the floor and helped his draft stock in front of the NBA scouts. While he is not yet as developed as a basketball player as Khryapa, he appears to be a little bit more athletic and has a better shooting mechanic. Like Khryapa, he also got into early foul trouble.

Darius Songaila, CSKA Moscow / 6-9, PF
Final Four stats: 14.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.0 spg, 39.2 FG%

His mobility and nice inside-outside game make him hard to stop when he is inspired. But that was not the case in Barcelona -- especially in the semifinal game.

Manuchar Markoishvili, Benetton Treviso / 6-5, SG
Final Four stats: 1.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 25.0 FG%, 11.5 mpg

Prestigious Italian coach Ettore Messina must have seen something especial in this 17-year-old player to give him significant minutes in games of this magnitude. Didn't make anything worth noting, but this is a name you have to remember.

Kresimir Loncar, Benetton Treviso / 6-11, C
Final Four stats: -

Was not in the best physical condition and didn't get the chance to play a single minute -- more less the same minutes he may have played had he been healthy. Loncar told HoopsHype that he still has to discuss his options (regarding the draft) with his agent. He may not be ready for the NBA skills-wise, but he clearly has an NBA body.

Jorge Sierra is the editor of HoopsHype.com