HoopsHype Lithuania rumors

August 7, 2012 Updates

Valanciunas has not made much of an impact for Lithuania so far at these Games. This is a far cry from what he did in Eurobasket, when he played 15.7 minutes, averaged 8.4 points and 4.1 rebounds, and had 18 points on 8-for-9 shooting in a stellar game against Serbia. Sporting News

Coming off the bench, and without the prospect of beginning his NBA career in less than two months, Valanciunas seemed to put less pressure on himself to produce last year. Now, he is pressing. Beyond that, Kemzura said, Valanciunas still needs a lot of work. “It is like with most big men who have no experience,” Kemzura said. “First he must get bigger and stronger. He must be able to hold his position and he needs strength for this. Second, he needs better post moves. He is still learning basics. He will play with his back to the basket when he is older. But now, he must learn. He needs to learn these things, and he will, but he will need time. He has a lot of work to do.” Sporting News

August 6, 2012 Updates
August 4, 2012 Updates

It takes good fortune for Lithuania to stay with Team USA, and that comes with open 3-pointers that clank away and missed free throws. Lithuania coach Kestutis Kemzura confessed that his staff made hard decisions on the U.S. players they were willing to let shoot (Chris Paul, Deron Williams) and those who always had to be contested (Durant and Anthony). Sometimes, it worked. Sometimes, there was a price to be paid. "You have to pick your poison," Kemzura said, "and decide how you want to die." Yahoo! Sports

Marc Stein: Lithuania's Darius Songaila told me postgame he hopes to sign back in NBA ASAP. Definitely had his moments vs. Team USA: 11 pts in 17 mins Twitter

Such memories naturally come flooding back in advance of Saturday’s Group A game between the teams, especially since Jasikevicius, now 36, is still running the show on occasion for the Lithuanians in his fourth Olympics. "Saras is the best quarterback Lithuania has ever had," says Dallas Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, using Jasikevicius' well-known nickname after serving as an assistant on the Lithuanian bench for multiple trips to the Olympics at the request of close friend and Lithuanian legend Sarunas Marciulionis. Reminded that Saras is participating in the Summer Games for the fourth time, Nelson added: "He must be drinking from the same fountain as [former Mavericks point guard] Jason Kidd." ESPN.com

“There are like 250,000 Lithuanians in Great Britain,” said veteran forward Darius Songaila, who had stints in the NBA with Sacramento, Chicago, Washington, New Orleans and Philadelphia before returning to Europe the past two seasons. “A lot of people come out and support us. We find Lithuanians working in the stands and security and the cafeteria. Everywhere. The crowd is unbelievable coming out and supporting us. It’s almost like a home game.” ESPN.com

July 9, 2012 Updates
July 1, 2012 Updates

Mark Jones: Raptors quietly hoping Valenciunas not in Olympics. Raps source "he needs to get into NBA mode in summer league.its a big adjustment for him" Twitter

June 26, 2012 Updates

Stefanski, general manager Bryan Colangelo, head coach Dwane Casey and director of sports science Alex McKechnie went to Houston this weekend to watch Valanciunas, the fifth pick from last year’s draft, and small forward Linas Kleiza take part in Lithuania’s camp in advance of next week’s Olympic qualification tournament in Venezuela. “There could have been a foul called on every bounce of the ball. This kid didn’t back down once. That’s what I like about him most: He doesn’t back down against older men who are pushing and shoving and hitting him.” National Post

June 25, 2012 Updates
June 24, 2012 Updates
June 22, 2012 Updates
June 13, 2012 Updates

The international debut of Donatas Motiejunas is delayed for at least one more year after it was announced that the 21-year-old forward won't play for his country this summer. TalkBasket

According to some reports, the player asked coach Kestutis Kemzura for guarantee that he won't be benched at the national team. Kemzura refused to accept such request and eventually Motiejunas decided to contentrate on his move to the NBA instead of joining the national team. TalkBasket

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