Early Look Notebook (FIBA BCL Qualifiers): Wing Creators

The FIBA BCL Qualifiers have been a interesting couple weeks of intense basketball. You don’t want to judge or praise too early. It’s a long season. But these QF game really had teams battling to get that BCL payday, it was fierce competition. There was of course a lot of sloppy play and miscommunication that comes with any early season ball.  But the Round 3 games were wars.

With basketball continuing to evolve into having playmakers at almost every positions, here are some big wings who showed off their creation ability.

Coty Clarke, Avtodor Saratov

Was one of the the most versatile players in the Qualifiers. Finally given more freedom and allowed to play his positionless style.  Instead of being stuck in a corner waiting for Keith Langford to make an end of shot clock decision, Clarke is back to his grab and go style. He’s better off being slotted at the 4 where his strength is more than capable and it allows the team to have floor stretching at a bigger position. Still Clarke saw plenty of minutes at the 3 as well, his versatility moves him around.

Clarke was particularly good attacking off the catch in the QF. He’s got a strong handle and great strength, using both to bulldoze his way into the lane for a push shot or lay in. When matched up vs. a SF like Capo’s Justin Edwards, the defender is just not big enough to contain Coty. He got quite a few grab and go opportunities, the decision making was questionable as he is still feeling out his teammates. Clarke went cold from 3 vs Capo, especially in the final game where Avtodor got blown out in Sicily.

Hans Vanwijn, Antwerp Giants

The young post-up 3 started every game for Antwerp. Hans has the size of a 4 but considering Antwerp’s positional depth and his post up advantage on smaller players, he was often slotted at the 3. His post game is still unrefined but still a weapon. Vanwijn has vision, he makes tricky, unexpected passes. He also developed some chemistry with David Dudzinski who really cut well when Vanwijn was posted. Vanwijn has perimeter skills too, even flashed a 3/5 PnR pocket pass to a rolling Bako.

His shot making is still a work in progress, Vanwijn takes contact well and contorts his body for tough finishes. His body is so hyper, his finishes usually aren’t clean. He struggled at times vs. Radom.

But what stood out about Vanwijn the most was his physical attributes and his activity level. He flies around the court. A regular contributor on the offensive glass. When he fights for post position it’s quite a squabble of arms and limbs flailing around trying to gain an advantage. He’s everywhere.

Alandise Harris, Alba Fehervar

The extremely bulky and powerful Harris finally found his way to Europe. Alba had a surprisingly nice QF run, losing out to Karsiyaka on aggregate after beating them in the 1st leg at home.  Harris is a bowling bowl of strength. He’s just a power attacker, facing up and going right at the defense. Harris is a wild decision maker but part of that unpredictability helps him as it’s hard to guess when he’s about to rise up for a shot. Harris took numerous off the dribble 3’s with mixed results. Even with his thick frame Harris is quite nimble, he shifts side to side quickly and once he gets some momentum he’s tough to stop. Threw down a couple thunder dunks. And developed nice chemistry with fellow Euro rookie Kasey Hill. The two form a dynamic slashing combo. Unfortunately that combo will be touring the FIBA Europe Cup this season.

Patrik Auda, Rosa Radom

Had his way scoring wise in both games. Was deadly vs. closeouts, had the shot fake and go move down. Antwerp didn’t have a good cover for him, Schoepen really struggled because he was too slow to guard him. Auda was super efficient scorer (16/21 FG thru 2 games), using a variety of finishes, comfortable going up off either foot, was very smooth going around defenders in front of the rim. Just navigate drives well, caught interior defenders off guard.

Dwayne Evans, Ludwigsburg

Evans is a different style to the rest of the group. He’s really more undersized power forward/big than wing. While he has some stretch ability and is a quasi spot-up threat, he really does his best work inside. Evans is a fighter, much more physical than whomever was guarding him. Evans does put up some flings at the rim, he lacks touch. But he consistently created shots near the basket. Turning many drives into quick post-ups or just power finishes. He’s the guy who keeps grabbing his own offensive rebound until it goes in. He led Ludwigsburg in scoring after they basically steamrolled thru all three qualification stages.