Scouting: Wings (Winner League – Israel)

After a thrilling Winner League stretch run that culmulated in a close finals game between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Rishon Lezion, it’s about time to evaluate what we saw in the past weeks. In the second of three parts it’s all about the wings. Deni Avdija, Rafi Menco, Tim Coleman – those and plenty more!


NBA Draft

Deni Avdija (Maccabi Tel Aviv) – ’01 | 2.04m
Ended his last season in Israel with a chip. Used the break to get better. Tweaked his shooting form, gained more strength, played a bigger role. Was Maccabi’s main weapon on the wing and dominated in the first games. Cooled off a little bit after that, but was still able to impact the game. Rebounded the ball well and knocked down his free throws. Pushed the ball in transition and was great with room to operate. A beast as a straight line driver and also good in the halfcourt when the defense was already scrambling. Found open teammates as usual, but had some problems with his ballhandling against aggressive defense. Three ball looked good early on, but percentages decreased with each game and it became obvious that he still needs time to improve. Took a lot of them and still has to get used to his new shooting form in a game setting. Impacted the game defensively with his size, especially near or at the rim. Was up and down as a finisher against contact at the basket. Either was super aggressive with opportunistic finishes over guys or tried to finesse his way into some points with eurosteps and floaters. Overall really solid tournament for him. Next stop NBA.


German BBL bound

Tim Coleman (Gilboa Galil) – ’95 | 1.96m
Played in Finland at the start of the season, then went to Gilboa after the break. Already signed with Crailsheim for the upcoming year. Really rugged wing, that plays hard on both ends. Blocks shots, hits threes, rebounds – does a little bit of everything. Can battle with 4’s thanks to his body but also defend guards or wings. Active as a help defender. Solid shooter, who can also drive to the cup. Can absorb contact but doesn’t have an elite first step and isn’t an elite leaper. Toughness is there though. Was more of a glue guy for Gilboa Galil next to Thomasson and Young, but will be more aggressive with Crailsheim. Still young, can push the pace and will be in a great spot next season. Player worth following!

Shavon Coleman (Hapoel Holon) – ’92 | 1.96m
Also signed in the BBL, will be the main man on the wing for Mitteldeutscher BC. Lanky wing with the ability to defend multiple positions. Too aggressive on closeouts at times, but good versatility overall. Can easily defend 1/2/3 and tries to be active against 4’s. Good spot-up shooter on offense with potential to do a little bit of everything. Not a playmaker for others, but comfortable with posting or facing up and driving to the rim. Not the smartest driver, but has decent quickness. Makes some mistakes on both ends but displays activity and versatility and should be a solid player for his new team in Germany.


Offensive talent

Michael Young (Gilboa Galil) – ’94 | 2.03m
Another really rugged 3/4 with good on-ball scoring ability. Came midseason to Gilboa Galil and really established himself as the main offensive weapon. Averaged 17.4 points in the twelve games since the restart of the league and shot over 50% from the field.  Not the fastest athlete, but tries to bully people, posts or faces up and has the ball in his hands a lot. Goes one on one and loves to keep the dribble alive, always playing at his own pace. Solid shooter, takes a few threes each game, but not his main weapon and also more than comfortable with tough midrange shots. Not the best shooter from the line. Could be more of a ball mover than a ball stopper, but gets buckets so tough to criticize him. Plus he finds guys when the double team is coming and is definitely more than just a scorer. Averaged over two assists a game.

J.R. Holder (Maccabi Ashdod) – ’94 | 2.01m
More of a versatile wing than a true big. Can play 3 and 4 and really score on offense. Good size, but fairly slim and lanky, not the most imposing player physical wise. Pretty advanced skillet on offense. Can put the ball on the floor and push it in transition, create his own shot, let it fly from everywhere on the floor, spot up, curl around screens or take down smaller guys in the post. Had a really solid stint with Ashdod and produced almost each game. Doesn’t pound the ball like a Mike Young and rather looks to get to his spots within the flow of the offense. Took some bad shots, but could really flourish in a better team with less focus on him. Could add some more weight if he plays more at the 4 and should work on his lateral mobility. Doesn’t possess elite quickness and shouldn’t be considered a good defender.


Going abroad

Rafi Menco (Hapoel Eilat) – ’94 | 2.00m
High IQ player on offense and a great shooter. Really good spot-up target and loves to play the off-screen game. Either takes the three or gets a little bit closer to the rim and shoots the midrange J. Also able to hit floaters and attack closeouts with the drive. Can run the pick and roll too and has an eye for the open guy. Just a smart decision maker on offense, who moves well without the ball. Not the most athletic guy though. Has to impact the game with his shooting and his IQ. Defensively not a stopper, puts solid pressure on guys but gets beaten on backdoor plays and is just not able to keep up with quick wings or guards. Not a huge switch-guy, fairly limited to the 3. Enjoyed a breakout season this year and will play for Chalon in 20/21. Will have some trouble with the athleticism in France, but has the IQ and the shooting ability on offense to easily impact the game.


3&D

Zac Cuthbertson (Maccabi Ashdod) – ’96 | 2.01m
Has crazy long (and thin) legs. Really high center of gravity, isn’t able to push people around at all. But more than just a physical specimen, has some game too! Shooting form and overall movement don’t look smooth and fluid, but can definitely hit threes, mostly as a spot-up shooter. Can handle the ball a bit, likes to shoot it when he has to create for himself and looks to shoot over smaller guys in the post. Fills the lane in transition and can really go up and down. His overall offense besides the three ball and his transition play looks improvised at times, but he can get some buckets here and there. Not a good driver though. 3&D guy at the 3/4, but not a player for high level teams.

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