Week #2 Prospects notes from EuroLeague: Usman Garuba
I’m Kuzey, 19. I’ve been writing about basketball since I was 9. I have been working in Eurosport Turkey for the last 1,5 years. I have written on various sites and magazines before. I’ve been working as a freelance scout for three years. I worked as a consultant. I have interviewed dozens of prospects such as Theo Maledon, Deni Avdija, Henri Drell, Aleksej Pokusevski, Arturs Kurucs, Yves Pons, and dozens of notable basketball people such as Luis Scola, Xavi Pascual, Jonathan Givony, Dimitris Itoudis, Sasa Obradovic, Joan Plaza, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Derrick Williams. I write an article every day. I live in Turkey, I go to all the Euroleague and Youth League games. My main areas are all of age group in Africa and from U12 to U20 European and NCAA. MY BIGGEST GOAL IS SCOUTING! Anyway, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and feel free to DM!
There will be two primary parts of this new series. EuroCup and BCL in one part, and only EuroLeague in the other. I will share my game notes about prospects in these three competitions. EuroCup and BCL notes will be published every Friday and EuroLeague notes will be published every Saturday.
PS: I tried to choose the things that matter both good and bad offensively and defensively, instead of explaining all the positions one by one.
Real Madrid 77–93 Valencia BC
Usman Garuba — 2002 — F/C — #16–6'8'’ — Real Madrid — Spain
Four points, three rebounds, three blocks, zero turnover
2/3 2FG, 0/1 3FG
Had off the ball spacing, mostly on the left corner
First in: Starter
Last out: Finished
Who were his defenders on the offensive end and his opponents on the defensive end?
- Derrick Williams: 18 minutes, seven points.
- Louis Labeyrie: 20 minutes, nine points and six rebounds.
Real Madrid had a regular-season nightmare yesterday against Valencia Basketball. Offensively, Walter Tavares and Facundo Campazzo brought something to the table. On the defensive end, some one-and-one situations were good. However, at the end of the day, lack of great teamwork hurt them both on the offensive end and on the defensive end. So, was a bad day for Real Madrid. But I think was a great day for Usman Garuba. I don’t say he had excellent things on the stats sheet (also yes, had something, three blocks, not bad?) but his defensive effort, spacing effect using his attack to the rim ability and effort were good in my opinion.
Standing 6-foot-8, ex NBA player, 29 years old Derrick Williams who one of two matchups in this game, is an athletic, energetic small forward but against Garuba, he had hard times on the offensive end. Really had hard times.
Standing 6-foot-10, smart, 28 years old Louis Labeyre has good basketball vision to make something and he did a good job as a micro player yesterday but when he played against Garuba, LL had hard times too.
Besides Williams and Labeyre, Garuba guarded Bojan Dubljevic three times. Finishing game with 23 PER and 24 points, two of Dubljevic’s three unsuccessful attacking attempts were against Garuba.
Offensively, Garuba had not too much responsibility as usual. He generally waited on the left corner, created space for Facundo Campazzo, Rudy Fernandez and Sergio Llull. Sometimes he did a great job on off the ball screen and left down zipper games, also had four points thanks to his impressive athleticism and BBIQ.
So, as usual, Garuba had not 15 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists or something like that. But his good curve continues consistently, and this is good. Because he has important minutes top of European basketball. Learns a lot of things to translate these things into the NBA. So, good game.
Two blocks in two seconds. Okay, Derrick Williams is not a great post-up player and to be honest, his performance is not great last 1,5 years. However, D-Will still an athletic, explosive player but look at how Garuba jumped with impressive balance and made a block here. In second block, excellent second jump in terms of quickness and timing, also, credit to Walter Tavares’ help-side eyes.
Great trailer things here. As Garuba runs towards Valencia’s half-court, he is slow at first, but then increases his pace and draws Williams’ defensive focus on him. So, he created, perfect space in front of Tavares. In addition, the jump space that Garuba creates by getting ahead of his opponent at the end of the position is also impressive.
Nice bucket. As always, Garuba is waiting outside the 3-points line. Meanwhile, D-Will’s defensive focus is on the strong-side. Garuba sees this, also sees the pressure on Fabian Causeur. UG makes a perfect flash cut. He jumps great after an impressive hop after taking the ball and ends position with soft touch.
Jesus. He did this help-side block against 6-foot-9 and 260-pound frame, also, MVP of the game, Bojan Dubljevic.
Crazy to understand it. After defended ballscreen, made this impressive rotation and more importantly, had block. Just a unique defender.
Again. Grabbed the ball in front of Dubljevic. Uses his shoulders, jumps amazing, D-Will makes a good help-defense but Garuba knows how to use the glass to avoid blocks. IMPRESSIVE in my opinion.
It was not good. Not in terms of forces the game, but in terms of how to use his strength on long post games. He had a mismatch here but had not hit.
Ok, I think that’s perfect too. Valencia aims to find free points by sliding Derrick Williams on off the ball screen to under the basket while playing the BD post-up. However, Garuba’s impressive sliding and quickness worked here.
Quick, very quick hands, great timing to the basketball, nice stop balance. Did it transition… PS: Williams was one of the best transition attacker last season.
Look at how Garuba drags Williams himself to create space for Facu.