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Highlights: Croatia beat Spain 80-55 in FIBA Europe U18s +++ Highlights: Serbia coast past Lithuania 83-67 at FIBA Europe U18s +++ Highlights: Greece beat Italy 85-68 in FIBA Europe U18s +++ VIDEO: Basketball World Cup of Beer – Opening Ceremony and Schedule +++ Serbia and Croatia make statements at FIBA U18s +++ Coach James Weldon gives his thoughts on Dragan Bender +++ Sarunas Jasikevičius retires, joins Zalgiris in coaching role +++ Vintage Drazen Petrovic jersey up for auction +++ Ireland announce select squad for Luxembourg friendlies +++ We really need you to nominate beers +++
Jun
3

Europeans in 2013 NBA Draft: Consensus, Best-Case Scenarios, Official Fearless Predictions™ on our Top 10

NBA Draft Day 2013 is upon us and while US-based media mostly grouses about the lack of high-quality players this time ‘round, European basketball fans have much to look forward to one year after a first round passed with no Continental player selected. In the 2013 edition, a dozen or so European ballers are reasonably in the running to hear their names called within the 60 picks – and several will go in the first.

BallinEurope today takes a look at our top 10 prospects for this NBA Draft and Officially Fearlessly Predicts the fates of each. From thousands of mock drafts floating about the blogosphere, BiE called on seven good sources in order to form something of a “consensus” opinion. (“Consensus” is in quotes there for this oddest of drafts in which even the no. 1 overall is a question mark – and any semblance of agreement is lost by no. 7 on this list…) In seeking wisdom from all corners great and small, the mix includes specialists NBAdraft.net and Draft Express; big media outlets Yahoo Sports and the USA Today’s “common sense” mock; and the Hoops Hype, Dime Magazine, Real GM and Prospects in Europe websites.

Let the speculation roll on and enjoy the show tonight (this morning CET)!

The BallinEurope top 10 includes the following…

Alex Len is the poster boy for the uncertainty principle overriding the 2013 NBA Draft as the conception of Nerlens Noel has gone from prohibitive no. 1 choice to possibly the second-biggest center available behind Len. The Ukrainian first garnered serious buzz on opening day in 2012, when he was able to torch Noel and his Kentucky Wildcats for 23 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks; unfortunately for Len (though maybe also fortunate, as Noel’s stock drops), ankle surgery preempted his pre-Draft workouts.

Consensus: A top six pick, most likely by the Cleveland Cavaliers at no. 1, the Charlotte Bobcats at no. 4 or the New Orleans Pelicans at no. 6. (This draft is awesome.)

Best case scenario: Is Len facing lose-lose situations with any of these three teams, each of which worked him out in the pre-Draft? If taken at no. 1, Len gets a fat contract with immediate high expectations and Bargnaniphobia as just the second-ever European chosen first. At no. 4, he goes to the Bobcats and, well, they’re the Bobcats; at no. 6 with the Pelicans, Len figures to get quality time but with a smaller paycheck. All things considered, BiE sides with the personal cash grab: Best for Len is to go to the Cavaliers … and help the city of Cleveland hold its breath in anticipation of Lebron James’ impending freedom in 2014.

Official BallinEurope Fearless Prediction™: Len to the Charlotte Bobcats – and gods have mercy on him…

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Apr
0

Podcast: Talking 2013 Nike Hoop Summit, NBA flopping with SI’s Ben Golliver; Euroleague quarterfinals analysis; reviewing They Live

Episode #30 of the BallinEurope/heinnews weekly podcast Taking The Charge is now available online and on iTunes.

David Hein and BiE are joined this week by Ben Golliver of SI.com and Blazers Edge; based in Portland, Ben was lucky enough to have attending the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit live and so much time is spent discussing prospects and performance of Livio Jean-Charles, Andrew Wiggins, Dennis Schroder and the rest of the top-quality youth players from that game. (The match in its entirety is still available on YouTube and is embedded directly below.)

Golliver also shares some thoughts on the NBA’s first seasons with “flopping” rules in the books; it seems the man has become something of the expert on the move over there at SI.com, ultimately culminating in the wonderful Floppies awards ranking the 10 most ridiculous dives of the season over there.

Also on our collective mind of course are this week’s Euroleague quarterfinal games five; while Semih Erden and Jamon Lucas were heroic in two Anadolu Efes wins, can the Turkish side continue to neutralize Vassilis Spanoulis’ playmaking ability? And can FC Barcelona produce enough points (like, more than 70) to top the masterful Panathinaikos half-court D?

Finally, our tenuously-related sports movie review of the week focuses on the 1988 cult classic They Live starring professional wrestling all-time great Roddy Piper – one of the great flicks about the Reagan era 80s in America, except with great throwaway lines and comic-book hilarity.

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

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Apr
3

France’s Livio Jean-Charles leads World Team to 112-98 shootout win, first back-to-back victory since 1999 [Highlights]

Those squeezing in viewings of the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit game between NBA playoff matches yesterday not only saw quite the shootout featuring world-class talent but also a bit of history: In upping their all-time record to 5-11 against Team USA with the 112-98 win, the World Select Team earned their second back-to-back win ever in the competition and first repeat since 1999.

The big news individually speaking was ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne’s Livio Jean-Charles, who overshadowed his more headline-grabbing teammate Andrew Wiggins of Canada, with a huge 27 points and 13 rebounds. (For the record on this day, Jean-Charles is currently projected as a #36 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft over at Draft Express; surely this guy’s stock will be rising before the Day…) Team World overcame fierce performances from prospective Duke Blue Devil Jabari Parker (22 points) and Kentucky Wildcat-to-be Julius Randle (19 points, eight rebounds).

But without further ado – To the highlight clips!

Oregon Live put together a “top 15 plays of the game” clip for your debate perusal – No, one second thought, BiE’ll go with “debate”. How did Rondaé Hollis-Jefferson’s insane pickpocket steal of and follow-up jam on Mouhammadou Jaiteh only land at no. 10, for example? For another, how did Randle’s reverse baseline dunk get beaten by Dante Exum’s circusy and-one? In any case, see for yourselves…

Here’s a more styled game-highlight compilation put together by BallisLife which puts the emphasis on the individual, showing how the showcase features of the ‘Summit…

And major props to the always excellent Euroleague Adventures, for their excellent job video-recording *everything* in the leadup to the game. A couple samples from their post-game work run below – there’s Jean-Charles described (correctly) and the should’ve-been-game MVP, followed by Team Russia/Triumph Lyubertsy’s Sergey Karasev on “Being a Sharp Shooter”. BiE seriously urges you to check out ELA’s massive cache of clips from the Nike Hoop Summit as well – right here.

Congratulations again to the World Select Team on the victory; we’ll leave with a Tweet, perhaps a suggestion for success to future Nike Hoop Summit squads: Maybe it’s all about the bonding…

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May
0

Nous sommes les champions: INSEP takes Nike Invitational Junior Tournament

Congratulations to the lads at INSEP for demolishing yet another BallinEurope fearless prediction taking the academy’s first-ever Nike International Junior Tournament in the team’s first-ever final four bid. Livio Jean-Charles had another outstanding game for the French side, contributing 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists on the way to the tournament MVP award.

Official Euroleague writeup below the break.

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May
1

Nike Invitational Junior Tournament pits defending champs FMP against hometown INSEP (plus fearless prediction)

FMP Belgrade benefited from another nice effort from go-to guy Bogdan Bogdanovic to take their second nail-biter in two days: FMP topped Unicaja, 79-78, on a buzzer-beater by Bogdanovic for his 20th and 21st points in the game. The win capped a perfect 3-0 run for the Serbian side, the only team in this year’s Nike Invitational Junior Tournament to do so.

Meanwhile, France’s INSEP shocked BallinEurope’s pick to take the tourney (another fearless prediction gone awry, i fear), Zalgiris Kaunas, 89-82. In his increasingly dominant play, Livio Jean-Charles was the French team’s top player with 20 points and seven rebounds. Jean-Charles is now averaging 16.7 ppg on 72% shooting (!) over the NIJT finals thus far, quite an improvement over the 10.2 per game on 58.6% he managed in the first stage in Belgrade.

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