Partizan 92, Red Star Belgrade 83: Milosavljevic stars with 18 points, dagger dunk

In Serbia, Partizan Belgrade seeks to defend its national title for the 11th straight year; in topping Crvena Zvezda/Red Star Belgrade, 92-83, last night, they’ve taken the first step.

Dragan Milosavljevic was the stud for Partizan with 18 points, six rebounds and four assists – plus one monster dunk late that helped seal the W for the Black-and-Whites, much to the delight of Miroslav Raduljica.

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What good can Dominic James bring to Partizan?

Welcome to Partizan Belgrade, Dominic James! “Now,” wonders the Grobari fan, “what can he do for us?” BallinEurope’s man in Serbia, Marko Savkovic, takes a look at the former Marquette Golden Eagle vis-à-vis Dragan Todoric’s master plan for the club.

In our praise of Partizan’s system of basketball, we’ve stated how this team’s success has turned it into a hot destination for American players looking to improve their careers. Since Bo McCalebb broke into big time two years ago, quality players from overseas have been offered contracts by Dragan Todoric, the Belgrade club’s perennial sporting director.

Take Lawrence Roberts: He was brought into shape for the first time since his college career thanks to Partizan’s conditioning routine. Or James Gist: a versatile power forward who is now one of players that Fenerbahçe Ülker has built its game around. Both found their game in Belgrade. Todoric has chosen wisely, one might say. Which is why Acie Law’s hiring might be counted as a mistake.

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Preview: Lithuania-Serbia in FIBA U19 championship; on Jonas Valanciunas and (a little) more

The FIBA U19 World Championship closes out today, and BiE is proud to say that two of Europe’s finest basketball powers, Lithuania and Serbia, will be meeting for the title. Following, a few links, video clips and the like serving as a preview for the big youth match.

• The biggest audience in North America for the final game may be in Toronto, as the Raptor Nation considers their first-round draft choice Jonas Valanciunas; FIBA’s official website asks what may be a theoretical question: “How do you stop Valanciunas?” The Lithuanian has averaged tournament highs at 21.4 points (second-best is Team Croatia’s Boris Barac with 19.0), 14.6 rebounds (topping Assem Ahmed of Egypt’s 12.2), and 3.2 blocks (topping the 2.9 logged by Lucas Nogueira of Brazil) per game. The duties today will be handed to Nemanja Besovic, to whom BiE wishes best of luck.

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Another Serbian export: Musli signs with Caja Laboral Baskonia

Not only is Belgrade basketball factory working in three shifts with many overtime hours, but its main export (i.e. promising centers) is overachieving expectations. Just after Miroslav Raduljica was transferred to Efes Pilsen, another gifted center has left FMP Zeleznik, an average team with great basketball academy located in the suburbs of the Serbia capital.

After a successful 10-day trial period, Caja Laboral Baskonia head coach Dusko Ivanovic signed seven-footer Dejan Musli, former star of the Serbian Super League, to a five-year contract. Musli was born in 1991 and has been a key player in international youth tournaments.

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BallinEurope’s 2010 FIBA World Championship power rankings 5.0

Right. It’s time for the final edition – pending Nenad Krstic’s prospective suspension by FIBA – of BallinEurope’s 2010 FIBA World Championship power rankings. Now that Team USA has had it out with Spain and Greece, we can see the picture a little more clearly heading into the tournament tipping off Saturday. There’s a clear upper tier of USA, Spain, Greece and Argentina who can start thinking “podium” now; Serbia might also be included, again pending the Krstic decision.

But while the cream again rises to the top, question marks, dark horses and possible upsets well remain. Who doesn’t like how Germany’s rounding into shape? Or the Whole-Greater-Than-Sum-Of-Parts aspect to Team Lithuania? Or (for those paying attention) the possibilities of Lebanon…?

Without further ado, here’s BiE’s measurement of the trends going into the weekend. Enjoy (well, except for you Canada fans)!

1. (↑) USA. U-S-A! U-S-A! But seriously, the Red-White-and-Blues’ fans have got to be loving the performance of their guys last night against Greece, dominating all facets of the game – especially in the halfcourt, where BiE reckoned they’d be especially vulnerable. Good win for the U.S. Even if Hellas was coming without Ioannis Bourousis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis. Even if Kostas Tsartsaris exposed Lamar Odom and the rest as inadequate to play underneath against the bigger teams. Even if BiE still believes Spain will give them game in the semi-finals … is there a position 1½?

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Sunday roundup: Slovenia stunned; France smoked by Canada; USA, Serbia, Lebanon roll

With three key warmups for the 2010 FIBA World Championship tipping off tonight, BallinEurope takes quick stock of some of the games played in the last few days and relevant news on the Team Brazil roster and Hellene injuries – links and video abound, too.

Slovenia shocked by New Zealand…
No matter what Team New Zealand does in Turkey, Kirk Penney and the Kiwis have already played their match of the year, a 104-103 double-OT victory over Slovenia in Maribor on Friday night.

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BallinEurope’s 2010 FIBA World Championship power rankings 3.0

All right, now everything about the 2010 FIBA World Championship is coming into focus!

For example, now we know how good the relatively unknown Lithuanian squad will be – because they beat Slovenia after having to come back and go overtime against the Czech Republic. Um, and Argentina showed they’re awesome by … blowing a 20-point lead at half on their home court. Uh, well, one thing we can all agree on, at least: Team France is damn near sunk before this thing starts after another litany of no-shows.

These ratings are sure to be shaken up after many of these teams will be participating in tournament play or one-off exhibition games against fellow Worlds competitors this weekend. Up until Saturday night, however, BallinEurope sees the power flowing in the following 16 directions…

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Robin Benzing: “Nein” to 2010 NBA draft

Add another name to the ever-burgeoning list of quality European players who will *not* be considered for selection in the 2010 NBA Draft: Team Germany/Ratiopharm Ulm forward Robin Benzing.

David Hein of Germany-based heinnews is reporting that the 21-year-old Bundesliga sensation pulled himself from contention in 2010 because Benzing “would most likely have been drafted but not likely in the first round, meaning he would have spent the next one, two seasons in Germany or Europe anyhow.”

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Darko, Teodosic, Velickovic, Krstic on Team Serbia preliminary roster for FIBA Worlds

Back to destroy you all

Darko will be there. So will MVP Teodosic, prospective draft pick Novica Velickovic, longtime international Nenad Krstic and BallinEurope fave Uros Tripkovic – we’re talking Team Serbia here, with these four are among the 22 players selected by head coach Dusan Ivkovic to comprise the team to compete in this summer’s 2010 FIBA World Championship.

The 22-man roster includes all twelve members of the stunning surprise of the Eurobasket 2009 tournament – Krstić, Tripkovic, 2009-10 Euroleague MVP Milos Teodosić, Miroslav Raduljica, Bojan Popović, Milenko Tepić, Ivan Paunić, Nemanja Bjelica, Stefan Marković, Kosta Perović, Novica Veličković, and Milan Mačvan – plus Dragan Milosavljevic, Marko Keselj, Mladen Jeremic, Dusko Savanovic, Zoran Erceg, Ivan Radenovic, Luka Bogdanovic, Boban Marjanovic, Aleksandar Rasic and good old Darko Milicic.

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Official 2010 BallinEurope mock draft, version 2.0: Round two

BallinEurope today presents round two of our 2010 NBA Draft mockup; there’s a pleasing European accent to the list, with the big Belarusian Artsiom Parakhouski figuring to go in this round (see to whom in this projection and quiver) and the tantalizing possibility of Kevin Seraphin potentially becoming the 12th French player in the NBA.

And then there’s Ryan Richards. Much to the chagrin of BiE’s man in the U.K., Sam Chadwick, Richards seems personally hellbent on proving wrong those who, ahem, assessed him as just another European designed to waste away on NBA benches.

In any event, we present the official BallinEurope 2010 NBA mock draft 2.0 round two below. Round one can be found here.

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