The economic problems caused by the loss of the main sponsor put the continuity of the OCB at risk. However, the appearance on the horn of the supermarket chain Alimerka secured the place in LEB Oro, despite which the project will be more modest if possible, anchoring itself in the lower budget area in the initial table. Without the Lezkano factor, heading to Andorra, the leadership of the OCB brought out of “retirement” a coach with extensive experience such as Trifón Poch to command the ship, and who already in his presentation declared that he would join the staff people with experience and good knowledge of the NCAA. The arrival of Kike Fernández, Pepe Laso’s right-hand man in Palma and one of those responsible for that good 20/21 season, has joined the nose of Héctor Galán to look for those hidden pearls, and at an affordable price, in the market.
With the departure of Atencia, the Asturian point guard Meana was left alone as a pure director. Complete the ‘one’ Romeo Crouch, a combo guard rookie of the NCAA-DII which we have already talked about and that looks very good. Chuso González’s triples will make Pumarín vibrate, while, inside, Marc Martí wants to show that his injury is forgotten and Óliver Arteaga, with another year, will continue teaching. Adrià Domènech arrives to help them, European U20 champion formed in the Penya, will offer flashes.
But bets are necessary in a modest project and the Asturian team has looked physically for players from abroad, hungry to expose themselves in a competitive league, although not as strong economically, as the LEB Oro.
United Kingdom / 1997 / 197cm
Bet at least a certain risk, since it means spending the bullet of your second non-community player on another foreign player and rookie after having occupied the first with another rookie like Crouch. Shaquille Walters has a United Kingdom passport, but after the new Brexit regulations, she will occupy an extra place. Trained at the City of London Academy, she jumped into a prep in the US on 16/17, being recruited the next by Santa Clara with little prominence (14 mi, 3.7 pt). For this reason, he went to Northeastern on 18/19 and, after a first season with few minutes, he grew in his role until he was the undisputed starter the last two courses, with similar numbers (21/22: 34 mi, 11.1 pt, 4.3 re, 2.4 as).
Walters is a multipurpose exterior that in professionals He must be oriented towards the ‘two’, although at his university it was not uncommon to see him perform functions of ‘one’, raising the ball and taking advantage of his ability to 1×1. Light but fibrous, with a very powerful first step and a wide stride, preferably from the left, being able to reach the hoop or do damage from mid-distance, something that is less seen now. He can shoot 3-pointers, off his feet, and yet his outside shot is still inconsistent, with mechanics to improve. His verticality makes him a good assistant, although he doesn’t visit the free throw line as much as he should. However, he is still a developing player in terms of decision making, which leads to a high number of losses (3.5 pe), with a negative balance between AS: PE.
Due to his style and his mobility, he is an interesting player at the back, both protecting the defensive rebound, bothering his opponent and being a good defender, although sometimes he suffers from excessive momentum that translates into personal fouls.
In my humble opinion, Walters, I insist, who occupies a non-EU position, can be a risky bet. With an immature outside shot and improvable decision-making, we will see how he makes good tackles to the basket with his good handling of the ball, and how he offers little things behind, but in this professional world there is little patience for the toll of a rookie and the LEB Oro is a competition that does not let up, as was observed with Kostecka last season. He will have to wait.
USA-Germany / 1994 / 201 cm
Diverse career path of the American forward, with a German passport since 2020. Trained in NCAA-DI (Kennesaw State, 2012-16), his best year was Junior (12.2 pt, 4.0 re), lowering his averages a little in his Senior year (8.1pt, 4.2d). His professional debut in 16/17 was with the season started in the German Regionalliga (4th division), with TSG Westerstede (20.2 pt, 6.4 re), where he repeated the following season. On 18/19 he went to the German ProB (3rd division), to the Oldenburg subsidiary team (14.0 pt, 5.8 re). On 19/20 he was recruited by none other than the Frankfurt Skyliners for his subsidiary team in ProB (14.9 pt), having the opportunity to debut in the BBL.
Already with a community passport, the 20/21 went to Austria with the season started, standing out in Oberwart (11.5 pt, 3.5 re), something that would not happen at the beginning of last year, since it did not gel in the German Rasta Vechta (ProA) and left the team shortly after. In January he joined the BNXT, where he would stand out against the Dutchman Aris Leeuwarden (30 mi, 16.9 pt, 4.6 re, 1.7 ro).
Pruitt is a player that I have followed since his season in Austria, where he made good averages, and with the clarity that in that specialist profile he could have a chance at Gold. He is a ‘three’ with a good physique who, in certain situations , can be false ‘four’. He is a player with a very good capacity for the outside shot, being very dangerous from the triple from the catch and shoot. He knows how to take advantage of screen situations to shoot from the outside, or when he has that advantage, go inside to look for the hoop. He controls the back door game well and runs the track well.
For me, two are the weakest points that have kept him away from the big leagues: his handling of the ball when facing (which can be improved) and his criteria for selecting shots (which should go further, because sometimes he loses a little north with wrong shooting decisions). Back is a player who protects the rebound with his body and who, without being explosive, can defend alongside him and is attentive to stealing, although he is far from a specialist.
An interesting signing for his good ability to score fast mechanics. With a good body for the ‘three’, in the ‘four’ he can suffer. We will have to wait to see the complete squad to see what role will be assigned to him, because as a specialist he can perform perfectly. In case of being a vital role player for the Asturians, it will be necessary to see how he develops in LEB Oro.
Iceland / 1998 / 198cm
The Icelandic international trained in the NCAA began his career as one of the jewels of his country for several years, in a champion team like KR Reykjavík and, in addition, standing out with his team in the training categories in different tournaments. Since 14/15, as a junior, the new OCB forward already had participation in the second unit and began to break it in 16/17 with KR in his first year as a senior (22 mi, 10.2 pt), which opened up the NCAA-DI doors at a powerhouse like Nebraska. To one year Freshmen no minutes (17/18) followed by a year Sophomore second unit and, finally, in his Junior year (19/20) he started in his best year in college basketball (29 mi, 8.7 pt, 4.7 re). He would also participate on 20/21 but his quota decreased a bit (22 mi, 3.9 pt, 3.1 re) and he finally announced his departure from the NCAA after four years there. The team chosen for your year rookie It was the Icelandic KR, where he had been trained and in which the 20/21 season had already finished. He had a spectacular start (8 pa, 34 mi, 15.9 pt, 10.5 re, 4.8 ace), but shortly after he left his country for the Netherlands, to play the BNXT League. He came to Zwolle, a midfield team, where he played an important role (31 mi, 12.3 pt, 5.5 re, 3.1 ace, 2.8 pt).
The Icelandic international is a left-footed player who can alternate the perimeter positions of ‘two’ and ‘three’, even doing the false ‘four’ as well. He is a light player (although his time in the USA improved him in this section) and with the qualities of a complete player, but he still has to take that step of training to be a major league player, so that, perhaps, his time for Gold is important.
Thorbjarnarson is a player with a variety of resources, being able to be vertical looking for the rim and with good ball handling in the dribbling, marking the steps perfectly. Capable of scoring three-pointers both with the ball and with standing still, although his mechanics are not very clean with a very low arching movement, his outside shot is still inconsistent, despite the fact that in the NCAA in Nebraska he had the role of specialist shooter and has been benefited by having two generators like Echols and Diculescu in their last year.
His technical quality in his ability with the ball means that he can go up the ball and that he handles himself very well in transition. He has good vision of the game, which means that when he plays the Q&A can assist his teammates, as well as knowing how to play without the ball. In defense he is a sacrificed player (long arms to steal), but he suffers in duels against very physical and explosive players. If we want to look for weaknesses or points to improve, we can point out that sometimes he is too left-footed, that his decision-making can go further (sometimes forcing actions too much), that his outside shot is inconsistent and that he needs that point more physically. .
In summary, we are dealing with a player with some potential, multipurpose, with good and varied technical resources, who is facing a good opportunity to mitigate his weaknesses and raise his game in a competition that is going to demand him, but where he has the qualities to do well in a team that will give him minutes and an important role.
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