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Day 3 for Ian Vouyoukas in the Junior Worlds


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http://www.fiba.com (easier to read than the other site {http://www.basket.gr/wcj2003/index.asp }, in my opinion, but I got information for this post from both sites)

Ian Vouyoukas scored 3 pts (1 of 5 from the field and 1 of 2 from the line), grabbed 5 rebounds (4 offensive), had 1 assist, picked up 2 fouls, and blocked 1 shot in 12 minutes. Greece defeated Iran 103-56 to finish the preliminary round pool 3-0. Greece advances to Group F for the next round of pool play, where it will face Turkey (A2), Slovenia (C2), and Croatia (D1).

The United States won all three of its preliminary pool games (just squeaking by Slovenia 84-83 today) and advances to Group E for the next round where it will face Austrailia (A1), Puerto Rico (B2), and Lithuania (D2).

The teams that finished third and fourth in the preliminary pools will compose Group G and Group H -- the consolation groups.

In 9.3 minutes per game, Vouyoukas is averaging 2.0 ppg and 4.0 rpg. He's shooting 28.6 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from the free throw line. Based on these numbers, I don't expect much from him during his freshman year this season. Then again, he's just replacing the injury-hampered Chris Braun.

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Don't give up on him. He has to play a behind an NBAer in Shortsianitis. Greece is one of the best teams in this tourney, and save for a couple squads the talent at this is somewhat better than NCAA. The USA team is a freshman and sophomore all star team, and they do not appear to be the best in the field.

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Ian's per minute production is actually pretty good. Five rebounds and a couple points in 12 minutes isn't bad against some of the best competition in the world. After Ian scored 23 in the tune-up game, I forewarned that his playing time and production would decrease due to the impact of the NBA-draftee. The recent box scores suggest the same.

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I'm not giving up on Ian Vouyoukas. I'm just saying that I'm expecting much from him as a freshman. He's not going to come in and tear up Conference USA. I believe the talent level at the Junior Worlds is comparable to the talent level of the upper-tier C-USA teams, but the experience of the players in C-USA will make the competition of the conference tougher than the competition of the Junior Worlds. So far Vouyoukas's impact has been lessened by the presence of a more talented player on his team.

I believe Vouyoukas will be a good player for the Billikens, but he'll take his lumps this year.

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WJC ends on July 20th I believe. I can't remember if Coach Brad said Ian would be on campus during the summer at all though. He may not come in until school starts.

I am being optimistic but I think Ian is a sleeper on the team this year, he could surprise alot of people and end up being one of the better freshamn in the league. The competition he is facing over there is tough, the Greek team is very good. I have a feeling that if he can hang with that team he can make serios contributions to the Billikens.

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Let's just wait until fall. As David Nark pointed out, Vouyoukas is playing behind a lottery pick. It's just very difficult to predict performance from a player overseas. I doubt many college scouts looked at him, so it's hard to make any sort of comparison. I do like the fact that this player will probably be more physically prepared than Ohannon.

As for the level of play, I wouldn't be surprised if it was similar to NCAA Sweet 16 play. Remember that the USA team is comprised of some extremely talented players who attend some of the best colleges in America. Let's study the roster:

Dee Brown, one of the most talented point guards in the nation who plays at Illinois.

Deron Williams, Dee's running mate who I think is extremely underrated.

Maurice Ager, who was a strong contributor to Michigan State's NCAA run last year.

James Augustine, a starter for the Illini.

De'Angelo Alexander, who is expected to be key member for Oklahoma next year.

Paul Davis, who had a breakout game against Texas with the Spartans and may be one of the top big men in the country.

My guess is that this USA team would be a preseason top 10 team if they were on the same team. So my quick analysis is that the World Juniors is extremely competitive and the fact that Vouyoukas is getting any playing time with Greece bodes well for the Billikens. Regardless, I think the World Juniors is definitely at least a step above CUSA play.

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...I would lower my expectations of Ian Vouyoukas, if I were you. I don't think he'll do anything more this year than mimic the numbers Chris Braun gave us last year. Yes, Vouyoukas is behind NBA draft pick Sofoklis Schortsanitis, but Schortsanitis isn't even the best player on the Hellenic team: Costas Vassiliadis is (not only do the stats bear that out, but Sofoklis, himself, said that).

I also disagree with your comparison of the play at the Junior World Championships to the competition of the upper tier of Conference USA (I said upper tier, not the conference as a whole). The talent of a few of the Junior World teams is awesome, but more than half of the teams are significantly inferior to the best teams in the tournament. Second, the players in Conference USA are two to three years older than the players in the Junior Worlds. The experience and strength make the competition higher, even if the raw talent is somewhat lower.

The fact that Vouyoukas is on his country's team and is seeing at least a little playing time (he scored two points and grabbed four rebounds in four minutes today -- his rebounds per minute easily makes him a superior rebounder to Braun) is good, but I don't think that alone indicates he'll have much impact at the Div. I level this year. Now Missouri recruit, Linas Kleiza, who's tearing up the competition at the tournament, is a lock to be an impact player from Day 1 at Missouri.

Lastly, again, I'm not saying that Vouyoukas will never be an impact player for the Billikens; I'm just saying that he won't do a whole lot THIS year.

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I don't think you're giving this competition enough credit.

You have done a fine job keeping us updated with the World Juniors. Admittedly, I haven't followed it as closely. My opinion is far from being educated because I haven't watched a minute of it and only did a cursory look at the box scores.

HOWEVER, I based my opinion by looking at the roster of Team USA, WHICH IS VERY TALENTED. Even though it is laden with freshmen and sophomores, I can't see a Billiken cracking that roster. I haven't seen Reggie Bryant, but he'd have a tough time getting playing time over Ager and Alexander. While it's difficult to compare teams from different groupings, it appears that Greece is at least as formidable at USA in this tournament. If that is the case, it's certainly an honor to EVEN be picked to play on that squad.

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I agree with you on this one, AJ. I also am not an expert in the tourney, but looking at other rosters, I gotta think that the competition is pretty good. Ian is playing behind a first round draft pick and still producing. He is going against the TOP competition from every country that participates. With europe pumping out NBA players like it is, I have to think that the competition is on par with C-USA...both the lower and upper tiers. Based on the fact that Ian even got chose for this, along with his production in limited time, I expect Ian to contribute next year more than CB did....but who knows.....

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why do i think you might not make the statement you made about reggie if bryant was still the starting off guard for villanova?

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but so what? What gives you the idea that Villanova is special. They're a middling team in a major conference. Is Villanova much better than a K-State or Iowa State. Admittedly, I haven't followed Villanova that closely, but don't recall seeing them in the NCAA's that often. What makes you think Villanova is so special? Is making the NIT the last couple of years worthy of great praise? I think you're reaching with that analogy.

I mentioned the players on Team USA because each of those players had significant impacts on college teams on NCAA (NOT NIT) tourney teams.

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i dont think ager had all that fabulous of a season, thus i believe you are building status into him just because of his now college team and you are doing the opposite to reggie. i brought villanova into it because i suspect you have a built in downgrade for reggie just because he is a billiken.

i have been the first one here to approach the "reggie bryant is the man" issue cautiously, but yesterday's report whereby he held his own with justin love speaks highly. i suspect justin is currently twice the player he was as a billiken, and we all remember that justin love as a senior at slu was spectacular. (remember, he got the best of dooling and gilbert in that intial slu vs missouri game). thus, i am beginning to harbor hope that bryant is probably for real.

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Gary Buchanan started at Villanova and he could've started for just about any team in the country. Sweetney with Georgetown started on an NIT team and he certainly could've started for any team in the country. This he "plays on an NIT team" argument is bogus.

There are plenty of players who played in the NIT who are much better than players who played in the NCAA tournament. You should judge players as individuals, not what team they played on.

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Both you and Billiken Roy are making too much of that comment. Reggie Bryant left Villanova to come to SLU, so he COULD BE THE MAN. Evidently, he didn't think that would happen at Villanova, which is not exactly a premier school. I could see if he transferred from Syracuse or Connecticut, but we're talking about Villanova.

I think it's premature to talk whether Bryant will be the savior OR a dud at SLU. However, I do believe he would have a tough time competing against Alexander, Ager, and Deron Williams. It's just an opinion based on their enormous athleticism, shooting ability, and current standing with great teams.

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I call you out for making an idiotic claim about players who play for NIT teams and your defense is that I have "a chip on my shoulder."

That just reinforces how stupid your point was to begin with.

According to your theory, Jason Conley must really suck because he played at VMI.

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I'm all for judging players on their individual abilities. Players from last place teams can become stars and play at the next level. Now if you want to focus on a player who played on a dysfunctional, poor coached team like UCLA, we can do that. Everyone, including Romar, said that Hollins would be a development type player. He was too thin to make an impact on UCLA's team last year. However, Romar and SLU faithful here were excited about his athleticism and praised him as a top recruit. Judging from his games late in the season at UCLA and now at the World Juniors, it looks like Hollins could have been quite a catch for the Billikens.

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This all started with Billiken Roy's comment that if Reggie Bryant was a starter at Villanova, that I wouldn't have made a comment that Bryant couldn't make the Team USA roster.

I thought it was a rather strange comment because I don't see much difference from Villanova and SLU, for that matter.

I have never made the claim that you can't be an elite player unless you're on a NCAA team. Now please state where I said that.

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aj said, "Evidently, he didn't think that would happen at Villanova, which is not exactly a premier school. I could see if he transferred from Syracuse or Connecticut, but we're talking about Villanova"

i believe that villanova has won a national title which is more than we can say for your beloved tigers. i have always considered villanova an excellent basketball school.

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I am going to end the discussion on whether, or not, Reggie will be a good player and go back to the original topic of Ian. I am not about to judge this kid on the World Jr. Tourney. To me, seeing is believing, and we won't really know exactly what we have until we see Master Ian on the Billiken hardwood. Please don't throw a kid under the bus until we have at least seen him play a game or two.

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good point ace on conley and vmi! same with pulley, who we all saw was extremely average as a billiken. it will be interesting to see how aj now turns that around for the tigers benefit.

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BRoy,

Overall, I think that you are right about Nova's basketball heritage which is a fine one. AJ, just has not taken his medication yet today, so he should be excused. Besides, I have a fondness for them because like me, they are educated by the Augustinian order.

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