Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect

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Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#1 » by JustMagic » Sun Oct 5, 2014 12:40 pm

We talked about him in the U18 european championship thread.
6-10 (maybe 6-11) with nice wingspan, PF, almost 17 years old (In America he'd probably be a HS junior this year).

The Israeli power-house Maccabi Tel-Aviv signed him to a 7 year deal, and this season he's on a loan to a 2nd divison team in Israel (Ramat-Gan).

Last week they played in the Israeli cup against a 1st div team - Maccabi Haifa (2nd place in 2013-2014). His highlights from the game:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56ePI8eXmnc

He finished with 11 pts, 8 reb in 27 minutes.
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#2 » by ManualRam » Sun Oct 5, 2014 1:19 pm

love his game. he probably doesnt project to be a high scorer, but his all-around game is fantastic. iq is very advanced and has some creativity to him as well with his vision. he's really a tremendous passer and he does have some other ball skills for a big. very fluid, changes ends very well. has some help defender potential with his length, fluidity and anticipation. shows good form on his jumper, but is improving his touch. only major question mark about him going forward for me is how his body will fill out. kirilenko seems to be the easy comparison, but bender has size on young ak.
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#3 » by MinneOOPalis » Mon Oct 6, 2014 8:05 pm

Is he a better prospect than Hezonja?
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#4 » by Apollo64 » Mon Oct 6, 2014 8:11 pm

Sakuragi_ wrote:Is he a better prospect than Hezonja?


For sure
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#5 » by Spalato » Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:02 am

He looks the goods. He just needs to be more aggressive.

The Croatian NT is going to be nasty in a few years. Even the Jordan brand thinks so - that's why they asked the Croatian basketball federation if they can sponsor them.

Fingers crossed - Croatian basketball fans have suffered long enough.
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#6 » by peZt » Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:28 am

Spalato wrote:He looks the goods. He just needs to be more aggressive.

The Croatian NT is going to be nasty in a few years. Even the Jordan brand thinks so - that's why they asked the Croatian basketball federation if they can sponsor them.

Fingers crossed - Croatian basketball fans have suffered long enough.



Croatia's problem though is that their talent is very unbalanced.
They have by far the most talent on the 2-4 positions in Europe with players like Hezonja, Saric, Bender, Lovro Mazalin, Arapovic, Slavica etc. but they don't have a single PG and also just one decent Center prospect with Ante Zizic.

If they can naturalise a very good American PG they could become a force in Europe over the next decade, but otherwise I don't know how good a Team without even a single decent PG can be.
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#7 » by RSCD3_ » Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:35 pm

peZt wrote:
Spalato wrote:He looks the goods. He just needs to be more aggressive.

The Croatian NT is going to be nasty in a few years. Even the Jordan brand thinks so - that's why they asked the Croatian basketball federation if they can sponsor them.

Fingers crossed - Croatian basketball fans have suffered long enough.



Croatia's problem though is that their talent is very unbalanced.
They have by far the most talent on the 2-4 positions in Europe with players like Hezonja, Saric, Bender, Lovro Mazalin, Arapovic, Slavica etc. but they don't have a single PG and also just one decent Center prospect with Ante Zizic.

If they can naturalise a very good American PG they could become a force in Europe over the next decade, but otherwise I don't know how good a Team without even a single decent PG can be.


I think if they have above average passers at the 2-4 positions then there point guards only needs to be a guy who can bring the ball up and shoot.


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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#8 » by pohani komarac » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:42 pm

peZt wrote:
Spalato wrote:He looks the goods. He just needs to be more aggressive.

The Croatian NT is going to be nasty in a few years. Even the Jordan brand thinks so - that's why they asked the Croatian basketball federation if they can sponsor them.

Fingers crossed - Croatian basketball fans have suffered long enough.



Croatia's problem though is that their talent is very unbalanced.
They have by far the most talent on the 2-4 positions in Europe with players like Hezonja, Saric, Bender, Lovro Mazalin, Arapovic, Slavica etc. but they don't have a single PG and also just one decent Center prospect with Ante Zizic.

If they can naturalise a very good American PG they could become a force in Europe over the next decade, but otherwise I don't know how good a Team without even a single decent PG can be.


Not so true

Ivica Zubac 7'0 97. is one of top center prospects in world, but he missed almost full season and is expected to get back this month. We will see see when he gets back how this injury will efect him, but don't be surprised if in 3-4 years he will be talked as legiht NBA prospects. 99. 6'11 Kresimir Nikic is defenetly one of best prospects in his generation. 6'10 98. Lovro Buljevic is also very intresting 4/5 prospects. 7'0 96. Markus Loncar is raw, but has great body atheticisam. Has shoot to become late bloomer

On PG we are very thin, but there are some intresting prospects. Antonio Jordano 99' reminds lot on Zoran Planinic. 98. Mate Kalajzic has athletic abilitys and looks very smart. He has shoot on decent carer. 95. Paolo Marinelli is prooven as one of best 95. born players in europe and is defenetly decent prospect. 95. Lovre Basc is natrual PG with tons of talent, but it depends on his body development. 94. Dominik Mavra will get oportunity this season to get back on track. Jakov Mustapic 94. lacks of big basketball talent, but can play defense in any league. And with passers such as Tomic, Saric, Mazalin, Hezonja, Kotrulja (big prospect, just need time to catch up wit his body), Bender mybe that's all needed. PG who can play some defense and bring ball up

Overall Croatia 94.-99. has crazy potetial to work with. From big NBA prospects, to euroleague stars and rotation players prospects
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#9 » by JustMagic » Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:39 am

After two games in the Israeli 2nd division:
1st game he finished with a nice double-double - 13 pts, 13 rebounds (6 ofensive) and also 4 assists and 1 block.
2nd game he scored 14, took 7 rebounds but had 9 assists! 2 blocks and was selected as the mVP of the round.

in both games his team won.
http://widgets.baskethotel.com/site/ibb ... id=4961519
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#10 » by RSCD3_ » Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:23 pm

JustMagic wrote:After two games in the Israeli 2nd division:
1st game he finished with a nice double-double - 13 pts, 13 rebounds (6 ofensive) and also 4 assists and 1 block.
2nd game he scored 14, took 7 rebounds but had 9 assists! 2 blocks and was selected as the mVP of the round.

in both games his team won.
http://widgets.baskethotel.com/site/ibb ... id=4961519


what level is the league compared to College

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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#11 » by JustMagic » Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:54 pm

Less athletic and less physical, but still each team can have two foreign players, which are always American players that played division 1 college basketball, sometimes division 2.

Usually players that avg 10 pts in college can easly avg 20 pts and 10 reb in this league.

The star of Bender's team is Kwame voughn who played for CS Fulerton (?!) in college and avg 18 ppg.
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#12 » by JustMagic » Wed Dec 3, 2014 5:50 pm

Since my last update Bender had some bad games and some good games, but yesterday was probably his best game thus far: He palyed 33 minutes, scoring 22 pts, grabbing 12 rebounds (5 on offense) shooting 7/12 from 2pt ,1/6 3pt and 6/6 ft.
stats for the season: http://widgets.baskethotel.com/site/ibb ... id=4961519

He plays mostly PF for this team and Maccabi already anounced he'll play for them in the 1st division and in the Euroleage next season.

but if you ask me, they should have kept him for this season and not sending him to the 2nd div. He could've helped them.
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#13 » by BarbaGrizz » Fri Dec 5, 2014 3:43 pm

I know it´s often a lazy comparison when it evolve tall white european skilled players, but for the reports I have read, he can be similar to Kukoc?
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#14 » by JustMagic » Fri Dec 5, 2014 6:11 pm

I don't know about Kokuc, but as far as "current" players, I think you can maybe compare him to Pao Gasol.
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#15 » by pohani komarac » Sat Dec 6, 2014 9:52 am

hard to find comparison for such unique prospect but i guess his best style comparison would be mix of kukoc and kirilenko
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#16 » by pohani komarac » Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:28 pm

had 43ptst 21rb 6as 5stl 2bl

blue 4 in video

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBchqarWOuA#t=157[/youtube]
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#17 » by boogie-reke » Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:52 pm

That's a ridiculous stat line, although he is clearly not benefiting anything from playing at this level.

Should be exciting to see him playing with Maccabi's senior side next year.

His feel for the game is exquisite.
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#18 » by Gordon » Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:37 am

He is exciting offensive talent, perhaps closest thing to Kukoc we have seen in the last few years, and God knows there were many of the new "Kukocs".

Unfortunately, his defense is also Kukoc-like....has high center of gravity which, doesn`t have much strenght, poor vertical leap from stationary position, poor defensive awareness, doesn`t box-out, doesn`t rotate on time....Needs to put a lot of work to become the player he can be. Basketball is played on both ends, Bender only plays one at the moment.
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#19 » by pohani komarac » Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:52 pm

Bender plays great defense. Bender many times switches on guards on perimeter and was able to shoot down guards off and with ball with his latherall quickness and lenght. he is very explosive geting of ground so with his lenght he gets manny blocks and changes manny shoots. at moment he has more impact on defense then ofense. On ofense he has one great and 2 bad games on average
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Re: Dragan Bender - 97 born Croatian prospect 

Post#20 » by pohani komarac » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:14 pm

about year and half,, 2 years old videos when bender was 15. they show how big his defensive potential is. and since then he ipmruved dramaticly. got taller, bigger and more fluid athleticly and impruved tehnicly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri3msLU ... freload=10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od3aPCM31D8

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