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NBA Draft: Jeremy Sochan Represents Great Britain in Class of 2022, Leads List of International Lottery Contenders | NBA News

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Jeremy Sochan flies the flag for Great Britain in the 2022 NBA Draft and most draft analysts project that it will be a lottery pick.

His heritage is complex. Born to a Polish mother and an American father, he plays for the Polish national team and was born in Oklahoma.

She then moved to England when she was two years old and has lived there for most of her life, mainly in Milton Keynes. He appropriately describes himself as a ‘citizen of the world’, but his love for the game started here in the UK.

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“I think it could have been my grandfather actually, he put basketball in my hands, but he’s always been around me,” Sochan said. “My dad played, my mom played, so he’s always been there.

“It definitely started in England. I think it was around the age of 13 that I started to take it seriously. I had to give up football and stop concentrating only on basketball and that’s when I knew I had a chance.”

More than an opportunity now, he is about to enter the biggest league in the world and he can’t wait for the opportunity. It is by no means the finished article, but it is ready for the next step. In his solitary season at Baylor, Associated Press Journalist Dave Sketta wrote that “there may be no better defensive player in the nation than Sochan,” given his athletic abilities coupled with a 6’9″ frame that gives him the ability to guard anyone from point guards to post players. .

The lottery prospect averaged 9.2 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Bears and turned 19 last month. He has worked for the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team he began following when he played in Manchester in 2013, as well as the San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans, Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers. He also had a zoom call with the Indiana Pacers after missing practice due to travel issues.

The teen speaks with a friendly assurance as he joins sky sports and the media gathered for a pre-Draft chat. He certainly isn’t intimidated by following in the footsteps of the myriad of international greats who have represented the league with such a reputation. Particularly as someone from such a diverse background, it’s something he feels is right for him and hopes to blaze a trail to the next level.

“I think it means a lot to me,” Sochan said. “I mean, I think it’s really exciting. There’s no one else from England or Poland. So I’m looking forward to connecting those communities and being the inspiration and a presence that I think is going to be exciting for me and I think I’m going to be able to help. others and I’m very excited to do things in those countries as well.

Jeremy Sochan – profile

Strengths: Sochan’s physical tools are off the charts at 6’9″ and 230 pounds. He has a large wingspan that makes him a dynamic defender on both the perimeter and in the post, and his jumping ability makes him a solid player. Contributor on the boards, has a developing post-match and plays with energy.

Concerns: Sochan has the ability to take charge of games, but he has yet to show that killer instinct on a team that has been forced to play understaffed due to injuries. He also needs to improve his handling if he wants to become a true out-of-position player, and his outside shooting (29.6 percent from 3-point range) and free throw shooting (58.9 percent) need work. .

Choose the projection: Sochan’s draft with most people sees him land in the 10-15 lottery range, but he could go up or down depending on whether teams are impressed with his instantly translatable defense, while offense can take a while. little more to cook. Either way, it seems more than likely that Great Britain will have a first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Additional top international prospects

Ousmane Dieng from France he moved to Australia for a season to hone his skills. Nicholas Jović stayed at home in Serbia.

However, both are expected to end up in the NBA as they are among the top international prospects in Thursday night’s draft.

Both are 6’10” versatile wings who recently turned 19 after completing their first pro season.

Dieng played for the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian National Basketball League as part of their Next Stars program, which has become a hotspot for NBA prospects. Jovic was voted the top prospect in the ABA League after his first full season for Belgrade’s Mega club, which produced reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, and there is a similarity in the game with his fellow Serb and MVP. of the consecutive league.

Nikola Jović – profile

Image:
Mega’s Nikola Jovic, right, tries to score as FMP’s Danilo Tasic tries to stop him during an ABA League match

Strengths: Versatile striker with field vision and ability to create plays. He’s averaging 11.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists this season and shooting 36.5 percent from 3-point range.

Jovic told reporters that he had worked for the Houston Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs (as of Monday, both teams had three first-round picks), the Denver Nuggets (the 21st and 30th picks), the Chicago Bulls (No. 18), the Minnesota Timberwolves. (No. 19) and the Milwaukee Bucks (the 24th pick). He also had workouts scheduled with the Miami Heat, who have the No. 27 pick, and the champion Golden State Warriors (No. 28).

“My basketball IQ is really good, shooting-wise, I’m really good, also passing. Those are things that I can immediately translate to the NBA,” Jovic said.

Concerns: Jovic does not have an explosive first step. Entering the season at 200 pounds, there were also concerns about his strength, but he’s increased and now weighs 224 pounds.

“I’m working on my whole body. Core stability is very important to me,” said Jovic, who turned 19 this month.

Rafael Barlowe, director of scouting for the NBA Big Board, said that Jovic is projected as “an average defender in the league” and said that fitting in well will be vital: “He could end up in a bad situation like Deni Avdija (Washington Wizards) in the team where he doesn’t get a chance to handle the ball and he’s stuck in a corner.”

Ousmane Dieng – profile

The lanky Frenchman bounced back from a slow start in Australia to show glimpses of why he could be a potential lottery pick.

Strengths: Perimeter skills, game potential, can defend multiple positions. He averaged 8.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. His 3-point shooting percentage was in the single digits early on, but in the final 12 games of the season he was 35 percent.

“I just needed to find my rhythm and kept working on my game,” he said.

Dieng worked with “many” teams but declined to name them.

“I can fit into any team because I’m pretty versatile, so I can do whatever the coach wants me to do,” he said. “I am a hard worker and very versatile with good vision and I can do everything on the pitch.”

Concerns: Shooting and framing consistency. You need to add volume. At 215 pounds, he’s about 10 pounds heavier than he was earlier in the season, when he seemed lost at times.

“The gap between the French third division and the NBL is really big. Everything is faster and everything is more physical,” he said, adding that playing between former NBA players “was very good” for him.

Other internationals with no US experience

Ishmael Kamagate: Pivot of 1.80 m and 100 kg of Paris Basket. The 21-year-old Frenchman averaged 11.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. He denied nine shots in a match against Roanne. All-star of the French league.

Khalifa Diop: The last Senegalese pivot, a 2.10m and 100kg pivot from Spain’s Gran Canaria. He averaged 6.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game.

Hugo Besson: The 21-year-old shooting guard played with Dieng on the New Zealand Breakers. The 6’4″ Frenchman averaged 13.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He shot 30.8% from 3-point range.

Gabriela Procida: An athletic Italian 6-7 who shot 38.3 percent from behind the arc for Bologna.

Someone special awaits in 2023

Ridiculous length: Victor Wembanyama (white shirt) in action for Nanterre in the French league shows off his crazy size
Image:
Ridiculous length: Victor Wembanyama (white shirt) in action for Nanterre in the French league shows off his crazy size

France’s Victor Wembanyama, at 7’3″, could have been the top pick this year, possibly last year as well. The 18-year-old will finally be eligible in 2023.

With his size and skills (ball handling, shooting, rim protection), Wembanyama is considered a generational talent. He finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and eight blocks against a stacked United States team that included Chet Holmgren in the FIBA ​​U-19 World Cup final last July. He plays for ASVEL, the French team owned by Tony Parker.

Barlowe said, “If he maximizes all his gifts, he could easily be one of the best players of his generation.”

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