WHERE: Zagreb (Croatia)
TEAM: FC Barcelona Lassa II (Spain)
BIOGRAPHY: He was born on 1st September 2000 in Zagreb, as son of Marko Samanic, former professional player for almost 20 years through the European continent and now sports director of KK Kvarner 2010 (Prva Liga, Croatia). Luka follows his father in his career trying every kind of sport, like football, handball and tennis developing coordinative skills. At 11 age he begins to play basketball for the first time in KK Zagreb, showing versatility, mobility and physical tools above average over the years; during Adidas Eurocamp 2016 in Treviso his name is written down immediately on European scouts’ notebooks and during summer the call from Barcelona arrives. Luka is 16 age, 6’8’’ feet high and his blaugrana adventure begins.
PHYSICAL: 6’10’’ feet per 205 lbs. He has frame in PF spot with a great body verticality, united to a fluid coordination, an excellent control of body and rapid movements that makes him as an atipical player for the role; he’s provided with athleticism and explosiveness, although he could grow on muscle mass. Great footwork on both sides, the extent of slidings and wingspan enable him to cover backcourt roles defensively.
TECHNIQUE: He has great dribble and ball-handling to lose defender’s balance, despite it’s high, slow and not completely disarming; he showes some abilities as keen passer for court vision, specially in low-post situations with rolling passes to move defense or assists for teammates, and assortment. Shooting skill: mechanic is still quite slow in preparation and execution, but smooth; he has potential to be a great shooter, but he lacks of constincency and efficiency specially on softness of the touch and complete automation of the gesture, with low percentages inside and beyond the arc as result. He’s strong rebounder for physical size and instinct on both side; he has also an excellent timing for blocks.
Here a specifical example of technical skillset in progress for the player: despite great body control and ball-handling, his dribble is again high and slow; SOURCE: Basketcantera.TV
OFFENSE: Crushing offensive talent with simplicity in plays and a tremendous scoring repertoire. In man-to-man situations out on perimeter, he’s able to challenge every defender exploiting his physical advantage for shooting from three point line or driving straightly to the rim, making great use of his body control and footwork for changing solution; he’s good to roll out in pick&pop situation growing his advantage in spacing and aggressiveness. He’s also of hard countenance in low post situations showing useful court vision for teammates’ cuts or taking advantage back to the basket with technique and footwork, ending to the rim with an hook shot or a soft lay-up. Furthermore, he’s particularly quick in transition, great to push fastbreak from the dribble or to give a passing line. His brilliant capability to create an individual advantage and his mobility makes him hard to guard on individual and zone defense, however he should make a better selection of shots and he can suffer the physical difference against huger size opposites close to the rim.
Here some examples of the immense offensive skillset of the croatian prospect: low post moves, long range shooting, shoot off the dribble, court vision and teammates involvment; SOURCE: Eurospects YouTube Channel
DEFENSE: He’s not an elite defender, but he has potential to be a great rim protector. In man-to-man defense, he levarage his physical tools and footwork to cover opponent’s slidings, withstanding against perimetral shooters and same size players close to the glass; nonetheless he’s still disadvantaged against more physical opponents. He can guarantee good coverage and hedges on defensive rotations, especially from weakside. He holds spot in the paint in zone defense, using his skill as great instictive rebounder and his excellent timing for blocking. Despite this, he’s fickle for aggressiveness and motivation, changing approach depending on the moment of the game; he’s not also particularly efficient on boxouts.
PERSONALITY: He’s a player difficult to interpret, but for sure motivated to improve himself always: he rarely or totally never shows his emotions on the court, even if teammates rely on him as point person; he’s mentally spotty alternating competitive to 50% work of mind moments. Probably he just needs to face against pros to bring out his best, since in a sense he’s an athlete out of category for youth European levels.
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