Scouting Nick Rakocevic

Early Spring evaluation of 2016 St. Joe's and Mac Irvin Fire big man Nick Rakocevic.

Nick Rakocevic is going to get a lot of minutes with the Mac Irvin Fire 16U team this spring. The 6'9" rising junior, who currently sits at the top of the 2016 class in Illinois, showed this past weekend that he has the versatility to be a matchup problem for a lot of the teams he will face on the circuit this spring and summer.

Rakocevic was a double-double machine this past high school season, so if he is able to match that productivity, especially on the glass, he will have a huge impact on his team's success. It's taking him a bit to get going on the glass, but as he becomes more aggressive in crashing the boards, his overall game should improve.

Defensively, Rakocevic has a good feel for where he needs to be on the floor. He needs to improve his footwork on defense to contain his opponent more consistently. When stepping out toward the perimeter, he will occasionally over-pursue on a closeout, allowing his defender to utilize a head fake and have a clear driving lane. However, he is an extremely coachable player and should have this rectified sooner rather than later.

On the offensive end, he has post moves over either shoulder, which is impressive for someone at that point in his career. He showed the ability to step out and hit both mid-range and perimeter shots regularly. He should look to establish his inside game first to better free up the guards on his team, but he took what the defense was giving him, and this past weekend, that was the outside shot.

As he continues to add strength and quickness, he can begin to play above the rim a little more and become more of a rim protector. He has the ability to not only make skilled post moves, but also make timely and well-placed passes to teammates from both the high and low post in half-court sets. As he begins to flow more naturally in offensive sets, that comfort level should allow him to become more productive and improve his team overall.

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