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Kentucky Recruiting New Guard Mislav Brzoja


John Calipari needs another perimeter player and he may go all the way to Croatia to get him. Evan Daniels of reports that he is recruiting Mislav Brzoja, a Guard from Croatia and the young man will visit on Wednesday. Here is a description of him by an Indianapolis Star writer:

This uncommitted senior was very impressive throughout the entire event. He is built like a frontline player, but he sees the floor and handles the ball like a point guard, and he shoots it well with range. I wish he were just a bit more explosive off the floor. But his ability to find open teammates with on-time / on-target passes if very unique for a player his size. He certainly had some top-tier coaches watching him throughout, including John Calipari of Kentucky and Buzz Williams of Marquette, (my apologies for not naming everyone in attendance — there were 20-30 DI schools specifically watching Mislav).

Here are 14 minutes of his highlights while playing in his native country:

Article written by Matt Jones

58 Comments for Kentucky Recruiting New Guard Mislav Brzoja

  1. morse
    9:41 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    /watches 30 seconds of highlight
    //Forms immediate, permanent impression of player’s ability

  2. heisenberg
    9:43 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    we all know the saying– if you’re from the eastern bloc, you don’t pass the rock. this guy is a ball hog and likely a communist. i say we pass.

  3. WKU Hilltopper
    9:43 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Looks like a shooter, which is what we need. 1. You’re right I only watched about a minute of the video lol. I can’t watch 14 mins of highlights, unless they’re wearing blue.

  4. Wildcattttt
    9:43 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I think we should start saying “opa” when we score in Rupp like these people. It has a nice ring to it.

  5. goofball
    9:44 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    maybe he and nerlens can talk croation to each other

  6. Will
    9:44 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Hey Matt – Reds are rolling on UK Championship day at the ballpark. Bill Keightley is smiling…

  7. fb>bb
    9:45 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    We need an outside shooter bad. Looks like he could fill that roll. Hope he can play D. Also, hope Thamel and Forde don’t pull a Kanter on him.

  8. Chris
    9:46 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    It’d be quicker if we knew who UK wasn’t going after right now…

  9. Hangin Banners
    9:46 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    How tall is he?

  10. CATS
    9:48 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Looks more like a shooting guard than point guard.

  11. nolablue
    9:49 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    We truly are everywhere. Tonight I am on Disc 2 of a 10 disc series called “Catholicism”.
    At 7:25 into the disc, I saw this:
    It’s just a random picture of this couple in NYC. At that point, the DVD is
    talking about life, and the importance of following good instructions.
    While this couple is on the screen, the words being spoken are:
    “To make the achievement of the good, first possible; and then, effortless.”
    How cool is that?!?

  12. Kanter Issue???
    9:49 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Anything at all like the Kanter issue possible?

  13. lexslamman
    9:50 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    On the amateur level, Serbian basketball is almost as good as American basketball. Sign him up.

  14. CATS
    9:52 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    don’t ever trust european players. way more busts than success stories. surely can find american of the same skill level

  15. tyrus
    9:54 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Cal says UK is not for everyone. Just hope there’s never a time when Cal ignores that factor just becasue the team lacks depth at a certain position.

  16. Ridge Runner
    9:55 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    In Cal I trust…

  17. Shawn
    9:55 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Hes from Croatia. He actually goes to high school and plays ball In Indiana. Hes a 3 star “SG” on 6’5″ Is his listed height.

  18. Louisville Kentucky Mortgage
    9:57 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Need a shooter. Sign him up.

  19. Big O
    10:07 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Say it ain’t so! Kid will not fit in! Cal may be using him to put pressure on someone else. Can’t be serious about Euro players. Please no!

  20. gridiron_cat
    10:10 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    NICE shot! Seems like more of a 2 guard to me but the kid definitely has game. He made a few really nice passes but he would give us some scoring depth on the perimeter = pure shot. He will get called for that off-arm push off every time but besides that I really like the way he plays.

    Could someone tell me how this will be any different than Kanter though? A lot of the talented kids over there have played some professional ball on those Euro traveling teams and the NCAA seems to have an issue with Kentucky recruiting those guys.

  21. Thomas
    10:13 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    He is currently playing in Indy. Traders Point Academy.

  22. terrible
    10:16 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    no.. just no.. this kid doesnt belong at UK and wouldnt fit in with our players and their swag. not quick enough for the cats. theres gotta be a guy that can shoot just as well that would better fit in with UKs style

  23. Big Blue 66
    10:17 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    guys ive said this before, Cal runs a mean game. He will show up and look interested in a lot of players just to make other coaches spend time and effort and Cal will be going in a different direction. Thats his best deception game that he runs. Not saying he wont get this kid, but Cal will make everyone else spend time and resources on nothing so he can flank them and capture the guy he wants. Thats why he seems to be on everyone right now.

  24. UH OH
    10:20 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    this reminds me of tubbys recruiting after winning the title

  25. Amaze Pants
    10:28 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Say what you will, I found it refreshing to watch a highlight video that didn’t sync a hip-hop beat with a dunk to start it off.

    This video mainly showcases his shooting, who’s to say he’s a blackhole? If Cal is looking at him he can’t be that bad.

  26. funky pathogen
    10:31 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    #5….Yes hahahahahaha!

  27. MKG fan
    10:31 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Seems a lot like Kuric, without all the steroid zits on his back.

  28. BigBlueSkyDog
    10:32 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    “In Cal We Trust”. If Cal likes the kid, there must be something to him. I still afraid that the NCAA will try to screw us on this kid like they screwed us on Kanter.

  29. Big Blue
    10:34 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Video looks like he is playing with middle schoolers…….can he play in the SEC?

  30. Tim
    10:34 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Y’all really gonna doubt Cal? John “freaking” Calipari? The current national champion coach? I sometimes wonder why I read these remarks. I should stick with the story & ignore this crap. Cal WILL do what’s best. And trust me on this, he’ll NEVER “under” recruit for UK like Tubby did…

  31. #24 is out of his mind
    10:36 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    1. #24 what? Just stop. Cal knows what he is doing. 4 year player, prob good grades, and can help. By my count we still have 5 schollys available. Preferred walk ons take 2, leaves 3 for this year. Bennett/Jefferson/Kid from VT – maybe Nique Ferguson if he can get out some how. Some combo of those and another guard we are good. Then 4 or more can come in. This could turn out ot be his best and deepest roster.

  32. NL
    10:38 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    A Hood downgrade…umm…how about we look on the playgrounds in Memphis?

  33. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    10:43 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Sign him up

  34. Gib
    10:49 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Are you surrrrrre that’s the game ball?

  35. Jack
    10:51 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    All hail Cal in his recruitment ideas/motivations/success but this one has got me stuck. In the FIBA games for 18U the kid averaged 5.7 PPG….. I would understand if he was a 27 PPG Phenom in Europe like Kanter (No he didn’t score 27 a game, wasnt the point I was getting at, but you get the idea,) but the kid is only rated as a 3 Star and plays ball in Indy (Thanks 17.)The kid may be rockin it in high school ball right now with a huge upside with a need for shooting, but as 32 said, the kid looks like a downgrade from Hood…. I have no idea, but Cal knows best and if he feels he can fit in the system, sign the kid up. I just dont see it.

  36. Big Blue
    10:53 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I trust Cal. He knows talent, but #6 in that video will be eaten alive against SEC competition! Rotnei Clarke was considered a fantastic shooter. He’ll do well—– at Butler.

  37. 44 Stitches
    11:00 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    @23… BWHAAAHAAAH yes exactly! That is what Calipari does. Are you on oxy? Calipari is the best recruiter in game. Calipari is a busy man with a family. Yes your right that is what he is doing when he can out recruit any other coach 96% of the time. Yeah right Calipari goes out of his way to make other coaches who know they can’t out recruit him to work harder so he can recruit other players. You go on to pretend like Calipari isn’t interested in this kid and then go on to say not that he won’t get him. HAAAAAH your killing me just stop it.

  38. E
    11:09 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    The staff knows they HAVE to get another shooter and Torian Graham is a longshot to get academically cleared. Welcome to plan C.

  39. lol
    11:15 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Uh, guys, we need a shooter next year. Badly. Who cares if he doesn’t have “swag”? If he can stroke it from deep, he’ll get minutes in the rotation.

    John Calipari is the best recruiter in the history of collegiate athletics, and I still read comments every day of people doubting his eye for talent. Absolutely ridiculous. Quit playing armchair-Evan Daniels and trust the man.

  40. BigBlue
    11:25 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    NEED a guy (aside from Wiltjer) that can shoot from range…that is a necessity for us…if Cal thinks this is the guy, I trust him!

  41. Big Blue 66
    11:26 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    37. Cal does it all the time. Yeah right Cal needs to recruit a 3 star kid.

  42. Urincatland
    11:29 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    #30 I’m with you on this. Everyone gets on here talking all that negative crap. If they know so much about Basketball then why the heck aren’t they coaching at UK. I trust Coach Cal in whomever he chooses to wear the Blue and White. Go Cats!!

  43. erniecat
    12:14 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    #24 Didn’t realize Tubby had the #1 recruiting class in 99.

  44. 44 Stitches
    12:32 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    @41… You just proved my point!!!!

    Calipari doesn’t recruit 3 stars…REALLY? At this stage of the game there isn’t any 4 or 5 star gaurds left EINSTEIN. Who else is Calipari going to recruit as a gaurd you dumb ass. He is taking what’s left to fill out the roster.

  45. 44 Stitches
    12:47 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    @41… Seriously your fronting like Calipari is fake recruiting this kid because he is hoodwinking other coaches to spend time recruiting him so Calipari can sign someone else? Dude it’s almost May who else is left that he is faking other coaches out on to get?

  46. Mustache Man
    1:07 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    C’mon lets get the Croatian Sensation!

  47. HenryEarl
    1:09 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

  48. REAL BLY
    7:57 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    GUYS!!! Cal has an Elite 8, 2 FF’s and a Banner! Best recruiting class 4 years in a row and you question his tactics!!!????

    Sometimes BBN is KrAzEE!!

  49. Grammar King
    8:04 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    Not that UK needs help garnering support for the basketball team, but the Lexington area actually has a pretty well represented contingent of Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian refugees. Maybe he’s trying to get a bit of an international flair to his fan base? He obviously can shoot, and we need shooters for next year. Besides, he’d likely stay four years, which is something our teams will need to be peppered with every now and then to avoid becoming too freshmen-laden on any given year.

  50. DCWildcat
    8:11 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    Could he be the next Drazen Petrovic?

  51. Rae
    10:50 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    “Free Mislav” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

  52. Culver
    11:07 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    50) Great reminder of a Great player who tragically passed away at a young age. I remember Petrovic making a fool of Jordan in a game back in the day. Damn could that “Euro” play!
    I say sign this kid up…he’ll be around(most likely) for four years. WBA can always use a new addition!
    And at least he’s not “gangsta”!!!

  53. louisvillelaw22
    11:19 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    A guy who averaged 5.7 a game in the U-19s playing against some of America’s top college talent and Europe’s top young pros as a high school student is pretty impressive. I would love to add one of these Euro guards to the roster. They are fundamentally perfect, good shooters, and they play with maturity. Anyone who trains hard can get faster and more athletic over time. I say we trust Cal on this one – what’s the worst that can happen?

    Further,Montrezl Harris is a beast at his size. A perfect bouncy defensive minded college style 4, and a definite 4 year player. I’d love to see either of them suit up.

  54. DCWildcat
    11:25 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    52) I loved watching him play. The 30 for 30 show that ESPN did about him and Vlade Divac was very good.

  55. Billy Clyde
    11:48 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    He looks decent. Remember no one heard of kanter till the nike hoop summit then was a top 5 recruit by may.

  56. Krebs' Possy
    11:51 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    Is this the new Hunter McClintock?

  57. Musehobo
    12:09 pm April 25, 2012 Permalink

    50% of you all are morons. I can’t even address all of the idiocy on here. NONE of us are college scouts and have an eye for potential like Cal. Not go after him cause he doesn’t have our swag and quickness? Really? Not go after a kid because of his nationality? You got from a highlight reel that he’s a ball hog? He’s prolly the only player on his team that can ball. Sit back, relax, Cal’s got this. He’s evaluating the kid, if he wants him he’ll get him. If he doesn’t, he’ll pass.

  58. euroscout
    4:58 pm April 25, 2012 Permalink

    #35 kid average over 13 points at u18 level in the FIBA championships being a year younger. those numbers you said were in the u19 WCs being to years younger, what is actually impressive. That Croatia tema did beat a US team featuring Hardaway Jr, Jeremy Lamb or McDermott among others.

    Mislav Brzoja is currently ranked #3 within the 1994 born players in Europe for