Posted On: 11/1/17 9:27 PM
The drive from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando is approximately three hours and 30 minutes. It is a smooth ride up I-95 North, one which entails transitioning from scenic and tropical South Florida to a sprawling, tourist-heavy city.
Fitting, as the transfer from Fort Lauderdale’s University School to Orlando’s Windermere Prep will be quite the transition for 7-foot-1, 240-pound Class of 2019 prospect Balsa Koprivica.
A deft shooting big, Koprivica will go from supplementary scorer and role player to high-scoring centerpiece.
Possessing a multi-dimensional offensive tool set and the fleet of foot which most players his size lack at this level, Koprivica poses a major threat for defenders. After playing second fiddle to bruising 6-foot-10 forward Vernon Carey last year, Koprivica will step in and instantly inherit some ownership of tradition-rich Windermere.
With 2017 graduation claiming veritable 6-foot-7 swiss army knife David Nickelberry (now at Memphis), Balsa is catapulted to go-to option while simultaneously tasked with filling the void.
Well-versed in creating his own shot and bringing a feathery touch, Koprivica has European guard skills. He can spread the floor out with deep 3-point shooting ability. He has the knockdown game capable of taking interior defenders away from the rim.
Given his size and release point, Koprivica’s shot is extremely hard to guard at this level. He’s also drawn notice for his ability to dish and play in multiple flow offenses.
Yet the stretch four is most efficient in the back to the basket game. Getting tougher and increasing his knack for posting up smaller players and exploiting mismatches will make the highly-lauded recruit a high percentage threat.
He might even become as much of a high percentage source as Nassir Little, the UNC-bound Class of 2018 guard/forward who plays across town at Orlando Christian Prep. Little shot a scalding 60 percent from the field last year, with his shooting percentage hovering over 50 percent from beyond the arc.
With Koprivica, Little, homegrown Orlando product Anfernee Simons at IMG Academy, and prodigal talent R.J. Barrett at Montverde Academy, Florida has become a “who’s who” of elite level prospects.
Arizona, Baylor, UCLA, Florida State, Louisville and myriad others are all jockeying for the position to land Koprivica.
While the five star forward has been linked to FBI scandal involving Adidas employees Jim Gatto and Merl Code (Koprivica is referenced as “Player 11” in the FBI complaint), there is no indication of him jeopardizing his amateur status. The NCAA has yet to take action regarding his eligibility.