EuroBasket 2013 brought many surprises and was unpredictable as quite a few favorites fell earlier than expected. As in every major tournament, some of the players individually struggled to reach expectations and that created an early elimination for some of the teams.
The following is a list of 10 players who underperformed at EuroBasket 2013.
- Zackary Wright (Bosnia and Herzegovina): 3.4 points (21% 2FG), 7.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.
Worst performance: 0 points (0/7 FG), 3 rebounds, 3 turnovers in 14 minutes against Serbia.
Zackary Wright, 28, did a great job on collecting long rebounds after the misses of Mirza Teletovic and Nihad Djedovic. However, Wright, who averaged 14.6 points throughout the qualification tournament, failed to make a significant contribution to Bosnia and Herzegovina's offense as his shooting percentages were incredibly low. In fact, Wright made only two shots out of 22 attempts in his last four games and soon became a role player for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Georgios Printezis (Greece): 4.4 points, 2.6 rebounds per game.
Worst performance: 2 points, 1 rebound, 2 turnovers in 11 minutes against Sweden.
The author of one of the most famous shots in Olympiakos Piraeus history, Georgios Printezis was pretty much unnoticeable at this tournament. Printezis, who averaged 14 points and almost five rebounds in London Olympic qualifying, was far from being a key member of the team and spent most of the time sitting on the bench. The forward only shined in the third quarter of the game against Spain, where he scored all seven of Greece's points in eight and a half minutes. Meanwhile in games against Turkey, Sweden, Slovenia and Croatia combined, Printezis scored only four points.
- Maciej Lampe (Poland): 9.6 points, 4.6 rebounds per game.
Worst performance: 8 points (3/9 FG), 3 rebounds, 5 turnovers in 18 minutes against Slovenia.
Last season was likely the best in Lampe's club career as he averaged 13.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in Spanish league and Euroleague. However, Lampe failed to reach expectations in EuroBasket 2013 and had difficulties scoring against lower level opponents. Moreover, Poland usually struggled while Lampe was on the court. No surprise, the big man had the second-worst plus/minus rating in the tournament: Poland scored 57 points less than their opponents with Lampe on the floor.
- Nikola Vucevic (Montenegro): 7 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block per game.
Worst performance: 4 points (1/7 FG), 3 rebounds in 14 minutes against Latvia.
Nikola Vucevic, who grabbed 29 rebounds in a single game and set a new Orlando Magic record, once again was far from being productive in European championship. Two years agp Vucevic came to EuroBasket 2011 as an NCAA star, but averaged only five points, 3.2 rebounds and spent most of the time sitting on the bench. The same thing happened again this summer as Vucevic struggled to dominate inside the paint and his playing time became more than limited.
- Jiri Welsch (Czech Republic): 2.8 points (21% 2FG), 1.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.
Worst performance: 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist in 22 minutes against Croatia.
It seems that Jiri Welsch's career is coming to an end at the age of 33. In five games played at EuroBasket 2013, Welsch made just six shots out of 30 and grabbed only eight rebounds. Welsch's shooting percentages also went down as he shot only 25 percent from beyond the arc in 2011-12, and just 20 percent in 2012-13. During EuroBasket 2013 in 111 minutes of action, Welsch took only one three-point attempt (!) and wasn't a big threat for Czech Republic's opponents.
- Hedo Turkoglu (Turkey): 7.3 points (11% 2FG, 50% FT), 3.7 rebounds, 2 assists per game.
Worst performance: 2 points (0/9 FG), 4 rebounds, 4 turnovers in 31 minutes against Greece.
The biggest disappointment of EuroBasket 2013, Turkoglu looked nowhere close to an NBA player who could make $12 million next season. Over the past few years, Turkoglu's career has been going down dramatically as the forward was suspended for steroids usage, shot only four percent from three-point range in 2012-13, and now made only five shots at EuroBasket 2013. A couple of weeks ago former teammate and now Fenerbahce Ulker manager Mirsad Turkcan confirmed that his team is willing to pay millions to bring the Turkish star back, but now it's unclear if Turkoglu does belong in the European elite any longer.
- Kostas Papanikolaou (Greece): 6.3 points (50% 3FG), 2.3 rebounds per game.
Worst performance: 2 points, 4 rebounds, 2 turnovers in 22 minutes against Sweden.
Kostas Papanikolaou, a hero of the 2011-12 Euroleague final, signed a long-term five million euros contract with FC Barcelona, but the young talent didn't remain a future basketball star at EuroBasket 2013. Similar to Printezis, Papanikolaou was one of the key Greece national team players in the London Olympic qualifying tournament, but this year the forward was not as productive as last summer. Papanikolaou showed some great range from the three-point line (50% 3FG), but he was quite passive and took only 16 three-points attempts throughout the tournament. That means that Papanikolaou averaged 1.7 attempts per game, while his Euroleague average last season was 3.1.
- Jaka Lakovic (Slovenia): 3.6 points, 1.9 assists, 1.3 turnovers per game.
Worst performance: 0 points, 0 assists, 0 rebounds, 1 turnover, 3 fouls in 10 minutes against France.
It is obvious that the career of the 35-year-old Jaka Lakovic is coming to an end, but last season the playmaker proved he can still be productive at the highest level. Lakovic, who was playing in the top Italian league, averaged 16 points and 5.2 assists last season while shooting 45 percent from the three-point range. However, EuroBasket 2013 was the least successful tournament in Lakovic's career as the Slovenian guard didn't fit his role to be Goran Dragic's backup. Slovenia struggled while Lakovic was on the court and unsurprisingly Lakovic's plus/minus rating was fifth-worst in EuroBasket 2013 (minus 50).
- Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania): 6.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks per game.
Worst performance: 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls in 11 minutes against Serbia.
In his third straight summer with the Lithuanian national team, Jonas Valanciunas was expected to mature into one of their key players. However, with 20 official games and 290 minutes played, Valanciunas looked more like a rookie of European championships than a starting NBA center. Valanciunas tried hard to use his increased strength that led to unforced turnovers and offensive fouls. The Lithuanian big man also had troubles passing the ball off the key, with an an assist percentage of 1.2. That means Valanciunas assisted only one out of 100 field goals that were made by his teammates while he was on the floor (the fifth-worst result at this tournament).
- Janis Blums (Latvia): 6 points (8.3 2FG), 2.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists per game.
Worst performance: 4 points (1/9 FG), 2 rebounds, 2 assists in 20 minutes against Belgium.
Same as in the 2012-13 Lithuanian league finals, Janis Blums reminded an unpredictable three-point shooter in EuroBasket 2013. As four out of every five shots Blums took were from beyond the arc, the Latvian didn't put too much effort trying to find easier looks. Blums, who averaged 16 points and was a true leader of Latvia at EuroBasket 2011, was more than disappointing at this championship. The 31-year-old guard made only one shot from two-point area in 170 minutes of action and he became the worst player in this area in the whole tournament.