It's a small sample size, but based on the five games that Brazil has played so far, Lucas Nogueira has looked far from the first-round prospect he looked like last summer, but he has glimpses. After all, the near-7-footer is just 18 years old, but has tremendous potential.
Through the five games, Nogueira is second on the team in scoring with 10.4 points and leads Brazil with 9 rebounds a game; due to his propensity to foul on the defensive end and not finish on the offensive end, his stats are even more impressive when you calculate them on a 40 minute basis- that works out to be 15.5 rebounds per 40, second best in the tournament. His offensive skills are more evident than ever in this tournament when matched up against physical big men who can push Nogueira away from the rim and make his shot tougher to finish; he is converting just 44.1 of his field-goal attempts through the five games.
Last summer, Nogueira swatted away a staggering 27 shots in the five games of the FIBA Americas U-18 and this summer? He has 16 blocked shots and 17 fouls- a poor ratio for any shot-blocker.
Nogueira shows bursts of energy on the glass, blocking shots and running the floor, but still shows many of the same concerns regarding his strength and lack of development in the halfcourt setting. His frame is very slender and his overall body strength is very weak- standing at 6'11 ½" with a 7'5 ½" wingspan and weighing just under 220 pounds. The good news is that Nogueira was even skinnier and weaker one summer ago when he competed and broke-out in the U-18 tournament; he has put on about 15 pounds since then, but still has a way to go.
Nogueira has a contract with Estudiantes that runs through 2014, meaning that if he declares for the draft again next year, he will have to stay overseas to play out his remaining years on his contract or buy out the remaining years- either way, time is on his side in that he needs it to continue to develop physically which will bring along the other aspects in his game.