Sunday, June 3, 2018

East Carolina Earns Commitment From Bosnian Big

East Carolina earned a big pickup, both figuratively and literally, in Class of 2018 Center Milan Stakic.

A 7-foot-2, 240-pound Center, Stakic has come a long way in a short period of time.

The lane-clogging Stakic, who overcame early spurts of softness in his career, has committed to East Carolina.

Having played just 15 games of American prep basketball, Stakic brings a small sample size of potential with his deft touch and monstrous, soft hands.

 If pushed in a controlled environment, it's hard to argue Stakic has a convincing chance.

The Believe Prep (TN) product arrived in the country from Bosnia in September of 2016.

Extremely raw at first, Stakic transitioned from a European four-man with a feathery 15-18 footer to a wide ranging scoring threat.

He has the physical attributes required to backbone a defense as an intimidating and physical space eater.

When initially acclimatizing to a souped up offensive attack at The Conrad School (FL), Stakic struggled with the pace of the game and coordination.

He worked away at his body, trimming down from a whopping 282 pounds to 238 that winter.

Partly at his coaches' urging and partly at his desire to play Division-I basketball, Stakic worked at incorporating an offensive game.

After a 15-point performance in Conrad's six-point loss to ISA-Naples, Stakic's increased offensive tool-set materialized.

He posterized a seemingly helpless defender with an extravagant two-handed dunk during the first half, instantly jolting life into a partisan prep crowd in Orlando.

Stakic put his incrementally improved post game to use in that one, utilizing his size and exploiting interior mismatches.

He drilled a 3-pointer and buried a deep jumper during a pivotal second half stretch.

This coming out party caliber performance ultimately instilled a confidence and an in-game moxie in Stakic moving forward.

From that point on, Stakic's demeanor changed. He went from a shaky work in progress to a high-upside prospect in under two years.

Oklahoma State, Marshall, and several others began to take notice.

 ECU was the first program to put eyes on Stakic, who finished his career under newly minted Wichita State assistant Tyson Waterman at Believe (TN).

The aforementioned thunderous dunk and performance against ISA-Naples were integral elements in shaping Stakic's confidence and mindset.

In high school basketball, guards and ultra-skilled, versatile forwards tend to be the deadlier scorers.

Towering 7-footers notably develop late and encounter difficulty scoring between a defender and the basket. Stakic outlived growing pains in his path to becoming a dependable scorer who can defend the rim at the other end.

Stakic arrived in a hyper-competitive environment, playing in the reputable and traditionally tough SIAA (FL) conference.

 He received a crash course on the niceties of the American game, quickly thrown into meaningful minutes.

After a daunting transition phase, Stakic became a tireless worker.

 Major tweaks to Stakic's body, a less hesitant approach (which led to quality production with his soft touch), and the development of a face-up game propelled his rapid evolution.