Tag Archives: Zhou Qi

Friday Night Chuanr

June 29, 2013

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chuanr

Nighttime links served up proper with a hearty helping of lamb on a stick. The beer is on you, though.

 

  • The FIBA World U-19 Championship is underway in Prague, Czech Republic. The Chinese, headlined by Zhou Qi and Gao Shang, two guys NiuBBall readers should be familiar with, are participating. Rafael Uehara has a fantastic preview over at The Basketball Post, for those interested.
  • According to Chinese reports, the Beijing Ducks have officially re-signed Randolph Morris for another season. If you haven’t already, check out my reaction on One World Sports.
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U-18s beat Hong Kong by 106 points and no, that’s not a typo

August 18, 2012

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The FIBA Asia U-18 Championship is underway in basketball hotbed Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and China, who are looking to defend their 2010 title, has opened its schedule with a message to its preliminary round competition: We’re totally cool by beating our own country-mates by a Wilt Chamberlain.

Playing in their opening game of the preliminary round yesterday, China beat Hong Kong by a score of 153-47.

I’ll type that again: 153-47. So much for saving some mian zi.

How you win by 106 points is beyond me, but here’s some statistics that help paint this ridiculous picture. China outrebounded their opponents 60-14, outscored them in the paint 72-14 and forced 32 turnovers. HK shot 28% for the game and were outshot 97-54. In the third quarter, China came out to score 44 points to Hong Kong’s five and then went 41-12 in the fourth just for good measure.

And when you further dig into this monstrosity of a scoreline, it’s hard not to just feel bad for these dudes. According to the competition’s official website, Hong Kong’s tallest player listed at 196 centimeters (6’5) and their next two tallest bigs are 191 (6’3). Compare that to China’s centers, Wang Zhelin and Zhou Qi, who are merely two seven footers with NBA potential.

Wang finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds (nine offensive) in just over 17 minutes, while Zhou had 17 and 6 in roughly the same time.

Unless the sun blows up, China is a lock to win this tournament for the second straight time. This roster features China’s A-list of youth players, including Wang and Zhou, as well as Gao Shang, Han Delong and Zhao Jiwei. It’s also the core team (minus Gao) that played this summer in Lithuania at the FIBA World U-17 Championship. China finished seventh with a 4-4 overall record.

China beat India earlier today 119-54. They’ll play Indonesia Lebanon tomorrow in the last game of the preliminary round before the start of the second round — in where the top three teams from each of the four groups are reorganized into two groups of six — on Monday. The top four teams from each group then play in the knockout round, which starts on August 24th.

You can check out the official website for more details and statistics here.

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16 year-old Zhou Qi wows at Albert Schweitzer Tournament

April 30, 2012

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In a little over a year, Zhou Qi has become arguably China’s top long-term prospect.

What is it with young Chinese centers tearing it up right now? After 18 year-old Wang Zhelin turned heads at the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon, last month, 16 year-old Zhou Qi made some serious noise of his own in Spain at the 2012 Albert Schweitzer Tournament.

The high profile youth tournament, running for the 26th time this year in Mannheim, Germany, has Hall of Fame alumni list who have played over the years including Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker and Drazen Petrovic and typically attracts the world’s best U-18 talent.

Put in a group with Spain, Australia and Russia China was special for two reasons: One, it was the only nation representing Asia and two, they sent their U-17 team in preparation for the FIBA U-17 World Championship this summer in Lithuania. Matched up against strong teams that were a year older, China went 0-3 to find themselves in the consolation bracket. But once there, China rebounded to beat Greece, Denmark and Sweeden to finish with a very respectable 3-3 record and an 11th place finish.

Spain ended up beating Serbia to take home the championship, but one of the stories of the tournament was the 7-1 Zhou, who finished with averages of 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.2 blocks in 28.8 minutes per game, wowing spectators with his height, footwork and timing on the weakside.

From David Hein at FIBA.com:

By far the biggest talent at the tournament was 16-year-old Chinese center Zhou Qi.

The Chinese team was made up exclusively of players born in 1995 and 1996 as they prepare for the FIBA U17 World Championship in Lithuania this summer. And Qi, who turned 16 in January, showed that he can already dominate older competition.

While he still needs to build body mass, he already has a strong feeling around the basket offensively, defends adequately for his weight, knows how to block shots and even boasts a bit of a mean streak. He has plenty of tools to work with and if he continues to work hard and with dedication, it’s easy to see him as a future star.

Hein isn’t the only Westerner to write about Zhou; EuropeanProspects.com has a very detailed report from Mannheim:

His shooting mechanics are very fluid and guard-like and he is able to score the jumper from mid-range in both catch-and-shoot and dribble situations. He even was able to adjust his jump shot to a perfect form out of the dribble after being severely hit on his arm. Qi is not very fast (he is fast for a 2m15 tall player but not guard-fast) or explosive though which makes him finish a lot more with technique than force around the basket…. He is definitely one of the players to follow in the future and he will certainly have a huge impact during the upcoming U17 World Championships this summer.

Though his play in Mannenheim has helped boost his stock, Zhou has actually been on the international map for over a year. Barely known in China, Zhou blew up in February 2011 at the Turk Telecom Tourney in Ankara, Turkey after he helped lead China a surprise championship while putting up two stat lines that belong on an NBA Jam arcade screen: 41 points, 28 rebounds and 15 blocks in a semi-finals game against Germany (which went into triple overtime), and a 30-17-8 in the Finals against Turkey. Zhou finished the tournament with averages of 20.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and a tournament-high 5.4 blocks, the star of a Team China who became the first Chinese basketball team to ever win an international competition.

The then 15 year-old came back to China a hero — and the next young seven-foot prospect to be compared to Yao Ming. He followed up his surprising and impressive performance in Turkey with a good (but not very surprising) showing at the 2nd FIBA Asia U-16 Championship it Vietnam. In the Finals he went for a stupid 43-19-12 in a 92-52 blowout win against Korea, which gave China back-to-back U-16 championships.

Zhou is a stick and will need to bulk up in the years ahead, though not as quickly as some would think. With nice guard-like fluidity to his game, Zhou is a  unique prospect who’s advantages would likely be taken away if he were to put on too much bulk. (Although Anthony Tao at Beijing Cream thinks he could at least use second portions at lunch and dinner.)

Yest despite that fact, Zhou continues to be compared to… Yao Ming. I know, what a shock. If we’re only limiting ourselves to Chinese comparisons, a better one would be Wang Zhizhi, who like Zhou is more graceful and perimeter-oriented than the 7-6 Yao.

What’s next for Zhou will depend on his development, how he fills into his frame and how he reacts to the building hype both in China and abroad. What is known right now, however, is that he projects as a better long-term NBA prospect than Wang Zhelin. And that’s not really a knock on Wang, who definitely will have a shot at The League if improves in the coming years, but more of a nod to Zhou, who has proven himself on the international stage to make himself far and away China’s best young player right now.

For more on Zhou, you can check out his profile at NBADraft.net, as well as this nice little post-Turk Telecom write-up from China Sports Today.

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CBA off-season carousel in full swing

March 14, 2012

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As the the playoffs rage on come to a grinding halt (thanks, Shanxi), and as we’re back on the blogging trail, now seems as good a time as ever to update everyone on the coaching and front office changes that are going on around the league.

Jim Cleamons not coming back to Guangsha; Wang Fei set to return?

Jim Cleamons, like a lot of foreign coaches over the years who were originally promised long-term stays with their Chinese squads, won’t be back for a second season in Guangsha. Initially brought in to install a program that would promote long-term development, Cleamons was a big reason why Guangsha was able to land Wilson Chandler during the NBA lockout. With his Bulls/Lakers triangle-offense import working well along with his NBA import, the Lions got off to a great 13-4 start that had some people thinking that they were a legit threat to Guangdong.

But once the lockout ended and it became apparent that he had a huge contract waiting for him in the States, Chandler turned on the cruise control, Cleamons turned off the triangle, and Guangsha sputtered to a 2-9 record over their next 11. They eventually made the playoffs, but in order to get back before the March 1st offer-sheet deadline, Chandler left back to the U.S. and Cleamons was left with Rodney White to face Beijing. As most (but not all) would guess, Guangsha was swept out of the playoffs.

With Cleamons out, the team is reportedly considering bringing back former China National Team head coach, Wang Fei, who was in Guangsha from 2007-11. Nothing official has been announced at this time, however.

Liaoning get rejected by Jiang Xingquan, hire Wu Qinglong

It is the official opinion of NiuBBall that Liaoning should be better than they are. Like, way better. After Guangdong’s roster of National Team stars, Liaoning  has the best domestic lineup of players. With Guo Ailun, Zhang Qingpeng, Yang Ming, Han Dejun and Li Xiaoxu among others all healthy this season, there was simply no good reason as to why the Jaguars weren’t in the post-season.

And it’s an opinion that Liaoning management apparently agrees with. They fired Guo Shiqiang midway through the season and after his replacement, Li Ge couldn’t guide them to a better record, they’ve decided they’re done with him too. According to QQ Sports, Liaoning at first had decided to find a foreign coach, but with the National Games coming up in 2013 – a competition that foreigners are not allowed to participate — management felt going with a Chinese coach was the better decision.

Atop their list was Jiang Xingquan, who is from the province and coached Liaoning in 1970 and from 1976-90. Jiang’s homecoming in the twilight of his career seemed like a storybook ending to the most impressive resume in Chinese basketball history, until Liaoning’s master plan hit a snag: Jiang wasn’t down. Jiang has a good deal in Xinjiang and at 72 years-old, he’s not willing to go through the day-to-day grind of head coach.

So in comes Wu Qinglong, who coached at Liaoning from 1997-2001, where he lead the team to two appearances in the CBA Finals in four years. In the years after, he served as head coach in Yunnan, Shaanxi, Shanxi and Fujian among other teams before landing back with Liaoning as their youth coach, and with the China Youth National Teams. Last year, he coached the Chinese U-16 Team (lead by none other than Zhou Qito a gold medal at the FIBA Asia U-16 Championship.

Xinjiang signs Cui Wanjun to five-year deal, Jiang Xingquan to step down (again)

If his re-appointment as head coach just 11 games into the Bob Donewald era was shocking, this is the exact opposite: Jiang Xingquan, after telling Liaoning no thank you, won’t be in his big chair on the Xinjiang bench next season. The Xinmin Evening News is citing an anonymous source who says that Xinjiang has officially signed Cui Wanjun to a five-year deal. The 72 year-old Jiang will go back to his original position as advisor, a role that he agreed upon shortly after the team hired Donewald last summer.

Cui is actually a pretty interesting story. Hardcore Memphis Tigers fans will remember him as the Chinese guy who was with John Calipari and the rest of the Tiger coaching staff for the entire 2007-08 season in Memphis. As an intern, Cui followed Coach Cal and the team so he could learn their practice structure, up-tempo offense, strength and conditioning methods,and overall team management. After the season in June, he received a Final Four ring from Calipari when he and a group of players from Conference USA came to China for a set of exhibition games and coaching clinics.

Careful NiuBBall readers will recognize Cui as the former head coach of the NBL’s Jiangsu Tongxi, who in addition to winning a championship last year, also helped polish the game of NiuBBall.com Rookie of the Year, Zhu Yanxi. I’ve never seen Tongxi play, but they apparently liked to play fast; not surprising given Cui’s connection with Calipari.

Wang Min the latest head to roll at Jiangsu

Joining Liaoning and Bayi on the list of traditional CBA powers not to make the playoffs this season, Jiangsu is busy cleaning house as they try to recover from a dead last place 9-23 season. Longtime head coach, Xu Qiang, was the first to be axed before his replacement, Hu Weidong, was told not to come back after the season. Not content with just clearing out the bench, Dragons general manager, Wang Min, is also stepping down.

After finishing in fourth place last year after Antoine Wright saved their season from Ricky Davis, one would have hoped that Jiangsu had learned how to pick good imports this season. Instead, they signed Dan Gadzuric and Mardy Collins, both of whom didn’t last more than eight games. Gadzuric was replaced by 2010-11 NiuBBall.com First Teamer, Jackson Vroman, who CBA teams should have never let get away in the first place; Collins was replaced by Marcus Williams (the UCONN one), who may have been the worst import in league history.

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Stuck in the middle, Liaoning’s 2nd team an “abandoned generation”

May 31, 2011

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With a solid senior domestic roster to build upon and an extremely promising U-16 youth team highlighted by China’s most intriguing seven foot prospect, Zhou Qi, Liaoning PanPan is focusing their energy on returning the senior team to its glory days of years past while also developing its youth with an eye on the future.

Equipped with Guo Ailun, Li Xioaxu and Han Dejun, Liaoning’s senior team has a talented young core that would have likely made the playoffs this season if the team hadn’t decided to dismiss Chris Richard and Donta Smith for three games — all which resulted in losses — in late January.  If Liaoning can get their act together next season and sign two decent imports, not a given considering their reputation in that department, the Dinosaurs will no doubt be a top-eight team.

Liaoning’s U-16s are also being watched quite closely.  Besides having a chance to play starring roles with the senior team in a few years, Liaoning’s third team will have a chance to bring the all important “glory” to their province when they participate in the prestigious 2013 National Games, which will be held in Liaoning province’s capital city, Shenyang.  Likely not a coincidence,  the 12th edition of the National Games will feature a U-18 basketball tournament. As Zhou Qi, and his promising point-guard teammate, Zhao Ziwei, will be mature enough to play by then, Liaoning is already being dubbed as the early odds on favorite.

But, remember: This is “basketball with Chinese characteristics,” and that means under all of the resources being piled onto these two teams, somebody is probably getting screwed.  And as it turns out, somebody is getting screwed — the team stuck in the middle of all this excitement, Liaoning’s second team.

According to a story released today in the Southern Metropolis Daily (via NetEase), the second team has been completely neglected and ignored by the franchise’s higher ups at the expense of these other interests.

Said second team head coach, Dong Shusui, “I have never been in communication with either senior or third team coaches.  They don’t come over here where we are, and I don’t go over there where they are.  Right now I’m with this team.  I have no say about who gets promoted to the senior team.  I have no control over who gets sent down to the third team.  Everything in that respect has already been set for this year.”

“The core of Liaoning’s work is centered on the first and third teams,” said an anonymous figure inside the second team. “At present, this group of second team players are pretty much an abandoned generation.  The ones who can get on the first team, like Liu Zhixuan, guys who have already played on the first team, those are the lucky ones.  I’m afraid that there are going to be very few players with that kind of luck in the future.”

One step below the senior team, Liaoning’s second team is composed of players born between the years 1991-1994. Backing up their coaches’ frustrations, the players also shared the harsh current reality of being on a team that receives little attention and even less resources.

Speaking privately to a reporters, Liaoning youth players disclosed that they are paid 1,000 renminbi (roughly $150) a month, regardless of performance.  A player complained: “Don’t look at all of this name brand stuff we’re wearing, this was all bought for us by our parents.  The team only gives us one pair of shoes for the whole year.

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