In its search for added backcourt depth next season, Florida has turned its focus overseas.
Florida associate coach Larry Shyatt spent last week in France watching 6-foot-6 Israeli guard Nimrod Tishman play at the Under-18 European Championships.
Tishman didn’t disappoint, averaging 18.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
“He was one of the best players, the best athletes there,” said Jonathan Givony, who covered the event for Draftxpress.com, his NBA draft web site.
Givony compared Tishman to a Nick Calathes-type, “Not necessarily as polished or aggressive at this point, but he’s a smart player who is versatile enough to play the 1 (point guard), the 2 (shooting guard) and the 3 (small forward) because of his size. He’d be a good fit for what Billy (Donovan) does at Florida.”
There are hurdles that Tishman would need to overcome to play college basektball in America. One is military service. In Israel, citizens are required to spend three years in the military following high school. However, students who attend colleges abroad can apply for deferments.
Tishman won’t turn 18 until Dec. 5, but could enroll this fall for the 2009-10 season.
And while Florida’s interest in Tishman is strong, Tishman’s interest in UF remains unclear. Givony, who has extensive contacts overseas, said Tishman has been approached by a number of Division I schools.
“I think he’s looking at the whole picture, the position he will play, how much playing time he would get,” Givony said. “He could end up at a bigger school or he could choose to go to a smaller school where he could end up being the man.”