Tarik Biberović Scouting Report

Tarik Biberović’s main shine period was 2016-2017 ANGT Belgrade where he averaged 17.75 points, 6.25 rebounds, 2.25 assist, 0.75 steals, 1.25 blocks while shooting 35.1% from the 3-point line and 34.2% from the field. In 2017-2018, Biberović had a good ANGT, again. He was also not bad at the 2016 U16 Euro Championship. But the biggest question mark in my mind about his development is the process he has gone through since 2018. I mean, he has played very few top-tier matches since he came to Fenerbahçe. Also, he was not featured in NJT. Biberović did not play in the Turkish First Division Basketball League due to license rules. He only played in 14 EuroLeague matches. Also, he played at the Turkish Youth League, a level of competition that can hardly be considered challenging for a prospect of his caliber. I think this definitely drops his draft stock a lot.

Background

Tarik Biberović was born on January 28, 2001, on Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Biberović’s father opened a basketball school when his son was five years old. Biberović started playing basketball at his father’s basketball school. Meanwhile, TB’s father was born in Novi Pazar. So Biberović is linked to Muslim and Turkish cultures. While playing basketball, Biberović also enjoyed playing football. He even liked to play football more, but in his youth, after his friends showed more interest in basketball, Biberović broke his way completely into basketball. Biberović’s favorite series is Prison Break and a huge Michael Scofield fan. His favorite foods are things like chickpeas, eggplant, pizza. His hobbies are playing darts, staying at home reading books and training late at night. Tarik Biberović is indeed a hard-working player. Assistant coaches in Fenerbahçe describe his working discipline as “insane”. Biberović stays at the GYM for hours, especially, when he is not traveling with Fenerbahce.

Physical

Standing at 6-foot-6 with a near 6-foot-9 wingspan and a 210-pound frame. I think that his body has improved significantly over the past season. He has a compact upper body, with a strong chest, arms and core muscles. However, I believe Biberović has room to grow, as his narrow shoulders, slim waist and lack of elite vertical pop hurt his overall skill-set in my opinion. Despite improving his lower body strength, his legs still need a lot of work. The reason I trust Biberović’s physical upside so much is the improvement he went through after the workouts. I mean, Biberović starts each season with a stronger and faster / balanced size & frame. He showed this development very well in his appearance at the Gloria Cup in March, where he also showed some improvement in his lower body strength.

Biberović showed that he could run very fast on the open floor with the ball in some games and lead the break, but he’s still inconsistent in this regard. I think the biggest area of improvement for him is the athleticism, I don’t think Biberović is a bad athlete for the European basketball level of competition, but he will need to maximize his athletic potential if he wants to play consistently at higher levels of competition. He has average vertical pop, lateral movement and linear movement ability, but the main point is that he cannot show any athletic ability around the rim. Despite his strong frame, Biberović sometimes has a hard time going around the rim, having trouble finishing when he gets the ball around the rim as an off-ball motion scorer. The same goes for the defensive end. In this regard, game experience and special training can be useful. My greatest assurance of Biberović’s upside in all these matters is, as I said, this kid never escapes from work. He thrived in dozens of special training sessions with Zeljko Obradovic, and now he can do the same with Igor Kokoskov.

Offense

The best part of his game on the offensive end his shooting in my opinion. So, Biberović’s game mostly revolves around spotting up for the 3-pointers, but also, he is able to create his own shot off the dribble, reading what the defense gives. While doing it, Biberović moves very well without the ball, finding great angle/spacing in his opponent’s defense. He isn’t the quickest shooter in the world but I think even for the NBA standards, his shooting form makes him a very valuable shooter. Biberović has a very nice shooting form with decent speed in his release. His high extension, quick and parallel footwork and release making it difficult for most players to contest or block his shot.

Biberović is a great mid-range operator in my opinion. I wouldn’t say Biberović is the perfect rim attacker, but he’s very good at creating his own position for one-dribble jumpers after getting the ball. He’s able to do this even against his opponent’s pesky defense. He adjusts his steps well, knows drop/load well, and can find mid-range hits with his nice form. But the problem is that he sometimes uses the mid-range even when he gets a very obvious 3-point chance. I think he should have a more confident three-point shooter in this regard. When you look at his shooting percentages, you see that he has not achieved good results since 2018, which doesn’t mean he is a bad shooter. Considering his shooting form and that he hasn’t found consistent playing time at the highest levels of competition, which can affect his rhythm as a shooter, I believe that Biberović can develop into a good “screen the screener”, off-the-ball and movement shooter.

Biberović has shown some flashes as a scorer at all three-levels. He showed that he can attack the rim well with soft-touch, great burst and deceptiveness as a driver, but I would like to see him be more aggressive, more reliable with the ball and using his physical qualities. He is a very good runner on the open court and can finish strong if given space but I don’t think he is good on the ball rim scorer or great cutter against a set defense at the moment.

As a dribbler and passer he’s shown some early signs of future development. I think Biberović is an unselfish passer whose size, craftiness, and ability to play at different speeds give him budding ability as a playmaker. The Bosnian prospect is a capable driver with either hand, with a good handle and a strong body, and does not shy away from contact in my opinion. Showed that he is a good drive-and-dish type passer. He can dribble his left well than his right.

However, I have some question marks here. When Biberović brings the ball up the court, he can commit simple TOs against pressure, also sometimes forcing the passes too much. He’s also prone to unnecessary passes as a driver when he has clear space to attempt floaters. He must be a little more confident and learn to use his physical tools to create a shield around the ball. He has a high sense of play, high team awareness, but sometimes he seems to have very low energy while creating his own score.

Defense

I feel confident about Biberović’s ceiling on the defensive end and I have a very simple reason for it; motor.

Tarik Biberović is not the strongest nor the best defender of the team, he has a lot of room for improvement as an interior defender. But this kid’s game concentration, energy and team awareness always remains consistent. I said he should learn to use his own physical tools on the offensive end, but I think the same is not true on the defense. Because I think that Biberović uses his body, active hands, BBIQ, body coordination well around the perimeter and the three-point line when defending PGs, SGs, and SFs. He’s aggressive and focused on that end.

Biberović can cover pick-and-roll situations well. He can see things early, running passing lanes, and reacts well. Has switch potential to SFs and stretch PFs thanks to his active hands and physical tools in my opinion. His refined footwork and solid stance make him an average on the ball pesky defender in my opinion.

Like said earlier, I think he has room to improve as an athlete, which could unlock a new level as a defender like his lateral quickness in stopping penetration. Most important however, is him improving his instincts as a help defender, as he’s prone to coming from the help-side in positions where his teammate can easily cover, which leaves his own man in the open. He also sometimes makes simple fouls due to his lack of experience.

Summary

Tarık Biberović has potential as one of the top shooters among international players born in 2001 in my opinion. He has an excellent shooting BBIQ. Plus, his size & frame is even ready for NBA levels. But the rim attack, the lack of self-confidence in on the ball offense and what he will do on the defense when he plays too many matches are question marks in my mind. Also, I think his athleticism is the biggest problem. But Biberović’s work discipline, working with a legend like Zeljko Obradovic after growing up in a good culture, and having a perfect organization besides Obradovic increases his development potential in every sense. Would it be a gamble to pick him? I don’t think so because his shot, solid defense is already on the table. Is lack of matches an issue? Yes. But for his NBA level, the G-League one year and then the NBA might be something more right. I think his improvement curve this season will be very important.

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