The Kentucky Wildcats are back on the board for next season with what will likely be their final addition to the 2023-24 roster.
Now, Ivisic is rocking Kentucky blue.
This morning, Croatian big man Zvonimir Ivisic, set the record for earliest commitment in Kentucky Basketball history at 6:00 AM EST.— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) August 1, 2023
It was 12:00 PM in Croatia.#BBN should be waking with a smile! pic.twitter.com/iZyxEh3zCp
Weighing in at 7-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Ivisic gives Kentucky some much-needed insurance in the frontcourt, which is currently down to just senior forward Tre Mitchell as the only healthy true big man.
Sophomore center Ugonna Onyenso and freshman center Aaron Bradshaw are recovering from surgeries that should keep them out a few more months, though both players are expected to be ready for the start of the 2023-24 college basketball regular season.
Don’t let Ivisic’s bigger frame fool you. He’s much more of a finesse big who can handle the ball and shoot from distance, which will fit greatly into a Kentucky team that clearly has the horses to play fast and shoot more 3s than we’ve been accustomed to in recent years.
I mean, just look at what he does below and imagine that flying down the court alongside DJ Wagner, Antonio Reeves, and Justin Edwards.
7’2 Zvonimir Ivišić showcased some insane flashes at U20 this year— Pistons Draft Talk (@PDTScouting) July 20, 2023
At 7’2 he moves insanely well… as well as hitting off the dribble 3s.
Also averaged 3.2 BPG and shot 34% from deep
First rounder in the 2024 draft to me pic.twitter.com/pf0NFzKff9
As if it weren’t obvious in the GLOBL JAM, John Calipari is clearly taking a more modernized approach to his offense that features five players capable of running and stretching the floor.
While currently an unranked class of 2023 recruit, Ivisic actually tested the NBA Draft waters in each of the past two years before ultimately withdrawing from it. He’s been viewed as a draft-and-stash prospect who could become a first-round pick in the 2024 draft. NBADraft.net currently projects Ivisic as the 56th pick in the 2024 draft to the Indiana Pacers, who were among the teams to host him for a pre-draft visit this year.
Overview: Zvonimir Ivisic has been on NBA radars since 2019, when he debuted on Croatia’s U16 Euro Championship team. He averaged 13.9 points and 6.9 rebounds in that tournament, continuing his development and gathering enough attention to host a pro day at the 2022 NBA Combine. In 2022-23, Ivisic was a rotational player for Studentski Centar Podgorica of the Adriatic League. He averaged 15.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in a recent playoff series defeat to Partizan Mozzart of the Euroleague. Back in November, he scored a career-high 28 points.
Analysis: Despite his 7-foot-2, 220-pound frame, Ivisic has an outside-in style. Even dating back to his U16 stats, 5.1 of his 9.9 shots per game were 3-pointers. His stroke and touch are still developing, but he has promising mechanics for a 19-year-old of his size. Ivisic also flashes ambidextrous touch around the basket and quick turns to create separation. He can fake a DHO and drive to the basket, and there’s promise in his roll game, though it’s very raw at the moment.
Projection: Ivisic shot 30.3% on 33 3-point attempts this season. Combined with his still-developing inside game, Ivisic is a project offensively. He’s also a project defensively, where he’s liable to get blown by on the perimeter. With solid recovery skills and natural shot-altering length, Ivisic is a good containment defender who can anchor the paint. While growth is needed holistically, instincts and game processing speed are the swing factors. Destination will be pivotal for the promising Croatian — who is a likely candidate to be a draft-and-stash prospect.
Now, check out some highlights of the newest Cat in action!
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