Sebastian Saiz, a 6'9", 230 pound forward from Spain, recently represented his home country in the FIBA U-19 World Championship Tournament, held in Prague. The Spanish team finished fifth (of course the US of A finished in first place and if you don't like it you can just get out), with Saiz averaging just over 9 points and 9 rebounds per game during the tournament. He played roughly 20 minutes per contest, and showed out in several of his appearances.
His performances have led many college basketball experts to sing the Spaniard's praises:
Ole Miss fans Christmas came early for you. 6-8 Spaniard Sebastian Saiz is rebounding machine and NBA prospect in time! Impressing in Prague— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) July 7, 2013
Fran Fraschilla, an ESPN college basketball analyst and former college coach (Remember those Manhattan teams from back in the day who made the dance for a few straight years? No?! Well, whatever, he was their coach.) has touted Saiz's NBA bonafides. Rumors have even swirled that the Washington Wizards are already interested in the Spanish star.
Granted, the Wizards suck, but it's still technically an actual NBA team.
Strong buzz from across the pond about Ole Miss freshman Sebastian Saiz. Big man will play major minutes immediately for the Rebels.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 7, 2013
Jon Rothstein, a college basketball insider for CBS sports, agrees with Fran's assessment that Saiz should contribute early and often for the Rebs.
I doubt that he can replicate the performances of Murphy Holloway or Reginald Buckner in year one, but if these impressions are true and Saiz can at least be a reliable rebounder, then he should be quite valuable to this program from day one.