Eurobasket update: Bojan Bogdanovic is leading the way for Croatia

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 04: Bojan Bogdanovic
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 04: Bojan Bogdanovic /

FIBA EuroBasket 2017 is in full swing, and new Pacer Bojan Bogdanovic is tearing it up for the Croatian national team after two games.

Bojan Bogdanovic isn’t shy about saying he has more to bring to the NBA, but he’s letting his game speak for him as he leads Croatia to a 2-0 start in FIBA EuroBasket 2017.

The Croatian team is coming to EuroBasket as a pseudo-contender after an encouraging performance in the 2016 Rio Olympics, although this roster has only six holdovers from that team, one of which is Bogdanovic. Missing from the squad are NBA players Mario Hezonja, Ante Zizic and Ivica Zubac. The center rotation is weak as a result, but so far, Bogdanovic has seen to it that that’s not an issue.

He kicked things off on Friday, dropping a game-high 23 points in the 67-58 win over Hungary. He was in full-on attack mode, heading to the free throw line 11 times, shooting 6-for-11 from the field and pulling down seven rebounds.

Croatia came into the game with a clear talent advantage — their roster boasts three NBA players to Hungary’s zero — and Bogdanovic and Philadelphia 76er Dario Saric made sure to deliver. Saric chipped in 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting, with a steal a two blocks to boot.

A day later, the second verse was the same as the first. Bogdanovic led both teams in scoring with 21 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field. He sprinkled in a 3-for-4 showing from 3-point range, six rebounds and an assist as well. Croatia trounced Romania 74-58.

Watching Croatia play through two games, there’s no questioning who the center of the offense is.  Everything flows through Bogdanovic, no matter who the “point guard” on the court is. He’s the primary initiator and the number one option by a wide margin, a far cry from the floor-spacer role that he’s played in the NBA so far.

Croatia is in Group C for the pool play portion of EuroBasket. Should they finish in the top four in their group (a likely result as of now), they’ll then advance to a top-16 elimination bracket until only one champion remains.

If Bogdanovic and company want to be the last team standing, they’ll have to answer to Spain, the reigning champions and practically an NBA roster, as well as the Goran Dragic and Luka Doncic- led Slovenian team.

Here’s the remainder of their pool play schedule, courtesy of Wheat Hotchkiss and

Monday, Sept. 4 – Croatia vs. Montenegro | 10:45 AM ET
Tuesday, Sept. 5 – Croatia vs. Spain | 10:45 AM ET
Thursday, Sept. 7 – Croatia vs. Czech Republic | 7:30 AM ET
Sept. 9-17 – Knockout Round Bracket (Istanbul, Turkey)

Next: Over/unders released, Pacers at 31.5

We’ll be keeping you updated on Bogdanovic and Croatia as the tournament progresses.