The Oregon Ducks signed 6’9″, 240 lbs. Brazilian basketball player Cristiano Felicio, their third signee for the 2013 recruiting class. Felicio joins guard A.J. Lapray and forward Jordan Bell as early signees for the Ducks. At 6’9″ Felicio’s athleticism makes him an intriguing signee for the Ducks.
The 20-year-old Felicio brings international experience to the Ducks’ roster. As a member of Brazil’s 2011 U-19 team, Felicio averaged 9.5 points on 75.6% shooting, 7.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks over eight games. Brazil finished 9th at the 2011 World Championships. In Felicio’s best game during the championships, against Australia, he put up 16 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal in 30 minutes of action.
This year Felicio left his club team of Minas Tenis Clube in Brazil this summer to attend CCSE Prep Academy, a college preparatory academy in Sacramento, Calif. with an emphasis on having a high quality elite basketball program, in hopes of getting a college scholarship. In an interview with FIBA basketball last year, Felicio described the struggles of coming to the U.S.,
“It was not easy,” Felicio said. “I needed to make the decision so I could meet other challenges.
In three games at the Nike Global Challenge tournament last year, Felicio averaged nine points and 10.3 rebounds for a Brazil team that eventually finished fifth. Matched up against 2012 five-star power forward Anthony Bennett, who now plays for UNLV, Felicio scored six points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Felicio is a hyper-athletic recruit with a ton of potential. Felicio is at his best defensively, where he can use his long wingspan to be active and get blocks and steals. Felicio is very raw offensively and must improve his shooting and post skills. The bright spot of Felicio’s offensive game is his ability to run the floor, use his athleticism and finish with power on the break.
While Felicio seems to be a very similar player to the Ducks’ first commit, Bell, because of his high potential and defensive skills, they should be able to play well together because of their preferences defensively. While Bell is one of the nation’s top shot blockers, Felicio is “more comfortable at the high post instead of playing under the rim,” according to NBADraftchat.com’s Jason Bleznick.
DraftExpress.com’s Jonathan Givony says: “Physically, Felicio draws comparisons to fellow Brazilian big man Nene.” If Felicio can live up to that hype, he will certainly be a steal for the Ducks.