Feb 13, 2014; Stockton, CA, USA; Pacific Tigers fans hold up signs during the second half of the game against the Brigham Young Cougars at Alex G. Spanos Center. The Pacific Tigers defeated the Brigham Young Cougars 89-82. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
With the graduation of forwards Tony Gill, Ross Rivera, Khalil Kelley, and Tim Thomas, all solid big men who had NCAA Tournament experience, Pacific’s frontcourt is in need of immediate contribution from newcomers. One of these newcomers who could bring some height and much needed outside shooting to the team is 6’7, 200 pound freshman Ilias Theodorou, who hails from Athens, Greece.
At St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy
Theodorou spent one season at the prep school in Delafield, Wisconsin, averaging 10.1 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game while playing a rugged schedule against some of the top prep school teams in the country. Here are some of his highlights from last season:
Theodorou attended high school in Athens, Greece and played for the Panathinaikos Athletic Club. He also has played on Greece’s national team in the Under-16 European Tournament in the Czech Republic in 2011, averaging 3.1 points per game and 2.9 rebounds per game on 32% shooting in 11.6 minutes per contest.
Impact at Pacific
With the ability to step out and shoot three pointers on a consistent basis at 6’7 or 6’8 (depending on the source), Theodorou has the potential to be one of the most versatile players in the West Coast Conference. That being said, my gut feeling is that he will end up playing the power forward, and if that is the case, he needs to bulk up in order to be able to compete defensively. If Pacific had more returning players, Theodorou seems like a talented player who could really use a redshirt year to get stronger and develop a back to the basket game (like Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk).
However, Ilias will likely be playing this season and will competing for playing time in the frontcourt with senior Gabriel Aguirre and sophomore Sami Eleraky, both products of the City College of San Francisco. However, it is more likely that those two will be playing the center position. Freshman Jacob Lampkin and JUCO transfer Eric Thompson out of Saddleback JC will also be competing with Theodorou for minutes at power forward.
As a relatively unknown international prospect, Theodorou has a lot of potential to be a great player for Pacific. Conversely, he could also fall through the cracks and become frustrated with limited minutes and not stick around the program for too long. It will be interesting to see which path Ilias Theodorou will take as a Pacific Tiger.