2017 ANGT L'Hospitalet Scouting Reports
by: Mike Schmitz
February 3, 2017
Scouting reports on 17 of the more notable prospects seen at the 2017 Adidas Next Generation Tournament in Barcelona, Spain.



Aleksander Balcerowski, 7-0, Center, Gran Canaria, 2000

Strengths
-Legit 7-footer with a frame that should fill out nicely in time. Wide shoulders. Above average length.
-Not a quick twitch athlete, but can get up and down the floor. Fairly mobile for his size.
-Stretch big potential. Simple stroke with nice touch out to three. Made only 1-of-6 threes, but shoots a really easy ball. Showed out well in the 3-point shootout.
-Can playmake from the perimeter. Good passer on short rolls. Comfortable driving and kicking in space. Knows how to play when run off of his spots. Solid feel from the post. Should turn into a plus-distributor as he gains more experience.
-Soft touch on jump hooks. Not overly advanced, but will mix in an occasional quick spin. Willing to use his left around the rim. Has push shots on short rolls.
-Provides some rim protection by virtue of size and length. Capable when he doesn't have to cover a ton of ground or react quickly.
-Has the size to hold his own as a post defender, although he's still improving down there.
-Shows flashes of competitiveness on the glass, although very inconsistent

Weaknesses
-Lacks a degree of quickness. Slow twitch. More mobile than explosive. Has to get momentum behind him to get off the ground. Plays mostly below the rim.
-Shooting potential not fully realized yet in game situations
-Injury concerns – broke the fifth metatarsal in his foot and has had knee issues as a result.
-Footwork is a bit rigid in the post. Struggles versus like-sized defenders. Could use a go-to move.
-Has a feel but gets too cute as a distributor at times. Very turnover prone – 4.7 per 40 at ANGT
-Not the toughest big on the block. Can be a bit timid as an interior defender. Struggles to finish through contact at times. Goes up soft.
-Doesn't give you much as a perimeter defender. Weak, one-slide hedges. A bit heavy footed when on an island. Struggles away from the rim.
-Not the rim protector he could be. Split-second late rotating. Not all that quick off the floor. 1.9 blocks per 40 minutes given his tools.
-Slow to defensive rebounds. Can't grab boards outside of his area. Instincts and anticipation aren't great. Not very physical. Very poor 5.6 rebounds per 40 minutes at the ANGT, as a 7-footer with solid length.
-Will have to turn some of his strengths into elite skills – shooting, passing, scoring on the interior – as he's likely not going to get significantly quicker or more athletic as his career goes on.

Outlook
Playing in his first competitive action since May, Balcerowski showed enough potential as a mobile stretch big with a nice feel to be considered one of the more interesting long-term prospects in L'Hospitalet. The son of Marcin Balcerowski, a former Polish League standout turned wheelchair basketball star and coach after a tragic car accident, Aleksander‘s future success will be contingent upon his health as well as the development of his “stretch big” skills. Balcerowski clearly needs to get tougher and play with more of a mean streak, but he's likely never going to be a major plus in that category, so to really stick his offensive game will have to develop to the point where it outweighs some of his shortcomings defensively and on the glass. All in all, the 16-year-old Gran Canaria big man should be considered an NBA prospect as 7-footers with touch and mobility don't grow on trees.

Interview


Darko Bajo, 6-9, PF/SF, Cedevita, 1999

Strengths
-Impressive physical profile for a combo forward at 6' 9” with a near 7' 0” wingspan and an excellent frame.
-Good athlete who can play above the rim in space
-Strong straight line driver from the perimeter and the elbows. Has the frame to finish through contact. Best operating as a small ball four.
-Shows flashes as a shooter both off the catch and the dribble. Shoots a bit of a hard ball and is jump reliant, but shows some potential. Can make a spot three with time and space. Solid footwork on one-dribble pull ups in mid-range spots. Results based on confidence.
-Can punish switches with jump hooks on the block. Has push shots as well.
-Versatile defensively. Good feet when he sits down and digs in. Comfortable switching ball screens or defending wings on the perimeter. Has the tools to compete on the interior when he's motivated.
-Has some impressive moments rotating from the weakside for blocks. Can cover ground defensively.
-Possesses the type of two-way versatility teams are looking for in a combo forward
-Speaks perfect English

Weaknesses
-Very inconsistent in his approach. Introverted kid who doesn't interact with teammates. Goes into a shell when things don't go his way. Not nearly as aggressive as he could be. Doesn't always act like a great teammate, being more focused on individual success than team's.
-Doesn't have an elite skill. Checks a lot of boxes but isn't great in one area.
-A bit caught between the forward positions offensively. Handle has room to improve, mostly a straight line driver at this stage. Not going to play out of ball screens with much success.
-Inconsistent shooter. Ball doesn't always come out cleanly. Shoots a bit of a hard ball. Jump reliant. Better in mid-range spots than out to three.
-Feel for the game is a bit shaky. Plays with his head down. Struggles to execute the simple play. 1.1 assists and 4.2 turnovers per 40 minutes at ANGT. Needs to improve his ability to make the simple play and read and react to help defenders.
-Shows flashes of impressive defensive versatility followed up by low IQ plays. Doesn't always sit down like he could. Struggles navigating ball screens.
-Overall aggression really comes and goes. Will stand and watch on the defensive glass at times. Looks like a legitimate NBA prospect for stretches and just another guy the rest of the time.

Outlook
Bajo stood out immediately thanks to his prototypical physical profile and flashes of skill. Bajo appeared to be a little bit of a tease at times, however, as he leaves you wanting more from an aggression and consistency standpoint. When he's fully engaged and aggressive, he regularly proved to be the best player on the floor. When he's happy to blend in or struggling to handle adversity thrown his way, he hurts his team. Along with his somewhat rigid skill set, Bajo's mental approach will be the key to whether or not he maximizes his long-term potential. Bajo has tools and athleticism that you can't teach, and if he can improve his mentality and continue to refine his game, he'll set himself up to at least have a chance to play at the highest level. Bajo is expected to be with Cedevita for the foreseeable future, where the very NBA-privy, English speaking Bosnia native will hope to develop into a legitimate draft prospect.

Interview


Jakov Kukic, 6-10, Power Forward/Center, Cedevita, 2000

Strengths
-Legit 6' 10” with wide shoulders. Around 220 pounds, with quite a bit of room to fill out both in his upper and lower body.
-Super nimble for his size. Can get up and down in transition. Fluid dive man out of ball screens. Showed he can step out and guard the perimeter.
-Told us he's only been playing basketball for two and a half years. Has made great strides since we first saw him at the U16s in Radom. Was more of a roller, offensive rebounder there, but has added quite a bit of skill.
-Has touch on jump hooks with either hand. Comfortable in half face ups – can go to running hooks.
-Soft hands as a pick and roll finisher. Comfortable with his left or right.
-Showed the ability to step out and shoot it a little bit. 73% from the free throw line. Knocked down a deep jumper with his foot on the line. Very simple mechanics. Ball comes out smoothly with great rotation. Could turn into a stretch threat down the road.
-Still learning the game, but has potential as a passer. Reads the floor on short rolls. Can high low pass. Will likely turn into a plus distributor in time.
-Very competitive on the interior. Elite offensive rebounder – 6.8 per 40. Not afraid of contact. Follows his own misses. Quick to the ball on the defensive glass.
-Very likable and light-hearted.

Weaknesses
-More mobile than explosive. Plays mostly below the rim.
-Not overly long. May be more 6'9” than the listed 6'10”.
-Upper body should fill out nicely, but a little light in the lower body
-Still quite early in his development. Will make some bone-headed decisions in playmaking situations.
-More of a five skill wise right now, although he could develop into more of a four. Can become a more consistent threat from the perimeter. Not going to attack a closeout or put it down in a straight line.
-Shows flashes but could still use some polish in the post.
-Defensive fundamentals have room to improve. Upright guarding the perimeter at times. Doesn't have a great feel for defending pick and roll at this stage.
-Doesn't give you all that much as a rim protector – 1.0 blocks per 40 minutes.

Outlook
Kukic, who was with Cedevita on loan from Split, had a coming out part of sorts in L'Hospitalet, showcasing a level of skill we hadn't seen from him in the past. At 6'10”, with a solid frame, impressive fluidity and a budding skill set, if Kukic can turn himself into a more traditional four man rather than a slightly undersized five with average skill, he becomes very interesting. He showed he has the feet to step out and guard some fours, it's just a matter of becoming more comfortable away from the rim on defense and continuing to add to his offensive skill set. Considering his starting point and seemingly rapid progression, 16-year-old Kukic was without a doubt one of the more interesting prospects at L'Hospitalet to watch develop over the next few years.

Interview


Franz Wagner, 6-4, Shooting Guard, Alba Berlin, 2001

Strengths
-6' 4” at the moment, but expected to grow over the course of the next few years. Long arms, high hips, big feet and hands.
-Frame will out really nicely. Brother, Moritz Wagner who plays at Michigan, is 6'11” 240 pounds.
-Fairly fluid athlete, although he's still growing into his body.
-Smooth stroke out to three. As most 15-year-olds do, he has a bit of a low release point with a forward jump, but the ball comes out really nicely. Quick getting into it. Shoots it the same way every time.
-Playing a limited role as the youngest player on the team, he came in and brought defensive energy, sitting down in a stance, working to stay attached to shooters, doing everything he could to keep the ball contained, despite being behind the eight ball physically.
-Has a nice feel for the game. Played within himself. Didn't try to do anything out of the scope of his strengths. Plays point guard on the U16 team. Bodes well for his skill set as he grows.
-Very well spoken kid with a professional approach

Weaknesses
-Good not great athlete, although he has far from reached his athletic potential.
-Didn't appear to be all that gifted with the ball from what we saw. Still improving his ability to play at different speeds and change directions. Can improve his ability to handle ball pressure.
-Didn't shoot it great in game play, just 1-of-7 from three at the ANGT.
-Struggled to defend without fouling at the U18 level

Outlook
It was tough to get a full read on the 15-year-old given the fact that he was at least two years younger than most of his opponents and he played quite a limited role in the 11 minutes per game he did see the floor. With that said, it's not hard to see that Wagner has all of the ingredients to turn into a legitimate NBA prospect in time. If he grows as anticipated, Wagner will already have perimeter skills, a projectable stroke, defensive competitiveness and a nice feel for the game to go along with prototypical wing size. It may take a few years to really see Wagner's impact on the floor versus, but he has everything in place to develop into an intriguing NBA prospect on the wing.

Interview


Toni Nakic, 6-5, Shooting Guard, Croatia, 1999

Strengths
-Solid size and a projectable frame for a two guard at 6' 5”. Has some length. Very fluid.
-Put together a very strong tournament while on loan from GKK Sibenik – 18.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.7 steals per 40 on 57.1% from two and 37.5% from three while playing both on and off the ball
-At his best as a spot shooter. Clean wrist action with great rotation. Can make a rhythm pull up with time and space.
-Has some creativity as a passer. Can use his size to see over the top. Comfortable out of ball screens.
-Long strides in a straight line. Makes an effort to play at different speeds. Has touch on floaters.
-Decent instincts and IQ defensively. Knows where to be off the ball.
-High character guy. Cedevita staff raves about his work ethic. Very likable and engaging.

Weaknesses
-On the thin side at the moment, although his frame is fairly projectable
-More fluid than explosive. Plays mostly below the rim.
-Can play with the ball, but his handle is a bit high and loose. Super right-hand dominant as a driver and ball hander. Rarely uses his left in any capacity. Major area of growth for him.
-Not a very dynamic shooter off the bounce. Shoots a flat-footed set shot in mid-range spots.
-Shies away form contact around the rim. Doesn't have a great knack for getting to the line. Burst is average. Lacks the juice and frame to get all the way to the rim consistently.
-Decision making still has room to improve. Can pass, but doesn't always make the right play. Will force up wild shots in the paint at times. Telegraphs passes on the move.
-Inconsistent defensively. Can make a better effort to sit down and slide. Not very physical fighting over screens. Needs to dig in more on that end.

Outlook
Nakic was a pleasant surprise, earning a spot on the all-tournament team and showing his talent as a shooter and occasional playmaker. He's somewhat vanilla as a shot creator at the moment, but has a nice foundational skill set that could evolve in time, especially when coupled with his smooth outside stroke. Cedevita is hoping to sign Nakic long term. Regardless, he's a guard to keep an eye on from afar due to his positional size, shooting stroke and scoring instincts.

Interview


Luka Samanic, 6-10, Forward, Barcelona 2000

Strengths
-Wide shoulders. Frame should fill out nicely in time. Super fluid for his size. Great feet. Can finish above the rim in space.
-Really stood out as a passer for stretches. Very patient on the block – finds cutters and shooters. Can drive and dish or kick from the perimeter. Able to grab, go and facilitate in transition. Decision making can improve, but has the vision and feel to be an elite passer in time.
-Showed his touch as a shooter out to three. At his best picking and popping to space. 30% from three and 83% from the free throw line. Gets good rotation. Should develop into a very reliable shooter as he refines his mechanics.
-Comfortable straight line driving from the perimeter. Can mix in basic crossovers. Will be able to play off of closeouts comfortably as a perimeter four man, especially if his jumper becomes more reliable.
-Can operate on the block. Uses quick spins, stretch finishes. Very nimble feet.
-Shows flashes of physicality and toughness. Good instincts on the glass even though he doesn't always scrap like he could.
-Very impressive moments stepping out and defending the perimeter. Will be an asset as a pick and roll switch defender. Decent timing rotating from the weakside for blocks.

Weaknesses
-Nice frame, but still quite thin. No chest or rear. Average length.
-Mental approach is still a work in progress. Doesn't always play with toughness or passion. Has a very apathetic demeanor at times. Wasn't all that excited when the team won the championship, possibly because he didn't play well. Very good when he plays with tenacity, but that doesn't always happen. Can be a better teammate.
-Decision making still a work in progress. Shows flashes as a passer then will play with his head down and go into his predetermined move. Learning how to play instinctually.
-Shooting mechanics break down when heavily contested. Forward lean. Can improve his shot prep and the speed of his release.
-Defensive toughness comes and goes. Doesn't have the length or body to bail him out right now. Needs to play with maximum effort to have an impact on that end.
-Doesn't always sit down in a stance when guarding the perimeter. Relies solely on natural ability, not technique. Coaches have to get on him to play with his hands up.
-Focus on the defensive glass can improve. Has instincts but doesn't always want to mix it up down there.
-Shies away from contact around the rim at times. Very right handed around the rim. Can improve his ability to finish in a crowd.

Outlook
Samanic was arguably the best long-term prospect in L'Hospitalet by virtue of his size, fluidity, passing ability, shooting potential and switch-ability defensively. With that said, his inconsistency in the effort department was a bit concerning. There were times when he looked very uninterested on the floor and his body language and maturity have a lot of room for growth moving forward. He's most definitely a unique talent, and he's still 16 years old in a tough Barcelona environment. How he responds to the adversity he's facing with the Spanish club will go a long way in determining how likely he is to maximize his potential.

Arnas Velicka, 6-4, Point Guard, Barcelona, 1999

Strengths
-Tremendous physical profile for a point guard at 6' 4” with a 217-pound frame and long arms.
-Impressive five-game tournament: 20 points, 9,8 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks per 40 minutes on 455 from two and 36% from three.
-Fluid athlete with a strong first step. Makes an effort to play at different speeds. Changes pace. Gets to his spots on the floor by virtue of his size and ability to shift gears.
-Sees over the top of the defense out of ball screens. Uses both sides of the floor. Can hit the roll/slip man comfortably. Plays out of drive and kick. Can manipulate ball screens by holding the big defender and moving taggers with his eyes.
-Has the frame to finish through contact.
-Shot it really well with time and space. Gets decent rotation. Can make a three if the defense goes under. Shoots it with confidence.
-Ample potential on the defensive end given his size, length and effort level. Uses his frame to contain penetration. Likes to rotate from the weakside for blocks. Length helps him bother shots as the on ball defender.
-Will fly in on the glass.

Weaknesses
-Has a slightly arrogant, too cool for school demeanor
-Not a very dynamic shooter. Shot it well when he had time but not going to create a jumper off the dribble or knock down contested threes with consistency.
-High handle. Can change speeds but could stand to tighten up his dribble and add more to his change of direction repertoire. Not overly shifty.
-Can be a bit of an assist hunter. Doesn't always move the ball, will pound it and only give it up when he's able to get an assist.
-Really struggles to finish. Not a very vertical leaper. Right hand dominant. Won't be able to rely as much on natural size at the higher levels.
-Does a little bit of everything but what does he do at an elite level?

Outlook
Velicka, a Lithuanian guard and former Zalgiris product, proved to be the top point guard prospect in L'Hospitalet given his combination of physical tools, vision, and two-way play. His seemingly improved stroke bodes well for his long-term potential, although he still has areas where he needs to develop to boost his stock as a prospect – namely finishing at the rim and shot making off the bounce. Velicka's demeanor and vocal leadership can improve as well, but overall it's not easy to find guards with his frame, length and vision. It will be interesting to see how he progresses within the Barcelona system.

Sergi Martinez, 6-8, Power Forward, Barcelona, 1999

Strengths
-Solid frame. Decent length. Fluid athlete who can play above the rim in space on occasion. Opportunistic in transition.
–High IQ, plays an efficient game. Checks a lot of boxes. Active cutter. Nimble pick and roll dive man. Can straight line drive from the perimeter or the elbows as a face up four man. Fundamental passer with a decent feel.
-Capable scorer on the block versus like sized defenders. Good footwork. Has touch around the rim. Crafty.
-Can make an occasional three with time and space although it's not something you want to rely on.
-Good feet on the perimeter defensively. Will compete on the interior despite giving up size and length. Sharp instincts. Nice feel on the defensive end. s
-Competitive on the glass. Flies in on the O-Boards. Above average motor across the board.

Weaknesses
-Severely undersized four at around 6' 7”. Doesn't make up for his lack of size with an elite frame, freaky athleticism or other-worldly length – good not great across the board. Limits him as an interior defender.
-Not a reliable outside shooter – 2-for-5 in H'Lospitalet but mechanics and touch leave much to be desired. Side spin. Turns down spot jumpers. Not going to pull up off the bounce.
-Shows very little to suggest that he'll develop into a three. Not going to play out of ball screens comfortably. Basic handle.
-Not a prolific playmaker although he shows flashes. Plays with his head down too often. Gets tunnel vision on the move.
-Good feet in spurts but doesn't quite have the twitch to defend threes consistently.
-What does he do at a high level? Solid across the board but upside is very limited.

Outlook
The MVP of the tournament, Martinez is very productive at this level because of his strength, motor, smarts and touch inside of 10 feet – 21.1 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals, and 2.0 turnovers per 40 on 58.1% from two and 40% from three. As the level of play, size and athleticism continues to increase, however, his production is likely to take a dip given his limitations both physically and skill wise. Martinez's production can't be ignored but he seems more likely to develop into a solid ACB player rather than a legitimate NBA prospect if his outside shooting doesn't improve considerably.

Josep Busquets, 6-6, SG/SF, Joventut, 1999

Strengths
-Thin, but has a projectable frame. High hips, big feet, solid length. May still be growing? Fluid athlete.
-Projectable stroke although he didn't shoot it well in L'Hospitalet. Has touch from the perimeter. Gets his feet set quickly. Solid rotation. Can make occasional pull ups if given time and space.
-Has potential as a straight line slasher once his body fills out. Long strides. Soft touch on floaters.
-Shows flashes as a passer. Can move it ahead in transition or facilitate a little out of ball screens.
-Decent instincts on the defensive end. Fluidity allows him to get out in the passing lanes.

Weaknesses
-A bit underdeveloped physically for his age. Frame should fill out, but it will likely take some time. Fluid, not super explosive.
-Streaky shooter. Release is a bit out in front of his face. Doesn't allow for as accurate of a stroke on the move.
-Not going to create a ton off the dribble at this stage. Handle is a bit rigid. Doesn't turn the corner versus the big out of ball screens. Not much of a threat to pull up off the bounce unless when contested. Shoots a set shot off the dribble. Doesn't have the body to play through contact or the elite shiftiness to break down his man. Average vertical explosiveness around the rim. Doesn't draw fouls.
-Decision making has a ways to go. Will hoist up fallaways in the lane or contested jumpers to try to get himself going. Doesn't really react to how the defense is defending. Was pressing all tournament long. Gets down on himself easily. Doesn't handle adversity all that well. Lets his emotions show.
-Not the toughest player on the floor, especially on the defensive end. Too upright in his stance. Struggles to get over screens. Doesn't always dig in. Lacks physicality on that end.

Outlook
Busquets really struggled relative to expectations and was never able to move past some of his poor early-tournament moments. After a very strong showing in 2015-16, the Spanish wing took a step back in L'Hospitalet, and proved he still has a ways to go to maximize his potential. Busquets still certainly has some potential, especially considering he's still not quite physically developed yet. He has size, some instincts and a projectable stroke. But all in all Busquets' so-so toughness (mental and physical) and lack of progression is a bit concerning.

Interview


Pedro Barros Nunes, 6-6, Shooting Guard, Joventut, 2000

Strengths
-Excellent size for a two guard at 6' 6” with a solid 195-pound frame.
-Fluid athlete. Not overly explosive but can play above the rim in space.
-Competitive on both ends of the floor. Will scrap for loose balls or chase down rebounds. Gets deep in a stance defensively. Digs in and doesn't mind physicality. Active off the ball – 2.8 steals per 40.
-Can really pass, especially in transition. Averaged 5.6 assists per 40 minutes (2.3 turnovers) playing both on and off the ball. Loves to grab and go in transition, moving it ahead to teammates or going coast to coast before kicking to shooters. Comfortable playing out of ball screens. Can hit the big over the top thanks to his size. Strong feel for the game overall.
-Active cutter. Finds gaps in the defense off the ball.
-Capable slasher attacking closets or out of pick and roll. Solid stride length. Comfortable ball handler who makes an effort to change speeds and directions.
-Shooting stroke is his biggest weakness, but it's not broken. Gets good rise on mid-range pull ups. Long release but has some touch. Not dead in the water there.
-Very well spoken. Good teammate. High intangibles.

Weaknesses
-Average length. Good not great frame.
-Fluid, not overly explosive. Not going to create high percentage shots for himself versus long, athletic wings. Average finisher versus length.
-Limited shooter at this stage – 2-for-11 from three, 5-for-12 from the line. Long release on his jumper. Takes him too long to get into it. Sprays it left and right. Main area of improvement for him. Lack of a perimeter jumper limits his scoring potential in the half court.
-Much better playmaker in transition than the half court. Struggles when teams shrink the floor.
-Good in a handful of areas but what's his elite skill? Not quite special enough physically to not have many

Outlook
Since moving to Spain from Brazil, Nunes has developed his skill set considerably and turned himself into arguably the best prospect on the ANGT-L'Hospitalet Badalona squad. He needs to make considerable strides as a shooter to be considered a legitimate NBA prospect, but at 16 years old Nunes' competitiveness and passing ability are a nice start. Whether it's in the ACB or elsewhere, Nunes is worth tracking as a versatile guard who plays with toughness.

Interview


Biram Faye, 6-10, Center, Gran Canaria, 2000

Strengths
-Physical specimen with a mature, shredded frame and long arms.
-Fluid athlete who can get up and down in transition. Impressive runner. Can finish above the rim in space.
-High motor rebounder who impacts the game on the backboards – 16.9 per 40, the most among any player in L'Hospitalet and Kaunas. Can carve out space on the interior. Quick off the floor. Not afraid to mix it up. Length helps him in traffic.
-Has potential on the defensive end. Light on his feet, should be able to switch with improved fundamentals and discipline. Also has some potential as a rim protector, although it's far from realized.
-Decent touch from the line. Pause at the top but can make a short turnaround.
-Not afraid of contact around the rim – 9.6 free throw attempts per 40 minutes.

Weaknesses
-More agile than freaky explosive
-Very limited feel for the game. Fired a half court shot with 40 seconds to go in the half. Doesn't think the game at a high level. Sped up offensively. Doesn't have a great feel for his strengths and weaknesses as a player. Wants turnaround jumpers. Plays with his head down – 2 assists and 15 turnovers in 110 minutes.
-Skill level leaves much to be desired. Misses a lot of easy looks around the rim. Hands are just OK. 43.6% from two. Not overly advanced on the block, especially versus like-sized bigs.
-Motor on the defensive end comes and goes. Poor awareness. Doesn't want to rotate. One block and five steals in 110 minutes with his tools. Very underwhelming.
-Doesn't sit down in a stance guarding the perimeter. Bites on basic shot fakes versus non-shooters.
-Not as physical as he could be defending the post.
-Doesn't have the most serious-minded approach.

Outlook
Faye, a native of Senegal, was quite underwhelming relative to expectations. Although he can rebound at a high level and has some tools, he's not the freak athlete he'd need to be to make up for his shortcomings in terms of his skill and basketball IQ. Considering the questions about his age, there may not be all that much room for Faye to develop further. If he can really buy in to being a rim runner, shot blocker, pick and roll defender then he'll certainly have a better chance of making it, but at this stage he looks like a much more impactful player and enticing prospect than his production and game play would suggest.

Babacar Fam, 6-7, Point Forward, Frankfurt, 1999

Strengths
-Interesting physical profile at 6' 7.5” with a 7' 1” wingspan, wide shoulders, and above average explosiveness. Finishes above the rim with relative ease.
-High energy athlete. Flies around on both ends of the floor. Will rebound outside of his area – 10.0 per 40. Rotates from the weakside for blocks – 1.9 per 40. Rarely takes plays off.
-Versatile defensively. Length and leaping ability allowed him to play some small-ball five for stretches. Can sit down and defend the perimeter. Should be able to check most wings. Good feet. Makes up for technique errors with effort.
-Active off the ball offensively. Finds soft spots in the defense. Doesn't have all that much skill but makes himself available and can finish around the rim thanks to his length and explosiveness. Doesn't shy away from contact.
-Has a little bit of a feel. Plays with some patience. Understands his strengths and weaknesses. Can pass from the interior a little bit – 1.9 assists to 1.5 turnovers per 40.
-Good teammate. Very intelligent. Studying business.

Weaknesses
-Undersized relative to his skill set – really a 6' 7.5” power forward/center.
-Very limited as a scorer. Unorthodox mechanics on his jumper. Doesn't have much touch around the rim. Not going to attack often in a straight line and certainly won't play out of a ball screen.
-A little light. Doesn't quite have the natural size or strength to defend on the interior – 180 pounds.
-Has some feel, but not the most talented passer.
-Left hand dominant offensively.
-Defensive instincts have room to improve. Comes up with occasional steals and blocks by virtue of his tools and motor but his awareness is just OK.
-Fundamentals guarding the perimeter have room to improve. Too upright. Doesn't have great technique on closeouts.
-Overall upside appears limited

Outlook
Fam, a Dakar, Senegal native, has had quite the journey to get to Gran Canaria, with stops in Tenerife and Real Madrid. He's far from the most polished prospect, but his motor, athleticism, and defensive versatility make him at least worth a bookmark over the course of the next few years. He's not quite an NBA prospect at this time due to his lack of elite size and skill, but he's worth keeping an eye on because of his length, mentality and defensive versatility in a switch heavy era that's short on wing defenders.

Interview:


Georgios Kalaitzakis, 6-6, Combo Guard, Panathinaikos, 1999

Strengths
-Thin, but wide-shouldered, long-armed guard – 6' 6” with a 6' 10” wingspan.
-Fluid with crisp footwork. Can change speeds and directions.
-Very creative combo guard who can score and facilitate in a variety of ways – 20.7 points per 40.
-Comfortable getting to his pull up jumper with hang dribbles. Creates space with step backs going right or left. Will pull up from deep out of ball screens. Extremely streaky shooter but finished the tournament 8-of-19 from three (42.1%). Very advanced getting to his pull up for a player his age.
-Likes to operate from the mid-post. Wants to create space with jab steps and shoot over the top.
-Has floaters in the paint
-Can really pass when he wants to. Whips one handed passes (either hand) over the top of the defense. Will move it ahead in transition. Had a very weak supporting cast so wasn't asked to facilitate as much and it showed in his numbers. Able to play on the ball because of his pull up game and passing ability.
-Very instinctual on the defensive end. Not very physical or hard-playing but has really quick hands and long arms. 4.6 steals per 40 minutes.

Weaknesses
-Thin with somewhat wide hips. Lack of strength really limits him around the rim as a finisher – two free throw attempts in 89 minutes – and as a defender. Not a physical guy.
-Average athlete. Can change speeds but doesn't have a ton of zip with the ball. Plays below the rim. Struggles to get all the way there in the half court, leading to a lot of contested pull ups.
-Partially a function of his role but his shot selection leaves much to be desired. Will jack up deep threes early in the clock. Very turnover prone – flash over substance at times. 6.9 turnovers per 40 minutes.
-Streaky shooter. Shoots it really flat. Ball doesn't always come out smoothly. Percentages in this three game sample proved better than his actual stroke.
-Poor defensive effort. Stands straight up and down. Makes no effort to contain the ball. Walks back on defense. Missed the last couple of days with an illness, which could have played a part, but still very underwhelming on that end.
-Gives you almost nothing when he's off the ball. Not an active cutter. Doesn't want to shoot spot jumpers, would rather take isolation pull ups. Needs to be in a system where he's given the keys and able to play strictly on the ball.

Outlook
Kalaitzakis, whose twin brother plays for Aris, really shined early in the tournament, turning heads with his tough pull up jumpers, shot creation and passing ability when called upon. He's creative and instinctual, and clearly watches the NBA game (likely the Warriors), evident by his deep pull ups, one-handed passes and up-tempo style of play. His effectiveness waned as the tournament went on, however, as his low percentage pull up jumpers stopped falling and his lack of a supporting cast doomed Panithinaikos. Kalaitzakis has a lot of talent and cemented himself as one of the more interesting guard prospects in L'Hospitalet, even if he comes with very little defensive intensity and a streaky jumper. It will be interesting to watch his development from afar as situation will likely play a big role in what type of player her turns into. If he's given the keys and can keep working to develop into more of a lead guard, he becomes very interesting from an NBA perspective.

Interview:


Andrija Marjanovic, 6-7, Small Forward, Barcelona, 1999

Strengths
-Impressive physical profile for a guard at 6'7”, with solid length and a strong frame. Above average athlete with a powerful first step who can play above the rim in space.
-Marjanovic put together a tremendous tournament averaging 24.8 points, 2.1 assists and 1.4 turnovers per 40 minutes on 57.6% from two and 36.8% from three.
-Opportunistic in transition. Loves to get out and fill the lanes.
-Aggressive straight line slasher who doesn't shy away from contact. Mixes in occasional spin moves.
-Capable shooter with time and space. A bit slow getting into it but has touch – 36.8% from three.
-Active cutter.
-Fairly competitive on the defensive end. Uses his size and strength to contain penetration. Will fly in on the defensive glass at times.

Weaknesses
-Limited feel for the game. Very sped up. Doesn't think the game at a high level. Misses quick spins. Plays with his head down.
-Gets by on his motor and superior strength and positional size at this level.
-Rigid, sloppy handle. Wild spin moves in the paint. Very right handed. No advanced combo moves. Plays mostly at one speed. Only change of direction is by way of spin move.
-How good of a shooter is he? Shoots it from his palm a little bit. Very slow getting into it. Not a dynamic shooter – needs time and space. Not very comfortable getting to pull ups.
-Has the tools of a two and the game of a three.
-Defensive instincts aren't great. Relies more on effort and size. Doesn't have great technique getting over screens. Too aggressive off the ball, gambling for steals.

Outlook
Marjanovic put together an impressive tournament by virtue of aggressive straight line drives, opportunistic buckets in transition and just enough spot shooting. With that said, his game will need to evolve to translate to higher levels, including his feel for the game, ball handling and jumper. Marjanovic is worth keeping tabs on because he's 6' 7” with a frame and some athleticism, but he'll have to refine his decision making and polish up his skill set to develop into a legitimate NBA prospect.

Jonas Mattisseck, 6-4, Point Guard, Alba Berlin, 2000

Strengths
-Nice physical profile for a point guard prospect at 6'4”, with a fairly maximized frame. Strong upper and lower body.
-Impressive intangibles. Very competitive. Vocal leader. Rallies the troops really well for a player who just turned 17. Well spoken with a realistic view of his strengths and weaknesses.
-Has developed from more of a scorer into a true point guard. Manages pace and tempo. Moves the ball ahead in transition. Can make most of the necessary passes out of pick and roll – roll man, weakside shooter, strong side shooter, split and drop off to the dunker. Uses both sides of the floor.
-Shows flashes as a shooter. Can make a spot three or a pull up if the defense goes under, although he's quite streaky.
-Finds ways to get to his spots on the floor at this level. Not all that quick, but plays a herky jerky game that can get defenders off balance at times. Doesn't shy away from contact around the rim.
-Pressures the ball defensively. Uses his body well. Strong frame, not afraid to get physical. Fights over the top of screens. Active hands. Not overly rangy but competes on that end. Will take charges in the back court. Active off the ball – 3.8 steals per 40 minutes.

Weaknesses
-Lacks length
-Has done a nice job maximizing his frame but how much room does he have to fill out?
-Average athlete in terms of leaping ability and burst. Struggles to turn the corner versus elite defenders. Doesn't have much wiggle with the ball. Could use more advanced combo moves to break down his man and take advantage of his passing ability.
-Struggles to finish versus length. Doesn't get great extension. Plays below the rim. Would benefit from adding more craft to his game in the paint – floaters, speed finishes, scoop shots.
-Can be a bit over-aggressive on the defensive end. Can do a better job of maintaining his emotions at times. Lack of length limits his upside a bit on that end. Not overly rangy.
-Very streaky shooter. Set shot off the dribble. Ball comes off the side of his hand rather than his index and middle fingers. Doesn't get consistent rotation. Not all that quick getting into it. Can improve his ability to create space consistently.
-Still has some decision making blips from time to time. Can get too deep in the paint without much of a plan. Doesn't always keep the defense guessing by changing pace.

Outlook
Mattisseck has made great strides since we first evaluated him at the U16s in Radom. His intangibles, basketball IQ and mental makeup have helped him make the jump to lead guard and really develop into an on court leader as one of the younger players on the team. Moving forward, Mattisseck's shooting stroke will play a big role in his long-term potential, as he's unlikely to turn into a freak athlete overnight, so he'll have to rely on his court vision, size and jumper to have an impact as a scorer and distributor in the half court. How Mattisseck's jumper and finishing around the rim develop over the next few years will be worth watching, because he already has a lot of the intangible attributes that you often can't teach.

Interview:


Hendrik Drescher, 6-9, PF/C, Alba Berlin, 2000

Strengths
-Strong at 6'9”, 247 pounds.
-Fairly light on his feet for his size. Can get up and down.
-Stretch big potential. Shoots a really easy ball with simple mechanics. 5-of-10 from three in L'Hospitalet.
-Threat as a pick and roll dive man. Plays mostly below the rim but has soft hands and welcomes contact.
-Can score on the block with basic jump hooks. Will throw his weight around. Makes an effort to go to his left hand on the interior.
-Although it doesn't always show up in the boxscore, he has a nice feel for the game. Knows when to DHO or quick swing and follow for a screen. Will use his body to clear out driving lanes for his teammates. Capable short roll passer and post facilitator.
-Competes on the glass. Nose for the ball. 10.2 rebounds per 40 minutes. Tips the ball to himself and teammates.
-Can develop into a solid hedge defender with improved technique. Solid feet in small spaces.

Weaknesses
-A bit undersized for a center prospect at 6'9” (more of a five on both ends). Average length. Frame that could thicken up in time if he doesn't stay in shape.
-Moves well, but not a great leaper. Plays mostly below the rim. Relies on strength. Lack of pop and elite length limits him a bit as a rim protector.
-Can pass, but his decision making can improve. Gets a little turnover prone at times. Forces the issue. Awareness of time and score can get better. 0.9 assists and 7.4 turnovers per 40 minutes.
-Not all that comfortable putting it down in a straight line when run off of his spots. Would rather go into immediate post ups/back downs.
-Still learning how to defend on the perimeter. Too upright, doesn't give himself enough room. Will likely never be a pick and roll switch defender – not all that rangy defensively, average length.
-Not going to provide much rim protection given his average height, length and leaping ability. Can improve his timing and awareness.

Outlook
After catching our eye at the U16s in Radom, Drescher put together a strong tournament in L'Hospitalet, averaging 22.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per 40 minutes on 51.7% from two and 50% from three. Drescher's NBA upside is a bit limited by his lack of elite size, length and athleticism at the five spot, but improving his perimeter skills on both ends will certainly help his chances. Drescher is a name to keep tabs on as players with his shooting stroke, scoring instincts and natural strength aren't all that easy to come by.

Interview:


Philipp Herkenhoff, 6-9, PF/C, Alba Berlin, 2000

Strengths
-Great size for a perimeter-oriented four man at 6'10”. Long arms. On the light side but upper body should fill out nicely in time.
-Very fluid. Can get up and down. Finishes above the rim in space off of one foot.
-Potential as a stretch big. Slow getting into his jumper and a bit stiff in the shoulders but has some touch – 36.4% from three in L'Hospitalet. Shows some ability to create space off the dribble although results aren't quite there yet.
-Can grab and go in transition. Attacks closeouts in space. Solid stride length. Wants to score first and foremost but can drive and kick or dish.
-Solid feet defensively when he really digs in. Can hedge and recover or slide a little bit after a switch. Feet and twitch aren't elite but he uses his length to space defend and contest.
-Rangy enough to rotate and block shots from the weak side – 1.2 per 40. Solid instincts in the passing lanes – 2.8 steals per 40.
-Nice overall combination of tools, fluidity and developing skills.

Weaknesses
-Wide shoulders, but light in the chest and rear. Hips are a bit wide. Needs to get stronger.
-Good not great athlete. More fluid than freaky.
-Very inconsistent shooter. Stiff through the shoulders. Slow getting into his jumper, especially off the bounce. Not nearly as intriguing if he's not shooting it well.
-Capable passer but can go into isolation mode at times. Doesn't always react well to help. Can be a bit turnover prone – 3.7 per 40.
-Not the toughest guy around on either end of the floor. Doesn't have much of a post game. Shies away from contact around the rim. Opts for one-legged fallaways rather than exploding to the rim. Only 1.2 free throw attempts per 40 minutes. Gets buried in the post defensively. Doesn't rotate for blocks as often as he could.
-Decent feet on defense but doesn't always get in a stance. A bit stiff in the knees at times.
-Doesn't always pursue offensive or defensive rebounds. Very underwhelming 5.3 rebounds per 40, especially considering his tools. Inconsistent level of physicality and effort on the glass.
-Tends to blend in at times.

Outlook
Herkenhoff had an up and down tournament, showing glimpses of his versatility on both ends for stretches, then disappearing for long periods of time on other occasions. In theory, Herkenhoff is very intriguing and fits perfectly into the modern era of basketball – he has positional size and length, can shoot it a little bit, attack a closeout and cover some ground defensively. With that said, Herkenhoff isn't quite great in one area and will have to become a more consistent shooter to be a legitimate stretch, and a much tougher defender to have value on that end as he's not physically gifted enough to float. When Herkenhoff is playing with aggression and shooting it well, he's a legitimate NBA prospect. Consistency in that area will be key moving forward.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to Mike.Schmitz2@gmail.com .

 

Darko Bajo
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 229 lbs.
Birthday: 03/14/1999
18 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Cedevita , International
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
14.0 Pts, 6.3 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Moritz Wagner
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Birthday: 04/26/1997
19 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Michigan , Sophomore
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
12.1 Pts, 4.3 Rebs, 0.6 Asts


Luka Samanic
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Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birthday: 09/01/2000
16 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Barcelona U-18 , International
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
8.0 Pts, 5.2 Rebs, 1.2 Asts


Arnas Velicka
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Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 204 lbs.
Birthday: 12/10/1999
17 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Barcelona U-18 , International
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
11.0 Pts, 5.4 Rebs, 4.0 Asts


Sergi Martinez
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birthday: 05/10/1999
17 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Barcelona 2 , International
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
12.4 Pts, 6.2 Rebs, 1.2 Asts


Pedro Barros Nunes
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Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Birthday: 08/23/2000
16 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Joventut U-18 , International
Positions:
Current: PG/SG,
NBA: ,
Possible:
Quick Stats:
10.2 Pts, 3.4 Rebs, 4.0 Asts


Biram Faye
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Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 03/02/2000
17 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Gran Canaria U-18 , International
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
12.8 Pts, 11.5 Rebs, 0.5 Asts


Philipp Herkenhoff
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 201 lbs.
Birthday: 06/29/1999
17 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Current Team: Alba Berlin U-18 , International
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
11.8 Pts, 3.3 Rebs, 1.5 Asts