Individual Analysis U18 Argentina

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Today starts in Valdivia (Chile) FIBA Americas U18 Championship, qualification tournament for FIBA U19 World Championship 2017. There are two main goals for CABB: achieve the Argentinean qualification to U19 WC and continue developing a generation with some good prospects.
As I said, the team coached by Maximiliano Seigorman will try to manage one of the four open spots on this tournament. Argentina is on Group B, the harder on this tournament and will play against Canada, Brazil and Dominican Republic. So Argentinean team will need to finish first or second to continue fighting for U19 WC qualification, really difficult target and won't be easy games on this phase.
We have sad news with Santiago Vaulet (SG 1.94 98') knee injury, he will be out at least until the end of the year, Santi was the leader and best scorer of this generation on previous tournaments. The other sad new is Francisco Caffaro (C. 2.12 00') absence, the best center prospect in the country wilĺ be out due a hand injury.
The group of players is the same that competed on International Mannheim Tournament on last April, so they have to improve his individual and team defense; in offense they need to play more fluently and raise his points scored in comparision with Mannheim. Keep the concentration and intensity also will be keys to achieve the goals.
Anyway, the main target is add experience to a young group with some high level FIBA prospects. Clearly Argentina is developing his U18 prospects last years, to improve the formation on this ages is basic to become a professional player. Now I will analyze one by one the full team:

POINT GUARDS

Facundo Corvalan PG 1.87 98': Last minute injury left him out of Mannheim Tournament and Argentina suffered his absence. Bahia Basket PG is key on this team because of his experience, quality on the playmaking and defensive high intensity. With him on the court the team have a first pass PG, focused in improve his teammates. Has really good court vision and ball handling with either hands. Able to order the team, he's a group leader and has two LNB seasons experience.
His physical conditions are on elite level, very strong and explosive, able to break ankles with his speed changes and he's decisive on penetrations adding points to Argentina. Is usual to watch him dunk on fast breaks, however has to continue developing his finishing skills and add more resources as floaters or euro step.
He's raising his outside shooting consistency and percentage from mid range, three point and FT line. Feeling comfortable in catch & shot and also of the dribble shots, has continue working on his shooting mechanical. On defense has potential to become a first level defender, really pressuring on ball and using his athleticism (strength, lateral movement and wingspan) to be a pesky defender. Has good footwork on P&R up defense and his attitude is great in second efforts and anticipation.
Corvalan is on the way to change his “first pass PG” into a “scorer PG” as he showed on U18 teams. I think we'll see both profiles on this tournament, depending of the team neediness. The Ex-Ciclista Junin player is a first level FIBA prospect and has all the conditions to achieve it, even he needs to work harder in long therm way.

Lautaro Lopez PG/SG 1.88 99': Lopez had great FIBA U17 World Championship in Spain, where Scoutbasketball included him on of top 5 PG's prospects U17M. He was the best scorer but now with U18 team his role is play making, nevertheless will have freedom for use his scoring creativity if the team need it.
The average level in U18 is higher than in U17 so Lopez must trust on his teammates and take better decisions. Will be a hard task for him change his mentality in a short lapse of time but without doubt Corvalan-Lopez will be great pair of PG and they will share some minutes on the court as double PG's.

Stefano Pierotti PG/SG 1.85 99': with Vaulet injury Stefano was included on the team and he take advantage of the chance. He is the only combo guard on this generation, Stefano left Argentina to Brazil few time ago, but we know about him when he was playing on Misiones.
He's a fast PG who likes to play in high intensity game and has strong personality to take decisions. Shines on penetrations but is an inconsistent shooter yet. With him on the court the team will raise defensive pressure and be some kind of “microwave” . Let's see what he learned on Bauru.

SHOOTING GUARDS

Matias Solanas SG 1.92 98': Solanas was great on friendly games showing he will be a trust scorer on this team. Talented and consistent, something with high value on his age. Great outside shooter but also able to penetrate due his technical skills.
Even he had improved his physical conditioning since April, when he was up his weight on Germany, his athleticism level is on the average so he needs to be really fit to explode his scoring talent. Three point and mid range shooter, uses his both hands in penetrations and is simply but smart finisher. Has good ball handling, can help on PG's tasks as he made on Entre Rios. Able to create his own shot in every position with solid %, even from NBA range.
On defense has to continue improving, but at least has the correct attitude in aware of his physical limitations.

Lisandro Fernandez SG 1.94 98': If Solanas is the consistency and easiness, Fernandez is the opposite. The Santa Fe kid is talented and inconsistent, able to score difficult shots and also able to disappear for long time on the game. I think we'll see him playing as SG-SF because Brazil and Dominican Republic use to play with lower SF's.
Fernandez has a strong lower body being explosive and athletic being able to make some highlight dunks on fast breaks, now he's learning to use his legs also on defense. Really a positive improvement to explode his high defensive potential, on Germany he took bad defensive decisions and had foul trouble due his hands abusing.
In offense has great resources to score: explosive both sides first step, good shooter with feet on the ground and even on blind screens game as SG or SF. Maybe the best player on Mannheim Tournament. But now as I told he will be important also on defense.
From San Lorenzo, Lisandro has international potential, but has to be more consistent on his game in next years. Has raw material but needs to improve his mentality to achieve the next level.

SMALL FORWARDS

Leonardo Lema SF 2.01 98': One of the long term prospects I like more. High level FIBA body structure: size, lateral and vertical mobility, athletic, strong character and technical skills. Interesting tools to be a solid player on the future. Anyway he needs to work hard to achieve the goal. Has to keep growing his tactical knowledge, raise his IQ, improve his game feeling and keep adding technical skills.
The prospect from La Pampa will contribute with outside defense due his size, lateral movement and attitude on the back court. Will be on charge of defensive rebounds that will allow him to run the fast breaks (fast and agile), finishing with hard dunks and with lay ups above the rim.
Has more problems on static game because he needs to improve his ball handling, especially with left hand. Also has to improve his three point shot %, few years ago he didn't take to much shots but has good shooting mechanical so now he seems more confidence and with time I'm sure he will raise his %, the ball leave his hands with the correct rotation.
Leonardo is a long therm prospect more than a present reality. His physical and technical skills put him on top SF's prospects in Argentina, but has to continue working hard as SF, not as PF on Atenas de Cordoba.

Franco Acosta SF/SG 2.02 98': First international U18 experience for Unicaja Malaga young prospect. He left Argentina to Spain on 2001 but he picked out to play with Argentina even in Spain the FEB had some interest on him.
Acosta is a SF-SG with great size, mobile, agile and with great ball handling. Able to play as SG but his shot will limit his minutes as SG. For me is clearly a swingman. Plays with high intensity all the time in both sides of the court, but this strength become a weakness when he has to take good decisions and improve his static game.
On fast break you will see his talent as handler in open field. Nice direction and speed changer like a tall PG. Unfortunately he has some knee hurt and isn't at 100%.
Defensively Franco is versatile, able to guard the five positions on the court, from the PG (very good lateral movement) even centers (size and strength). Likes to press in on ball defense and agile in recovering and help defenses. Helps on the defensive rebounds and knows how to use his body to grab it, also on the offense.
Without doubt his weakness is the outside shooting, not only because he's inconsistent, also because his shooting mechanical needs hard work and changes. Slow and heterodox. Personally I believe he has ACB potential (he's on Unicaja Malaga second team and will compite on EBA league on 16/17). I wish his knee hurt will respect him during the tournament to help the team.

Santiago Roitman SF/PF 1.98 98': As Francisco Barbotti (PF 1.97) made on last FIBA U17 Americas, Roitman is the helping hand every team need. Clearly a role player able to add valuable things. He will play more minutes as PF however his future position will be SF.
From Tucuman, Santiago has very good physical conditions: fast, very strong and with leaping ability. Also is competitive minded and ready to make the dirty job for the team. The player from Olimpico la Banda is more a PF than a SF right now, has to work harder on his ball handling and outside shot. Physically he's ready to play as SF, emphasizing on defense. He's obsessive on the gym and puts all the intensity on his both sides of the court. Will be key to stop lower, athletic and versatile PF's.

BIG MEN

Maximiliano Andreatta PF 2.09 98': In my personal opinion is the best inside prospect of 98' generation, a clearly prospect to work with in long therm. He's playing best on the inside in U18 but I'm really excited about his future top roof.
Borned in December, he's the youngest player in between 98' and also is the tallest with 2.09 and growing. Excellent size for an athletic, agile and mobile PF, elite FIBA potential. Really skinny needs to bulk up to compete on professional, but has a nice body structure.
I saw how he's developing his technical skills in some tournaments. Good three point and mid range shooter with feet on the ground and solid FT shooter, so his shot is on the right way, valuable skill for a modern PF.
On the other hand is able to play face to the basket naturally and fluently, able to both sides penetrations and hard finisher with dunks due his size, wingspan and athleticism. With a good court vision, also is good over bounce passer because of his head up during the dribble. Struggles on contact finishing because of his lack of weight, but sure will be improve in the future, but the main point right now are his technical skills.
On defense uses his fast lateral movement and wingspan to change shots, however he struggles on physical game is able to help on rebounds and shot blocks.
On my opinion he's a late bloomer with high level potential if he's able to improve his physical and mental strength. Time and work will put him on his place in the future.

Lautaro Berra Center 2.08 98': echnically the best inside player on the team and top in the last years. Skilled on low post 1x1, able to use either hands, good mid range shooter, high IQ from low and high post.
Obras Baket player, Berra will be the inside scoring reference of Argentina. And the team will depend on find him in the paint, by moments he's able to win position in low post, but in other moments he looses aggressiveness.
Talking about technical skills, Santa Fe prospect is on the way to achieve his goals, he needs to work on his lower body strength, intensity and born fighter spirit yet. This lack of strength makes him struggle in finishing, but the main point is his talent allowing him to generate advantages. Has to work on his mobility, even he had improved it. His upper body strength is really good, with good shoulder width and bulking up on last year.
Has room of improvement in his intensity and aggressiveness. Has high IQ and game feeling, but has to be more consistent in his efforts to be really efficient.
Right now is a tweener PF-Center, has the technical resources to play in both positions and only his physical will establish his future position. In a fast and versatile modern basketball, former Firmat prospect is an old school inside player, rara avis on Argentina.

Santiago Bruera Center 2.06 98': The big guy from Cordoba is playing since two years ago. He's actually improving fast on this short lapse of time. Used to play rugby and that's why he enjoy in contact game feeling really comfortable using his body. Possesses big shoulder width and bulked up for his age, near to 115 kg and 2.06 body.
Despite his size, Bruera shows good lateral and vertical mobility. He contribute with defensive ability, rebounds and strong personality in closing the paint and second efforts, adding second chance points. He had a fast IQ development and is smart in on and off ball defense.
In offense he's really active on rebounding and improved his off ball low post game, able to finish with both hands is actually developing his footwork and skills in low post to be able to create his own shot. Acceptable mid range shooter and solid from the FT line. As I told, Santiago is playing only for two years and improves his agility in every tournament.

Santiago Stanich Center 2.07 98': After Francisco Caffaro injury Stanich is on the team. He's the weaker inside player on the team because his technical and tactical skills are in slow development. Anyway he possesses a good raw material, mobile and agile with nice body structure. For sure will be the player with less minutes on Argentinean team.


By Francisco Pedernera

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