U16M Best prospects: First team
After 28 live games and 190 players viewed on U16 European Championship in Radom, ScoutBasketball managed to name the best prospects first team:
PG Carlos Alocen - PG 1.91 00' Spain (CAI Zaragoza)Natural talented and good sized PG. Alocen is near to have the full package necessary to be on elite level: possesses basketball IQ, active on his game, technical skilled and athleticism. In offense shines on fast transition game, finishing with both hands in lay up and floaters and being able to find teammates in low post or kick out, but sometimes is selfish and don't choose the better option. Dominates over bounce passing with either hands playing fluently in static game. On outside 1x1 has good dribbling skills and first step to both sides, once on penetration shows his skills in finishing or his good court vision in assisting. On pick & roll game is a good passer to open man, roll or pop continuations. Is clear that he has to improve his passing selection on pick & roll avoiding two hands passes and air passes to control his turnovers ratio. Needs to work hard on his shooting mechanical that seems fickle, changing on catch & shot and bouncing actions. Only with work will change it and will raise his confidence, really important to his game, not only because he needs to score open shots, also to be more decisive in his pick & roll game against down defense and repicks situations. On defense has good lateral movement and knows how to use his wingspan in passing lines, also has quick hands to steal in bouncing actions, but has to improve his aggressiveness control and steal selection to be better defender in outside 1x1. Is a good pick & roll up defender due his footwork and arms activity, has room of improvement on his tactical concepts in chasing. In general needs to raise his contact level/body control in help defense, boxing out or penetration being tougher and more ready to play in the next level.
SG Arturs Kurucs - SG/PG 1.90 Latvia (Laboral Kutxa Baskonia) On SG position was really hard to choose our best prospect because there are some interesting players on this position. Finally we decided to include Kurucs in our first team. Why? Because he's talented, smart, plays with high energy/passion and is showing his improvements since last season. Physically is athletic, fast, explosive and with strong body that allows him to play comfortable in contact. In offense: uses his speed in fast transition game and almost unstoppable after defensive rebound, finishing with both hands, using his body to take fouls in bouncing or finding open man, sometimes doesn't dominate his speed failing in turnovers. In static game we can define him like a true combo guard, with scoring ability and able to create game. Had improved his three point shot consistency since last season but has to continue working on his catch & shot, especially in blind screens exit, to be more decisive. Possesses an explosive first step to both sides penetrations being harder and skilled finisher, had improved his kick out pass so important to avoid turnovers. Also showed improvements on his pick & roll game, finding third open man or taking advantage to score in penetrations or mid range bounce shots. Stills room of improvement in finding continuations. On defense keeps his high activity being involved in defensive rebound and focused in off ball . Is a hard 1x1 defender due his fast lateral footwork and his hands activity, needs to control his feet orientation avoiding the middle but has a correct attitude. Good pick & roll up defender too. Could improve his body control in help defense avoiding jumps. As we said before he stills as true combo guard even he had improved his PG skills during this season, has to continue working on it because will have even a brighter future on this position.
SF Luka Samanic - SF/PF 2.06 00' Croatia (FC Barcelona) Former KK Cedevita Zagreb and KK Zagreb, Samanic is really an intriguing prospect who is able to be an outside/inside constant threat. On the tournament played more minutes as PF than SF for technical reasons, but we know that he will play as SF in his future club. Physically flows through the court with naturally speed and elegance despite his size, is also athletic, coordinated and his shoulders seems ready to bulk up in the future. Uses his speed in fast transition game, able to put the ball in the floor in running and showing good touch in finishing, dominating with right hand. In offense shows fast shooting mechanical in catch & shot and acceptable in bounce shots from mid range , could improve his shot selection to raise percentage. Plays face to the basket in both sides penetrations but has room of improvement in his left hand skills to be deeper in first bounce and in finishing. Unselfish player, knows how to share the ball with good court vision, playing fluently in outside/inside ball rotation and finding cuts. In low post has good footwork and almost choose the right option playing with pump fakes even against double defenses, able to finish with left hand but has to keep working on it. In pick & roll game could continue as roll or pop, has to raise his contact level as screener and improve his skills as handler. On defense uses his good lateral movement in outside 1x1 but has to change his feet orientation after ball rotation. Feels comfortable playing in contact on inside 1x1 and is a good defensive rebounder due his size but has to add boxing out habit to be more decisive. On pick & roll defense is able to down, flash or switch defenses. Very good shot blocker and good ball stealer in passing lines because of his wingspan and good help defense concepts also could improve his body control on these situations. As we said on the beginning he's an intriguing prospect, not only because of his talent, also because he possesses a good feeling for the game and a “killer” instinct that makes him play without fear in clutch moments even raising his game level.
PF Marko Pecarski - PF/C 2.05 00' Serbia (BC Mega Leks) Physically possesses the size to play as PF, is fast and coordinated too but has to work hard in the future on his strength and running footwork. Anyway for us is the most interesting prospect on his position, after watching him on Berlin ANGT is clear that he had improved his PF skills, showing three point range shot and being more consistent on his mid range shooting, has room of improvement in his ball handling playing face to the basket in penetrations and especially with his left hand. His high basketball IQ allows him to play fluently, great using pump fakes and choosing the right option almost every time. On low post 1x1 is skilled, finishing with hook shots, fade aways, using his body to take fouls and kicking out if he has to. Also is really active in offensive rebounds adding second chance points. Smart in off ball game with cuts and good spacing in low post baseline. In pick & roll game shows good hands in passing reception and is a good scorer in continuations, could be more decisive if he raise his contact level and body control as screener. On defense is a good rebounder due his wingspan, could be tougher if he improve his knees position in box out. Very good positioning in low post 1x1 defense and acceptable lateral movement in outside 1x1. As pick & roll defender has good concepts in down defense but could raise his arms activity to be more decisive. On the tournament showed low activity in off ball but is usual when he had to play 37.6 minutes per game outside his position because of Petrusev injury. For us is the best PF prospect due his talent, clutch instinct and skills.
C Usman Garuba - Center/PF 2.02 02' Spain (Real Madrid) Lets talk about the U16 European Championship MVP, but knowing that he's a 14 year old kid so we are not going to be part of some medias whom will distract his mind outside the court. Let's analyze his game as we usually do, talking the good but watching where he can improve and only hard work will achieve these improvements. Physically natural gifted, is strong, explosive, fast and with high leaping ability. In our opinion his future position will and have to be PF because he has enough speed and lateral movement and will be more decisive playing as PF in the next level. The offense in Garuba begins with his defensive rebound, with his head up is an excellent first passer and able to run the floor as almost a PG finding open teammates on transition, as finisher is really strong loving two hands dunks but also shows good touch in lay ups even taking fouls. Very good offensive rebounder due his athleticism and capacity to combine efforts adds a lot of second chance points. In low post 1x1 dominates with right hook shot and shows a quick footwork on turns, has to work hard on his left hand skills in finishing to be more decisive in low post. Also has good court vision from the post in kick out or assisting to cuts, sometimes has problems with double defense on left side going to baseline, has to go to the middle in this situations. From high post had a pair of good actions in penetration but needs to work on his ball handling and first step. The main point of his improvement is on shooting mechanical, he needs to change it to raise his consistency, speed and at the end his zone action that will allow him to play more comfortable face to the basket. Has a good spacing in off ball low post looking for passing window and finishing fast and strong. In pick & roll could improve his spacing in roll continuations and if he develop his shot will add pop continuations to his game. On defense is really good rebounder because of his physical but forgets to box out and needs to add this habit on his game to continue dominating the board. In low post 1x1 is a strong defender, with good contact level and body using. Surprises with his fast lateral movement allowing him to outside 1x1 defense against open PF's, also remarkable his arms and hands activity in pick & roll down and switch defense. His help defense concepts are good, being and excellent shot blocker due his timing and wingspan but sometimes trust too much on his athleticism and could improve his footwork and body control in off ball defense. As we said he's only a 14 years old kid, let's help him to be focused only in basketball and hard work, because yes, pays off.
By Ramon Carbonell