U17M Best prospects by position: Point Guards
This year’s FIBA U17 World Championship in Zaragoza was stigmatized by the lack of depth in the point guard position. A lot of teams didn’t have a really good point guard to support the team. Despite all that, there were still some point guards who managed to stand up and make the difference for their team. Scoutbasketball singles out the Top-5 point guards of the Tournament
1.- Arnas Velicka - PG 1.92 1999 Lithuania, will play in FC Barcelona 16/17 seasonHe is a true point guard with good size and wingspan. His ball handling is at a high level and his teammates feel safety when he has the ball. Possesses a high basketball I.Q and can read situations on both ends of the floor. He has amazing court vision and can pass either with two hands or one hand. Very good on Pick And Roll situations, where can either find the rolling Big, shot of the dribble or even penetrate, taking advantage of mismatches. His lack of elite athleticism though makes things difficult when he tries to finish through contact. He has nice range in his shoot – maybe even NBA range – but he is streaky and his shot selection and decision making still need some work. On defense, his lateral movement is OK and he really knows how to use his body, but he can’t really guard explosive guards.
2.- Sani Campara - PG 1.88 1999 Bosnia and Herzegovina, will play in Real Madrid 16/17 season A little undersized but with great wingspan, a really strong core and high basketball IQ, which helps him on both ends of the floor. He is quick, but not explosive. Excels in transition, because that’s where he is able to show his amazing passing ability. His ball handling is very good and can create space to shot. He is a good three point shooter, with the ability to score with many ways: After dribble, coming of the screen and in Catch and Shot situations. He is inconsistent though. His mid-range game needs work. His lack of explosiveness and his limited jumping ability prevent him from going all the way to the basket when penetrates. Already excellent on Pick and Roll situations thanks to his court vision, elite passing ability and good shot. On defense he doesn’t have the neither the athletic ability nor the lateral movement to guard explosive players, but he tries to make up for his disadvantages with his brain.
3.- Lautaro Lopez - PG/SG 1.88 1999 Argentina (CA San Lorenzo de Almagro) A shooting guard trapped in a point guard’s body for now. He has a thin frame but a really big wingspan. Excellent ball handler and a better passer than most people think, but at times he looks for the flashy pass than the secure pass. He has a really explosive first step which combined with his ball handling and shooting ability make him a real threat in one on one situations. Can score off the dribble with step backs and even side steps, but also penetrate from either side. Consistency is an issue. Can’t finish through contact because of his thin frame. His shot selection is erratic at times. He must find a balance between looking for his own shot and create opportunities for his teammates. Wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. On defense he tries and he has active hands, but at times loses concentration and gambles, putting too much pressure on his teammates.
4.- Andrew Nembhard - PG 1.92 2000 Canada (Vaughan SS, Canada) A pass-first point guard. He has good size for his position. Very strong, lean body. Good but not great athlete. He is the definition of the play maker. He knows when and where to pass the ball to his teammates. He is looking for the safe pass, not the flashy one. Really good in transition. He is an above average shooter (mainly in Catch and Shot situations) but his shooting mechanics need work. Has a good first step, but he is average in Isolation. Can’t finish equally well with his left hand. Has problems finishing in traffic and against length. Shot of the dribble needs work. He is acceptable in Pick And Roll situations, but if he won’t improve his shot of the dribble he will have problems at the next level. Great on the ball defender. Very good lateral quickness and really active hands that help him make a lot of steals. At times he depends too much on his athleticism in Defense, forgetting assignments.
5.- Eray Akyuz - PG 1.89 2000 Turkey (Banvit BK) Quick point guard, with a nice wingspan and a body that shows that can fill in well in the future after some time in the gym. His ball handling is above average, but at times his dribble is higher than it should. He is a good passer and he really knows how to keep all his teammates high. He rarely looks for the flashy pass and he keeps the things simple. He prefers to drive from the right. Can play Pick and Roll at an acceptable rate. He must improve his shot selection. He is a mediocre three point shooter. His shot of the dribble needs work. He is a good on the ball defender and know how to fills the lines thanks to his wingspan. His off the ball defense is average, mainly because at times he loses concentration and forgets assignments.
By Stefanos Makris and Ramon Carbonell