Baltic Sea Basketball Cup U18 best prospects
PG Andre Gustavson PG/SG 1.94 99' Finland (HBA-Marsky)
Andre showed impressive improvements since last time I saw him at FIBA U17 World Championship. Physically he grew up at least one inch and possesses a very good frame for PG with long arms, also improved his athleticism level.
Although he played more minutes as SG than as PG at BSBC we can consider him as a PG/SG. Gustavson is a skilled ball handler with both hands, safe in static game sometimes a little wild on fast transition where he could improve his decision taking to avoid turnovers. In outside shooting he also improved his spot up shot from wing and corners but needs to continue raising his consistency to be consider a real threat. Able to both sides penetrations due a fast first step he's a good finisher in lay ups, capable to kick out or stop and shot after bounce. Plays with sense on pick & roll game being able to find third open man or take advantage in penetrations has to improve his big man connection to be more decisive.
On defense showed a nice intensity and aggressiveness level in full court and outside 1x1, nevertheless has room of improvement on his hands activity. His good wingspan helps him to steal in passing lines, sometimes is so focused on try to steal the ball that allows backdoors. His body allows switching on pick & roll defense, could improve his footwork and arms activity in over screens defense. Anyway he has the right attitude and plays hard on D.
SG Henri Drell SG/SF 2.02 00' Estonia (Brose Baskets Bamberg)
Drell was the best scorer on Estonia NT at U16 European Championship last summer and some medias considered him as one of the top 2000 European prospect. Although he showed a lot of highlights on that tournament: swingman, huge frame SG, above the average athleticism level, good technical skills...also showed shadows being inmature and selfish on his game. The few scouts on BSBC wondered how Drell will adapt to a diferent role and the truth is that he proved a better team attitude.
Offensively he has almost everything to succed, good ball handling with both hands, fast on transition game, skilled on outside 1x1 and able to play pick & roll as handler or screener. He needs to work hard on his outside shooting, especially in spot up shots where his shot selection goes down and also in mid range shooting after bounce. As I said, he's skilled on 1x1 due his good ball handling and being able to finish with either hands, but needs to be tougher in contact finishing because usually fade it.
On defense he has good lateral movement for his size, not enough to guard small SG's yet but he showed better defensive attitude and intensity than in the past. On pick & roll D is able to switch with big men and needs to improve his footwork in over screens defense. Involved in defensive rebound and ready to use his handling to create in fastbreak or fast transition game.
SF Sander Raieste SF/SG 2.03 99' Estonia (Baskonia)
he Estonian prospect signed by Baskonia on last summer did not disappoint at BSBC being the best and most solid outside player on his team. Physically he has good frame with wide shoulders, very good athleticism level being fast for his size.
In offense Raieste is really complete, skilled handler, proper passer, proved some improvement on his outside shooting especially in spot up from wings and is able to play pick & roll as handler where he usually takes advantage in penetrations. Also is skilled in penetration, good both hands finisher using eurostep, lay ups or goes straight to dunk showing toughness. Could raise his offensive rebound activity to be even more complete.
Defensively he's a very good defensive rebounder. Has good lateral movement to guard SF's and needs to continue improving it to guard SG's. Has nice activity and aggressiveness level on 1x1 and 2x1 situations. In general is a good help defender, emphasizing as rim protector using his frame and athleticism to block and change shots.
PF Matthias Tass PF/C 2.06 99' Estonia (BC Kalev/Cramo Tallinn)
He came back to BC Kalev/Cramo this summer after his French adventure on CSP Limoges. He was the best big man on BSBC with solid performances in the three games. Tass is a PF/C with strong body and nice frame, he's fast, coordinated and powerful on his movements.
Offensively he shined on pick & roll game due his very good spacing and hands in catching passes on roll continuations, he surprised us with some pop continuations being able to score from mid range and even from three point line with a nice shooting mechanic and high release. Another remarcable aspect on his game is his passing ability, especially from low post in kick out and in high-low passes. Near to the basket feels confortable playing in contact and possesses a good body control to take fouls and score, if he improves his left hand in finishing could be more complete low post player. Also could continue improving his footwork in inside 1x1 where he usually turns to left shoulder. He proved his hardness in finishing with some great dunks, in fast transition or after nice high-low cuts.
His size and athleticism allows him to be a good defensive rebounder, but sometimes forget to box out. Has good lateral movement for a big man being capable to guard open PF's from high post and accompany PG/SG in pick & roll under screens. He's a good inside 1x1 defender due his high contact level, but needs to avoid the middle changing his feet orientation to be more decisive. In off ball defense he's a good help defender and rim protector.
Center Mikael Jantunen Center/PF 2.03 00' Finland (HBA-Marsky)
I saw Mikael for the first time at U17 World Championship in Zaragoza where he played as center, then at U16 European Championship he showed his improvements as PF and on BSBC I expected to see him playing as pure PF but he stills as a center. That's not a problem for a 2000 prospect and I'm sure that his final position will be on PF because he's very coachable and hard worker.
If we talk about Jantunen, we need to talk about his IQ and toughness. He's really smart at both ends of the court, in offense uses his IQ in off ball game with a great spacing, especially to move-catch-finish in baseline cuts, also possesses a good pick & roll game concepts. About his toughness he's similar to a gladiator, fight for every ball in offensive rebound, able to make 2-3-4 efforts thrown to the ground if it's neccesary. He isn't the most skilled inside player but has nice footwork in low post 1x1 being able to turn to both shoulders and uses his both hands to finish with nice touch, he has to continue improving on his lower body strength to be more decisive in contact finish because right now he struggles absorbing contact. He has good court vision from low post and finds open man in kick out. Also is able to play face to the basket from high post, dominating to right hand. So he needs to work his left ball handling to be more complete and continue developing his outside spot up shot, right now he has nice shooting mechanic but needs to be more consistent to raise his zone action.
Defensively Mikael plays really hard, he has the right attitude and activity and feels comfortable playing in contact. Good inside 1x1 defender, although he has good lateral movement needs to improve his body control to guard open PF's in outside 1x1. He's a very good off ball defender, protecting the rim in help defense and directing the team defense being able to switch if it's necessary. On defensive rebounds he has very good footwork in boxing out and first pass capacity.