Luka Brajkovic (‘99), 6’10, PF/C, Austria
A big man with intriguing size and frame, has solid touch inside, decent array of solutions in the low post, a developing jumper and solid vision in the halfcourt. Body is still undeveloped but still enough for him to be effective at the Division B level, plays hard and fights for rebounds. He’s not explosive and will need to improve his lateral quickness to effectively guard on the perimeter. Averaged 18.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.1 blocks in Tallinn.
Dzmitry Ryuny (‘00), 6’8, SF/PF, Belarus
A breakout player in Tallinn. Ryuny is in between the two forward spots, playing mainly as a power forward at the youth level but showing potential to cover also the small forward position. He’s long and explosive, being able to play above the rim and to rotate and help quickly on defense. A good shooter who showed also some ability to pull up off the dribble, he finished well in transition plays but showed some issue to handle physical contacts in the halfcourt, given his still skinny frame. Averaged 15.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 3 steals, 1.5 blocks.
Yahuen Massalski (‘99), 6’9, C, Belarus
Long and extremely athletic, Massalski plays with impressive motor and doesn’t shy away from physical competition despite his still developing frame. He averaged 13.6 points, 10 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 2.4 blocks in the tournament, scoring easily off P&R and cuts, showing great ability to catch and finish in the paint and establishing himself as a top defensive player in Tallinn thanks to his length, quick feet and explosiveness.
Vrenz Bleijenbergh (‘00), 6’9, PF, Belgium
The young and skinny power forward had some issue to handle the physical level of the competition and his minutes went up and down during the tournament, but he’s still looked as one of the most intriguing players in attendance. Long and athletic, Bleijembergh has good feel for the game and excellent face up skills for his size, being able to shoot and to put the ball on the floor from the perimeter. He played with good intensity level and had a breakout game against Estonia, will be highly interesting to track him as he improves his body in the next seasons.
Ivan Alipiev (‘99), 6’6, SG/SF, Bulgaria
The versatile wing was among the most efficient players in the tournament, averaging 20.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.5 steals and earning a spot in the All-Tournament Team. Alipiev played all backcourt positions for Bulgaria, showing good instincts with the ball and being able to score in many different situations. Not great in changing pace off the dribble, Alipiev is a very good ball-handler and a shifty slasher who can score changing angle in his shot. He’s a confident shooter off the catch, despite having unorthodox shooting mechanics and struggling with shooting percentages from beyond the arc in Tallinn. He can post up opposing wings and is an effective transition player, both filling the lanes or pushing the ball right off the defensive rebound.
Darko Bajo (‘99), 6’9, PF, Croatia
Bajo had a below average tournament in terms of production and didn’t perform at his best on the court, being often inconsistent and erratic in his approach. He had some productive stretch and some intriguing flash of potential though, looking above average when fully focused and aggressive. A strong and athletic power forward, he was at his best attacking with few dribbles and finishing strong at the rim, having the first step to beat his opponents from the perimeter and the frame to handle contacts inside. His wasn’t effective with his shot though, taking only one triple in the tournament and shooting only 57% from the free throw line.
Luka Samanic (‘00), 6’10, PF, Croatia
Samanic started slowly in the tournament but eventually improved his performances on the court and ended up as the best player for the first placed Croatian team, averaging 13.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.6 blocks in 19 minutes. He was named MVP in Tallinn. A tall, long and extremely athletic forward, he has the quickness, fluidity and reactivity of a guard, an impressive combination considering he’s still behind in his physical development. He was able to easily take his opponents off the dribble and finish inside, while also using his quick feet to attack effectively out of post-up possessions. He’s also an efficient P&R player, giving his ability to both roll and pop after the screen and to naturally put the ball on the floor. He struggled with his outside shot in Tallinn, but what he’ll most need to work on is his mental aggressiveness and focus, since looks like he’s still not fully understanding his impressive potential.
Vit Krejci (‘00), 6’7, PG/SG, Czech Republic
Tall and explosive guard who loves to handle the ball and playing off the dribble, Krejci played all three backcourt positions for his team, averaging 12.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block per game in 23.7 minutes on the court. He’s a good ball-handler with a strong first step, able to change speed and direction with the ball and score over his defender inside the paint. He’s still skinny and doesn’t always properly handle physical contact. His outside shot was effective in Tallinn, he was able to pull up and score off the P&R, and ended up shooting 41.7% from three.
Kayne Henry-McCalla (‘99), 6’6, SF, Great Britain
An unexpected breakout performer in Tallinn, was the leading scorer for finalist Great Britain and ended up in the All-Tournament Team. Gifted with great length, quickness and explosiveness, Henry-McCalla has huge defensive potential. On offense he’s still raw in terms of ball skills, showing decent but inconsistent shooting mechanics and not looking comfortable playing off the dribble; but he’s a tremendous transition player and can make plays attacking off the catch in the halfcourt, showing strong first step and aggressively attacking the closeout. His decision making with the ball is still shaky, also because of his poor basketball background, but he was one of the best off the ball players in the competition.
Henri Drell (‘00), 6’9, SF, Estonia
An intriguing forward with size, length, fluidity and ball skills, Drell is still behind in his physical and emotional development but was still a key piece for Estonia. He averaged 12.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals. Drell has good ball-handling skills and vision off the dribble, something which allow him to create both for himself and for his teammates in the halfcourt; he’s still not fully comfortable in creating from static situations, and prefers to attack if he has wide space to operate. He’s still streaky as a shooter, but has to be respected from beyond the arc. His body language wasn’t always the best possible in Tallinn, something which he’ll need to work on in the future.
Kristian Kullamae (‘99), 6’4, PG, Estonia
Kullamae was among the tournament’s best point guard, ending up as the leading scorer for Estonia. An aggressive player who pushes the ball in transition and is not afraid to attack early in the shot clock, Kullamae showed good poise and vision as a P&R player. He makes good use of his size to pass over his defender or get inside to find contacts, while his outside shot is still not reliable and he has unorthodox shooting mechanics.
Matthias Tass (‘99), 6’10, C, Estonia
Another breakout performer in Tallinn, Tass was the best center in the competition and ended up in the All-Tournament Team. Not particularly tall, long or explosive, he’s a very fluid player with extremely high IQ and natural instincts for the game, and showed impressive versatility on offense. What really stands out in his game are his reactivity and his extremely quick decision making, both aspects which make up for his lack of explosiveness. He can easily make plays as a roll man, both finishing or passing off the roll, and he’s adding the three point shot to his offensive array, something which would also making an intriguing option on the P&P. He’s a physical post player with good fundamentals and touch around the rim, being able to use both hands to score and pass. Has excellent positioning and instincts to rebound the ball, often positioning in front of his man when going for offensive rebounds. He’s also a high-level passer who can see the weak side, pass out of the low post and feed cuts inside from the perimeter or the high post. He averaged 11.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.6 blocks, leading the competition in blocks per game.
Amit Ebo (‘99), 5’10, PG/SG, Israel
The little sharpshooter left mixed impressions in the tournament, struggling badly with his outside shot (26.9%) while taking about the 65% of his shots from beyond the arc. He was a key player for a well-coached Israeli team which ended up in the fourth place losing only the last two games, acting as a primary ball-handler and emotional leader for his team. A strong guard with impressive personality, he’s not afraid to shoot from everywhere on the court and plays with great motor in every aspect of the game. He always pushed hard the ball in transition and showed better decisions and pace as a P&R player in the halfcourt, a key aspect for his future development. Averaged 11.9 points, 5.6 assists and 1.3 steals, leading the competition in assists and ending up in the All-Tournament Team.
Ben Kovac (‘00), 6’5, SF, Luxembourg
Kovac had to carry the offense for Luxembourg, handling most of his team’s possessions and eventually ending up as the top scorer in the competition, averaging 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 5.3 turnovers and 2.5 steals. A confident and aggressive player, Kovac has solid strength but looks like his body can still develop and he hasn’t worked out properly so far from a physical standpoint. He has a smooth jumper with nice form, which he can comfortably use off the catch, pulling up from mid-range or out of post-up sets. Mainly a straight-line driver, he’s not afraid of contacts and attacks hard the closeout to finish inside. Showed also good vision and hands to pass the ball, and the ability to move and cut properly off the ball.
Adrian Bogucki (‘99), 7’0, C, Poland
The massive Polish center is an interesting prospect still in the early stages of his basketball development. He’s quite fluid for his size and can be effective as a P&R man, catching the ball inside and finishing at a good rate around the basket. In Tallinn he was also effective as a post-up player, making a good use of his body to seal his defender, being able to shoot over most opponents at this level of competition and passing the ball well out of the low post. His lack of leaping ability and lateral quickness limits his upside, but his combination of size, instincts and touch makes him a prospect to track in the upcoming seasons. He averaged 10.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.3 blocks, shooting 61% from the field.
Lukasz Kolenda (‘99), 6’3, PG, Poland
Assertive point guard, was an emotional leader for Poland. He’s a lefty ball-handler, always aggressive off the dribble, has good change of pace which allows him to get into the paint, shows good body control to finish around the basket. He’s a P&R player with nice vision and multiple solutions after turning the corner, but his passes were sometimes too risky and lead to some issue with turnovers. Quick lefty shooter with inconsistent form, struggled to connect from outside and finished shooting only 22.6% from three in the competition.
Neemias Queta (‘99), 6’10, C, Portugal
Still raw but with intriguing potential: has impressive wingspan to add to his size, runs the court and moves quite well in the halfcourt. He lacks significative ball skills, but can catch and finish with decent touch around the rim, even though mainly with his right hand. He understands positioning and off ball movements, has solid feel and awareness in the halfcourt. Quick and with solid timing in defensive rotations, was a key piece of his team’s defense. Averaged 10.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.3 blocks shooting almost 63% from the field.
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