Carlos Alocen – Spain, 6’4, PG
Alocen has a great frame for his position which is filling up nicely. He’s a composed point guard which high-level vision and P&R skills, who can also get into the paint at will at this level of competition, thanks to his frame and first step. He showed promising improvements in his outside shot, hitting shots from outside coming out of the P&R and with decent form.
Mert Akay – Turkey, 6’3, PG
An explosive point guard with good but still undeveloped frame, Akay is a high IQ player who can change speed easily with the ball and has very good passing skills. A major question mark in his development has been lately his ability to hit outside shots: Akay, who at FIBA U18 Division A played just few days before BWB Europe didn’t hit a single three, was extremely comfortable shooting from beyond the arc in Israel on a good sample of shots, showing quite consistent and quick release.
Joel Ayayi – France, 6’4, PG/SG
Ayayi was coming from a minor injury and wasn’t sure to play at BWB until the very last moment. Was among the best players on both ends of the court, playing with great poise and high-level decision making. Shot well during the camp, also coming off the P&R. He still needs to be more aggressive off the dribble and finishing harder at the rim.
Aleksander Balcerowski – Poland, 7’0, PF/C
The most intriguing big man in attendance was Balcerowski, who moves impressively for a player his size. Fluid, athletic and with a high-level skillset with the ball, he was able to play effectively both in the paint or facing the basket. Finished extremely well around the basket, showing to be able to play above the rim with ease, and also hit outside shots at a very good rate. Showed some interesting promise also as a passer from the perimeter. Will need to improve his level of aggressiveness and some decision making in the halfcourt.
Vrenz Bleijenbergh – Belgium, 6’9, PF
The skinny power forward from Belgium ended his summer with another strong performance, after what he showed at FIBA U18 Division B. Bleijenbergh is an extremely athletic and fluid forward who shows natural instincts playing on the perimeter with the ball in his hands. His body still can’t handle contacts inside.
Omar Dieng – Italy, 6’7, PF
Dieng was named MVP of the All-Star Game. An undersized but strong forward, he’ll need to further build his frame but has already work a lot on his body over the last season, losing lot of weight. He has elite touch and excellent footwork for a player his size. Played both forward positions, shooting extremely well the ball both in drills and in games.
Karlton Dimanche – France, 6’4, SG
A mostly unknown prospect before BWB Europe, Dimanche had a breakout performance against some of the best guards in his age group. Still physically undeveloped but gifted with good frame and athleticism, he showed high-level ball skills, vision and creativity on offense. His defensive effort was mostly below average though.
Rokas Jokubaitis – Lithuania, 6’3, PG/SG
Named 2017 BWB Europe MVP. Still mostly a scorer rather than a distributor, the quick shooter from Lithuania has a natural feel for the basket and high-level confidence. Able to play both and off the ball, scored jumpers from all over the court and was always effective creating separation with his defender. Further improving his feel as a passer would be an important step.
Jakov Kukic – Croatia, 6’9, PF/C
After not seeing much playing time at FIBA U18 Division B, Kukic had a breakout BWB Europe where his transition to a more perimeter oriented role looked at a better stage than expected. Kukic was natural moving on the perimeter, shooting jumpers both from mid and long range, putting the ball on the floor to attack with few dribbles.
Marko Pecarski – Serbia, 6’9, PF/C
Pecarski’s elite skillset once again was hard to match at the youth level of competition. Struggling a bit against physical competition in low post drills, he was still able to score easily with his jumper over the defender. Played inside and out in games, rebounding the ball at high rate. Defensive mobility still a major issue.
Photo by fiba.basketball