Endar Poladkhanli (’98) – 6’6, SF, Azerbaijan
Do-it-all player for his team, played both forward spots. Impressive frame with wide shoulders and wiry body, he’s also a terrific athlete with above average explosiveness. Still limited by shoulders injuries. Handle every physical contact and makes athletic plays on defense. On offense mainly and off ball player, attacks hard on the move and finishes at the rim, rebounds well for his position. Can shoot off the catch but tends to be streaky and takes some bad shot.
Dzianis Vikentsyeu (’98) – 6’9, C, Belarus
Mobile big man who averaged 16.9 points and 10.4 rebounds. Strong and wiry body. Mobile, moves well on the court and has solid defensive footwork; just average explosiveness. Showed some improvement in his ball skills, he’s trying to expand his range on offense. Mainly right hand finisher. Excellent offensive rebounder, gets second chances on offense.
Tim Lambrecht (’98) – 6’10, PF, Belgium
Skinny power forward with still narrow frame and undeveloped body. Has impressive ball skills on the perimeter for a player his size, loves to handle the ball, has great footwork and body control on offense, can change direction with the ball. Shoots comfortably off the dribble. Not much of an inside presence. Doesn’t play through physical contact on both ends of the court.
Ivan Alipiev (’99) – 6’7, SF, Bulgaria
Versatile player who covered the SG, SF and PF positions for his team. Has good size and is a fluid athlete on offense, able to change pace in his game. Loves to handle the ball and attacks, either using screens or not: smooth dribbler and scorer at the rim, has good body control. Proper basketball IQ, attacks the right spot with or without the ball, has good court vision. Shooting form looks solid, even though he’s still a streaky shooter. Defensive footwork and lateral quickness are still below average.
Yordan Minchev (’98) – 6’8, SF/PF, Bulgaria
Played both forward spots and was also used as a mismatch center at times. Surprisingly poor shooting performance in Sofia, only hit 18.6% of his three point attempts; but his shot looks smooth and consistent, and he’s able to shoot either off the catch or off the dribble. Very good frame. Ball skills are elite for his size, he’s a natural ball-handler and shooter who can change pace in his game. Doesn’t play through contact at all, always shies away from physical competition.
Jakub Tuma (’98) – 6’4, PG/SG, Czech Republic
Aggressive combo guard with good size. Loves to handle the ball and push it in transition, he’s a good athlete with solid burst who gets to the rim easily. Finishes with contact. Has nice change of pace on the P&R. Streaky shooter but can hit jumpers off the dribble, has solid range. Doesn’t have great vision, but can create for his teammates driving and kicking out the ball. Lateral quickness is questionable.
Edon Maxhuni (’98) – 6’2, PG, Finland
Couldn’t find his shooting in Sofia, hitting only 20% of his threes; still has smooth release and can easily pull up coming out of the P&R, has deep range with his jumper. Advanced P&R player for his age, keeps his dribble alive, sees the whole court, can easily reverse the ball and use a skip pass. Able to play off the ball as well.
Elias Valtonen (’99) – 6’6, SF, Finland
Strong wing with good size. Fills the lane in transition and attacks the basket. Off ball player on offense, knows how to move without the ball, confident shooter off the catch. Powerful slasher, drives straight at the rim and finishes with contact, even though he’s just an average athlete. Can help a bit handling and passing in the halfcourt, as well as starting the transition right off the defensive rebound.
Rati Andronikashvili (’01) – 6’4, PG, Georgia
Youngest player in Sofia. Averaged 8.4 points, 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals in 18 minutes per game. Fearless but playing within his role at the same time, has personality to handle the ball and run the offense despite the age difference. Good size but still skinny and undeveloped body. Outside shot still a work in progress.
Alexander Mamukelashvili (’99) – 6’10, PF, Georgia
Has added lot of pounds to his frame, looked more heavy-footed. Playing more inside, even as a stretch center. Can hit the mid-range jumper, has three point range but went only 3/20 from beyond the arc. Can attack a closeout from the perimeter, but mostly plays in the mid-range and high post to shoot and drive.
Roberts Blumbergs (’98) – 6’10, PF, Latvia
Limited by a minor injury, only played the last three games of the tournament. Averaged 11 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks, which would have made him the second best rebounder in Sofia if he had qualified. Was more aggressive and assertive, playing with good motor. Very good awareness as a cutter and P&R player, able to stretch the floor. Questionable body language at times.
Arturs Strautins (’98) – 6’6, SF/PF, Latvia
Named in the All-Tournament Team after finishing as the second best scorer and rebounder in Sofia. Averaged 20.3 points and 11.3 rebounds. Powerful undersized power forward, trying to move to the small forward spot. Outpowers opponents close to the basket, tough to keep him away from the paint. Doesn’t have lift though, and struggles to finish against length. Very good offensive rebounder thanks to his strength and positioning. Can really shoot from deep but shot selection is bad. Doesn’t pass the ball most of the times.
Kristers Zoriks (’98) – 6’3, PG, Latvia
Among the best point guards in the tournament, starting to fill up his frame. High-level P&R player, changes pace and keeps the dribble alive, sees the whole court and can easily reverse the ball coming out of ball screens. Excellent passer for timing and solutions. Natural shooter, able to shoot coming out of the P&R, shot 10/25 (40%) from three in Sofia. Lack of explosiveness limit his ceiling.
Vadim Bicicov (’99) – 6’8, PF/C, Moldova
The only remarkable player for last-placed Moldova, which lost all games in Sofia by an average of 52 points. Averaged 12.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Strong big man who plays between the two frontcourt spots. Fluid, but lacks some explosiveness and some lateral quickness to guard the PF spot. Able to attack a closeout, even though quite right hand dominant. Can stretch the floor, efficiency is up and down but form and release look ok. Fearless, not afraid of contacts, steps in as a help defender.
Kevin Schutte (’98) – 6’9, C, Netherlands
Wiry and explosive inside player, doesn’t have range outside the paint on offense. Mostly a finisher out of dynamic situations, has excellent coordination and body control to catch the ball inside, can easily finish above the rim. Touch is average at best and he doesn’t have developed low post moves. Has a non-stop motor on both ends of the court, extremely active defender with quick feet.
Elay Wirjo (’98) – 6’5, SF, Netherlands
Big and long wing with decent athleticism. Really plays with a motor on defense: intense, physical, has very good footwork. On offense he’s mainly a spot up shooter, has a weird but quick and efficient release; shot better from three than from two on basically the same number of attempts. Poor ball-handler.
Adrian Bogucki (’99) – 6’11, C, Poland
Named in the All-Tournament Team, averaged 10.9 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.9 blocks for first-placed Poland. Huge presence inside, tough to play against him at the youth level of competition, able to use his massive body in the low post. Has excellent footwork and coordination in halfcourt offense for his size, can easily finish as a roll man. Doesn’t have a range yet on offense, tries some three but without much success. Passing is elite for his position. Has significant athletic limitations: plays below the rim, doesn’t run the court, can’t play defense outside the paint.
Lukasz Kolenda (’99) – 6’3, PG, Poland
Named MVP in Sofia after averaging 17.1 points, 4 rebounds and 3.6 assists while shooting a total 18/43 (41.9%) from three. Has good size, wide shoulders, lacks length. High-level P&R player, turns hard the corner, has elite vision and timing as a passer, reverses the ball easily. Lefty shooter with very deep range, able to hit shots out of the P&R or off the catch. Doesn’t beat his man without a ball screen. Mainly a jump shooter, not a great finisher. Has good speed but some key athletic limitations in terms of explosiveness.
Goncalo Delgado (’98) – 6’8, PF, Portugal
Showed some significant improvement, particularly with his ball skills. Has decent frame and athleticism. Shooting form is still inconsistent but his range is expanding. Can put the ball on the floor and attack the basket with couple of dribbles. Scores off power moves in the low post, doesn’t shy way from physical contact. Still has to work on his lateral quickness on defense.
Neemias Queta (’99) – 7’0, C, Portugal
He also has developed his game nicely over the last year. Combination of size, length and mobility was often too much for this level of competition. Brings intimidation inside, finished with 9 blocks against Netherlands, averaged 14.1 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.9 blocks in the tournament. Had some notable athletic play around the basket. His game is still improving but he had some intriguing flash of talent, has a feel for the game, solid touch in the paint, can hit jumpers from mid range.
Vladyslav Voytso (’99) – 6’7, SF, Portugal
Interesting frame and footwork, needs to fill up his body. Natural handling the ball, has feel for the game, moves the ball with quick passes and has good court vision; not always aggressive as a scorer, should attack more the basket. Improvements as a shooter are remarkable, still not consistent with his form but shows more confident and efficiency from beyond the arc.
Sergey Klyuev (’98) – 6’10, C, Russia
Massive and strong inside player, moves very well and has elite footwork and coordination for his size. Runs the court, follows at offensive rebound in the halfcourt. Enjoys physical contacts, not afraid to fight inside the paint. Always goes to his right hand to finish. Has defensive mobility to guard the P&R.
Kirill Mikheev (’98) – 7’0, C, Russia
Had a limited role for his team, only playing a total of 56 minutes through six games. Physical and athletic profile is interesting though: he’s a huge presence inside but has very quick feet for his size. Runs the court well, can be effective in dynamic situation in the halfcourt.
Grigory Motovilov (’98) – 6’4, PG/SG, Russia
Named in the All-Tournament Team after averaging 18.4 points, 3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 3.9 turnovers and 1.6 steals for fourth-placed Russia. Right now he’s mainly a scoring guard, more suited to play the SG spot. Frame is solid. Extremely aggressive scorer, able to create separation. Can play on and off the ball. High-level shooter, hit 20/46 (43.5%) from beyond the arc. Has personality and toughness, clearly the emotional leader of the team. Doesn’t have great vision in the halfcourt, tends to be predictable as a passer and to be right hand dominant.
Agasiy Tonoyan (’98) – 6’9, SF/PF, Russia
Had a disappointing showing in Sofia and often displayed a questionable attitude on the court. Has good size but his body is still undeveloped, particularly in the upper part, has narrow frame. Talented forward with high-level ball skills: ball-handling, passing and shooting are high-level for his position. But he’s not much productive inside, struggles against contacts and often takes bad decisions with the ball.
Milan Szabo (’98) – 6’9, C, Slovakia
Inside player with still skinny frame, but also solid length and athleticism. Plays with high-level motor, physical attitude. Runs the court hard, always active in the halfcourt, rebounds outside of his area. Lacks elite ball skills and a proper shooting range, but he’s an ok finisher with his left hand inside the paint.
Jurij Macura (’99) – 6’11, PF, Slovenia
Named in the All-Tournament Team. Averaged 11.8 points, 9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.3 blocks for second-placed Slovenia. One of the most awaited prospects in Sofia, wasn’t always able to take over the game but had his best showing in the most important game. Played mostly as a stretch center for his team, which didn’t test him much as a perimeter defender. Fluid and mobile athlete. Lefty smooth shooter, efficient off the catch, threat on the P&P. Can put the ball on the floor and attack a closeout, but has issues finishing through contact. Skilled low post player with footwork, touch, passing skills but again tends to go away from contact.
Urban Oman (’98) – 6’6, SF, Slovenia
Wing with solid physical and athletic profile, despite lacking length. Not a ball-handler, plays as a defensive stopper and spot up scorer. Able to make plays attacking the closeout, strong first step, finishes effectively at the basket. Needs to find consistency as an outside shooter.
Miha Skedelj (’99) – 6’7, SF, Slovenia
Not at his best in Sofia, only played five games. Has intriguing defensive potential thanks to his combination of size and footwork, he’s able to guard smaller players. Not comfortable playing off the dribble on offense, can’t beat his defender. Able to score as a cutter and spot up shooter, despite still erratic consistence in his jumper and unorthodox release.
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