Mate Kalajzic (’98) – 6’2, SG, Croatia
Named in the All-Tournament Team after being the best performer for second-placed Croatia. Averaged 13.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 turnovers. Aggressive guard with below average size but good length, extremely active defender with solid footwork and physical attitude. Pushes hard the ball to go in transition. Can create separation thanks to his change of speed and score off the dribble. Shaky decisions with the ball and below average ball-handling skills limit his ability to play PG.
Toni Nakic (’99) – 6’7, SF, Croatia
Played both forward spots for his team, most of the times without a primary role. Made lot of intangible plays and hit some big shots throughout the tournament. Has an intriguing frame to go together with fluid mobility, ability to handle the ball and shoot off the catch.
Toni Perkovic (’98) – 6’3, SG, Croatia
Had a solid tournament despite not being a ball-handler. High level defender who plays with non-stop motor, often guarding the opponents’ best perimeter player. Shows high IQ and understanding of the game. Elite shooting ability is intriguing, particularly off the catch, went 14/32 (43.8%) from beyond the arc through seven games in Chemnitz.
Digue Diawara (’98) – 6’9, SF/PF, France
Played at the SF spot, still has to improve guarding smaller players. Length and quickness are intriguing. On offense he’s just a face up player, has no back to the basket game. Fluid for his size, natural putting the ball on the floor and changing direction. Poor finisher, struggles against physical contact. Needs to find consistency with his jumper, but has range in his shot, can pull up off the dribble.
Ivan Fevrier (’99) – 6’8, PF, France
Inside fighter with rebounding presence, plays physical. Finishes well in the paint, has power moves in the low post. Has developed solid range with his jump shot, which has weird mechanics but is quite effective also from beyond the arc when shooting off the catch. Trying to be more of a perimeter player, defense will be the key.
Bathiste Tchouaffe (’98) – 6’6, SF, France
Shooter, took more shots from three than from two in the tournament. Has deep range and consistent form, but tends to rely too much on his shooting ability, mainly off the catch. Not much of a ball-handler. Has some physical upside, but his defensive footwork is a question mark.
Abdoulaye N’Doye (’98) – 6’7, SG, France
Not at his best in Chemnitz, also had an injury against Serbia which kept him sidelined in the last two games. Still can’t find a way to use his outstanding physical potential, doesn’t have a niche on offense. His defensive versatility can be valuable; on offense right now he’s mainly a cutter, plus secondary ball-handler and facilitator. Inability to shoot and to finish at the basket are concerning though.
Richard Freudenberg (’98) – 6’8, SF/PF, Germany
Played mostly at the PF spot for his team, mainly as a spot up shooter to spread the floor. Only hit 6 threes out of 27 tries. Had couple of nice moments putting the ball on the floor, but in general looked heavy-footed and not comfortable playing off the dribble. Still struggles to handle physical contact.
Kostja Mushidi (’98) – 6’5, SG/SF, Germany
Named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 13.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3.1 turnovers and 1.1 steals for third-placed Germany. Powerful and long-armed wing, rarely using in full his physical and athletic potential. Loves to handle the ball but struggles to change speed and lacks some burst off the dribble. Has vision and touch to pass the ball, but his decision making is often questionable.
Louis Olinde (’98) – 6’9, SF/PF, Germany
Olinde was the most intriguing prospect for Germany, given his amazing footwork and quickness for a players his size. Still far from being fully developed in either his body and his game, he has impressive defensive potential thanks to the ability to stay with smaller players than him. On offense he shows some ability to handle and drive, but is still a limited scorer who will need further improvements with his shot.
Filip Stanic (’98) – 6’9, C, Germany
Named in the All-Tournament Team. Averaged 13.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals. Massive presence inside, loves to play through contact and knows how to use his strong, wiry body to get deep position under the basket. Below the rim player but has quite quick feet for his size. Coordination and low centre of gravity help him catching the ball when rolling to the basket. Finishes well with his right hand around the rim but is very strong hand dominant. Above average offensive rebounder.
Carl Wheatle (’98) – 6’5, SF, Great Britain
Leader of Great Britain which achieved the best result ever at FIBA U20. Strong and athletic wing, playing four positions for his team, with a key role also as a defender and rebounder. Comfortable handling the ball and running the offense, even though still tends to be strong hand dominant. Aggressive slasher and finisher, can go out of control at times. Almost didn’t take any outside shot in Chemnitz, shooting still is his main weakness despite some improvement over the years.
Kayne Henry-McCalla (‘99) - 6’6, SF, Great Britain
Didn’t played up to the hype he gain after a stellar 2017 FIBA U18 Division B. His body didn’t look improved after one year in juco. Frame, length, quickness and athleticism are still extremely intriguing, but the low basketball IQ and knowledge of the game are concerning. On offense regularly messed up his team’s spacing, and struggled in moving with the right timing in the halfcourt.
Georgios Kalaitzakis (’99) – 6’7, SG, Greece
Up and down tournament, played better in the first games but was hampered by couple of minor injuries. Played with his right wrist banded. Creativity and ability to handle the ball makes him an elite player in his class, given his size and length, needs to improve his ability to create out of isolation since right now he needs most of the times a ball screen. Struggled more making jumpers in the second part of the tournament.
Panagiotis Kalaitzakis (’99) – 6’6, SF, Greece
A solid tournament for the twin brother of Georgios. Decent size and length. Less smooth and natural with the ball compared to his brother. Plays mainly off the ball, straight line driver and spot up shooter. Has good motor. Decision making with the ball is below average, looks like his IQ with the ball is also shaky.
Michail Lountzis (’98) – 6’5, PG/SG, Greece
Talented combo guard who handled most point guard tools for his team. Has excellent size and promising frame which helps him in passing and scoring over his defender, despite lacking elite explosiveness. Best P&R passer for Greece, has timing and vision to find the roll man, court vision is average though. Shot the ball well from three in the tournament (12/31 through seven games).
Dimitris Moraitis (’99) – 6’4, SG, Greece
Strong guard, lacks elite athleticism but uses well his body to get into the paint and finish at the rim. Extremely aggressive, powerful slasher who relentlessly attack his man when has the ball. Plays with high motor on both ends of the court. Decision making is still shaky, tends to go at only one speed. He’ll need to improve his shooting and shot selection as well.
Deni Avdija (’01) – 6’9, SF, Israel
In Chemnitz had his first and most impressive showing in his amazing summer. Named to the All-Tournament Team despite being three years younger than the competition. Had less the ball in his hands compared to previous tournaments with his age group, increasing his efficiency and cutting down bad decisions. Exceptionally fluid player for his size; creativity, instincts with the ball, vision, shooting and ball-handling skills make him an elite prospect. Improving his off hand, even though he’s still mostly right hand dominant. Defensive effort is erratic, but has quick feet for his size. Needs to improve his ability to finish and in general to play through physical contact on both ends of the court.
Yovel Zoosman (’98) – 6’7, SG/SF, Israel
Named MVP of the tournament after leading Israel to an historic first place in Chemnitz. All-around player who averaged 14.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.3 steals in the tournament. Lacks elite athleticism but has good size and is filling up his frame. Tremendous basketball IQ, showed excellent decisions with the ball. Natural ball-handler able to change pace nicely off the dribble, showed touch and vision as a passer. High level understanding and fundamentals on defense, moves properly and has the right positioning, reads well passing lanes. Still streaky shooter, but has quick release and has made remarkable strides as a shooter over the years.
Alessandro Lever (’98) – 6’9, C, Italy
Top scorer for Italy in the tournament. Post up big man who can stretch the floor shooting off the catch, has natural range from three. Out of shape in Chemnitz, showed poor lateral mobility on defense. Has physical attitude, loves to compete, uses his body in the low post to get deep position but lacks leaping ability to finish. Body language was sometimes questionable.
Andrea Mezzanotte (’98) – 6’10, PF/C, Italy
Stretch big man with still very skinny and undeveloped body, has solid size and length. Showed good touch and range with his jumper, even though didn’t shoot with good percentages. Struggles to finish with contact inside. The key for his development will be how much he can improve his footwork on both ends of the court.
Davide Moretti (’98) – 6’2, PG/SG, Italy
Talented combo guard who played both on and off the ball for his team. Often asked to create out of nothing, can easily create separation for his shot and has high-level efficiency with his jumper from either mid and long range. Uses well off ball screens to free himself, able to use curl cuts to get inside and finish. Soft touch with his floater. Ball-handling is just average and limits his potential as a PG.
Matas Jogela (’98) – 6’7, SF, Lithuania
The most intriguing prospect for Lithuania. Long and athletic wing still without a fully developed body. At his best when playing off the ball on offense, very good cutter, spot up shooter with proper range even though needs some more consistency with his jumper. Kind of predictable when playing off the dribble, but handle a bit and score some pull up. Has defensive potential but still lacks some lateral quickness and a degree of focus and toughness.
Gytis Masiulis (’98) – 6’9, PF/C, Lithuania
Had solid production in the tournament, averaging 18.3 points, 9 rebounds, 1.4 blocks per game. He’s still stuck between the two frontcourt positions and played mainly as an inside player for Lithuania. Physical attitude, likes to fight inside. Has coordination and excellent hands to catch the ball, finishes at good rate inside off dynamic situations. Physical post up player. Rebounding is elite. Still lacks a reliable outside shot and proper lateral quickness on defense.
Arnas Velicka (’99) – 6’4, PG, Lithuania
Among the youngest players in attendance. Coming from a tough personal season. Not in his best possible shape in Chemnitz. Had a lesser role with this team, often limited at moving the ball, running the first P&R on offense, scoring off what the defense leaved him. Sometimes still tends to overdribble and his shot selection is questionable.
Milos Popovic (’98) – 6’6, PF/C, Montenegro
Early bloomer who lacks upside, but still brings terrific production at this level of competition. Strong, below the rim player, tends to be out of shape. Lacks explosiveness but has quick feet for his size. High basketball IQ and developed fundamentals, takes good decisions, can play inside and out, ended up as one of the best three point shooters in the tournament. Takes deep position under the basket and outpowers players using his thick body and low centre of gravity. Struggles to finish against size.
Marko Simonovic (’99) – 7’0, C, Montenegro
Played mainly as an inside player, finishing out of the P&R and post up sets. Didn’t show much of his perimeter skills and only took a total of 6 threes in Chemnitz (1/6). Centre of gravity looks high and doesn’t have the lateral mobility to effectively guard on the perimeter. Combination of athleticism, coordination and touch is still intriguing, but the inability to play through physical contact is a main concern right now.
Andrija Slavkovic (’99) – 6’7, SF, Montenegro
Left mixed impressions and didn’t show significant improvements in some key areas. Still not a reliable shooter, he’s an athletic wing who finishes aggressively at the rim, can push the ball in transition, attacks a closeout. Shaky ball-handling skills. Has some defensive potential but effort is erratic, size his good for his position but doesn’t have major length.
Aleksandar Aranitovic (’98) – 6’5, SG, Serbia
Strong scoring guard. Has lost explosiveness and aggressiveness after injuries. Now he’s mainly relying on his jump shot on offense, makes shots at a good rate even though his form isn’t textbook. Loves to handle and pull up from mid-range. Still has a physical edge at this level of competition.
Milos Glisic (’98) – 6’9, C, Serbia
Another solid showing at the youth level of competition for him. Inside player with high basketball IQ, moves extremely well in the halfcourt, plays short and mid range with a clue. Good cutter, makes himself available around the mid range with flash cuts, knows how to play the P&R. Still lacks range on both ends of the court.
Aleksa Radanov (’98) – 6’8, SF/PF, Serbia
Playing mostly at the SF spot, has elite size and mobility for his position, fluid and natural handling the ball even though he tends to be very strong hand dominant. Changes pace nicely with the ball, can use ball screens, has vision and passing skills off the dribble. Still a questionable shooter, but the combination of size, quickness and coordination is appealing.
Borisa Simanic (’98) – 6’10, PF, Serbia
Showed some flash of his impressive ball skills, being able to naturally handle and pull up from his size, he’s a capable shooter with deep range and can put the ball on the floor to attack a closeout. But his approach to the game is still soft, his attitude and body language on the court are questionable. Doesn’t produce inside on offense, shies away from physical contact.
Osas Ehigiator (’99) – 6’9, C, Spain
Inside player with strong frame and good length. Really plays through contact and enjoys fighting inside. Fluid athlete, lacks some coordination to catch the ball while running. Lot of post up possessions, has good footwork in the low post and solid touch with his right hand.
Aleix Font (’98) – 6’5, SG/SF, Spain
Among the best scorers in the tournament, averaged 16.9 points and shot 22/44 from beyond the arc through seven games. Smart off the ball player with proper fundamentals moving without the ball. Not much of a ball-handler. High-level shooter with quick and consistent release, particularly off the catch.
Miguel Gonzalez (’99) – 6’7, SF, Spain
Looked closer to 6’8, his body is changing and his frame is developing. Mainly a shooting specialist for Spain, playing basically both forwards position. High release and proper form, shoots mainly off the catch but can pull up after couple of dribbles. Went 14/29 (48.3%) from three through seven games in Chemnitz.
Joel Parra (’00) – 6’7, SF/PF, Spain
Among the youngest players in Chemnitz. Had 24 points and 15 rebounds against Israel, hitting 3 out of his 4 attempt from beyond the arc. Solid athlete who attacks the closeout and finishes strong at the rim. Cuts to get rebounds outside of his area. Didn’t hit any triple besides the three against Israel, but his outside shot has come a long way. Will be interesting to track whether he’ll be able to consistently guard the SF spot.
Josep Puerto (’99) – 6’6, SF, Spain
Physical and explosive player who covered both forward spots for Spain. Not an advanced ball-handler, but highly effective attacking on the move thanks to his strong first step. Can score with contact at the rim, doesn’t shy away. Versatile defender. Basketball IQ is still shaky, takes some bad decisions on the court. He’ll need to further develop his outside shot as well.
Elijah Clarance (’98) – 6’5, SG, Sweden
Disruptive athlete who had a breakout performance in Chemnitz, finishing as the tournament’s top scorer and averaging 22.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 3,7 turnovers and 1.9 steals. Very strong frame. Extremely quick and explosive, able to execute at high speed, has strong first step and changes pace easily off the dribble. Good finisher around the rim, tends to go to his left. Shooting and decision making will be keys for his improvement.
Ragip Berke Atar (’99) – 6’11, C, Turkey
Massive inside presence, ended up being the top scorer for his team. Post up player, solid combination of size, footwork and touch around the basket to finish in the paint. Doesn’t have range on offense. Questionable motor, attitude on the court is erratic. Doesn’t like to play through physical contact. Poor defensive effort and lateral mobility limits his upside.
Muhaymin Mustafa (’99) – 6’6, SF, Turkey
The most intriguing prospect for Turkey. Has a promising frame which is filling up pretty well. Mobile and fluid, able to change direction on the court. Surprisingly handling the ball a lot for his team, had some nice moment finishing and passing out of the P&R, even though he’s still very strong hand dominant as a ball-handler. At his best as an off ball wing, shot 10/22 (45.5%) from three in the tournament.
Illya Tyrtyshnyk (’98) – 6’3, PG/SG, Ukraine
Aggressive scoring combo guard. Can go out of control and takes some wild shot, but generally plays with solid pace. Ended up as one of the top shooter in Chemnitz, despite some streaky showing. Never afraid to shoot, has to control his shot selection. Has solid quickness and explosiveness with the ball which would allow him to better attack the basket, while tends to settle on jumpers.
Andrii Voinalovych (’99) – 6’9, PF, Ukraine
Among the youngest players in attendance. Has some intriguing potential thanks to his face up skills: fluid and quick for his size, moves well in the halfcourt, natural putting the ball on the floor, has good body control and can uses both hands when driving to the basket. Good shooter off the catch. Lacks a degree of toughness, not much of an inside presence, needs to improve his back to the basket skills.
Photo by fiba.basketball
Ragip Berke Atar