Uladzislau Bantsevich (’02) – 6’5, SF, Belarus
Wing with interesting frame, quick hands, solid reactivity. Doesn’t have a niche on offense so far: below average ball-handler and finisher, but can make some play attacking the closeout. Unorthodox but effective shooting form, has range from beyond the arc but needs to develop a quicker release.
Ajay Mitchell (’02) – 5’10, PG, Belgium
Quick and creative point guard with excellent personality for his age. Still tiny, late bloomer physically. Has good pace with the ball, changes speed easily, keeps the dribble alive. Ball-handler with excellent court vision and timing as a passer. Lefty shooter with deep range, needs to improve his shot selection. Can’t get into the paint at this stage of his development, finishes either with a pull up jumper or a floater.
Thijs De Ridder (’03) – 6’6, SF/PF, Belgium
Among the youngest players in attendance. Physical forward with an already strong frame for his age. Has strong first step to attack the closeout, keeps balance attacking the basket. Not a leaper. Has decent touch inside the paint. Still a bit heavy-footed. Didn’t shoot much from outside, but his form looks promising off the catch, even though needs to be quicker.
Aleksa Gataric (’02) – 6’2, PG, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tough and aggressive point guard, averaged 11.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.4 steals for second-placed Bosnia and Herzegovina. Decent feel for the game and vision. Fearless attacking the basket, at his best if he can push the ball in transition. Goes straight at the rim, good first step. Still a below average shooter.
Alem Huseinovic (’02) – 6’4, SG, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Named in the All-Tournament Team after averaging 18.3 points and 2.1 steals, while shooting 23/55 from three (41.8%). Among the tournament’s top shooters, has unorthodox but smooth and consistent release, deep shooting range; at his best if shooting off the catch, but showed the ability to comfortably hit pull up shots. Still tiny frame, doesn’t handle well contacts, below average finisher. Played mainly off the ball but showed at times intriguing speed, ball-handling and decisions off the dribble.
Konstantin Kostadinov (’03) – 6’8, PF/C, Bulgaria
Early bloomer, strong and physical big man, good athlete. Playing more on the perimeter, has improved his shooting range off the catch, despite being still an inconsistent shooter with average touch. Needs to work on his basketball IQ. Not much skilled inside, but uses his body to be effective around the rim and finishes well off dynamic situations.
Emil Stoilov (’02) – 7’0, C, Bulgaria
Big man with huge size, he’s a fluid athlete with good footwork. Playing strictly as an inside player now, heavily used in post up situations. Has quick feet, can turn around both shoulders, very soft touch with both hands around the basket. Lacks some toughness on both ends of the court, doesn’t like to play through contacts.
Aineas Jung (’02) – 6’8, PF, Cyprus
Averaged 14.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals in Sarajevo. Has a solid frame and moves well for his size. Good rebounder, follows his own miss on offense. Natural putting the ball on the floor and driving to the rim, he’s fluid and has nice body control. Doesn’t have a reliable shooting form yet.
Ondrej Hanzlik (’02) – 6’7, SF, Czech Republic
Named in the All-Tournament Team after averaging 16.5 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 1.9 blocks per game for fourth-placed Czech Republic. Forward with skinny frame and interesting physical upside. Fluid on offense, decent ball-handling, smooth driving to the basket but not comfortable finishing with contact. Shooter with high release, sometimes settles on jump shots; had to take lot of shots in Sarajevo and ended up hitting only 22/78 (28.2%) from beyond the arc.
Kristian Kocab (’02) – 6’11, C, Czech Republic
Tall big man with undeveloped body, still skinny frame. Runs the court very well and is mobile for his size. Effective inside thanks to his size and coordination, but has just average touch and struggles absorbing contacts. Brings good intimidation on defense, but has to work on his lateral quickness.
Jonathan Klussman (’02) – 6’2, SG, Denmark
Ended up as the top scorer in Sarajevo, averaging 25 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Early bloomer with very strong frame. Volume scorer, takes lot of shots, has below average shot selection. Impressive physicality for his age and position, really uses his body to take advantage on offense, absorbs any contact at this level of competition. Powerful slasher, but lacks explosiveness and has below average ball-handling.
Aarni Korkiatupa (’02) – 6’6, SF, Finland
Well-built forward with excellent shooting skills, has extended range off the catch and consistent shooting form. Powerful slasher, mainly a straight line driver; able to play through contacts, but he’s not an advanced ball-handler and lacks some leaping ability to finish. Lateral quickness on defense is questionable.
Matthew Marsh (’02) – 6’11, C, Great Britain
Among the most intriguing prospects in the tournament. Huge size for his age but moves very well, rim runner, runs the court in transition. Quick and explosive, can easily play above the rim on both ends of the court. Ball skills and basketball IQ are not developed yet but he can easily catch and finish inside, it’s tough to keep him away from the basket at this level of competition. On defense brings impressive intimidation but has to improve his footwork. Averaged 12.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 23.8 minutes per game.
Andrej Andonoski (’02) – 6’7, C, FYR Of Macedonia
Undersized inside player who averaged 16.9 points and 7.5 rebounds in the tournament. Mobile, active, has low centre of gravity and was quicker than most of the other big men. Highly efficient cutting and finishing at the basket, quick and coordinated finishing at the basket. Below the rim player though. Showed some potential to put the ball on the floor and attack, but still struggle to defend on the perimeter.
Marko Milovanovikj (’02) – 6’5, SF, FYR Of Macedonia
Named in the All-Tournament Team after averaging 19.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 3.9 turnovers and 4 steals per game for third-placed FYR Of Macedonia. Strong player who covered both forward spots for his team. Volume scorer. Good shooter off the catch despite his unorthodox mechanics, has comfortable range from three point. Average ball-handling, he’s a powerful slasher who uses his body to get to the rim and finish, has decent body control. Below the rim player, lacks some explosiveness. He’ll need to improve his lateral quickness on defense to consistently guard on the perimeter.
Kacper Klaczek (’02) – 6’6, SF, Poland
Strong and powerful wing. Good finisher in the paint, takes contacts, smooth attacking the basket. Average ball-handler at best, doesn’t beat his man 1vs1; he’s more comfortable finishing off cuts or making plays attacking the closeout. Outpowers opponents close to the rim. Still no a reliable shooter.
Filip Siewruk (’02) – 6’8, PF, Poland
Smooth forward with good face up skills and soft touch. Comfortable shooting from beyond the arc, needs to fix a bit his form, doesn’t have the quickest release; can create some separation and shoot after couple of dribbles. Natural putting the ball on the floor but still right hand dominant as a ball-handler and finisher. Not always comfortable playing through contacts. Doesn’t have a low post game so far. Needs to show some improvement in terms of basketball IQ and decisions with the ball.
Wojciech Tomaszewski (’02) – 6’5, SG/SF, Poland
Intriguing skinny wing with very undeveloped body. Doesn’t have much of an offensive game right now, but he’s a good athlete who plays with good motor. Runs hard the court in transition, attacks the basket and can finish above the rim. Still struggles to absorb contacts. Asked to play some PG, can handle the ball a bit and push it in transition. Not a shooter, slow and weird release. Intriguing defensive potential thanks to his size, length, quickness and explosiveness.
George Cotoara (’02) – 6’9, C, Romania
Extremely skinny and undeveloped big man, really struggles to play through contacts. Has some decent footwork and mobility, he’s still far from his athletic ceiling. Quick to go up for a shot inside the paint, has solid touch around the rim. Showed some potential to put the ball on the floor from mid range.
Aleksandr Evseev (’02) – 6’9, C, Russia
Named in the All-Tournament Team, averaged 13 points and 7 rebounds in Sarajevo. Big man with good size, still stiff on his legs but mobile and active. Finishes well off dynamic situations, crashes hard the offensive board, going after rebounds outside of his area. Lacks some explosiveness. Has some potential to put the ball the floor on the move and decent shooting range despite still unorthodox shooting mechanics. Not much of a back to the basket threat at this point, needs to improve his footwork.
Anton Kardanakhishvili (’02) – 6’6, SF, Russia
Powerful wing with good frame. Not a ball-handler, but able to make plays attacking the closeout, aggressive on the first step and able to finish with contact at the rim. Still right hand dominant as a dribbler and scorer. Good effort on the defensive end, also guarding smaller players. Not a confident shooter right now.
Aleksandr Maltsev (’02) – 6’5, SF, Russia
Wing with good size, showed good awareness as a cutter and aggressiveness attacking the basket, even though lacks some explosiveness to finish in the paint. Physical, loves to post up and to fight for offensive rebounds. Still inconsistent shooter, needs to fix his mechanics but went 3/6 from three in the final.
Pavel Savkov (’02) – 6’7, SG/SF, Russia
Named MVP in Sarajevo, after leading Russia to the first spot while averaging 15.9 points, 8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals. Tall wing with intriguing frame and still undeveloped body. Played mainly off the ball but showed some ability to handle, use ball screens and pass. Decent shooter with extended range but his shot comes out quite flat, something which he’ll need to improve. Tends to settle for jumpers, either off the catch and off the dribble.
Matus Hronsky (’03) – 6’6, SF, Slovakia
Among the youngest players in attendance, has an intriguing combination of size and athleticism. Fluid and quick, moves very well. Covers ground quickly. Puts the ball on the floor, can change direction of the ball, able to finish easily above the rim; at his best attacking on the move, not much effective in static situations. Below average shooter.
Oliver Cupan (’02) – 6’4, PG/SG, Sweden
Scoring guard with proper size. Mainly a shooter, tends to settle on jumpers, has weird but effective form and quick release. Decent speed but average explosiveness, doesn’t use at his best his frame inside. Has good vision but can be turnover prone because of his tendency to perform a risky pass. Played mainly off the ball in Sarajevo.
Kenny Pohto (’02) – 6’10, PF/C, Sweden
Has an intriguing combination of size, mobility, athleticism and touch. Coordinated, able to easily catch and finish inside. Has very quick release off the catch, can shoot from mid and long range, he’s a threat on the P&P. Natural putting the ball on the floor to attack the basket, has strong first step. Still quite soft in his approach to the game, despite some good activity level.
Haris Jusovic (’02) – 6’9, PF/C, Switzerland
Top shot blocker in the tournament with 3.4 per game, added an average of 11 points and 9 rebounds. Skinny big man, quick, reactive, light on his feet. Promising frame. Can’t handle contacts yet, gets pushed away from the paint, goes out of balance if challenged on a drive, struggles to finish if contested. Has balance and coordination to catch and quickly finish inside. His jumper has some potential.
Herman Melashych (’02) – 6’4, SG, Ukraine
Scorer with good size and solid frame. Showed interesting skillset with the ball, a fairly good ball-handling, ability to change speed off the dribble and use both hands to finish. Can finish through contact. Needs to improve his outside shooting. Lack of explosiveness also limit his potential.
Photo by fiba.basketball