Ivan Perasovic (’02) – 6’7, SF, Croatia
Long forward with still a skinny frame. Stuck between the two forward spots, still raw in his game. Not much of a ball-handler, plays mainly off the catch. Smooth moving in the halfcourt, solid athlete. Still streaky shooter but has range. Struggles to finish with contact. Intriguing defensive potential.
Roko Prkacin (’02) – 6’8, SF/PF, Croatia
Named MVP in Novi Sad, after leading Croatia to the first spot while averaging 18.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2 blocks per game. Strong, smart and versatile forward with a developed body. Aggressive, smooth athlete. Natural handling the ball and creating off the dribble, pushes the ball in transition, high-level passer. Skilled post up player. Impressive footwork and IQ on defense. So far still has no shooting range.
Boris Tisma (’02) – 6’9, SF/PF, Croatia
Named in the All-Tournament Team after averaging 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.6 steals, while shooting 16/37 (43.2%) from three. Highly intriguing prospect with very good size and a still developing body. Fluid, moves very well for his size and age. Impressive skillset for his age and position, has natural ball skills and is an above average passer. Smooth shooter able to also pull up off the dribble. Needs to improve his inside game and overall presence in the paint.
Juhann Begarin (’02) – 6’4, SG, France
Smooth scorer with elite physical and athletic profile, had a breakout showing in Novi Sad. Explosive, comfortable creating off the dribble, good body control in the paint and decent touch at the rim. Not always aggressive and assertive, doesn’t always play up to his potential. Natural shooter with very deep range, loves to pull up off the dribble but tends to settle on jumpers. Overall defensive effort is disappointing, but has high-level tools.
Moussa Diabate (’02) – 6’9, C, France
Big man with excellent size and length for his age, strong frame but still growing body. Not always fluid, but runs hard the court and has above average explosiveness. On offense he’s still raw and effective mainly thanks to his above average physical profile, has just average touch and no shooting range; showed some interesting ability to put the ball on the floor and attack on a straight line, has strong first step. Tough to keep away from the boards, averaged 5.3 offensive and 5 defensive rebounds.
Yvan Ouedraogo (’02) – 6’7, C, France
Strong undersized inside player, was the top performer for his team. Heavily used in post up sets. Physical, uses well his body to fight inside, seal his man and get close to the rim. Decent finisher around the basket, but plays below the rim. Has good footwork and low centre of gravity which allow him to face up from the post and attack. Solid passing skills and vision. Doesn’t have range on offense.
Ariel Hukporti (’02) – 6’11, C, Germany
Huge presence inside, has impressive size, length and strength for a player his age. Fluid athlete with good explosiveness. Tough to match at this level of competition, averaged 9.6 points 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in just 17.4 minutes per game. Lefty, has decent touch around the rim and can hit some mid-range jumper, but he’s still strong hand dominant in his game. Needs to improve his basketball IQ and work on his defensive game.
Luc Van Slooten (’02) – 6’8, SF, Germany
Early bloomer, has a developed frame for his age, above average size and explosiveness. Doesn’t always play up to his potential or take full advantage of his physical profile. Has good vision and fundamentals, but his poor decision making and questionable attitude limit his effectiveness. Would increase his efficiency if he accepts more of an off ball role.
Andreas Kalogiros (’02) – 6’7, PF, Greece
Undersized big man who plays mainly inside the paint. Smart, good understanding of the game, has proper positioning, plays within his limits; has solid passing instincts and vision. Has proper coordination and balance to catch and finish inside, mainly uses his left hand to score. Good rebounder thanks to positioning and ability to follow on the second jump. Doesn’t have a reliable shooting range and has significant limitations in terms of explosiveness.
Gilad Levy (’02) – 7’1, C, Israel
Massive inside player, still undeveloped from a physical and athletic standpoint. Has some obvious issue in terms of mobility, but showed some potential with his footwork. Can be pushed inside, has high centre of gravity, but has soft touch and high release to finish even when contested. Huge defensive presence thanks to his size. Averaged 10 points, 7 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 16.5 minutes.
Sasha Mattias Grant (’02) – 6’6, SF, Italy
Ended up as the tournament’s top scorer, averaging 19.3 points per game; added 4.7 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1.6 blocks. Early bloomer with a very strong body, has interesting frame for his position. Not much of a ball-handler, but he’s explosive and has strong first step, can finish at the rim attacking the closeout. Has come a long way as a shooter off the catch, he’s still streaky and has inconsistent release but went 16/42 (38.1%) from beyond the arc in the tournament. Has intriguing defensive potential thanks to his strength, length and footwork. He’ll mostly need to work on his basketball IQ and passing skills.
Abramo Pené (’02) – 6’6, SG/SF, Italy
Long wing with promising frame and intriguing athleticism. Tough, plays with unstoppable motor on both ends of the court. Pushes hard the ball in transition and attacks the rim. Can help a bit handling the ball in the halfcourt, but he’s at his best if he can attack on the move or catching and finishing off cuts. He’ll need to improve his ball skills, particularly ball-handling and shooting.
Gabriele Procida (’02) – 6’5, SG/SF, Italy
Skinny wing with excellent length and athleticism. Mainly played off the ball in Novi Sad, but has decent ball-handling skills. Dynamic, active, aggressive moving without the ball, can easily finish above the rim. Struggles to handle physical contacts so far. Fluid shooter off the catch with decent release, has natural range from beyond the arc, went 13/28 (46.4%) in the tournament.
Kriss Helmanis (’02) – 6’9, C, Latvia
Only played five games in Novi Sad, averaging 6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.6 blocks per game. Skilled big man with promising frame, lacks explosiveness and lateral quickness. Moves well in the halfcourt, has proper sense of positioning, finishes around the rim and can stretch the floor a bit shooting off the catch.
Rodijs Macoha (’02) – 6’7, PF, Latvia
Lefty forward. Extremely active, good athlete, aggressive attacking the basket and able to finish strong at the rim. Has a still undeveloped frame and doesn’t always absorbs contacts. At his best attacking the closeout or running the court in transition. Still doesn’t have a reliable shooting range, needs to improve his mechanics.
Augustas Marciulionis (’02) – 6’2, PG, Lithuania
Still has a light frame, but plays with high-level motor and aggressiveness. Has big personality, not afraid to take responsibilities. Good vision, quick decisions, moves the ball and has excellent passing skills, can get turnover prone trying a risky pass here and there. Didn’t score the ball in Novi Sad, passed on open shots from outside and his size limit his efficiency as a finisher, prefers to pull up from the mid range.
Hubertas Pivorius (’02) – 6’2, SG, Lithuania
Small scoring guard, ended up as the tournament best shooter from beyond the arc, hitting 18/34 threes (52.9%) in seven games. Good ball-handler and always aggressive with the ball, can create his own shot. Still tiny, not much of a finisher at the rim, prefers to pull up or use some floater. Never afraid to shoot, needs to improve his shot selection sometimes but he can score out of nothing and has very deep shooting range.
Edgaras Preibys (’02) – 6’7, SF/PF, Lithuania
Skinny forward with undeveloped frame. Mobile and coordinated, moves well for his size. Still an inconsistent shooter, lacks reliable shooting range. Smooth attacking the basket and natural putting the ball on the floor, while off the ball showed good timing and positioning as a cutter. Didn’t handle the ball much, but showed some intriguing flash as a ball-handler and passer.
Azuolas Tubelis (’02) – 6’7, PF, Lithuania
Averaged 14.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.7 blocks in just 23.4 minutes per game. Played mainly inside, heavily used in post up situations, shooting only 1/12 from three and 11/25 from the free throw line. Lefty finisher, quick in catching and scoring in the paint, moves well and with the proper spacing. Has good footwork in the low post. Has quick hands to rebound the ball, good sense of positioning and use of his body. Lack of explosiveness limit his upside.
Fedor Zugic (’03) – 6’5, SG, Montenegro
Among the youngest players in the tournament, ended up as the second best scorer averaging 18.9 points per game. Scorer with size, has an impressive ability to change speed and get to the rim, can easily change direction with the ball and has solid ball-handling. Good body control in the hang time, able to finish with contact. Went 3/27 from beyond the arc in his first five games and 8/18 in his last two, form looks unorthodox with low release but he has good balance and proper range. Decision making and shot selection are still below average, and sometimes tends to settle on jumpers.
Nikola Manojlovic (’02) – 6’6, SG/SF, Serbia
Big wing who averaged 14 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals for fifth-placed Serbia. Smart player with good fundamentals, at his best when playing off the ball. Smooth slasher, can handle the ball on the P&R but lacks burst and leaping ability as a finisher. Didn’t shoot well from outside but showed consistent form off the catch. Athletic limitations as a defender, needs to improve his footwork and lateral quickness.
Mihailo Musikic (’02) – 6’10, C, Serbia
Inside player with good size, still developing from a physical and athletic standpoint. Decent mobility but not always fluid in his movements. Solid touch around the rim, has some potential to expand his shooting range. Effective on defense thanks to his size and length. Averaged 6.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 16.4 minutes per game.
Lazar Stefanovic (’02) – 6’5, SG, Serbia
High-level shooter with quick and consistent release, averaged 13 points in 19.7 minutes, shooting 11/27 (40.7%) from three. Comfortable shooting either off the dribble and off the catch, has deep shooting range. Showed confidence and aggressiveness as a ball-handler, being able to use ball screens and attack the basket on a straight line despite lacking some leaping ability inside.
Luka Tarlac (’02) – 6’7, SF, Serbia
Wing with intriguing physical and athletic profile, has good quickness, explosiveness and fluidity. Wasn’t much productive in the tournament, averaging 5.3 points in 15.1 minutes, and still lacks a proper skillset on offense. Has some interesting natural instinct with the ball. Needs to improve as a shooter, lacks consistence and quickness in his form.
Urban Klavzar (’04) – 6’1, PG/SG, Slovenia
The youngest player in attendance, averaged 11.9 points in 25.7 minutes. Explosive scoring combo guard who handled the ball a lot for his team, has impressive personality for his age. Able to create separation with ease, natural shooting off the dribble. Has excellent change of speed. Decision making is still questionable.
Alen Malovcic (’02) – 6’6, SF, Slovenia
Wing with solid size, averaged 18.3 points and 9.7 rebounds. Has good first step, can make plays attacking the closeout and use some ball screen to shoot or drive. Can change direction with the ball and finish with contact, but lacks some leaping ability. Has still slow shooting motion, but can score off the catch or after couple of dribbles. Needs to improve his off hand.
Luka Tekavcic (’02) – 6’9, SF/PF, Slovenia
Forward with good size, still skinny frame. Fluid and quick for his size, good overall athlete despite his still undeveloped body. Face up player, natural attacking the basket from the perimeter, has solid first step and coordination but needs to improve as a finisher. Good shooter with proper range, comfortable hitting shots off the catch despite his unorthodox mechanics.
Hector Alderete (’02) – 6’8, SF/PF, Spain
Named in the All-Tournament Team after averaging 14 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 16/39 (41%) from beyond the arc. Big forward with elite shooting skills off the catch, has consistent form and high release. Able to attack the closeout, has good touch at the rim, but lacks burst on the first step and explosiveness as a finisher. Covered both forward spots for his team, but he’ll need to work on his lateral quickness to be able to effectively guard on the perimeter.
Usman Garuba (’02) – 6’8, PF/C, Spain
Named in the All-Tournament Team, averaged 16.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.6 blocks. Early bloomer with still an intriguing physical and athletic profile. Strong and wiry frame which he knows how to use around the basket, tough to match in the paint. Uses his body to score off power moves, his length allows him to score over the defender. Mobile, quick and explosive, easy target as a cutter. Solid passer out of the low post. Impressive defender with quick feet, length and ability to absorb contacts. Still doesn’t have a range on offense, needs to work on his shooting and ball-handling.
Pau Tendero (’02) – 6’5, SG, Spain
Quick and explosive scoring guard, at his best when starting off the ball. Has good first step, he’s able to create his shot in 1vs1 situations and finish strong at the rim. Smooth around the basket, has excellent body control and can change angle in his shot. Still inconsistent as a shooter, needs to work on his form.
Adem Bona (’03) – 6’9, C, Turkey
Raw big man with developed body, didn’t always play many minutes but was highly effective thanks to his elite length, strength, quickness and athleticism for this age group. Runs hard the court. Physical defender, not afraid to throw his body around. Averaged 1.3 blocks in 13.7 minutes.
Tibet Deniz Gorener (’02) – 6’8, SF, Turkey
Skinny forward with excellent size and athletic tools. Runs hard the court, fills the lanes and attacks the basket. Played mainly off the catch, but showed natural feel and skills with the ball. Quick shooter off the catch, shows no hesitation, shot 15/38 (39.5%) from beyond the arc. Struggles to play through contacts.
Alperen Sengun (’02) – 6’8, C, Turkey
Named in the All-Tournament Team after averaging 14.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3.1 turnovers, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks for third-placed Turkey. Strong player who has solid basketball IQ and really knows how to use his body to get deep position inside. Has good footwork for his size but below average explosiveness, plays below the rim. Catch and finishes well inside, lacks shooting range.
Photo by fiba.basketball
Tibet Deniz Gorener
Luc Van Slooten