The XIII edition of the Baltic Sea Basketball Cup took place in Tallinn, Estonia, from January the 3rd to January the 5th.
Here are our Top Ten prospects of the tournament.
Kaspar Kitsing (2/3, Estonia – 6’5, 2001, Dolomiti Energia Trento) is a sized wing that plays with poise and has great court vision, which is used properly when he has to hit spot up shooters against a set up defense. He wasn’t the best offensive option for his team due to an inconsistent outside shot and a low-level ability to find his own way to the basket attacking one-on-one. Was able to give rhythm to his teammates driving and kicking out the ball accurately, especially out of the pick and roll. Solid handles, can stop and start or hesitate with good crossovers. He struggled on defense, lacking lateral quickness and showing a quite high centre of gravity.
Kristaps Kilps (2/3, Latvia – 6’5, 2001, BK Ventspils) has been the most interesting player of the U18 tournament. He is a swingman with great scoring abilities, helped by his explosiveness and solid physical tools. He was a real threat from behind the arc: form is quick and clean, elevation is good. Can hit tough shots off the dribble. He has good handles and high motor leading the break, can finish at the rim or assist big men. His passing selection is still shaky. Should work on his pick and roll game and left-hand efficiency driving inside. He has nose for interceptions, can run the floor quickly to get chasedown blocks. On-ball defense and weak side rotations must be improved.
Marcis Steinbergs (5/4, Latvia – 6’8, 2001, BK Ogre) has good IQ on both ends, helped by a strong and agile body. Offensive skills are not that solid, shooting motion is still rough (shot 0/4 from three-points land). He runs the floor extremely well, never losing his balance while finishing with runners. He sets good quality screens and rolls pretty quickly to the rim, on short rolls can finish or kick the ball out. Has timing for blocking shots, on the pick and roll he can help, switch or contain with good results. Has above-average lateral quickness to stay with guards.
Perttu Blomgren (2/1, Finland – 6’2, 2001) was awarded with the MVP trophy after having led Finland to the Gold. His poise while he’s hitting the floor is impressive: he runs the pick and roll with unselfishness, seeking big men rolling deep with accurate pocket passes. Can drive and kick to give rhythm to his shooters or finish at the rim. He lacks explosiveness to be able to get through defense changing pace. Has pros and cons on defense: gets beaten several times covering on-ball opponents, but gives his best on weak side helps and interceptions. His shooting motion is pretty solid, loves to take pull-ups going left after using ball-screens.
Eerik Sajantila (2/3, Finland – 6’4, 2001, HBA-Marsky) is a forward that loves to handle the ball and play with unselfishness. He can guard multiple spots thanks to his strong frame, has good lateral quickness. He reads the game sharply also defending off the ball, can put his body against big men. He loves to run the offense with high motor, driving with strength to the rim and finishing with contact using both hands. Passing skills and court vision are good, he can hit shooters on the weak side also coming off the pick and roll. Jumpshot is a bit weak, his form isn’t that fluid. Must strengthen his midrange game, pull-up efficiency is an issue.
Ken-Martii Reinart (4, Estonia – 6’7, 2003, TTÜ Korvpall) has been awarded as the MVP of the U16 tournament after playing a really solid competition: 20.3 points per game (81.3 FG%), 9.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.3 steals and 2.3 turnovers. He has a good sense of position to get the better spot in the paint. His skillset is not that wide, but he’s extremely quick in finishing with soft touches from around the rim. His shooting form is weak, his core is bad also while shooting free throws. Has above-average court vision, moves the ball properly when doubleteamed. Unable to switch on the pick and roll, feet are too heavy to stay with guards. Bad attitude with opponents and referees.
Gerrit Lehe (3/4, Estonia – 6’7, 2005, SC Audentes) is an extremely intriguing guy given his size and age. He played only 2 games but enough playing time to show very good things. His body is not that strong, lacks size to affect big men in the paint. He can hit shots from the perimeter (shooting form is ok) or fake and drive with his left hand, despite being a bit strong-hand dominant. Well-balanced body while driving to the rim, has got good moves from the post. Still too soft fighting for rebounds and trying to get over ball-screens. He was the younger guy, and probably the one with the bigger upside in the competition.
Henri Veesaar (5, Estonia – 6’10, 2004, SC Audentes) was one of the most interesting players in attendance. His body is extremely skinny and long but his balance seems solid. Runs the floor very well, takes good position inside the paint but struggles getting closer to the rim with that lack of weight. He’s not that skilled when it comes to score, but has room to improve a lot. Tries to fight for offensive rebounds with his length, has issues boxing out stronger opponents. Interesting when he puts the ball on the floor: handles the ball surprisingly well, his footwork is decent. Still a project but a very intriguing one.
Viljami Vartiainen (2, Finland – 6’2, 2004) wasn’t afraid to take clutch shots (made the tie-game 3-pointer against Estonia with few seconds remaining), hitting them with a pretty quick and silky mechanics. His body is agile and skinny, his arms are long and makes a proper use of them to put pressure on the ball-handler and get steals. His passing skills are not that safe, still makes risky passes. He has good handles with both hands, loves playing low pace. He makes smart cuts from weak side thanks to an above-average basketball IQ. Still doesn’t have a wide array of moves and he’s not that good at creating off the dribble.
Wilhelm Falk (3, Sweden – 6’6, 2003, Stellazzurra Roma) is an agile forward who’s not worried about handling the ball with pretty solid handles. Can run the pick and roll with above average court vision, seeking shooters with good drive and kicks. He can find his own way to the rim with a light and quick footwork and proper handles, finishing with both hands. His frame is pretty solid and his shoulders are wide, he can possibly add few inches. Versatile defender, can switch on the pick and roll and cover guards and forwards with good results. Shooting motion must be fixed: midrange pull-up is ok, but the stroke while shooting from three-point land seems unnatural.
Photos by bsbc.ee
By Eugenio Agostinelli