By Albert Robledillo
Munich held the second of the U18 Euroleague ANGT tournaments of the season dominated, once again, by Real Madrid
(Spain). Our Director of Scouting, Albert Robledillo, attended the event where Stellazzurra Rome
(Italy), Bayern Munich
(Germany), CSKA Moscow
(Greece), Alba Berlin
(Germany) and Ulm
(Germany) were the rest of the participants.
Here are the top performers of the tournament:
Juan Núñez (‘04). Real Madrid, 6’2, PG, Spain
Núñez was named the MVP of the tournament. Physically, has a low upside because he is already developed but has an astonishing creativity and IQ. Knows how to use his strength in the upper body to score in the paint where he shows a good touch with the left hand. His passing game is impressive; is able to make unreachable reads and execute incredible passes very often.
Eli John N’Diaye (‘04). Real Madrid, 6’8, PF/C, Senegal
N’Diaye was very productive for his team finishing in the All-Tournament Team. On the offensive end, is a great scorer thanks to a nice feel near the rim (67% in 2-pointers) and his finesse finding good angles. Needs to improve his decision making. His ability of grabbing the rebound and getting downhill and a great motion and percentage from the free-throw line (75%) shows potential as a versatile player.
Fedor Zugic (‘03). Stellazzurra, 6’6, SG, Montenegro
Physically gifted from an early age, Zugic still takes advantage from an impressive combination of size, motor, strength and athleticism. His ceiling in this area is nearly reached so he is trying to widen his skillset. He is a great 3-point shooter (48% averaging more than 6 attempts per game) and productive in defense thanks to his motor and wingspan.
Abramo Canka (‘02). Stellazzurra, 6’6, SG/SF, Italy
Canka leaded Stellazzurra to the final game ending up in the All-Tournament Team. A tremendous body, athletic, fluid, long-armed and strong enough but with upside. His strides, skillset, athleticism and touch near the rim makes him a great finisher (63% in 2-pointers). Has, also, improved a lot involving his teammates and makes very few mistakes playing, sometimes, as an initiator. Still, he prefers to play in transition and he is uncomfortable shooting from outside (2/5 in four games) although his motion looks better every day. In defense, has a tremendous activity on the ball, forces turnovers thanks to his wingspan and footwork and is a great rebounder for his position.
Sasha Grant (’02). Bayern Munich, 6’6, SF, Italy
Grant earned a spot in the All-Tournament Team thanks to his great contribution for the home team. An early-bloomer, has an extremely strong body both in up and lower, a good size for his position and he is quick and fluid enough to play in both ends of the court in the next stage. A good finisher near the rim thanks to his impressive first step. Improved a lot as a passer; now he is able to make better reads and feed his teammates. Still, took too many responsibilities for his team which made evident his issues as a decision-maker.
Ariel Hukporti (’02). Ludwigsburg, 7’0, C, Germany
Hukporti just played one game because of an ankle injury against Madrid, who was supposed to be a great match up against the best team in the tournament after putting on a show against Alba Berlin. His physical tools are out of question: has size, wingspan, strength, athleticism and mobility. But Hukporti also showed a very much improved skillset. Left-hand dominant, is able to create his own shots in the low post thanks to a nice touch; also finishes in transition where he feels really comfortable. He is already reliable as a long range threat.
Anton Kardanakhishvili (’02). CSKA Moscow, 6’5, SG, Russia
Interesting size for a combo guard with not much upside and good but not great body. Kardanakhishvili is not a great athlete but is quick and explosive enough to play at different paces. Has a great knowledge of the game, soft touch near the rim and a variety of finishes in his bag. He is also able to feed his teammates with perfect reads for the big man or skip passes to the corner. A good shooter and very active on the defensive end where can sit and move laterally pretty quick.
Eleftherios Mantzoukas (’03). Promitheas, 6’8, PF, Greece
Mantzoukas was the most productive player in the tournament; earning All-Tournament honors and setting a new scoring record with 49 points against Alba Berlin. His body, already developed, allows him to be dominant at this stage with a fantastic combination of size, mobility and strength. He is not a great athlete but is explosive enough to beat bigs from the perimeter and is strong enough for perimeter players in the low post. Excellent rebounder, was more comfortable defending as a man-in-the-middle when his team played 2-3 zone.
Christoph Tilly (’03). Alba Berlin, 6’11, PF, Germany
Tilly has great instincts on the offensive end where he is able to play all around: can attack from low post or from the mid-range putting the ball on the floor and scoring with a variety of finishes for a player in his position. His lack of strength limits his productivity in the paint as a scorer and as a rebounder or rim protector.
Igor Milicic (’02). Ratiopharm Ulm, 6’8, SF/PF, Poland
Milicic was one of the most disruptive forces of the tournament showing a great versatility for a player of his size. Standing at 6’8, played a lot as an initiator taking advantage of his skillset as a ball-handler and his mobility. Very productive near the rim; demonstrates quality touch in a variety of scenarios. He is a good shooter but needs to improve as a passer and a defender where has issues guarding perimeter players.
By Albert Robledillo and Biel Colominas
Kaunas held the third of the U18 Euroleague ANGT tournaments of the season won by Rytas Vilnius
(Lithuania). Our Director of Scouting, Albert Robledillo and Editor-in-chief Biel Colominas, attended the event where Zalgiris Kaunas
(Lithuania), Joventut Badalona
(France), Barking Abbey
(Great Britain), Reyer Venice
(Turkey) and Zaragoza
(Spain) were the rest of the participants.
Here are the top performers of the tournament:
Azuolas Tubelis (‘02). Lithuania. 6’9, PF, Rytas Vilnius
Tubelis was named MVP of the tournament with his averages of 20.5 points (66.7 from two), 12.5 rebounds (3.3 offensive), 2.5 assists, 2 steals, 1.8 blocks and 6.5 fouls drawn per game. Tubelis dominated every single game in Kaunas, leaving remarkable highlights on both ends of the floor. Lefty big man with a super strong body and above average athleticism for his position. At his best in dynamic situations, running hard in transition or attacking the basket on the move with couple off dribbles; he can easily play above the rim with space and has a ridiculous ability to finish absorbing contacts. Great rebounder, uses his body to get a deep position inside the paint. On defense, he is able to step out and go back quickly on ball screens; and he is a good shot blocker thanks to his timing and explosiveness.
Augustas Marciulionis (‘02). Lithuania. 6’4, PG, Rytas Vilnius
Marciulionis earned All-Tournament Team honors thanks to his 18.3 points (63.3% from two), 3.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 7 fouls drawn per game. Point guard with good size for his position. Marciulionis loves to handle the ball and create off the dribble; has excellent ball-handling ability and quick change of pace to take defenders off balance and his court vision and ability to pass off the live dribble allow him to find open teammates all over the court. Great scorer inside the paint: absorbs contacts, has soft touch with either hands, uses floaters and has good body control to find angles. He has improved as a shooter both off the dribble and off the catch. Smart defender who has impressive anticipation with his feet and is super pesky using his hands.
Paulius Murauskas (‘04). Lithuania. 6’8, PF, Zalgiris Kaunas
Murauskas earned a spot in the All-Tournament team thanks to his averages of 15.5 points (65.5% from two), 7 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 5 fouls drawn per game. Forward with well-developed but still promising frame and long wingspan. Murauskas stood out with impressive personality and competitiveness even being one year younger than the level of competition. He likes to stay in the perimeter and attack the basket with powerful drives, being able to finish absorbing contacts and scoring a lot of 2+1. He has high IQ for his age, takes good decisions, shares the ball and reads when he is double-teamed in the low post. Can hit spot up shots from beyond the ar. Decent footwork to guard on the perimeter, but he feels more comfortable as inside defender thanks to his strong body.
Mantas Rubstavicius (‘02). Lithuania. 6’5, SG, Zalgiris Kaunas
Lefty shooting guard with a narrow and undeveloped body, has good size for his position. Rubstavicius shines as a shooter in catch and shoot situations from beyond the arc (finished with a 42.1%). His shooting mechanics are consistent and elegant, his release is smooth and fluid and he has the ability to set his shot in a blink of an eye. He is also able to pull up from mid range after turning the corner of the P&R or attacking with couple of dribbles. Driver to his left who loves to finish with floaters with his strong hand. Natural handling the ball, but he needs ball screens to blow by his man. Rubstavicius has quick feet to stay in front of the ball; he is also smart to cut passing lanes on weak side rotations.
Adria Domenech (‘02). Spain. 6’10, PF, Joventut Badalona
Domenech stood out in Kaunas showing some improvements on his game in terms of toughness and aggressiveness. His coordination, speed and mobility are high-level for a player of his size, he moves naturally on the court and is able to put the ball on the floor with ease. Domenech was more aggressive driving to the basket, tried to not shy away of contact and to finish with dunks even if he was contested. Good shooting form with high point of release. Cuts aggressive to his right and finishes with excellent body control and using his length. Defensively, his high basketball IQ makes him a great off ball defender, as he has impressive awareness to make helps and to cut passing lanes with his long wingspan.
Victor Wembanyama (‘04). France. 7’2, C, Nanterre
Named in the All-Tournament team after averaging 15.8 points, 12 rebounds (3.3 offensive), 2.8 steals and 6 blocks. Wembanyama has a unique combination of size, length, coordination, skills and IQ, that make him one of the most intriguing players in Europe. Ridiculous ability to produce on offense for his team; effective in transition where he is great running the court, can also grab and go with impressive ball-handling ability and finish at the rim without turning the ball over. On half court, he has excellent footwork to create in the low post, is a good target for lobs and can shoot from mid and long range. His shooting form looks good, is natural and he has great touch as a shooter. But Wembanyama has the most important impact as a defensive anchor; his physical presence brings huge intimidation all over the half court, being an elite shot blocker thanks to his length, instincts and reactivity (set the new ANGT record with 9 blocks against Zaragoza).
Cameron Hildreth (‘02). Great Britain. 6’4, SG, Barking Abbey
Hildreth was placed in the All-Tournament Team after averaging 25.8 points (63.9% from two and 33.3% from three), 6.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 4 steals and 8 fouls drawn per game. Scoring and competitive guard who plays with unstoppable intensity on both ends of the court. Hildreth is a great executor on offense, can easily create his own shots either driving to the basket or shooting from mid and long range. Confident shooter both off the dribble and off the catch, he is able to create separation to pull up and also shoots after turning the corner of the P&R. He has deep range as a shooter. Inside the paint, Hildreth shows good ability to score absorbing contacts, finds angles with great body control and draws a lot of fouls. High motor defender on and off the ball; he is super aggressive cutting passing lanes (led the tournament in steals per game).
Nicola Berdini (‘03). Italy. 6’0, PG, Reyer Venice
Berdini is a premature point guard with below average size who doesn’t have major physical upside. Quick and crafty player with the ball in his hands who loves to operate on the P&R; keeps his dribble alive after turning the corner, splits on hedges and is able to finish with floaters or pulling up from mid range. Creative passer, has good court vision while driving and is able to pass off the live dribble. Berdini is a good shooter off the catch who does a great job moving off the ball to get these shots. Plays defense with high intensity, putting pressure on the ball-handler and using his well his hands to get steals (finished with 3.5 per game).
David Mutaf (’02). Fenerbahce, 6’6, SG, Turkey
Mutaf carried the scoring load of his team averaging 22 points per game (59,3% in two-pointers and 43,9% in threes). He is tremendously effective shooting the ball in many ways: pull-up jumper, catch and shoot or corner threes. His IQ allows him to use his body effectively near the basket where he is really productive finishing in many ways but mostly with his left hand. Not athletic at all, with good size for his position but with an average motor, Mutaf struggles in defense where has issues sliding laterally.
Álvaro Martínez (’03). Zaragoza, 6’6, SF, Spain
With a relentless motor and a good understanding of the game, Martínez finished the tournament in the top-5 scoring list. A bit undersized for his position, is a great athlete, plays at full speed and he is strong enough to face contacts in the lane at this stage. Great cutter and finisher, especially with the right hand, is underrated as a passer where he shows good instincts, just because is not an initiator due to his lack of finesse handling the ball. Didn’t feel comfortable shooting the ball from outside, knocked down some mid-range shots and had a great percentage in free-throws (35/41 in four games). An aware rebounder, and a great defender off the ball, he is also able to defend perimeter players.
By Luka Drca
Belgrade held the fourth and last of the U18 Euroleague ANGT tournaments of the season won by Partizan Belgrade
(Serbia). Our Director of Scouting, Albert Robledillo, and our Assistant of Director of Scouting, Luka Drca, attended the event where CFBB Paris
(France), Mega Bemax
(Serbia), Maccabi Tel Aviv
(Israel), Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana
(Slovenia), Crvena Zvezda
(Serbia), Asseco Arka Gdynia
(Poland) and Panathinaikos Athens
(Greece) were the rest of the participants.
Here are the top performers of the tournament:
Nikola Radovanovic (’03). Serbia. 6’8, SG, Partizan Belgrade
Lefty guard standing at 6’7. He was named all-tournament team. Very good in open court. Struggles on set defense. Plays with energy. Poor shooter. Averaged 15.8 points per game, 6.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists per 28 minutes of action.
Daniel Batcho (’02). France. 6’7, PF/C, CFBB Paris
This kid was also named MVP. He is undersized center standing at 6’7. Solid athlete. Tough kid that plays with energy. Mostly scores from the offensive rebounds. Turnover prone. Good defender. Averaged 14.8 points per game, 11.3 rebounds per 29 minutes of action.
Ousmane Dieng (’03). France. 6’6, PG, CFBB Paris
Playing PG but more 2/3 spot. Standing at 6’6. Agile, long and athletic. Score first guy. Looks to shoot threes in every situation. Doesn’t like contact. Likes open court. Solid defender. Averaged 12.8 points per game, 5 rebounds, 2 assists per 28 minutes of action.
Luka Paunovic (’02). Serbia. 6’4, SG/PG, Mega Bemax
Combo guard standing at 6’4 who was named All-tournament team. Above average athlete – explosive and quick first step. Good in open court. Driver both ways. Solid shooter. Excellent percentages (71.4% in 2 point FG and 50% 3 point FG). Questionable basketball IQ. Aggressive on defense. Averaged 17.3 points per game, 4.8 rebounds ,1.8 assists per 29 minutes of action.
Mihailo Musikic (’02). Serbia. 6’11, C, Mega Bemax
Center standing at 6’11. Not very athletic. Just okay mobility. High basketball IQ – best point guard on this team. Poor rebounder for his size. Mostly scores around the rim. Can step out to 3-point line. Poor lateral quickness. Averaged 17.3 points per game, 4 rebounds, 4 assists per 29 minutes of action.
Harel Rinski (’02). Israel. 6’6, PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv
This kid is undersized premature PF standing at 6’6. Below average athlete. Tough player with good energy. Spot up shooter. Takes more threes than two-pointers. Averaged 18.5 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per 32 minutes of action.
Egor Sytnikov (’02). Russia. 6’5, SG, Cedevita Olimpija
This kid was the best shooter on the tournament. Modern SG. Solid athlete. Quick shot. Doesn’t need too much room and time to shoot. Shoots from everywhere-good range. Volume shooter. Very good defensive rebounder. Averaged 18.5 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per 28 minutes of action.
Nikola Manojlovic (’02). Serbia. 6’5, SF, Red Star Belgrade
He made all-tournament team. Talented SG standing at 6’5. This kid does a little of everything. Solid athlete that lacks explosiveness. Good basketball IQ. Crafty player that finds a way to score. Better driver than shooter. Needs to be more aggressive on both ends of the floor. Averaged 13.8 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists per 25 minutes of action.
Wojciech Tomaszewski (’02). Poland. 6’6, SF, Asseco Arka Gdynia
Small forward standing at 6’6. Long and athletic. Questionable basketball IQ. Driver both ways. Poor shooter. Excellent defender – uses his length. Can guard 1-4 on this level. Averaged 14.3 points per game, 4.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists per 25 minutes of action.
Marios Giotis (’02). Greece. 6’7, PF/SF, Panathinaikos
Forward standing at 6’7. This kid plays with tremendous energy. Strong body. Just an okay athlete. Good spot up shooter. Driver both ways. Sometimes a little chaotic. When he gets a ball, he tries to score every time. Not interested in playing defense – only looks for steals. Averaged 25.3 points per game, 5 rebounds, 2.3 assists per 37 minutes of action.
Photos by: Robertas Eismontas; Begum Unal; Djordje Kostic
Eli John Ndiaye
Sasha Mattias Grant
Sarper David Mutaf