Who was the best player?
There was a huge expectation to see Jean Montero (‘03)
, the reigning MVP of the tournament, however, the 6’2 guard struggled to display his natural scoring skills. So Michael Caicedo (‘03)
was clearly the best performer in Valencia and a well-deserved MVP. Caicedo
doesn’t have the flashiest style of play, but his productivity, gradual improvement and winning impact have made him one of the best players of his generation in Europe. Thus far, one of Caicedo’s
red flag was his shooting ability, but in Valencia, the 6’6 wing proved that he has made strides with it, shooting with high confidence in spot up situations and proving that he can keep improving as his 15/15 from the free throw line suggests.
–with Unicaja's first team– and Montero
–?–, it happened to be a very interesting battle between Ulm’s Jeremy Sochan (’03)
and Joventut’s Miguel Malik Allen (’03)
didn't have a bad game in the competition being sensational at scoring, rebounding, defending, passing and even showing some flashes of an improved shot. Allen
struggled a bit creating his own shot –the tournament was a nightmare for skinny or non-fully-developed players, ask Ubal (’03)
or Bonilla (’03)
– but he found the way to be productive and useful for his team. He averaged nearly a double-double but it’s pretty clear that he didn’t reach his physical ceiling and that’s scary considering how he already plays above the rim.
Who was the most surprising player?
Regardless of Nanterre’s last position, Maxime Raynaud (‘03)
was definitely the most pleasant surprise in Valencia. After having a minor role in a loaded French team in the 2019 FIBA U16 European Championship, Raynaud
made a step forward showing an impressive combination of size, coordination, soft hands and potential as a shooter that allow him to be very productive playing the pick and roll.
I will go with Nanterre’s Marc-Antoine Loemba (’03)
. In the 2020 ANGT Kaunas he already showed some glimpses in a very underrated team in terms of potential (s/o to Christ Essandoko (’02)
and Maxime Ekono (’02)
who are attracting many interests from some of the most important colleges in the United States) but here we are talking about one of the two top defenders of the tournament who also had the best two-point percentage (62.5%). Can I add one name? Ulm’s Jake Ensminger (’04)
is special. He is something like a 6’8 point guard who shoots, rebounds and makes plays for others.
Who was the top U16 player?
Biel: Killian Malwaya (‘05)
was definitely the best underage player of this edition. He has grown and improved from an athletic standpoint since last year, being by far the best athlete in the whole tournament. He plays with a ridiculous high motor and fearless attitude all over the court. Also, Zaccharie Risacher (‘05)
and Kany Tchanda (‘05)
cracked my eye. Risacher
, son of the former player Stephane Risacher, is a 6’8 forward who showed up as a highly intriguing prospect thanks to his mobility, shooting skills and feel for the game while Tchanda
utilized his length and athleticism to be very productive as a rim runner and crashing the glass for rebounds.
There is no discussion about Malwaya
. He has everything to become a top prospect in the near future: a good size and body, athleticism, versatility and the always needed ability to put the ball in the basket at almost any context. But let me add three names who had a big impact in the tournament: Joventut’s Ruben De Oliveira (’05)
, who surprisingly became one of the most productive rim protectors, and Valencia’s Lucas Marí (‘05)
and Sergio De Larrea (’05
is a big Guard who can easily run the offense making fantastic reads while De Larrea
showed an impressive feel for the game and scoring abilities combined with a remarkable size.
Caicedo, Allen, Sochan, Malwaya and Loemba. What's your take on the All-Tournament Team?
Malwaya had a solid tournament, but if someone of ASVEL deserved to be placed in the All-Tournament Team he would have been Kymany Houinsou (’04)
still leaves some question marks as a primary initiator and as a shooter, however, he displayed his terrific defensive ability, and the most important thing, a much better court vision and passing. But if someone was clearly missing in this selection, he is Rafa Villar (‘04).
The 6’2 point guard was a fundamental player for Barcelona to win every single game in Valencia, doing a little bit of everything on the court as his 6.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4 assists and 3.5 steals show.
You can easily see how physical was this tournament with these names in the All-Tournament Team plus the ones you add, Biel. And don’t get me wrong, all of them deserve the mention. But I agree with you. I think Asvel’s Kymany Houinsou (’04)
deserved the mention. Alongside with Loemba (’03)
, he was the best perimeter defender in the tournament and you could see the big strides he made comparing with last year. He needs to improve his skillset but I am very confident in believing in prospects who are good passers. I liked Villar’s (’04)
display and I bet Raynaud (’03),
the best center of the competition, was also in the conversations.
Miguel Malik Allen
Sergio De Larrea
2020 Valencia Adidas Next Generation Tournament took place in L'Alqueria bringing in some of the top 2003, 2004 and 2005-born prospects in Europe.