By Reinaldo Bessa
There is no event in America for players in High School such as the Pangos All-American Camp which, last week, gathered the best 107 prospects in the United States. Among them, four European were called up: Turkish big Adem Bona ('03), French big Yohan Traore ('03), Lithuanian forward Matas Buzelis ('04), and Swedish guard Elliot Cadeau ('04). Bona and Traore, both from Prolific Prep, made it to the Top-30 game; Buzelis, from Brewster Academy, made it to the Top-60 game while Cadeau, from Bergen Catholic, established himself as one of the best guards of the 2024 class.
Adem Bona - Center - 2003 - Turkey - 2022 class
Suiting up for Team UNC, Adem Bona proved why he is a top 5 prospect in our 2003-born ranking. Bona was one of the main attractions of the Pangos Camp and rightfully so. After a big season with Prolific Prep, which ended on a quarter-finals loss against Sunrise Christian in the Nationals, the Turkish big man was the main player of his team. Bona displayed his physical tools: high motor, size, length, athleticism, and strength. On offense, he was able to create advantages in pick and roll situations thanks to his footwork, awareness, and body positioning. The Nigerian-born also showed improved footwork on the low post, creating easy baskets and even attracting double teams and kicking the ball to the open man. He can improve his jumper as he barely uses it because he tends to finish near the rim. Bona also showed the ability to play from outside putting the ball on the ground using his explosive footwork. He also made a staple against the best big in the country, Jalen Duren, attacking him off the dribble. On defense, he is a very strong presence in the paint and very tenacious, not allowing easy baskets. Bona earned a spot in the Top 30 game but after 7 minutes on the field, he had to leave for personal reasons.
Yohan Traore - Center - 2003 - France - 2022 class
One of the top players for Team Oregon, Traore showed a full display of his athleticism, speed, and aggressiveness attacking the basket. He was unstoppable in transition due to his capacity to follow the correct lane at a top speed having impressive control over his body. Most of his baskets came from runs in transition or slashes that led to open dunks or layups revealing an improvable ability to create for himself off the dribble, as he has a limited ball-handling skills. His shot was inconsistent throughout the three days even if he showed confidence. On defense, he had troubles when matched up against more explosive bigs. However, his ability to run the floor gave him a spot on the Top 30 game in which he displayed his skills in offense and a solid defensive performance as he was more effective on the boards.
Matas Buzelis - Forward - 2004 - Lithuania - 2023 class
Buzelis is a very energetic forward. He displayed great body language and has a tall and skinny type of body which leads to creating an advantage when defending drives and driving himself to the basket. This frame is not ideal when handling a bigger body on the post. He loves to penetrate when he has to play in one-on-one situations but when he is off the ball, he is actively looking for a screen to shoot a jumper or to free himself up. His jumper is still inconsistent mostly due to his unorthodox form but he was never afraid of the contact even when facing bigger bodies, slashing against them with a change of speed. In the Top 60 game, he was a solid contributor for his team always following the correct lane on offense and allowing his positioning to do most of the work. On defense, he showed a really solid performance.
Elliot Cadeau - Point Guard - 2004 - Sweden - 2024 class
Part of Team Stanford, Cadeau was vital for them, especially on the defensive end. Always playing with a high motor and a high level of aggressiveness, the Swedish point guard made impressive reads of passing lines, was agile guarding the pick and roll, and had the ability to use his high energy. He was great chasing rebounds. On offense, he is extremely fast and is not afraid of contact against bigger bodies. He is a very good slasher that showed a soft touch near the rim. He made plays on pick and roll sets, especially when he was able to use a hesitation move to freeze the defense, analyze the game, and make a decision. He set his teammates to open shots thanks to his willingness to share the ball. Cadeau also showed the ability to create for himself off the dribble thanks to his slashing speed and quick change of pace.